Runners’ Club of Greater Cincinnati
The Runners’ Club of Greater Cincinnati did not get off to an auspicious start.
The forerunner of the current club, Clifton Track Club, began with a few diehards in mid-1976 when a notice was placed in the window of the Clifton Town Meeting Hall Building in Cincinnati seeking partners for one to three mile runs. In November 1976, the Clifton Track Club and Joggers Association -- no shame back then in being called a “jogger” -- was officially formed with about 40 members.
It sponsored its first official race on Memorial Day 1977. I’ll let Mike Boylan, club founder, tell the story about how club members had to write down the names of every runner -- which were about five times what was expected -- as they crossed the finish line.
“With a few hundred runners waiting in chutes to get out, one at a time, this took quite some time,” he recalled. “The runners were standing in the sun at noon, and we had no water, no emergency vehicle, and one very worried nurse. Unbelievably, only one person fainted. No one knew enough to complain, and we somehow figured out the winners in several age groups.”
From that start 40 years ago, the club, and its famed Memorial Day Race, has grown in numbers and stature. The race, which is the second oldest in Cincinnati, will be held for the 40th time in 2016.
The club sponsors a number of other races -- the always popular Valentine’s Day Labor of Love 2 Mile run, which includes a number of fun categories, such as the ball-and-chain and blind date in early February, a summer cross country series with two waterstops - one at the start and one at the finish, and a Winter Wonderland 5K.
About hundred fifty people call themselves members. The club provides discounts at local running stores and for a number of local races, staffs tents and water stations at major races in Cincinnati, provides a hospitality suite at the Heart Mini Marathon in March, and, of course, sponsors group runs on a weekly basis.
Membership is open to any person that can put one foot in front of the other at least three times.
Visit www.cincinnatirunning.com for more information about the club.
Check out more clubs:
Toledo Road Runner Club - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1067-toledo-road-runner-club
Youngstown Road Runners Club - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1031-youngstown-road-runners-club
Columbus Running Company - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1004-columbus-running-club
Northeast Running Club - NERC - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/957-northeast-ohio-running-club-nerc