Area runners prepare for 12th annual Run for Home

Area runners prepare for 12th annual Run for Home
Kyle Valentini

The half-marathon and team relay will follow a route that takes participants from Tuscora Park through Dover City Park and back to Tuscora Park for the finish inside Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.


Hundreds of walkers and runners participating in the Cleveland Clinic Union Hospital Run for Home will hit the streets of Dover and New Philadelphia on April 6 and 7. The popular community event is in its 12th year.

Run for Home participants will compete in a half-marathon road race, team-relay race, 5-mile walk, 10k race, 1-mile fun run and kids’ run, all to benefit Habitat for Humanity East Central Ohio.

The activities also include a health and fitness expo in the Tuscora Park pavilion. In the past 11 years, the Run for Home has raised $209,000 to help Habitat provide affordable housing in Tuscarawas County.

The event is organized by the Run for Home Road Runners Club, a volunteer organization dedicated to staging fun and well-organized events for participants, promoting community wellness, and raising money for Habitat for Humanity.

The weekend will begin Saturday, April 6 with the health and fitness expo from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nearly a dozen organizations will participate in the free expo.

“The expo is one way we try to promote community fitness,” Run for Home Road Runners Club member Holly Hillyer said. “It’s free and open to the public, and we encourage everyone to visit, whether you’re participating in an event or not.”

During the expo runners and walkers will be able to register for all Run for Home events and pick up their race packets. The kids’ run, which will take place around the Tuscora Park rides area, will be the first event on Saturday at 9:45 a.m.

The Route 250 Health and Performance 10k race will step off a few minutes later at 10 a.m. The race will start and finish in the park and will be followed by the 1-mile fun run at 10:15 a.m.

The Run for Home activities will continue on Sunday, April 7 when the park pavilion opens at 8:30 a.m. for race registration and packet pick-up.

The half-marathon, team relay and 5-mile walk will all begin in the park at 11 a.m. The half-marathon and team relay will follow a route that takes participants from Tuscora Park through Dover City Park and back to Tuscora Park for the finish inside Woody Hayes Quaker Stadium.

Race organizers are inviting local residents to come out and watch the events Saturday and Sunday. “From the half-marathon to the kids’ run, all the participants appreciate the support and cheers of spectators during the races,” said Matt Ritzert, event organizer. “We also want to make everyone to know that we’ll have hundreds of participants and volunteers on the roadways Saturday and Sunday. We’re asking drivers to be patient and cautious with the disruption to the normal flow of traffic.”

If you’re not participating in the Run for Home or watching the race, you might want to avoid the park area Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. because there will be traffic restrictions.

“We work closely with the local police organizations to make sure we have a safe race and greatly appreciate the cooperation of everyone involved,” Ritzert said.

While most roads will remain open during the races, some traffic controls will be in place including closed lanes and changes in traffic-light signals. Some of the major roads on the route for the Sunday events include North Broadway, Ray Avenue Northwest, Union Avenue Northwest, Third Street Northwest and Fourth Street Northwest in New Philadelphia.

In Dover the route includes South and North Wooster Avenue, Race Street, Tremont Avenue, Black Snake Hill Road, state Route 800, Front Street, Iron Avenue and the Boulevard.

In addition to more than a dozen police officers on the route, Smith Ambulance will provide additional support and traffic control to assist race participants.

A variety of businesses, youth groups, church groups and civic organizations will staff aide stations along the route to offer the runners and walkers water and sports drinks. Organizers say nearly 200 volunteers will support the activities Saturday and Sunday.

“The Run for Home could not happen without the community groups and individuals that volunteer race weekend,” volunteer coordinator Brittany Cochenour said. “We’re very thankful for all the volunteers who do everything from staffing our aide stations, to directing the participants along the route, to serving the refreshments after the race.”

Registration is still open for all events. Registration information is available at the Run for Home website at

The half-marathon and 10k are part of the Allied Machine and Engineering Tuscarawas Valley Challenge and the Ohio Subway Challenge Series. No advance registration is needed for the free kids’ run on Saturday.

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