If you haven’t already, it’s time to get your Mercy Health Glass City Marathon travel and weekend plans lined up! As a local of more than a decade and lover of all things Toledo, I’ve got some super fun suggestions.
There are lots of very “Toledo” things to do in the Glass City–most blogs and websites will point you in the direction of our world-class zoo, our incredible art museum and glass pavilion, and our scenic metro parks. All of those standard weekend-in-Toledo things are totally awesome, but I’m keeping it real and offering up some more-Toledo funzies.
Friday, April 21: I base most daily plans around when and what I will eat. That said, let’s think food. Two days before your race is when you need to load up on carbs–NOT the night before, which most runners seem to believe. Now that you have that for your greymatter, while everyone is waiting an hour for a table at the O.G. on Saturday night, you’ll be chillin’ and your body will be energizing for Sunday morning.
Make a dinner reservation for Friday evening at M’Osteria in downtown Toledo. Throw on a decent pair of jeans and a crisp shirt. Have a glass of house red or an Ohio beer at the bar. Order a pasta dish with a lean protein. Avoid cream-based sauces. When your meal arrives, ask for a box and take half of it home or back to your hotel–it’ll make for a good lunch on Saturday.
Saturday, April 22: Wake up, throw on your running gear, grab your ID, and drive over to Savage Arena at the University of Toledo. Park and then do your shake-out run on the University Parks Trail before you head into the expo to grab your packet. It’ll familiarize you with the last stretch of the full marathon. Dave’s Performance Footgear always has an awesome set-up with super-sweet GCM gear and all of your race day needs like Gu, Honey Stinger Waffles, and Body Glide. Check out the other awesome race booths, too! Maybe stop by the pacer booth where you can meet the folks who will help you meet or beat your goal time–I might even be one of them!
After the expo, it’ll be lunch time. Either eat your light carbs and lean protein from the night before OR go to Social, which is on the other side of campus at the Gateway plaza on Secor and Dorr. Social has a great menu of sandwiches and wraps and yummy sides like Brussels sprouts and salads. Whatever you eat, eat well but eat light. Avoid heavy and deep-fried stuff. Drink LOTS of water, too.
After lunch, for the love of all that is good, give your tootsies a break! Netflix and chill. Or go see a movie at the Maumee Indoor. Or sit on a bench at Side Cut Metro Park and people-watch. The weather on expo Saturday tends to be gorgeous, so if you can plant your seat somewhere outside, do it! Stay off of your feet!
For dinner, hit up a Mediterranean joint. Toledo has LOTS of delicious options like the Beirut on Monroe Street and Zingo’s in downtown Perrysburg. You’ll definitely want to get a reservation for the Beirut. It’s sorta classy but not. Zingo’s is totally casual and quick. It’s my go-to light lunch/dinner spot when I want something fast and light but fillin
After dinner, RELAX. Sleep. Or try to sleep.
RACE DAY YAY! Get to the University of Toledo early. Like, 6:00 AM. That way you can park and if it’s a cluster-you-know-what, you’ll have lots of time to panic then calm down. Run your race. CRUSH your goal. Enjoy the post-race festivities at the finish. Shower. Then EAT AGAIN!
I suggest my absolute favorite place to eat, which is Swig in Perrysburg. They serve outrageously good bar food and they have a rotating selection of craft beers that beats every other spot in Northwest Ohio. Indulge. Have a BLT or a duck reuben. Get a flight of IPAs and stouts or even sours if your into that whack stuff. Afterwards, take a stroll through downtown Perrysburg or maybe even over to the 577 Foundation where you can scope out flowers and plants and other pretty stuff. Maybe hit up the Botanical Gardens for the same vibe. It’s okay and actually GOOD to be on your feet to keep your muscles happy.
And that’s that–my insider suggestions for how to spend your weekend in the Glass City. Again, I’m clearly focused on food, but as runners, eating is important to us. We have to fuel our bodies well. Also, eating is fun. And we get to socialize with those closest to us while we eat.