With the race bib, every runner receives free admission to the A Christmas Story House and Museum. Brad and I had so much time that day we decided to head over to see it.
The house is in the middle of a residential neighborhood and we paid $5 to park in someone's driveway (parking can be scarce if it is crowded, but we were lucky and got there when it wasn't too bad). You enter the gift shop first to get your tickets for the tour and museum and wait for the next tour to begin. While waiting we browsed the shop which had any and everything from the movie you could think of! Since we just finished cleaning out our apartment of things we don't use, we settled on an ornament.
Once the tour started they took us and a group of people across the street and allowed us to walk all over the house and take pictures. I took a lot but will only post a few because you have to go see it in person to really experience the house!
After touring the house there is a museum full of photos and props from the movie to check out. It was a great visit and we probably spent 1-2 hours there total. We were pretty hungry by the time we finished and decided to hit up a restaurant we had heard of that's famous in Ohio call Melt Bar & Grilled.
Let me just say, come HUNGRY! They have a menu full of every grilled cheese combo you could think of and the portions are massive. They also decorate the place with the ugliest plastic lawn decorations that makes for a fun atmosphere! I ordered a mac 'n cheese grilled cheese (don't judge my prerace food choices!) and couldn't even come close to finishing. Brad had a bacon grilled cheese and loved it.
After filling our bellies we relaxed at the hotel for the remainder of the evening. Thanks to our meal, we literally didn't eat for the rest of the day or the next morning before the race and ended up feeling just fine. Never want to do that again though haha.
The temperature on the morning of the race was about 36 degrees, but we layered well and felt comfortable. Parking was plentiful and easy to find close to the start of the race near the Hard Rock Cafe. Many runners gathered inside the Tower Center near the start line to keep warm and use bathrooms. It was nicely decorated with a huge Christmas tree so we took a few prerace photos.
The course had a few small elevations and a huge bridge to cross that allowed for a nice view of the city. The 5K finish line was at the Christmas Story House but we ran the 10K and continued on back to the original starting line. The race was family friendly and we saw tons of strollers and even dogs running (if only we had known!). They had one water stop that you passed twice and each mile marker was decorated with movie quotes! Also, the race website says the distance is "approximate" so if you are looking for a certified course this is not for you. My garmin said 6.15 miles at the finish line.
We stopped to take lots of pictures and required a bathroom stop too, so this wasn't a race we were aiming to run for a specific time, just fun and for the experience. When we crossed the finish line they had snacks including cups of Ovaltine and we were given our medals while the movie played on a big screen.
Overall I have great things to say about the race! The website even offered post race showers for runners at a specific location, something I am loving and finding more races are offering for out of town guests. Even Brad said he loved the race! He is not a fan of running but participates so we can do things together (wonderful guy!). Definitely a race we would both do again and plan to make a yearly tradition!🎄