Get Running with the Ohio River Road Runner’s Club
In the Dayton area lies an amazing running treasure: the Ohio River Road Runner’s Club, or ORRRC. The club, founded in 1966, has dedicated itself to promoting and supporting running in the local community.. The ORRRC provides 42 races and 3 running parties every year, all for free to its membership (available for a small $25 yearly membership fee), and for $2-$9 for non-members depending on their age. The races range from the challenging hills of Germantown Metropark in January and September and The Narrows (Beavercreek in November) to the flat and fast Vandalia 5k in May and Fall Festival 15k (Spring Valley in November) to the scenic Stillwater 7-miler (Covington in August). Several of the races even have themes or unique race formats, like the WingMan 10k (in Beavercreek every July) which honors fallen service members and employs a staggered/”handicapped” start based on age/sex to give everyone an equal chance of winning the race for their assigned team.
The ORRRC hosts several types of races too: for the trail-lover, they offer trail ultras through the region’s many gorgeous parks (John Bryan, Glen Helen, and Caesar Creek) and even offer a “No Way 200k” challenge for those that complete four out of the five offered 50k trail runs (Tye Dye, Another Dam 50k, Germantown 50k, Broken Toes 50k, and the Dawg Gone Long Run). For the newer trail runner, they also offer several shorter trail events like the hill-filled George Rogers Clark Park 10k (near Springfield) and the scenic Sugarcreek 5-Miler (near Centerville), which provide incredible scenery to accompany the friendly atmosphere of a trail run.
For the road-lover, the ORRRC has you covered there too! It hosts road-races and paved-trail (a.k.a. “rail-trail”) races just as much as it hosts trail events! Starting the year with the typically chilly February’s Centerville Frostbite 5-Miler and continuing all the way until the Gift Exchange 5k in Kettering in December, the ORRRC provides a healthy mix of road race distances ranging from a full marathon on paved trail to the one-mile Dash for Cash (Tipp City) which provides a quick sprint on pavement for cash prizes. For the multi-sport athlete, the ORRRC even offers the “Splash ‘n Dash” series: three races in the late winter of the year combine a 20-lap swim with a 5k run to quench your thirst for the triathlons of the summer months!
All of these smaller events benefit from the ORRRC’s larger races, which receive copious praise for their excellent race support and infrastructure coupled with their fun, friendly, family atmosphere! Among those races: the Lou Cox 5k (held on Memorial Day in Dayton), which honors the local running legend of the same name and features both a race for the “every runner” that Lou Cox so frequently supported and encouraged, and also a race for small kids so that they can get involved in running early. The ORRRC also hosts the Ghost ‘n Goblins 5k in downtown Dayton on the week before Halloween. The Ghost ‘n Goblins tours you through haunted streets with costumed runners (who knew zombies could run so fast?) and Halloween decorations to get you in the spirit, and then follows up with one of the best race after-parties around! If you’re looking to collect that letter-X marathon in your marathon-alphabet goal, look no farther than the ORRRC’s Xenia Marathon and Half-Marathon, which take you through the streets of Xenia and then on a tree-lined, flat paved-trail. While the Xenia Full/Half is popular, the course and atmosphere give the race a smaller feel that will make you feel much better supported than at larger city races that begin with an unimaginable sea of people. Finally, the largest of the ORRRC’s races is it’s ever-popular Miamisburg Turkey Trot, hosted on Thanksgiving. The ORRRC Turkey Trot attracts nearly 10,000 runners to the quaint town, and takes its runners on a 5 mile journey through the native mounds, near the river, and through the small town giving you a stunning visual tour of the area before bringing you into the town’s Riverfront Park again, where you can begin your Thanksgiving celebration with great post-race snacks and activities!
Through all of these races that the ORRRC puts on for the community and its members though, the club never loses sight of its main mission: to support and encourage running in the community. As a non-profit, it regularly provides support to its community through many means: a yearly scholarship to youth runners in the area, the rebuilding of destroyed/dilapidated bridges in local parks to ensure runners have access to trails, providing running equipment to school-children at disadvantaged schools, and funding youth running activities/clubs for kids who would not have had the opportunity to experience the joy of running otherwise.
The all-volunteer ORRRC proudly carries forth the goals & traditions set back in 1966 through such great races and kind acts, especially as it enters its 50th year this year. if you live in the greater Dayton area (from northern Cincinnati all the way over to western Columbus where they have a race), you should definitely check out the offerings from the ORRRC.
ORRRC Calendar of Races: http://orrrc.org/club-events-and-series
Check out more clubs:
Runners’ Club of Greater Cincinnati -http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1104-runners-club-of-greater-cincinnati
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
Fremont Elite Runners’ Club - http://runohio.com/index.php/features/1178-fremont-elite-runners-club