The Blue Blaze Festival is more than a run. Join us for the 2022 Buckeye Trail (BT) – Blue Blaze Festival to celebrate the diversity of the BT. This year we are joining forces with the Ohio Environmental Council and Rural Action to bring together outdoor recreation businesses, runners and hikers to the trails in the Wayne National Forest. This section of the Buckeye Trail is mostly single-track trail where many types users enjoy the challenging terrain. The Blue Blaze Festival will be highlighting the BT as a outdoor distention for running, hiking and backpacking.
This year there will be five options for a distance and trail challenge right for you: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K run/walk, 10 Mile Hike and an overnight Backpacking experience. All events are on the Buckeye Trail in the Wayne National Forest.
The Half Marathon and 10K runs will use the Buckeye Trail with an out and back course. There will be mile markers and directional signs on the course. There will be several aid stations with water and Gatorade, and volunteers at all road crossings. The Half Marathon and 10K Run will start at 9:00AM, followed by the 5K at 9:15AM. The 10K and Half Marathon courses are out and back on the Buckeye Trail. Most of the course is on single-track trail, with some challenging and hilly conditions, and there are some sections on roads. The half marathon has over 1,000 feet of elevation change. The 5K course will be the same looped course introduced in 2021, and will include the Woodthrush connector trail near Tecumseh Lake.
All participants will received an event t-shirt.
All running events will be chip timed. Awards will be given to the top overall male and female finishers in each of the three running events. The overall and age group results will be posted online. Age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and over.
After returning to Shawnee, participants can enjoy post race food and there are options to purchase food from local merchants.
The 10 Mile Hike will start and finish in Shawnee with hikers following the Blue Blazes on a new (relocated) section of the Buckeye Trail and a portion of the old BT, now a white blazed section, to offer a looped hike experience.
The Backpacking course is a Friday-Sunday introduction to backpacking and will be covering sections of the Buckeye Trail. This course is being planned and coordinated by Appalachian Understories and Tecumseh Theater. This event will start and finish in Shawnee.
To register for the BACKPACKING, please use the eventbrite site.
Participants will learn all necessary skills to complete a backpacking trip, and will leave empowered to hit the trail again soon. This is a good first backpacking trip for people with hiking experiences or a regular fitness routine. It is also a fun time for people with backpack experiences to share the love of the trail with others.. Group size will be limited to 10 participants.