By Dave Huggins
After two years of putting on this unforgettable 150-Mile Relay Race in Southern Ohio,we have realized one major thing; TheBuck Fifty was built to be AWESOME, not easy!For those in the running community, you may have already heard about this AWESOME race taking place in Chillicothe, Ohio each April. This adventure through four State/National Parks combines a plethora of amazing experiences all coming together for one amazing cause.
The inaugural year in 2017 had 38 teams and runners from 8 states. That nearly doubled to 74 teams and runners from 21 states in 2018. Runners traveled from as far away as California, Oregon, andFlorida, and they’re already registeredfor next year. Truth be told,we had 36 of those 74 teams register for 2019 within 30 days of the 2018 race.
Those numbers tell our story as well as anything. Buck Fifty runners don’t want to miss out on what has become a staple event for them each spring. Current team count is 41 teams, anda possible sellout of 150 teams is on the horizon if history repeats itself.
So why do these runners come back? We believe it’s the experience of being in The Buck Fifty Family. The Ross County Community comes out with huge support for these runners at 29 designated checkpoints to help park vans, guide runners, and even feed and entertain them. Each runner takes on three different legs of the 150 milecourse. Our major sponsors, National Church Residences, United Way, Nationwide Insurance, U.S. Army, Ross Co. Farm Bureau, Michelob Ultra, First Capital Rotary, and Agenter Orthodontics, together with our volunteers and runners all know the importance of this race.
All the proceeds from The Buck Fifty support over 2,000 teenage members who have volunteered to live a drug free lifestyle by enrolling in Drug Free Clubs of America. This program has changed the culture in our 8local high schools, and why wouldn’t it? Of these teens, 65% have stood up to be members. Our runners’lives are being changed as well by being part of The Buck Fifty experience.
When the going gets tough on race weekend, our runners dig down deep knowing they are saving the lives of these teens. They know when they get to the finish line one of those teens in DFCA will hang the immaculate Buck Fifty Race Medal over their head.
The great thing about a 10-person relay race is your focus changes from an individual to a team concept. Instead of thinking about what will my time be for that next half marathon or did I set a PR today, it becomes how should I train and prepare to support my teammates. When it’s only 20 degrees outside in January andyou don’t want to run, you know you need to get out on the street to put those miles in to be ready for April 12. You can’t let your teammates down, so you must be prepared.
The Buck Fifty Course is no joke either, with 23 miles of trail runs, and over 8,800 feet of elevation gain throughout the course. The Southern Ohio terrain is not flat and the 30 Legs of Buck Fifty Course will leave your legs screaming for more each time. Many of our runners who returned for year two ran the same legs as they did in year one. They came back to get revenge, improve their times, or justto feel more comfortable on a familiar route. Many runners are working to take on each section of the 150 milecourse by changing up their runner positions each year.
Leg #24 “The Double Black Diamond” is becoming legendary. This run takes place on Saturday afternoon in Scioto Trails State Park and covers 6.25 miles of some of the toughest terrain on the entire course. The first 2 miles are on a gravel road along the ridge tops of the Appalachian Mountains. The next 4 miles are puretrail with a lot of ups, downs, creek crossings and many thoughts of when will it end.
Running the third leg of any relay race is difficult with a lack of sleep, sore muscles and maybe some dehydration, but this bad boy will test all of your mental and physical being. One runner even went looking for our race director to simply ask “Why did you do this to me?” Yes, that Runner #4 is coming back again next year too!
So if you ever thought that getting a team of 10 runners, 2drivers, and a couplevans, and driving around in an overnight relay was a good idea, let me juststop you right there and confirm that it is a stellar idea. We can’t wait to see you on race day, April 12 & 13, 2019. For more information or to register, check out the website www.thebuckfifty.com
The Buck Fifty is Awesome