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Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 8:16 AM
Updated: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 9:33 AM
WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE — Faced with fewer people running this year, Air Force Marathon organizers may consider changes to the series of races to push up numbers on the starting line in 2018.
The marathon, a series of races with 5K and 10K contests and half- and full-marathons, may add a new race of a shorter distance, and increase opportunities to participate in more than one event, according to marathon director Rob Aguiar.
The marathon counted 13,679 runners for the races on Sept.15-16 versus more than 15,000 who competed every year since 2012 — reaching a peak of 15,424 runners in 2013, figures show. The last time the race did not sell out was 2009 when the event had a cap of 10,000 runners and fell a few dozen under that total.
Organizers will listen to what runners say they want before deciding what to do, he said.
“We don’t want to make change just for changes sake,” he said.
The 5K and 10K races sold out this year, but the numbers for the half- and full-marathons were below previous years, according to attendance figures. The half marathon brought in just over 5,200 out of a target of 6,500; the full marathon attracted about 2,100 out of a goal of 2,500, according to race figures.
Still, the race brought competitors from all 50 states and 14 countries to the Miami Valley event, Aguiar said. The marathon has raised caps on the number of runners by thousands since the first race attracted 2,751 participants in 1997.
And it’s big business for the region. The race had an estimated $13.7 million economic impact on tourism and travel-related spending in 2016, according to the Greene County Convention & Visitors Bureau. Figures for this year’s marathon weren’t yet calculated.
A ‘saturation’ of races
Race industry observers say the U.S. market has reached “saturation” with a sharp uptick in the number of races while the number of runners crossing the finish line has dropped nationwide.
“This is not just an Air Force Marathon issue,” Aguiar said. “It is a racing industry issue. There’s a lot of races out there.”
The industry had 30,400 races in the United States last year versus 26,370 in 2012, according to Running USA statistics. More than half the contests in 2016 were 5K competitions.
The number of finishers climbed exponentially —- from five million in 1990 to a peak of 19 million in 2013. Since then, it’s fallen to just under 17 million, Running USA reported.
The explosion in the number of races has been pushed mostly by 5K contests with themes, such as costumes, bubble, or foam races, holiday and charity runs, among newcomers, according to Running USA Chief Executive Officer Rich Harshbarger.
“They’re more celebration and more social than they are competitive,” he said. “People started coming up with crazy ideas.
”The real question is what’s the longevity of some of those and I think a lot of them are running their course, so to speak,” he added.
The popularity of mud and cross-fit competitions have waded into the scene, too, he said.
“There’s a lot of things vying for people’s recreation time and particularly when you’re looking at the millennial generation they’re looking for something with a little bit more edge than a straightforward run,” Harshbarger said.
On weekends in the southwest Ohio region, runners have found a bevy of races to choose.
“People want to try all kinds of different things and when they have more choices they are more choosy about what they participate in,” said Doug Picard, 37, who has run in each of the Air Force Marathon’s four contests since 2014.
Surveying for answers
The marathon will survey runners in the coming weeks, listen to feedback gathered elsewhere such as social media and email, and explore how races across the country engage runners, Aguiar said.
“We’re all looking at that making sure … any changes that we do that it’s always a positive experience for the runner,” Aguiar said.
Racers input led to the addition of a 10K race and dropping a relay marathon nearly a decade ago, he said.
Picard, a member of the Ohio River Road Runners Club in Dayton, has competed in 100 contests. Races retain runners with different strategies, such as recognizing people who compete in more than one race at an event, or give out a piece of a racing medal every year until its complete, he said.
“It keeps people coming back year after year,” he said.
At the finish line
The number of races in the United States has climbed for years even as the number of runners reaching the finish line has dropped in recent years. The number of runners dropped from 19 million in 2013 to just under 17 million last year, the fourth largest in history, according to Running USA
Number of races
2016 - 30,400
2015 - 30,300
2014 - 28,000
2013 - 28,200
2012 - 26,370
SOURCE: RUNNING USA
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:14 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:20 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 10:20 a.m.
Damage is estimated between $5,000 and $10,000 after a fire broke out at a house on Nassau Street in Dayton Monday morning.
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Officials said the house was vacant and no injuries were reported.
The fire is under investigation and has not been determined if it is suspicious.
UPDATE @ 9:40 a.m.
