When David Babner first began running, it was more of a social activity than anything else. Every morning he met up with a group to run, and during this daily ritual, Babner enjoyed time with friends, and staying healthy was just a great by-product of the morning activity. Even today, Babner always finds a way to get a run in with a running group or his good friends, no matter where he is. He’s always enjoyed the benefits of running, and in the last few years, he has tried to spread his passion to others by organizing marathons with his running group.
“We just really want to make it about having a good time and a good experience,” Babner says. “It’s not about being super competitive out there; it’s just about getting people to participate and be healthy.”
In 2002, Babner’s group, M3S Sports, purchased the Chicago Distance Classic increasing the number of participants from 1,500 to 11,000, before selling it to a competitor. In the following years they founded the Capital City Half Marathon, the Arizona Distance Classic and other themed runs in Columbus at events like Oktoberfest.
“We try to add something to some of our races to make them more interesting and appealing,” Babner says. “When you finish, everyone gets a medal for participation and sometimes a bottle of wine.”
Themed races like the Dead Celebrity three miler, the Flying Feather and the Oktoberfest Meiler Vier all have something else waiting at the finish line for participants. It’s all part of Babner’s plan to get younger people running that might not typically be there.
“The typical demographic for marathons was a really skinny middle-aged guy wearing really short shorts,” Babner says. “We are just trying to attract some more people and get them involved in a healthy way of life.”
For more on these events go to www.m3ssports.com