Jack Staph has become a rite of the Cleveland spring.
It’s because when May rolls around, Northeast Ohio’s running community comes together for the annual Cleveland Marathon race and Staph has been at the center of the organization directing the event.
Since it began as the Revco Cleveland Marathon in 1977, Staph has served as the executive director and race chairman as the event evolved into the CVS Marathon and the Rite Aid Marathon in 2002, when Staph acquired the race’s rights under his Cleveland Marathon, Inc.
Through different course routes, the vagaries of Cleveland’s spring weather, the ups and downs of running participation, Staph has persevered to maintain the event through its various stages. For runners of all genders and ages, it has become a highlight event and Staph’s organization has accommodated participants with races of varying distances, including the popular 10-kilometer and half-marathon.
While adding to the economic well being of the city, it has also become a important fund-raising event for local charities. The Northern Ohio chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, American Stroke Association and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation are a few of the charities that benefit.
Reaching out to area students, the races have encouraged participation from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and the YMCA of Greater Cleveland.
In staying the course with commitment, Staph’s persistence has paid off as the race has grown in recent years to more than 15,000 participants. It has distinguished itself as one of the nation’s best organized events.
A graduate of Youngstown State and Cleveland State’s Marshall College of Law, Staph served as senior vice president and general counsel for Revco, D.S., Inc. from 1972 to 1997.
Staph, who found the time to run seven marathons, lives in Moreland Hills with his wife, Bernadette. They have three children.