When I started running this summer, one of my first goals was to be able to run a 5k by October. The race isn't just any 5k though, it's the Reggae Run and it holds a very special place in my heart. The Reggae Run is held in memory of my cousin, Maria Olberding, who was inexplicably killed while running in the usually very safe neighborhood of Mt. Lookout. At the time she was training for a marathon and running was a very important part of her life. Maria also loved children and reggae music, so when the family was deciding how to honor their oldest daughter, they chose to combine all three of her loves and created the Reggae Run.
The race is held on the first Saturday of every October in and around the beautiful Ault Park and proceeds go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The race has become a favorite of runners from all over the country for a variety of reasons. One of which is the course, a beautiful yet relentlessly hilly jaunt through Cincinnati's historic Hyde Park neighborhood. Most people know it, however, because of the massive party held directly following the race. Reggae music is featured throughout the night, and there are also a ton of food and beer vendors. The best part is that everything is included with the race registration fee.