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Buckeye Trail Blue Blaze Festival - Half Marathon, 10K, 5K Run, Hike and Backpack

Sat October 12, 2024 Directions


Half Marathon

$45 9:00AM EDT - 1:00PM EDT Price increases after July 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT


$30 9:00AM EDT - 1:00PM EDT Price increases after July 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT

5K Run/Walk

$25 9:15AM EDT - 10:30AM EDT Price increases after July 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT
Start time is 8:00AM, leaving from Shawnee

8 Mile Hike

$20 8:00AM EDT - 1:00PM EDT
53 spots left. Price increases after July 31, 2024 at 11:59pm EDT


Buckeye Trail Association office (127B West Main St,, Shawnee, Ohio 43782)


The Blue Blaze Festival - Run, Hike & Backpack on the Buckeye Trail 

The Blue Blaze Festival is a celebration of the trail, whether you are a Trail Runner, Hiker or would like to learn more about backpacking you are welcome to be a part of our celebration of the Buckeye Trail. Join us for the 2024 Buckeye Trail (BT) Blue Blaze Festival and explore the diversity and beauty of the outdoors. This year we will be joining forces with Destination Shawnee, the Ohio Environmental Council and outdoor recreational organizations to bring together runners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts to the Village of Shawnee. This section of the Buckeye Trail, in the Wayne National Forest, is mostly single-track trail and provides some very challenging terrain. The Blue Blaze Festival will be highlighting the BT as an outdoor destination for running, hiking and backpacking, plus all of the excitement happening in the historic Village of Shawnee.

There will be five options for a distance and trail experience right for you: Half Marathon, 10K, 5K run/walk, 10 Mile Hike and an overnight Backpacking trek. All events are on the Buckeye Trail in the Wayne National Forest.

Running Events - Half Marathon, 10K and 5K

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. 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.

All running events will be chip timed.

After returning to Shawnee, participants can enjoy post race food and there are options to purchase food from local merchants.

Hiking the BT

The 8-Mile Hike will start and finish in Shawnee with hikers following the Blue Blazes of the Buckeye Trail and a road section that will connect to the BT to offer a looped hike experience. The 2024 Hike was designed by the Little Cities of the Forest Chapter of the BTA.  A guide to historical sites will be provided to participants.

Backpacking Course

The Backpacking course is a Friday-Saturday 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.

Backpacking Schedule

  • Meet at Tecumseh Theatre, on Friday at 11:00am, for the backpack shakedown and group discussion. Following the brief orientation you will hit the Buckeye Trail, with a planned departure in early afternoon.
  • Saturday, the backpackers will return to Shawnee in the early afternoon.

To register for the BACKPACKING, please use the eventbrite site.

For more information and registration,

CLICK Backpacking. Or use the following URL link:

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.

Packet Pickup

Participants can pick up their race packet at the Buckeye Trail Association office, Main Street, Shawnee, OH.

EARLY Packet Pickup: Friday, October 11, 2024, from 4:00PM-7:00PM

RACE DAY, 6:30AM-8:30AM

Run Course (1/2 Marathon & 10K) - out and back course

Course map for the Half Marathon, 10K and the 10 mile hike. (5K course shown separately)

Miles   Course
0.0      Start at 114 W. Main street, Shawnee, OH
.05      Left on 2nd Street
 .1       Cross SR 93/155
          Continue straight on SR 93 for 500 feet
 .2      Left on entrance road to Tecumseh Lake
1.1     Cross Salem Hollow Rd (Rd 17)  Aid Station #1
1.4     Cross SR 93
1.55   5K turnaround
3.0     Right on Rock Run Rd (T 41)
3.1     10K turnaround – Aid Station #2
          Remain on Rock Run Rd for .5 mile
3.9     Cross Old Town Rd (T 38)
4.3     Turn right on T 136/ T 38
4.5     Old Stone Church trailhead – Aid Station #3
6.2     Cross Town Hwy 190 – Aid Station #4
6.55   Half Marathon turnaround

5K Course - loop

The 5K course will be loop using the Buckeye Trail, the Woodthrush Trail and back onto the Buckeye Trail. The course starts and finishes in Shawnee, goes around the Tecumseh (Tecumsey) Lake and at about Mile 1, uses the Woodthrush Trail back to the Buckeye Trail.

Hike Route

Points of Interest
  1. Shawnee, Ohio
  2. Tecumseh Lake
  3. Salem Hollow Road
  4. New Straitsville Mine Fire
  5. Columbus Face Brick Co
  6. Old Stone Church
  7. Seven Chimneys
  8. vernal pool
  9. Wayne National Forest
  10. Back to Shawnee

Camping - Friday night

Camping options are available for participants on Friday night. Participants will be allowed to camp for free at 5975 Tecumseh Road, Shawnee, OH, just about 1 mile from the race start/finish. There will be water and a porta john at this location. Both tent and trailer camping are allowed, with setup starting at 4:00PM on Friday. The backpacking participants will also be camping in Shawnee as part of the introductions and orientation.

Are you a BTA Member? if not CLICK to join

Everyone is welcome to take part in the Blue Blaze Festival and help celebrate the Buckeye Trail. If you are not a member, we encourage you to join the BTA. Membership helps support the work of the BTA to build, maintain, promote and protect the 1,400+ miles of Ohio's trail. The BT circles the state of Ohio, with terminus points on Lake Erie and the Ohio River. The headquarters of the BTA is located in Shawnee, OH, and the organization partners with federal, state and local agencies to support the work of our volunteer section supervisors and trail crews. Learn more at and join today.

Awards and Age Groups

Top 3 Overall male and female finishers

Age Group finishers for:

  • 19 and under
  • 20 - 29
  • 30-39
  • 40-49
  • 50-59
  • 60 and over

Race Website

Additional race information can be found at

2019 Event video

Take a look at the 2019 event... and see you in 2024.

CLICK to view

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.

Festival Partners


Buckeye Trail Association office (127B West Main St,, Shawnee, Ohio 43782)


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