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

Sponsored by Melt Bar and Grilled and presented by LakewoodAlive, the Lakewood Summer Meltdown takes place on Saturday, July 13, from 4 to 10 p.m. 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 start time of 7 p.m.  Consequently, you’ll be awake and capable of properly hydrating yourself on race day.  Consume plenty of water, particularly if July 13 proves to be a warm day.

Lakewood Summer Meltdown 5K

The Meltdown 5K serves as a centerpiece of the Lakewood Summer Meltdown. (Judie Vegh/OyVegh Photography)

2. Participate in the 1 Mile Family Fun Run and Walk
The 1 Mile Family Fun Run and Walk – sponsored by Lakewood Family YMCA and Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department – kicks off one hour prior to the Meltdown 5K at 6 p.m.  If a fast race isn’t really your pace, you can still participate in this crowd-pleasing appetizer to the main course that is the Meltdown 5K.  (register here for the 1 Mile Kids Fun Run!)

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.

A festival awaits you at the finish line of the Meltdown 5K. (Cleveland Scene)

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 chip timing ensures you’ll have access to accurate race results.

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 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 Gary K. Bish Memorial 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.

For more information regarding Lakewood Summer Meltdown 2019, please visit

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

Title Sponsor:
Melt Bar and Grilled

Gold Medal and Beer Garden Sponsor
First Federal Lakewood

Gold Medal Sponsors:
Beat Cycles
City of Lakewood
Cleveland Property Management Group
Cuyahoga Community College
The Exchange

Meltdown 5K Sponsor:
Cleveland Clinic Lakewood Family Health Center

1 Mile Family Fun Run and Walk Sponsors:
Lakewood Family YMCA
Lakewood City Schools Community Recreation & Education Department

Table Sponsor:
Eric Lowrey, Berkshire Hathaway/Lucien Realty

Silver Medal Sponsors:
Bath Fitter
Blue Ridge Media Company
The Ferry Cap and Set Screw Company
Lakewood Public Library
Peace Racing
Universal Windows Direct
West Side Skates

Bronze Medal Sponsors:
Profile by Sanford
The Lakewood Citizen
Window Universe Cleveland