The Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler is a premier Northeast Ohio road race that is now in its 17th year. In any other time, the course is one along the shores of Lake Erie which starts and finishes at Edgewater Park. For 2021, the event was held at the Emerald Necklace Marina which is a part of the Cleveland Metroparks located in Rocky River.
For those that don’t already know about the event organizer (Hermes Road Racing), they are the gold standard when it comes to road racing events in Northeast Ohio. In addition to road racing, they are the same group to organize and run the Cleveland and Akron Corporate Challenge events. So, if you have joined your coworkers for a relay 10k or a teambuilding tug-of-war against your corporate rivals, this was very likely them. Event organization is their thing, and they have it down pat.
The Cleveland 10 Miler is a flagship race for Hermes Road Racing, and it shares a common theme in Greek mythology. The finisher medal and t-shirt are both great quality and carry the ‘Run Like A God’ motto. Hermes himself was the son of Zeus and wore wings on his sandals as a sign of swiftness. He is even credited for inventing foot-racing.
The folks at Hermes did a great job making this feel like a ‘normal’ race. Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic this year, the event had an awesome vibe to it. Good music was playing, the venue was great, and the weather cooperated with a little bit of sunshine. Even with a strong turnout for the race, there was plenty of room to stay spread out.
There is an official 100 Mile Club featuring runners who’ve accomplished the Hermes Cleveland 10 Miler ten times. Easier said than done. Over the 17 years that the race has been active, 75 runners have joined the club. Four new members joined through the 2021 race.
I came to the race with two friends and running partners, Rob & Kim, as well as Kim’s 4-year-old son Lincoln. We all participated in an unofficial 3-person relay team to push a 4-year-old toddler 10 miles to the finish line. I’m not sure about the official record keeping for these kinds of stats, but I like to think that we made the podium.
The start of the race was a little bit tight as we entered the two-way travel along the Metro Park All-Purpose Trail. Navigating a stroller made it a bit of an extra challenge to make passes. After the first mile or so, the pack was spread out nicely and we were on our way.
The full course was five miles out and back and running generally along the Rocky River. The weather was perfect and there were some great views along the river. I’ve always heard of good fly fishing on the Rocky, but I had never been there to explore in person. It is something that I will go back for. They were fishing for Steelhead Trout as the fish make their way out of Lake Erie and up the river to spawn in the springtime. From the few people fishing that I was able to ask, it sounded like mixed luck on the day.
Overall, it was a relatively flat course with only 192 feet of elevation gain. There was one steep area up and over a short hill at mile 4 and again coming back on mile 6. A little extra challenging with a stroller to push but we rotated through the group and took the hills on strong.
I can’t say that I wasn’t a bit envious at times of Lincoln’s setup. He was riding in style. Dual cup holders, a cool breeze in his face, and a bag of fruity snacks under the seat. Now, that’s not to say that 2 hours in stroller is an easy thing for a 4-year-old. He did a great job and even took a little victory run across the finish line.
1:43:14 finish time.
Just 9 more years to the 100 Mile Club!