Guest post from the Towpath Trilogy Blog–
Described as “one of the most beautiful race courses in America” by Runner’s World magazine, the Towpath Marathon showcases segments of the historic Towpath Trail located between Akron and Cleveland. It is one of few marathons that take place in a National Park, and many consider it a unique specialty race due to the setting, fall foliage and crushed limestone surface.
Each year the Towpath Marathon draws runners from across the country and even internationally. So far in 2016- the 25th Anniversary of the Towpath Marathon- we have registrants from 36 states and Australia, Canada, India and Jamaica.
We spoke with Kim Stevenson who will be participating in the Towpath Marathon while in town from Australia.
So Kim, where are you from?
I am traveling from Melbourne, Australia where I have lived for the last 29 years. I was born in the USA.
How did you find out about the Towpath Marathon?
I was following some links, looking for information about Cuyahoga and Brandywine Falls, as my sister and I were looking for a nature-based getaway for after her daughter’s wedding.
I had also been looking for a ‘fun run’ or a ‘trail run’ as an incentive to maintain my fitness while traveling. So the two things came together nicely!
Have you traveled far for other races?
I haven’t traveled this far for other races, no. Probably about 2hrs would be the furthest I’d traveled for a race prior to this. We have a family wedding in Columbus to attend, so I think the driving time is a little over two hours…but if you count the trip from Australia, well that’s a fair bit further!
Do you have a favorite marathon so far?
I’m not really a marathon runner, but I participated in a very lovely, very hilly 13km run called the ‘Puffing Billy’ in Australia. The Puffing Billy is an old Steam Train that the runners race against; the race raises funds to maintain the train and tracks.
What are you looking forward to doing while you are in the area?
I’m looking forward to enjoying the fall colour and finding out more about Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the history behind the Towpath trail. My family lived in Detroit when the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie were so badly polluted that the river caught fire, I vaguely remember learning about that.
It will be great to see the results of the environmental efforts that eventually led to the cleanup of the waterways. I was also attracted to the opportunity of running through such a scenic area. We might even get a look at Brandywine falls while in the area. My brother-in-law is quite skeptical that a place so close to Cleveland/Akron would be a draw card for nature enthusiasts, so I’m looking forward to taking a few photos to share…
Visiting Northeast Ohio for the Towpath Marathon? Check out our Attractions and Accommodations Page.