Be cautious of YOLO races this weekend


GREENVILLE – Anyone planning on travelling around Greenville early on Saturday should be aware of possible delays and should be on the lookout for runners making their way through the city. Previously held in September, the Y.O.L.O. Festival of Races has moved its half-marathon to May and will take place this weekend. In addition to a half-marathon, the race also includes a 15K and 5K.

Phillip and Jodi Pierri created YOLO of Darke County, Inc. because of their passion for giving back. Their goal is to bring together high energy individuals with a goal of living life to the fullest and giving back. Through YOLO of Darke County and the YOLO Festival of Races the YOLO Community Fund was established with the goal of maintaining a fund that will be able to perpetually give back to the community. All proceeds from YOLO of Darke County, Inc. events will be deposited into this fund. Through these funds, YOLO has been able to support projects in Greenville and Versailles. The new urban park with a water feature in downtown Greenville is nearing completion and YOLO has been driving force through funding and fundraising. In Versailles, YOLO has been at the forefront of building an amphitheater in Heritage Park. All of the proceeds from this year’s Festival of Races will go toward finishing the urban park.

Phillip explained the race was moved from the fall to the spring in an effort to grow the race. “We wanted to take it off of a holiday weekend and try it on a Saturday rather than Sunday,” he said. This year’s race will feature between 400-450 runners. Nearly 250 of the runners will be competing in either the half-marathon or the 15K race.

A race like this doesn’t happen without help and YOLO Festival of Races committee has put together a team of over 100 volunteers. “It wouldn’t be possible without them,” he said. “The (Greenville) street department, police department, rescue and (Darke County) sheriff department have been wonderful and work hard to keep the participants safe.”

The half-marathon and 15K races will get underway at 7:30 a.m. at Greenville High School. The half-marathon course will take runners down Greenwave Way to Rhoades Avenue, Donald Drive, Shawnee Street, Delaware Avenue, East Main Street, South Broadway, Fifth Street, Sycamore Street, West Main Street, Chestnut Street, Ft. Jefferson Street, Martz Street, Fairgrounds, Eidson Road, Sweitzer Street, Birt Street, Washington Avenue, Sater Street, Ohio Street, Eastwood Drive, Hickory Drive, Dogwood Drive, Requarth Road, Jaysville St. John Road, Woodbriar Lane, and 5K Development. Runners will retrace their path on the return until they get to the bike path off of Eastwood Drive and then proceed to Park Drive, Wilson Drive, Garst Avenue, Avenue A, Avenue B, and finish on East Harmon Drive.

The 15K race separate from the half-marathon at Eastwood Drive and Hickory and returns to East Harmon Drive via the bike path route.

The 5K race begins at 8:15 a.m. on East Harmon Drive and loops around Greenwave Way, Parkside Drive and East Harmon Drive before heading out Rhoades Avenue, Donald Drive, Shawnee Street, Delaware Avenue, Park Drive, Wilson Drive, Garst Avenue, Avenue A, Avenue B and finishing on East Harmon Drive.

Over 400 runners are expected to be in town on Saturday for the YOLO Festival of Races. 400 runners are expected to be in town on Saturday for the YOLO Festival of Races. Gaylen Blosser |

By Ryan Berry

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