Ohio > Wild Cherry Loop Trail Half Marathon
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Set for its inaugural running here near the southwestern Ohio village of Bethel, which lies just a short drive from nearby Cincinnati, the Wild Cherry Loop Trail Half Marathon features a course that will take runners along the sometimes hilly, sometimes flat trails of East Fork State Park, which offers a mixture of rugged, tree-canopied runs through the park's forests as well as flat, wide-open meadows and the beauty of the nearby shoreline of William H. Harsha Lake, which lies right in the middle of this 4,870-acre park.
The half marathon race follows a winding out-and-back loop route that starts and finishes at the swim beach parking lot along the southern shore of the lake, near the southern end of the park just off Elklick Road and Williamsburg-Bantam Road. From there, the winding route follows what is roughly a clockwise loop around the southern end of the park, crossing Elklick Road in a few spots and running past the park's Old Bethel Cemetery (whose history dates back to 1867) before heading around to the second half of the race, which takes runners along a winding tour of the trails nearer the lake's shoreline.
Once they've made it to the trails closer to the shoreline -- the park is home to more than 30 miles of backpacking and mountain biking trails, including a portion of Ohio's Buckeye Trail, which stretches more than 1,400 miles across the state -- runners then begin the route back in toward the starting & finish line area, as the course winds its way through the woods and hills that hug the finger-lake-like inlets that point in toward the land.
As with any trail race, runners need to come prepared for a variety of terrains, as along the trails they can expect to encounter rocks, tree roots, loose dirt and perhaps muddy spots, depending on the weather in the days leading up to the race. The course for the race is nearly all natural surface trails, with the exception of about a quarter-mile stretch at the start of the race that takes place on paved surfaces, to give runners a chance to spread themselves out at the beginning of the event.
Weather & Climate
Located in Ohio's southwestern corner, just over 30 miles east of Cincinnati, the small village of Bethel typically experiences mild to moderately warm weather in the late summer and early fall, and slightly drier weather in September than in the preceding summer months. In September, the village's average monthly temperatures range between 79°F and 56°F -- on the day of the race (Sept. 12), the average high is 80°F and the average low is 57°F -- while rainfall totals average just over 3 inches for the month.
$40 for the half marathon, if registered before race day
$50 on the day of the race
To reserve your spot in the late summer 2010 running of Bethel's Wild Cherry Loop Trail Half Marathon, register online at the event website.
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