The Casual Runner

2016 Cedar Point 5k

Event: 2016 Run and Ride Cedar Point Millennium Force 5K
Event Date: June 11, 2016
Event Location: Sandusky, Ohio

If you love Cedar Point, check out our panel’s ranking of all of the great roller coasters
AND our review of the Great Wolf Lodge!

Why I decided to run this race

Mike and I had decided to run the Run and Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon for the third year in a row back in February to maintain our “perfect” status for this race.  Also our friends Tracy and Tim had decided that they were going to run as well so that would be an added bonus to our trip.  I follow Run & Ride on social media and the day they posted the medals for the series I was working night shift and had to call and wake Mike up to let him know that I MUST have these SMOs!!! The second I saw these medals I knew that I HAD to run the 5K.


Just look at them! Each race has its own medal featuring a Peanuts character in a roller coaster car, AND they are connect together with magnets!

Getting there/the lead-up to the race

After a very busy race season in April I had really been lacking in training in May.  I will admit I was getting a little nervous for our upcoming Cedar Point race weekend, but I felt I would do fine with the 5K because the training runs I had been doing were all 3 to 4 milers. The half marathon and doing back-to-back races, however…

Swag review

I will say, hands down, Run and Ride gives out the best swag of any race I have ever done. Could we be seeing an early favorite for a repeat Golden Runner Award??

Swag for the 5K included a one day admission to Cedar Point, free parking at Cedar Point for the day, a cotton event T-shirt, and a sheet of discount coupons to be used in the park on food, merch, and funnel cakes, which, yes, I know is food, but they were so good they merited special mention. 


The gear

It was a hot morning for a 5K that is run on black pavement! I ran in a Raw Threads tank top, VSX sports bra, my 2015 Glass Slipper Challenge Sweaty Band, black compression shorts, , Steigen Running Socks, and Asics Tri-7 Gel Noosa running shoes.

The pre-race

We arrived at the start line about 15 minutes before the race was set to begin.  However, due to people not picking up their bibs the day before the race was delayed 10 minutes so everyone had time to get their bibs.  The delayed start did not impact us, however anyone that was trying to do the 5K followed by Snoopy’s One-Mile Fun Run had 10 less minutes to run the 5K.  Thus these runners would have to finish the 5K in under 25 minutes.  Yes, there were people doing this just so they could attempt to get both medals because of how awesome they were, I had even contemplated it, but I was glad that I didn’t try it due to the quick turn around.  The delay did allow us to grab a quick picture with Snoopy before heading to the start line, so it all worked out in the end. 


Along the course

The course began in the parking lot of Cedar Point.  Almost the entire first mile of the 5K was spent in the parking lot.  That’s all you need to know about that, so lets get to the exciting part!


We entered the park by running underneath GateKeeper, which was cycling thru it’s test runs and is always a cool process to see. The mile one marker was in sight! Next we turned right and headed down the midway and took a right towards Kiddie Kingdom running past MaxAir, where we took a left toward Planet Snoopy followed by another left that would put us back on the midway and put us at our first water stop.

Race Icon: What really makes this race is the opportunity to run around and among so many awesome rides and attractions. The 5k course is so packed with them it is hard to list them all, but I can try!

Time to head to the right of the park past Top Thrill Dragster toward Camp Snoopy.  The mile two marker came upon us as we were entering Frontier Town, where we could see Maverick going thru it’s tests for the day.  We then would head down Frontier Trail straight towards Millennium Force (seriously, take a moment to check out our panel’s ranking of all of the great roller coasters).  Time to head back to the Midway where our second water stop was waiting for us.


From there it was a straight shot down the Midway toward the park’s exit, but not before we ran past several roller coasters, the Skyway, and some of the park’s smaller attractions. We ran right past the carousel where we found the mile three marker and the exit through the main gate, which put us back into the parking lot for that last tenth of mile to the finish line.

The SMOpinion

I think by now you know I think the SMOs are amazing!!!  For the 5K we received the medal with Woodstock in his roller coaster cart.  The medals have magnets on both ends of it so you can connect them to the other medals in the series.  We spent a lot of the day in park connecting our medals together and taking pictures with them.


The post-race experience

The finish line had lots of tasty treats, you could get water, chocolate milk(!!!!), or Powerade to drink, all of which were plentiful.  To satisfy your post-race munchies there was a nice spread of Bagels and bananas, but lets be honest, I was more focused on grabbing my medal and heading out to ride Valravn for the first time (Cedar Point’s latest and greatest roller coaster

Playlist Peak

I had made a playlist of top 40 music of the summer thus far that I had been using for when I’m doing training runs.  I had this playing, but I wasn’t really listening to it because I had Mike running with me so we were talking the whole time – races really are more enjoyable with a running buddy by your side.

Looking back now

I would definitely run this race again.  The only downfall to running the race again is that it is held right before the 1 mile race, which makes it almost impossible to run both.  The good news tho being an Ohio resident makes it easy for me to run both the Cedar Point and Kings Island races, making it much easier to obtain all four medals that are offered.


Cedar Point offers an entertaining course for a 5K, with the majority of the race run in the amusement park itself.  It is a flat and fast course, so that is always an added bonus.  Then of course I absolutely love the SMO and cannot wait to see what future ones will look like!

Check out all of our coverage of the Run and Ride Race Series Events. Plus, if you still want to run one of the remaining 2015 Run and Ride events, you can save money on your race registrations with our special discount code!

  • 2016 Run and Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon Weekend, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
    • Millenium Force 5k Race Review
    • Cedar Point Half Marathon Race Review
  • 2015 Run and Ride Cedar Point Half Marathon, Cedar Point, Sandusky, Ohio
  • 2015 Run and Ride Kings Island Half Marathon, Kings Island, Mason (Cincinnati), Ohio
  • 2015 Run and Ride Kings Island Glow Run 5k, Kings Island, Mason (Cincinnati), Ohio

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