Barkcamp race is ready to roll Oct. 6

BELMONT-“The race that will leave you breathless” will take place again on Saturday, Oct. 6 at Barkcamp State Park. Billed as one of the toughest runs in southeast Ohio, this will be the eighth year for the charity race and will benefit Barkcamp.

Organizers Rodney Miller and Cindy Foose want entrants to know that there are a couple of changes this year.

First, there are only two races, one run and one walk.

The 8.4 mile run has been the most popular of the line-up in the past, and Miller and Foose have charted one of the most challenging routes to date.

Foose says they change the route every year to keep it interesting, and this year there will be no doubling back-it’s one large loop.

Runners will take a combination of horse trails and multi-purpose trails, and it will be 99 percent off-road.

The 5 mile walk will again be held on the Lakeview Hiking Trail skirting the shoreline of the lake. Miller describes it as “beautiful, but challenging” with 912 feet in elevation changes, meaning there are a couple of steep hills. Walkers will loop around the trail twice to complete five miles.

Both races are included in the Health Plan’s Grand Prix Challenge for those doing the circuit.

Racers should also note that there are only 150 slots available for each event, and participants must register online before the race.

“There will be no, no, no race day registration,” Miller emphasizes. “And no, no, no race day shirts.” Because of changes in their schedules and those of their volunteers, Miller and Foose are streamlining the process.

As mentioned, proceeds from the races will help with park and trail improvements. “This is an awesome park,” Foose says. “They have a minimal number of employees who do great work. We just want to give something back.”

One of the rangers who has helped out on race day in the past will be running in the race this year. Ranger Lynette Olack says her New Year’s Resolution was to run one 5K race, but she got hooked and by the end of 2012 she will have run 30 races. In fact, she’s done so well that she qualified for and will be running in the New York Marathon. Even so, Olack notes she’s a bit tentative about the Barkcamp Race.

“It’s going to be really tough. It’s not like running on flat pavement,” she adds. “Going downhill is hard on my legs.”

Miller notes that, though many racers are concerned about times, this race is about the challenge, being in the woods and enjoying what the park has to offer. “Times go up and down, but this race is about the charity.”

The Barkcamp Race was the first trail run challenge in the area and has been a popular event since. Maps and elevation information are available at Participants must register online at Check-in for both races will be at 9 a.m. at the Barkcamp beach.

Ye Olde Alpha will be providing lunch for the participants; Mark Glass/Bethesda Market will be doing dessert; Mr. Twister will be doing music.

Find more information on the website or Facebook page (The Barkcamp Race,) or call Rod Miller at (740) 359-7533 or Cindy Foose at (740) 391-1236.

Valenti can be reached at