Ohio > Winter Buckeye Trail Half Marathon, Marathon
Sunday, January 17, 2010
Run this one only if you're ready for a challenge, as the hills, rocks,
trees and trails inside Ohio's Cuyahoga Valley National Park area area
the setting for the Winter Buckeye Trail Fun Run, which includes a full
marathon, a half marathon and a 50K race. But that's what
trail running is about, after all, and this race doesn't disappoint.
The relatively small field (it's limited to about 225 runners) follows
a course that begins near the park's Boston Mills Ski Lodge and
features plenty of water crossings, roots, natural stairs, some steep
and a brief stretch of paved surface.
The course for the race consists of two loops, a five-mile loop and an
eight-mile loop that both start and finish across the street from the
ski lodge at Boston Mills in the park. In past years -- the race
celebrated just its fifth annual running in 2009 -- the trail course
has been at times covered with snow, so conditions can get quite slick.
The trail is also a combination of many different terrains -- sometimes
hilly, sometimes flat, sometimes it's streams you're crossing while
others it's service roads through the park. Much of the course,
however, is single-track trails through the woods, and because of the
elevation and precipitation that's common there, it can make for very
muddy conditions that will nearly suck the shoes off runners' feet. In
races like this, it's often just staying upright and keeping your shoes
on that is the biggest challenge!
Runners will have most of the day to complete the race, as the event
begins at 7:00 AM and the course doesn't close until 4:30 PM, to allow
the 50K participants to make it in to the finish line back at Boston
Mills. Those who've run it in the past describe it as "low key," for
its usually small field -- the past two years have seen just over 100
runners come out each year.
While you're in town, take in as much of the park and the surrounding
area as you can. One of Ohio's most popular outdoors destinations,
Cuyahoga Valley National Park lies just a short drive away from the
nearby cities of Akron and Cleveland. The park gets its name "Cuyahoga"
from the native American term for "crooked river," which the river that
flows through the park certainly shows, and is known for its wide-open
greenspaces that are attractive spots for camping and picnicking as
well as its deep forests and hiking trails.
Weather & Climate
The winter season in the Peninsula area, which lies just outside
Cuyahoga Valley National Park, often gets bitterly cold with snow,
sleet and/or ice often on the ground this time of year. In January,
monthly area temperatures average between 34°F and
20°F, with precipitation amounts averaging around 2 inches for
Registration for the winter 2010 running of the
Winter Buckeye Trail Marathon & Half Marathon is now closed, as
the event has sold out. To join the waiting list for entry spots, visit the race website shown below.
Review This Race
Ever run in Cuyahoga Valley National Park's annual Winter Buckeye Trail
your impressions and read fellow runners' stories and tips for the
Post your comments in Runner Reviews for the Winter Buckeye Trail
Marathon & Half Marathon