The Beginning: 1971 – 1983
The very first Glass City Marathon started and finished at the University of Toledo on June 20, 1971. Sy Mah ran the race that day, as did two Churchills (Walt Jr., a key founder of the Toledo Roadrunners Club, and Walt III) and a runner named Fred Lebow who came all the way from New York City. We hear that Lebow accomplished some things later back East and are glad we could give him some ideas. The race remained on Fathers’ Day and anchored at the University of Toledo until 1981 when the race was moved to the Fall and to Side Cut Park of the MetroParks of Toledo. In 1983 the race moved to downtown Toledo and was titled the Pepsi Challenge Glass City Classic Marathon. Despite the seeming momentum of a new downtown course, Pepsi did not renew its sponsorship and the race fell dormant for the next six years.
The Rebirth: 1990-2009
In 1989 a group of influential Toledo Roadrunners revived the Glass City Marathon and Pam Graver was key to this revival as she took on the task of directing the race. The race was dedicated to the late Sy Mah, who had passed away in 1988. From 1990 to 2009, the Glass City Marathon served as the key cog in the running world of Northwest Ohio with the course starting and finishing downtown.
Rocket Return: 2010 – Present
In 2010, the Toledo Roadrunners Club decided to return the event to its historical roots at the University of Toledo and give the event a new look and new energy. The results have been dramatic. The half marathon has sold out every year since the event’s return to the University of Toledo and participation in the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, and 5K races has grown from over 3,200 in 2010 to over 4,500 in 2011 to over 5,800 in 2012. In 2012, Owens-Corning came on board as the sponsor of the half marathon and Medical Mutual of Ohio became the title sponsor for the Glass City Marathon.