As many as 1,000 runners or more cross the finish line each year at this race along the banks of the Hocking Canal, which connects with the Ohio River in southeastern Ohio, as the Athens Marathon & Half Marathon unfolds along a gorgeously scenic route that takes runners from the green, tree-lined campus of Ohio University on an out-and-back trail along the canal.
The 13.1-mile course for the half-marathon, much like its 26.2-mile counterpart, is mostly fast and flat with the exception of a fairly steep downhill that descends from the start of the race at the university campus (at South College & East Union Streets) to the second mile marker.
From there, the race flattens out all the way to the turnaround point on the canal at the 6.45-mile point, where runners then turn around and head back along the course they’ve just run.
Runners get a mix of springtime sun — as well as often still-chilly temperatures — along with a mix of semi-urban course through town with the backwoods bicycle trail known locally as the Hockhocking Adena Bikeway, a 19-mile biking trail along the Hocking Canal named for the Adena Native Americans who lived along the river more than 2,000 years ago.
Both half- and full-marathon participants begin their run along the trail just after the 1.5-mile point in the race, and stay on the trail for approximately the next nine miles.
The bikeway takes runners along what was once a railroad bed used by the Columbus and Hocking Valley Railroad lines, though today it’s known for entirely different varieties of vehicles — mountain bikes, rollerblades, wheelchairs and non-motorized scooters, in addition to lots of walkers.
In the springtime, when the race takes place, the open fields and greenspaces along the trail come alive with many kinds of blooming wildflowers, including wild Geranium, Dutchman’s Breeches, Large-flowered Bellwort, Phlox, Virginia Bluebells and many others.
The last mile and a half of this out-and-back race splits off from the rest of the course at the same spot where runners first entered the bicyle trail, and takes participants along the intown stretch of the bikeway all the way to Schafer Street, which funnels the field along the final few hundred yards of the race toward the finish line at Ohio University’s Pruitt Field.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in the southern half of the state, about an hour’s drive southeast of nearby Columbus, the city of Athens generally experiences mild to sometimes still quite cold weather in the early spring, with relatively even precipitation year-round.
On race day (April 9), the average low is 37ºF and the average high is 66ºF.
- 2016 Athens Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Athens Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Athens Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Athens Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Athens Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Athens Half Marathon Results
- $45 – $90 for the half marathon
- $55 – $100 for the full marathon
- $15 – $20 for the 5K
To reserve your spot in the 2017 running of the Athens Marathon or Half Marathon race, register online at rsracing.com here.
Official Race Website
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