Dayton Live Well: Upfront

Ten Races to help you stay fit.

Mike Boyer

A good way to stay fit and have some fun is a road race, be it a 5K, 10K, half-marathon or a full marathon. Here’s a rundown on 10 of the Dayton area’s top races.

The Air Force Marathon, half-marathon and 10K at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is undoubtedly the biggest race in the Miami Valley, annually drawing more than 25,000 spectators over two days. The event, capped at 15,500 runners—including about 2,500 for the marathon, a Boston Marathon qualifier—is Sept. 15. The races start and finish at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. A 5K race will be conducted Sept.14. New is the Fly! Fight! Win! Challenge running the 5K, 10K race and half marathon. Runners who complete all three events will receive a fourth race medal. Information at

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Miamisburg 5-Mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day, which last year drew nearly 8,500 participants. The race is a joint effort of the Ohio River Road Runners Club and the City of Miamisburg. There’s also a one-mile fun run/walk. Since this is also Miamisburg’s 200th anniversary the annual costume contest that’s part of the race will focus on historic costumes from the city’s founding. Information at

What better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than beer and running? The Harrigan’s 5K, which starts near Harrigan’s Tavern, 4070 Marshall Road, Kettering, has been an annual event since 2002 and draws from 950-1,200 runners and walkers. The race benefits four local charities: United Rehabilitation Services, South Community, Alzheimer’s Association and JDRF. This year’s race is March 10. Information at

The Dayton Ghost ‘n Goblin 5K, set for Oct. 22, is another big event of the Ohio River Road Runner’s Club. This will be the 33rd year for the race,that last year had more than 2,000 runners and walkers. It includes a costume contest and raises funds for community programs. The race starts and ends at Welcome Stadium and also features a big post-race Halloween party. Information at

The 31st running of the Lou Cox Memorial 5K is May 28. The race was created by the Ohio River Road Runners Club in memory of Lou Cox, who many consider the father of running in the Dayton area. An elite race, featuring some of the fastest times for men and women, had 419 finishers in 2017. It starts and finishes at Welcome Stadium. There’s also a quarter-mile Kids Fun Run for children 7 and under. Information at

The Americana 5K Run/Walk is July 4th in conjunction with Centerville-Washington Township’s Americana Festival. The race, which starts and finishes at Centerville High School, is a project of the local Noon Optimist Club with proceeds going back into the community. Information at

The YOLO (You Only Live Once) Festival of Races in Greenville was started five years ago by Phillip and Jodi Pierri to bring people together and raise funds for community projects like the Urban Park. This year’s Festival of Races is Sept. 2 and includes a half-marathon, a 15K, 5K and kid’s fun run. About 500 runners participate in the YOLO that starts and finishes at Greenville High School Stadium. Information at

The Strawberry 10K Classic, part of the Troy Strawberry Festival, will be June 3. The race, the first in the Midwest Ohio 10K Triple Crown that includes the Run to the Moon 10K in Wapakoneta in July and the Minster Oktoberfest 10K in October, draws about 500 participants. The race starts and finishes at City Park, across from Hobart Arena. Best of all, the post-race food includes the festival’s famous strawberry doughnuts. Information at

The Dude Girl 5K and 10K, sponsored by Up and Running, is a trail run for women only at the Sugarcreek MetroPark in Bellbrook on Oct. 7. The race, which draws about 250 entrants, was started in 2009 by Dude Girl apparel founder Kim McElhinney and is meant to attract first time trail runners and walkers and avid trail runners. Race proceeds benefit Girls on the Run Dayton. Information at Up and Running and

The Fun in the Sun Kids Triathlon for ages 4-14 is June 24 at the Kettering Recreation Center. It draws between 200 and 300 participants and features a variety of distances based on age groups. Sponsored by Up and Running stores, proceeds benefit Girls on the Run of Dayton. Information at or Up and Running stores.