There are many ways to enjoy the upcoming Lakewood Summer Meltdown, but few compare to the thrill of participating in a large, urban road race.  This opportunity presents itself during the Meltdown 5K presented by Cleveland Clinic Lakewood, as hundreds of participants will traverse the city’s streets before crossing the finish line at the edge of a vibrant street festival.

Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood, Ohio

Sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown takes place on Saturday, July 8, in Downtown Lakewood.  But before you lace up your running shoes and make your way to the starting line, here are five tips for running the Meltdown 5K (register now!):

1. Spend the Day Staying Properly Hydrated

Unlike most road races, which occur during the wee hours of the morning, the Meltdown 5K offers a unique starting time of 7 p.m. Consequently, you’ll be awake and capable of properly hydrating yourself on race day.

2. Participate in the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run

The 1 Mile Kids Fun Run – sponsored by Lakewood Family YMCA – kicks off one hour prior to the Meltdown 5K at 6 p.m. If you’re like us, you’re likely a big kid at heart. But even if you’re too old to qualify as a kid and run this race, you can still participate by cheering and spectating during this event that always serves as a crowd-pleaser.  (register here for the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run!)

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K

Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood, Ohio

3. Start Fast, But Don’t Zig-Zag

It’s neither a sprint nor a marathon; rather, the 3.1 miles encompassing the Meltdown 5K represent a happy medium. This fast course has a reputation for producing personal-best times, so you’ll need to start fast to stay near the lead pack. Still, it’s important not to zig-zag through the crowd early in the race, as this will waste precious energy.  Instead, conserve this energy for the final mile, making your push at that time.

4. Be Prepared to Collect Some Swag

In addition to the winning male and female, the top three finishers from both genders of each age group will receive an award. But even if you’re not a speed demon, you still won’t leave this race empty-handed. Each participant receives a sleek Summer Meltdown runner t-shirt.  And utilization of chip timing ensures you’ll have access to accurate race results.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K

Photo by Alex Belisle/Faces of Lakewood, Ohio

5. Stay for the Post-Race Party!

As you cross the finish line and your runner’s high converts to post-race euphoria, there will be plenty of additional Lakewood Summer Meltdown festivities left for you to enjoy. First, cool off by running through the “Water Moose” sprinkler park. Then after you’ve sought nourishment from one of the local vendors or food trucks, visit the beer garden, sponsored by First Federal Lakewood.  The combination of a choice beverage and live music from rock band Front Porch Lights represents the perfect way to celebrate the successful completion of the Meltdown 5K.

The Lakewood Summer Meltdown is generously supported by the following sponsors:

Title Sponsor:
Melt Bar and Grilled

Platinum Sponsor:
PrimeLending, A PlainsCapital Company

Meltdown 5K Sponsor:
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood

Beer Garden & Gold Medal Sponsor:
First Federal Lakewood

Gold Medal Sponsors:
City of Lakewood
Beat Cycles
Cuyahoga Community College
Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation and Education Department

1 Mile Kids Fun Run Sponsor:
Lakewood Family YMCA

Table Sponsor:
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

Beer Garden Stage Sponsor:
The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company

Silver Medal Sponsors:
Cox Communications
Lakewood Urgent Care
Peace Racing
West Side Skates

Bronze Medal Sponsor:
Ride + Workout
2nd Sole
The Lakewood Citizen
Window Universe