(Posted March 17, 2022)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
The London, Ohio, marathon and half-marathon race made its debut last spring. New features, including the addition of a 5K option, are planned for the event’s second go-around.
“We want to try to attract more local participation,” said David Mars, race director, about the addition of the 5K.
Those running the marathon (26.2 miles) and half-marathon (13 miles) will toe the line at 7 a.m. April 30. Those running the 5K (3.1 miles) will head out 15 minutes later. The races start and finish at Merri-Mac Park, with routes winding through downtown London and onto the bike path.
Also new this year are age group awards, in the form of customized t-shirts, and virtual options for all three distances. Cash bonuses will be awarded to anyone who breaks last year’s course records in the marathon and half-marathon. Additionally, organizers have nearly doubled the prize amounts for the highly competitive half-marathon to $600 for first place, $300 for second, and $150 for third. The marathon prize money is $150 for first, $100 for second, and $50 for third.
“We want to get people excited about racing and really bring a quality race to London,” Mars said about the changes.
Last year’s event attracted approximately 200 runners. The male and female winners of the marathon and half-marathon plan to return for this year’s event. Counted among the people who have already signed up are two Olympics Trials qualifiers, Mars said.
Once again, the race will sport a tongue-in-cheek British theme, playing off of the London, Ohio/London, England connection. A bagpiper will play, course markings will feature British landmarks, and the Union Jack will fly outside downtown businesses staying open late on Friday and early on Saturday. Race packet pickup the night before the race will take place at Fine Designs & Interiors, a London business double-deckered out in a British theme.
“Our top priorities are, of course, safety of the runners and that everybody has to have a good time,” Mars said. “If we get these two things, everything else will be great.”
Mars welcomes anyone who wants to help as a volunteer. Tasks include handing out water and gels at aid stations, supervising intersections, and cheering on the runners.
“The No. 1 comment I got back last year was how great our volunteers were,” Mars said.
For more information about the race and volunteering, visit londonohmarathon on Facebook or email email@example.com.
Race sign-up is available at https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/London/LondonOhioMarathon. Through March 30, entry fees are $90 for the marathon, $70 for the half-marathon, and $35 for the 5K. Prices go up by $5 after March 30.
All proceeds from the London marathon, half-marathon and 5K go to improvements at Merri Mac Park.