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Dayton Running History



This page is intended to provide a "look back" into the history of distance running in the Dayton, Ohio area. In addition to being a site showcasing the individuals who have made significant contributions to our running community, we believe it is also important to provide a format for sharing the rich history of the events, races, and clubs which have helped shape the distance running experience in Dayton.

A Brief History of the Kettering Striders

Submitted by Steve Price, 23 February 2011


Though Iʼm not exactly certain of the beginning year of the Kettering Striders existence, I do know it was sometime in the early to mid 1960ʼs. Former track and basketball coach Jim Ehler (Fairmont East High School) would gather and coach a group of Kettering kids and take them to the Junior Olympics each summer.


During this era, the sole purpose of the Striders was to compete in this annual event. In the late 1960ʼs I was teaching physical education in the Kettering schools and Jim asked me to take over the team. With the help of BIll Wright, Barney Cook, and Wes Hieb we started organized practices at Fairmont East. The Kettering Recreation Department provided the kids blue t-shirts with our teamʼs name on the front.


A year or so later, I decided to start a girls cross country team made up mostly of girls from Rolling Fields Elementary schoolwhere I taught. A Kettering resident, Pat Irelan, bought racing spikes for the kids. Our transportation was Don Shells station wagon. He was the father of two of the girls on the team. Our little band went to road races and a few cross country meets consisting mostly of older runners. In 1968 we attended the Ohio AAU championships. At that time only two teams in Ohio sponsored age group teams. At that first meet our kids won the “State Title” over the Columbus based Ohio Track Club.



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