Jim Mackert is no spring chicken. He's an 82-year-old marathon runner. The legacy runner has run 65. And, he's the oldest person running 26.2 miles in this year's Rite-Aid Cleveland Marathon.
Crossing that finish line in May means that Mackert is the only person to have competed in all 42 of Cleveland's marathons.
"Determination. Desire. I enjoy it, I enjoy the people that I see there," the father of six said.
Mackert is a master. Not just with running. He's mentally tough as nails, which has propelled him to push through injuries to qualify for the Boston Marathon three times.
"When I went in 2007, I was 70 years old and in training I pulled a muscle doing my hill workouts," he explained. "But I said I was going no matter how my leg felt."
And, he did.
These days, Mackert racks up about 40 miles a week. He was, however, getting attention long ago, even appearing on Channel 3 back in 2000 with Jimmy Donovan when he was 63 and gearing up for his 23rd Cleveland Marathon.
Mackert has no plans to slow down. He says he's fueled by his family, while inspiring others on his path.
"I feel good doing it. And as long as I feel good doing it, I try to keep doing it," Mackert said. (03/22/2019) ⚡AMP
The Cleveland Marathon features a relatively flat and fast course, great volunteer support and a scenic view of downtown Cleveland and its major landmarks. The course has been designed for our athletes to enjoy views of Browns Stadium, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Lake Erie and many other Cleveland highlights.
The Cleveland Marathon began in 1978 in an...more...
Melissa Chamberlain always thought marathon runners were nuts. She certainly never thought she'd become one.
"I was not born to run," said Chamberlain. "I didn't like running. I didn't like sweating. I didn't like being outside."
But she also was looking for a way to stay in shape. Despite the time crunch that comes with being a working mom, she started small and realized she kind of liked it.
"I did the Shamrock 5K in 2010 and that was my first 5K and then I got bit by the bug," said Chamberlain. "I just do it for fun. I do it to stay healthy. I like to run to show the kids that it's important to train for something and stick with it."
She ran the Cleveland half Marathon on Sunday May 20th for the seventh time since 2010.
"I have always aspired to be one of those runners that has a training plan and sticks to it every single day, but life happens and kids get sick and extracurricular things happen and you just can't always get out when you want to, so you just do the best you can," said Chamberlain.
Whether it's getting a run in on her lunch break or logging some miles on the weekend at Stevens Park in Niles, she says one of the most important parts behind all of this is simply getting some "me" time.
"You just have to kind of make that time for yourself. And I honestly think it makes me a better mom. It makes me a better partner. It makes me a better human because I get that time to do something that I really love and then I can get back to life," said Chamberlain.
She fully admits that she's not the fastest person out there; she walks when she has to and isn't worried about competing for a win. For her, it's about the experience on race day. (05/21/2018) ⚡AMP
Linius Kiplagat and Josphine Wanjiku train together in Kenya, and they shared the joy of victory in the men's and women's 10K races, respectively, at Sunday's Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. Kiplagat, 24, and Wanjiku, 25, are in the United States for the first time, and will stay for the next three months. They arrived in Lansing, Mich., on Wednesday and got to Cleveland on Friday. Kiplagat finished in 29 minutes and 4.87 seconds. He started quickly and separated himself from the field after the first 2K. He said he wasn't bothered by the light rain. "It's my second road race," Kiplagat said. "It was a nice race. I felt confident. It was cold, though. This is my first time here. There are nice people here, friendly." Isaac Mukundi (29:23.51) and Dominic Korir (29:25.53), both also from Kenya, finished second and third, respectively. Wanjiku led wire-to-wire, finishing in 36:32, ahead of runnerup Jessica Odorcie (36:37) of Perry in Lake County and Melly Watcke (37:06) of New Bremen, Ohio. "I felt good," Wanjiku said. "Rain, but the course was good. They are nice people here. "I had an advantage because I was prepared for the hills. I'm happy, because it's a win, here for the first time in America. It's a big achievement. I expect more wins." Edwin Rotich won the men's race in 28:58 last year, and Gladys Kipsoi led the women in 33:28. (05/20/2018) ⚡AMP
Shelby Jones has been running half-marathons for nearly a decade. She was a sophomore at West Geauga High School in 2009 when she completed her first. Since then, Jones has kept at it. That is until the last calendar year, when she’s been in overdrive. She won’t stop until May 20. On that day, Jones is set to run the half-marathon at the Cleveland Marathon. It will mark Jones’ 100th half-marathon. For some runners, that number takes a lifetime to reach. Jones has done it in a decade. Her last 52 have occurred in the last 12 months. Needless to say, it was a hectic few weeks for Jones since she has run 17 halfs in the last few weeks. At one point, she ran eight half-marathons in a week, including three in a 27-hour period. The first was a 4 a.m. race in Albert Lea, Minnesota. The second was a 9 p.m. race the same day in Indianapolis. The last was a 7 a.m. race the next day in Middleville, Michigan. (05/16/2018) ⚡AMP