First-Time Marathoner? Welcome!
On Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019, we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary - but YOU will be celebrating a milestone achievement! Your first marathon can be exhilarating, exhausting and overwhelming - we're here to help you through it!
Learn the Lingo!
Click on the graphic to a fantastic blog post that explains some of the terms you'll hear veteran marathoners throwing around as if they speak a secret language. Now you're in the know! (Please note: mile marker locations and patient champion names have changed since this blog was written in 2013, but the definitions haven't.)
Speaking of Marathon Veterans ...
The Columbus Marathon Legacy Runners group put together their own set of tips and tricks for Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon runners. Check it out HERE.
Tips and Tricks from the Race Director - Another Veteran Marathoner
Race Director Darris Blackford, who did his first marathon in Columbus, regularly talks to training groups and hosts online video chats filled with advice and encouragement for runners and walkers of all experience levels and abilities. Check a few of them out below:
And the Rest of those Last Minute Questions!
To read our full list of FAQ's, click HERE.
Where and when do I pick up my race number?
All race numbers, participant shirts and gear check bags need to picked up at the pre-race Expo. The Expo takes place on Friday, October 18 from NOON - 7 pm and on Saturday, October 19 from 9 am - 6 pm. Location? The Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street, Columbus, OH.
So I have to get it BEFORE race morning?
Because of the size of our event, the number of bibs and shirts we have to distribute, and the many activities we have to tend to on race morning (think: FIREWORKS!), we are unable to offer formal packet pickup on race morning. If you're unable to make it to the Expo, you may have someone else pick up your packet for you with a copy of your ID. But you really don't want to miss the Expo - there's great shopping, great energy, and it's the perfect way to get your head in the race!
What exactly is gear check? Do I have to do it?
You don't have to do it, but you'll probably want to. Gear Check, located on Spring Street and McConnell outside the Athlete-Only area, is a secure location, monitored throughout the event, where athletes may keep their keys, personal effects, extra clothes, favorite post-race foods, etc. You'll receive a clear plastic bag at the Expo as well as a sticker with your race number. This is the ONLY bag that will be accepted for security purposes.
What about pace teams? What are they? Do I have to do it?
A pace team is essentially a running game of follow-the-leader, in which a group of runners that are all trying to run the same time follow another runner who is holding that pace steady while coaching, cheerleading and encouraging. You many join a team at any time, and if it's not working for you, you may also leave it at any time. Our pace team, the Striding Slyders - sponsored by White Castle! - looks forward to seeing you out there!
Can I run or walk with an iPod or other personal music device?
The short answer is yes. The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will allow its participants to use an iPod or other personal listening device, but we ask that you keep the volume at a level that enables you to be alert to your surroundings in case there is an emergency. The only exception to this rule is elite athletes (any athlete competing for prize money) – they are not allowed to use iPods or personal listening devices of any kind. But remember - we have some of the best entertainment of any race in the country! Take in the atmosphere!
But my real question is this: how many bathrooms do you really have and where are they?
We offer nearly 200 porta-potties in the starting area, including many in each of the actual starting corrals. In addition, hundreds more are on the course - look for them after each of our 17 water stops.
And my other real question is this: what if I can't do it? What if I get lost? What if I'm actually last?
While the city does require us to have a course limit of 6:30 (a 14:54 minute mile), the likelihood of you actually being last is 1 in approximately 5,000. We promise: our starting area is brighly lit, loud and filled with signs directing you to the correct spots. We have thousands of volunteers and course marshals making sure to point the way - if the person or people in front of you haven't already done it. And if you do, by chance, end up being last - congratulations! You still just ran a marathon! Every member of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon team - from Board to staff to volunteer to fellow runner - is here to make this a truly special day for you. And by the way - you CAN do it!