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ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon

Click here to view photo album of the 2015 race.


7th Annual ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon
and Half Marathon

7:30 AM  -  Sunday, January 31, 2016
ONU Sports Center at Ohio Northern University
Ada, Ohio 45810

Welcome to the information page for the ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon and Half Marathon at Ohio Northern University's Sports Center in Ada, Ohio. We are excited to be able to host this event which benefits the ONU Cross Country and Track & Field teams.

Please scroll down to learn more about the ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon and Half Marathon. If you want to know what people think of our event, check out for comments from previous years' races.

Questions: contact race organizer Jason Maus 419-772-2451

UPDATES:  Registration is now open.  Please click here for the registration form.





Race Information

The course will be 211 (marathon) or 105.5 (1/2 marathon) laps on the indoor track (200 meters per lap) in the ONU Sports Center. The marathon is USATF certified: OH10061PR. A member of the ONU Cross Country and Track & Field team will count each runner’s lap and record his or her times, and a FinishLynx timing system will be used at the finish line.

Packet Pick-up:
Packet pick-up will be Saturday January, 30 from 4:00-8:00 pm in the Sports Center. Packets can also be picked up the morning of the race starting at 6:30 am.

Pre-race Dinner:
An all-you-can-eat pre-race pasta dinner will be offered on Saturday January 30 in the Sports Center from 5:00-7:00 pm. A dinner for each registered runner is included as part of the race fee. Additional tickets can be purchased with your registration for $12 adults and $6 for children age 12 and under. This will be a great time to meet the other runners prior to the race.

The first male and female finisher in each race distance will receive an award. There will be no age group awards due to the small field size.

Qualifying Standards:
There is no qualifying time to enter the race. However, after 6 hours (at 1:30 pm) we will no longer time runners due to facility restrictions.  Runners must be 18 years of age on race day to participate.

Field Size:
There will be a maximum of 40 runners on the track competing in the event but race organizers reserve the right to make exceptions or increase the field size.

The course will be 211 laps (105.5 for the half marathon on the indoor, 200-meter track in the field house in ONU Sports Center. Every 30 minutes runners will change directions after finishing their current lap. While you may be able to watch the snow falling through the glass walls, the conditions for the race will be comfortable and dry.

The marathon course is USATF certified: OH10061PR.  Please note that certification indicates that the course is not shorter than marathon length.  However, as is the case with any track event (or road course with numerous turns), runners will likely run a further distance as they pass competitors on turns and as they switch directions in outside lanes.  Thus, many runners find that running a ‘personal best’ marathon time in an indoor marathon is not as easy as the ideal weather conditions and flat terrain might suggest.

Changing directions:
Every 30 minutes, a large orange cone will be placed at the start/finish line. When runners pass the cone they should switch directions and begin running in the outside lanes until all runners have changed directions.

Timing will begin with a gun start and an overall time for each runner will be obtained using a FinishLynx timing system. Members of the ONU cross country and track and field team will be timing each lap and recording it. Runners will receive their lap splits following the completion of the event.  The timing system will be removed after 6 hours (at 1:30 pm) due to time restrictions in the facility.

Aid Stations:
There will be 2 aid stations on the track throughout the event, one at each end of the track. It is recommended that runners bring their own water bottles, sports drink, gels, food, etc. These items can be placed on the tables and runners can use them at any time by stopping at the table or picking up their items and carrying them between the tables. Water and sports drink will be available throughout the event.

Restrooms are located just outside the field house and runners can use them throughout the event.

Headsets will not be allowed during the marathon. We will have music playing for the entire duration of the race.

Spectators are welcome and seating is available beside the track. However, we ask that runners do not allow friends, etc. to run with them during the marathon due to space restrictions. Strollers are not allowed on the track and pets are not allowed in the field house facilities.





Registration for the 2016 ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon and Half Marathon is OPEN:  please click here to download the registration form

The participants in the event will be decided on a first-come-first-serve basis.

Race Fee:
$85 for the marathon or half marathon. The fee includes a t-shirt, finisher’s medal and pre-race pasta dinner. Additional dinner tickets can be purchased for $12 each, $6 for children 12 and under.




Directions and Hotel

The ONU Sports Center is located on the campus of Ohio Northern University on W. Lincoln Ave., Ada, OH 45810. You can click here for a map.

The Inn at Ohio Northern University is located on campus, just a 5 minute walk from the Sports Center. A limited number of deluxe guest rooms will be reserved for participants in the races. Please call the Inn directly at (419) 772-2500 or (866) 713-4513 to reserve your room. Mention the “Indoor Marathon” or use the online code “ONU16” to receive a discounted price.  A late check-out time is available for an extra fee – check with the Inn when making reservations. There are also additional hotels in the nearby cities of Lima and Findlay.



Race Supporters

We would like to thank all of our marathon sponsors. They include:

This past year, some of the proceeds from the ONU Polar Bear Indoor Marathon and Half Marathon helped to purchase ElliptiGO bikes to provide cross training and low-impact workouts for injured Cross Country and Track & Field student-athletes.  Thank you for your support!

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