Why walk the Heights if you can run?

A strength of the Heights is its walkability. Ubiquitous sidewalks lead to coffee shops, bakeries, restaurants, libraries, schools and religious institutions—all sorts of attractions.

The Heights is also a great place for runners, who can enter numerous races without ever leaving the Heights.

Races often support worthy causes. Already this year, the Break Out of the Bubble 5K at Forest Hill Park on April 19 benefited the CWRU Student-Run Free Clinic; the Earth Day 5K at Forest Hill Park on April 23 raised money for youth recreation scholarships; and the 4- or 2-mile RoxEl Run on May 31 helped Roxboro Elementary School raise funds for playground equipment and enhancements.

Also in May, University Heights held its annual Memorial Day Run, a 1.5- or 4-mile route starting at John Carroll University to benefit a school in the city.

Races usually provide T-shirts to entrants, awards for top finishers in various age groups, water stops and timers at every mile, and police control on roadways.

For race registration information, use Google or another search engine to find events online. Here are some upcoming Heights races:

A Most Excellent Race, Sunday, June 22, to support recreation programs for children with disabilities at the Achievement Centers' Camp Cheerful: 5K or 10K runs and a 5K walk start at 9 a.m. at Beaumont School, 3301 North Park Blvd. Pre-registration is $25; race-day registration is $30.

Thunder Run, Saturday, July 19, to benefit Lake Erie Ink: This 5K run/walk in Forest Hill Park (2370 Lee Blvd.) starts at 9 a.m. Registration is $20 for individuals or $15 for school team members.

B’nai B’rith Health Run, Sunday, July 20: This 1-mile walk begins at 8:30 a.m. and the 5K run begins at 9 a.m., starting at Rascal House Pizza, 2255 Warrensville Center Road.

Run Through History, Sunday, Aug. 18, at Lakeview Cemetery: A 1-mile walk at 8:30 a.m. and a 5K run at 9 a.m. both start from the cemetery’s Mayfield Gate (at the corner of Kenilworth and Mayfield roads). Pre-registration is $15 for the walk and $20 for the 5K; race-day registration is $20 and $25.

Miles for Smiles, Monday, Sept. 1: Both the 1 mile walk and 5K run begin at 9 a.m. at Nighttown,12383 Cedar Road and benefit Operation Smile and Cleveland Heights Youth Scholarship Fund. Operation Smile provides free surgeries to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities for children around the globe. The Cleveland Heights Youth Scholarship Fund helps kids pay for youth recreation programs. Pre-registration costs $16; race-day registration is $20.

Nature Center at Shaker Lakes, 5K and hikes, Sunday, Sept. 21: Hikes begin at 9 a.m. from the Nature Center at 2600 South Park Blvd. and include a 12-mile hike to Lake Erie, a 4-mile hike along Doan Brook Gorge, and a 1-mile pet-friendly, family hike. The cost of the hikes is $15 for adults; $10 for children under 12, scouts and school club members; and $40 for families. The 5K Race begins at 9:15 a.m. Pre-registration is $20; race-day registration is $25.

Mary Dunbar

Mary Dunbar is a member of Cleveland Heights City Council and a runner.

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 10:12 AM, 05.30.2014