Runners On The Go Running Correspondent
A common refrain today in racing is the cost of races. The search for the $25 race leaves you with a very few 5Ks with minimal support and basic takeaway items. This is understandable where everyday items are increasing in cost. So if you could ask for a completely supported marathon/half marathon for $25 then you really must be dreaming. For dreams that come true let me introduce you to the Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC) Marathon/Half Marathon held each year in April in Xenia, OH.
First of all, where is Xenia (Greek for Hospitality)? Sitting in the center of a triangle bounded by Cincinnati, Columbus, and Dayton, Ohio, this city of 25,000 calls itself the Bicycle Capital of the Midwest. This is based on the conversion of the former 6 rail lines that converged in Xenia into 170 miles of rails to trails paths. Finally, one of its residents is Dave Chappelle (His father was a professor in a nearby college).
The Xenia Ohio Marathon
The race itself is put on by the ORRRC which was founded in 1966 and has 1500 members. The Xenia Ohio Marathon is the oldest in the state, and it celebrated its 48th year while the half marathon is in its 26th year. The December 31st deadline for the April race is still $25 for either race.
So what do you get for $25? The course is well marked, chip timed, and there are aid stations every 2 miles. At the end you receive a medal for finishing, and the shirt is a technical shirt that rivals any big event shirt.
So is the finish food bananas and water? Yes, but the YMCA at the finish also hosts three types of soup (chili, chicken noodle, and cream of broccoli) and a wide assortment of cookies. Outside by the finish the multiple coolers are loaded with 10-12 varieties of soda. Is that enough? Well if you want to shower then the Y opens their showers to the runners.
Runners in this area have noticed and responded to this package of the race and amenities. In 2010 the marathon hosted 156 runners and the half marathon 542 runners. In 2015 the marathon had 269 runners and the half marathon had 991.
The race utilizes one of the 6 bike paths that merge in Xenia. The course is not flat and some runners state that it seems like you are always going slightly uphill until the last three miles which is a welcome downhill. Scenery is minimal except for runners returning in the opposite lane.
Xenia Ohio Marathon – ORRRC Marathon and Half – Go Race Rating System: 3.8/5
Organization-4 (On time, well-marked, no traffic problems. Currently handling the increased crowds but in the future it might have to be reviewed.)
Course-3 (The course lacks character but provides the spring race you need.)
Swag- 4 (The shirt and medal are above average for the race cost.)
After race Food – 4 (As stated above, you have several choices to refuel)
Overall feel 4 (The race is not a destination race like others in the area. However, it exceeds the expectations you would have for a $25 cost.)
Michael Reynolds is a Dublin, OH runner who has completed more than 1,000 races. The Intertrust
Cayman Islands Marathon was Mike’s 74th marathon, on his way to completing at least 100 marathons.