Firefighters continue to work to extinguish flames from a house that caught fire Monday morning on Nassau Street in Dayton.
Officials said the structure is believed to be vacant and no injuries have been reported.
We’ll update this page as we learn more.
Firefighters are battling a house fire on Nassau Street near Xenia Avenue in Dayton Monday morning.
Crews responded to the call around 9 a.m. and reported smoke and flames coming from the structure.
Initial reports indicate the house is believed to be vacant and firefighters are battling the blaze defensively.
We have a crew on the way and we’ll update this page as we learn more.
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 9:48 AM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:56 AM
ITALY, Texas — Authorities are investigating after receiving reports Monday morning of a shooting at a high school in Texas, the Ellis County Sheriff's Office confirmed.
Italy TX school shooting. Suspect in custody. More information to come.— ECSO (@ECSOTX) January 22, 2018
Published: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:18 AM
WEST CHESTER — Despite a Butler County judge’s ruling, the battle over the historic Station Road schoolhouse continues, with the owners of the Community Montessori School filing an appeal with the 12th District Court of Appeals.
“We’ve appealed, and we’re continuing to move it forward,” Montessori school owner Todd Minniear told this news organization. “We still want it (the schoolhouse).”
West Chester Twp. was poised to sell the old school to the Minniears for $250,000 as part of a settlement in a lawsuit the school owners filed. However, some neighbors who oppose the sale intervened in the lawsuit and convinced Magistrate Justin Lane and Common Pleas Judge Jennifer Muench-McElfresh the lawsuit was moot.
The township’s zoning board of appeals nixed the sale last summer due to traffic and other concerns, and the Minniears filed an administrative appeal in the common pleas court. In December, Lane nullified the Minniears’ appeal because it was filed under a corporate name by Minniear, and he is not an attorney and couldn’t legally file the appeal.
“The court finds that the notice of appeal in this matter is a nullity and strikes it from the record,” Lane wrote.
The township trustees agreed to sell the schoolhouse to the Minniears — who plan to put an addition on the building to expand their school programs — because they said it is a “money pit” and a drain on township resources.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 11:44 PM
Updated: Monday, January 22, 2018 @ 10:03 AM
NEW CARLISLE —
UPDATE @ 10 a.m.
Ohio 571 is expected to be shut down in New Carlisle for a few days to remove 10,000 tons of corn that fell into the roadway after a grain silo collapsed at Miami Valley Feed and Grain Company late Sunday night, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
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The collapse knocked down multiple power poles, originally disrupting electric service to around 300 Dayton Power and Light customers.
At 10 a.m., 15 outages were still reported in Clark County, according to an online outage map.
We’ll continue to update this story as we learn new details.
UPDATE @ 4:55 a.m: Power is steadily being restored in Clark County with only a reported 15 customers experiencing an outage.
Power was cut off as a safety measure after a corn silo collapsed Sunday night prompting crews to investigate the building.
UPDATE @ 3:35 a.m: Over 300 customers are without power in Clark County after a corn silo collapse caused crews to cut the power in order to investigate the incident.
The collapse occurred late Sunday night at Miami Valley Feed & Grain around 11:40 p.m.
Crews will be working all night into tomorrow and there’s no word on how long the outage will have customers without power.
We will monitor the DP&L outage map and continue to update the story.
Ohio 571 (Jefferson Street) will be closed while officials continue to investigate what caused a non-injury silo collapse Sunday night.
Crews were initially called to Miami Valley Feed & Grain at 880 W. Jefferson St. around 11:40 p.m. on reports of an explosion.
After a preliminary investigation, it was determined that one silo collapsed, rather than exploded, and partially damaged another building as well as caused 10,000 tons of corn to cover Ohio 571.
“What residents heard when they thought they heard explosions were the transformers blowing when the debris hit them”, said Steve Trusty, Chief of New Carlisle Fire Department.
Officials do not believe anyone is trapped as a result of the collapse, as the company said no employees were on site at the time but will further investigate the building to confirm.
The silo collapse took out at least three power poles and power lines, which caused a brief power outage that has since been restored to all area residents.
Crews will be on scene all night until midday tomorrow while they continue their investigation.
An Ohio Fire Marshal has also been called to the scene and will assist with the investigation tomorrow.
Drivers are encouraged to use Scarf Road as the detour while Ohio 571 (Jefferson Street) is blocked off.