Cleveland 10 Miler – Runners on Edge

Runners on Edge is a 1 on 1 shakeout run and chat at Edgewater Beach, leading up to the 20th anniversary of the Cleveland 10-Miler.

Today, we have 19-time finisher of the 10-Miler and long-time Cleveland runner, Rick Urban.

Rick, can you provide us with a brief background & what got you into running?

Going way back, in high school, I was a swimmer and even tried running cross country at the time, but it wasn’t for me. However, when I went to college in ’86 and met my now wife, she was an avid runner and got me involved with the sport.

We ran together for quite a while back then, and although I took some time off (working 3 jobs to put myself through school), I picked it back up in the mid-90s. From there on out, I never really stopped.

My wife and I raised my son and daughter to appreciate the sport through our local CYO program (I ended up coaching, as well). They both ran track and cross country in school and enjoyed it.

I coached probably 8 or 9 years with CYO and it was a great program for any kid at that age to see if they enjoy distance running, or if they might like sprinting. I recommend to any parent to consider getting their kids involved with CYO – they get some great real-life experience and we’d take them to unique race meets all across Northeast Ohio. And in CYO you can get them involved quite early.

Now, in recent years, I’ve slowed down and cut back to 18-20 miles a week, but when I’m not running, I’m walking 3+ miles. As long as my body lets me keep going, I’m going to keep running.

What other experience do you have with running & specifically in Cleveland?

Well, my job took me all over the country, which I am grateful for because I was able to run through so many different cities and states while on the road.

With that, I can tell you one thing – I feel safe running around Cleveland – I truly do, especially comparing Cleveland with all the different states that I’ve visited.
It’s a comfortable feeling, running around this town; especially here at Edgewater with the Metro Parks. And that goes for running through any one of the Metro Parks – I  appreciate Cleveland’s atmosphere where you can just run bike, or go for a walk pretty much anywhere and feel relatively safe in doing so. 

What’s a piece of advice you would give to help a newer runner to the scene? 

Be patient. Don’t think you’re going to go out there and win every race and don’t go out too fast. I’ve been in that boat – I remember that first race I ran with my wife and she kicked my butt because I did exactly that – I went out too fast and struggled the second half. You live and you learn.

All I can say is be patient – be patient with your training, follow through with your training plan, your speed work (fartleks/intervals), and everything else that goes with it. Just know, you don’t have to go out like gangbusters to have a good race.

Running is a learning experience – you’re always going to be learning what works and what doesn’t for your future self. 

Do you have any goals for your future in running?

The key for me is to do whatever I need to do to avoid injury. When I started running, they didn’t teach us leg exercises back then, but now I know how valuable that is to stay healthy along with a good amount of core work! 

I want to be able to continue running to stay healthy and fit, and for me that includes eating right and stretching. I stretch in the morning, while I’m brushing my teeth, at night, and anytime I don’t have anything better to do. I think that’s part of what keeps me being able to do this every day. 

Tell us about your experience in the Cleveland 10-Miler.

The first version of the race back in 2005 was a very difficult day. I went back and saw and I had written 40-mile-an-hour gusting winds, rain, sleet, snow, and flooding. Some streets weren’t even plowed.

That was the first great version of this race, and I did the second one in 2006 just to beat that time. Now 2006, was so foggy you couldn’t see ten feet in front of you. People were hitting the mirrors on cars parked on the side of the street, but every race is different for everyone and it’s just a great run-outfit.

The 10-Miler is so well put on. It’s an amazing experience – that’s why I run this race year after year.

And the camaraderie with events like the 10-Miler gives you friends for life and you end up seeing them down the road in all these other local races. It just brings a great social event and physical event to make it an atmosphere worth experiencing.

Thank you, Rick, for sharing your morning with us as we approach the 20th Anniversary of the Cleveland 10-Miler