Race Recap: Cleveland Marathon Challenge Series 2017- Part 1

Its not really any secret that I love the Cleveland Marathon. Race weekend is like Christmas to me and for the past three years now,  I have had the extreme honor of being a part of this race as an ambassador. This is not a gig I take lightly and its hard to really explain the magic that happens when we all get together. I don't even know how it happened, but as soon as I met these people we just all kind of clicked. I may be the biggest sap of the group, but I know that I'm not speaking for just myself when I say that we are truly family. We support each other and really have been there for each other thru lot of ups and downs of running and life.

Of course I was really excited to kick off the best weekend of the year at the expo! As we were driving into the city, I could feel the excitement starting to build as we passed
Progressive Field and made it towards the expo. I picked up all the packets for my dad, the boys, my running bestie Lynanne and myself. There were a lot of bags and bibs and swag but it was great! Cleveland really did not disappoint this year for the 40th with the swag. All runners received really sweet commemorative key chains and all challenge participants received awesomely cozy 40th anniversary blankets. This was all before we even ran! 

While I was at the expo, I ran into Holly, then quickly saw Stephanie and Dan!  We were all busy walking around and knew the VIP dinner was just around the corner, so we gave hugs and were on our way. I rushed over to see Jill and get a (signed copy) of her book. Then I saw Rachel and Stephani and we gave all the hugs and stopped for an official expo race photo.

Look mom, its me!

Badass Jill and her book!

Me, Stephani, and Rachel

Next up for the evening was the VIP dinner at the beautiful and historic Hyatt Arcade. I was especially excited to finally introduce my boyfriend Chad to everyone. They had all head about him and were eager to meet him too. My goal was to get a cute picture of us all dressed up since that really doesn't happen too often. I had no idea what was in store for me! As we arrived, we into everyone and I started introductions. We decided to get a drink and since people were already seated, we followed suit and got in line for some of the amazing food that they had prepared. The food was delicious but I was really eying up that dessert table. I'm kicking myself for not taking a photo of it in all of its glory! We really enjoyed the food and talking to the other ambassadors and other race people. We listed to Jack talk about the race and saw that he was presented an award. It always is inspiring to see the legacy runners, ones who have run the race every year!

Before I knew it, it was picture time! The arcade is just so pretty and I love having a picture of all of my ambassador friends each year looking all snazzy! 

See, we all clean up really nice.

After the group picture, I asked Chad if he wanted to get a picture of us and he looked really nervous so I said ok, lets wait until it clears out a little bit. We waited and then a few minutes later I asked if he was ready. He said ok and then said lets go up to the landing. I was thinking that the view from the landing might not be the best, but ok, ill go with it and then it happened. Before I knew what hit me he took my hands and told me how much he loved me, dropped to one knee and then I think I blacked out. When I realized what was happening, I heard him say "is that a yes?" and of course I said YES! and then heard all of my friends cheering and clapping for us! Chad is so quiet and unassuming and is his not his norm to do any kind of public display like this so I was just so unbelievably blown away! I would have said yes anywhere, but the fact he did it on the weekend that I love and in front of the people that I adore meant the world to me! It was hands down one of the most exciting moments of my entire life.

Complete and total shock!

For the rest of the evening, I was floating on air. Chad said he was hoping for an opportunity to ask and that maybe people wouldn't notice. As luck would have it people did notice and we are now able to have these amazing pictures to remember this moment until we are old and grey! I still cant even believe how lucky I am to have found such an amazing partner and get to spend the rest of my life with my best friend. He is simply home to me.

We drove home smiling like fools and I tried to get some rest before day 2 of the amazing fun weekend continued. More on the rest of the weekend tomorrow!


  1. I freaking love this post. SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!! What great photos. xxoooooxxxxxoooo!!!'n


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