FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Will the 2021 event be the same as previous years?
We are working on our return to a safe in-person event this fall, and will continue to communicate with you throughout the process.
What types of protocols might be in place for the event?
We are working with local and state leaders and health officials for our safe return to an in-person event. Here are some of the things we’re reviewing:
Number of participants
Start/Finish layout and distribution of medals, food, etc.
Course enhancements and time limit
Expo & packet pick-up
Will the number of people in the race be the same as past years?
We hope our field sizes for the Marathon & ½ Marathon are the same as 2019, but will follow guidance from local and state leaders and health officials.
If we must cut back on the number of people in either race, we will issue refunds to people based upon when they registered, following a “last in, first out” plan. (For example: If 4,000 people register for the Marathon but it is only safe to hold a 3,000-person race, we will refund the last 1,000 people who registered, starting from the most recent person to do so and working backwards).
You issued full refunds when the race was cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020. If the race is not able to proceed due to COVID-19 restrictions this year, will you issue refunds?
Yes. If the 2021 race is not able to proceed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will issue refunds to the credit card with which you registered.
Otherwise, our regular refund policy will be in effect. The only exception will be if our field size is reduced consistent with guidance and protocols established by local or state leaders or health officials; if this occurs, we will issue refunds to people based upon when they registered, following a “last in, first out” plan (see the example in the previous answer).
What is your race change policy?
To change the race you are participating in, please click here. Event changes will permitted until September 5, 2021 or when the event you are transferring into sells out, whichever occurs first.
If you are switching from the 1/2 Marathon to the full Marathon, you will be charged the additional $20 for the upgraded event.
If you are switching from the full Marathon to the 1/2 Marathon: there is no charge to downgrade to the 1/2 Marathon; however, you will not be refunded the difference in price.
What is your race transfer policy?
To transfer your entry to another runner, please click here. Transfers will be permitted until September 5, 2021; this date has been established due to our bib printing timeline. There is a $30 fee to transfer a bib; this fee is charged when the runner receiving the transfer completes the process.
What is your refund policy?
As stated earlier, we typically do not offer refunds. This includes requests made due to injury, surgery, pregnancy, personal circumstances, date conflicts and professional commitments. This is an industry standard policy and not unique to our event.
However, if the 2021 race is not able to proceed due to COVID-19 restrictions, we will issue refunds. Additionally, if our field size is reduced consistent with guidance and protocols established by local or state leaders or health officials, we will issue refunds to people based upon when they registered, following a “last in, first out” plan.
What is your deferral policy?
No deferrals (“carry-overs” or “transfers”) of entry to future years are permitted. Your entry fees from a previous year cannot be deferred or applied to the 2021 event, nor can your entry fees from this year be deferred or applied to a future event. This includes requests made due to injury, surgery, pregnancy, personal circumstances, date conflicts and professional commitments. We do offer the ability to transfer your bib to another runner.
Am I able to change my shirt size before the event?
To change your shirt size, please click here. Shirt size changes will be permitted until September 30.
Am I able to change my estimated finishing time before the event?
To change your estimated finish time, please click here. Changes to estimated finish times will be permitted until September 30.
How old must you be to participate in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon or 1/2 Marathon?
You must be 16 years of age (as of 10/17/21) to participate in the Marathon and 12 years of age to participate in the 1/2 Marathon. Due to insurance restrictions, there will be no exceptions to this policy, even with parental permission and/or a doctors’ note.
Can someone else pick up my race number and packet for me?
As a result of a security audit of our race, as well as the possibility of increased COVID-19 protocols, we are unable to plan for proxy packet pickup as we have in recent years. More information about packet pickup will be forthcoming.
I'm hesitant to enter my credit card or bank account information online. Is there any way I can register with a check or mail-in form?
Unfortunately, we do not offer registration by phone or mail-in registration forms. We understand that some participants are more hesitant than others to enter their credit card information online; in those instances, we suggest that you buy a VISA gift card at any local retailer (Kroger, Giant Eagle, etc.) and use that card to complete registration. This way, you are not entering any personal banking information or accounts online, but you are still able to complete the transaction.
I love seeing the Patient Champions on the course each year! Will they be part of the 2021 race?
The Patient Champions selected for 2020 never got their chance to be part of the race due to our cancellation, and they are excited for their chance to join in the fun of race day!
Our plan is to have these youngsters on the course cheering on October 17, but this will be finalized as part of our work with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, local and state leaders and health officials on our safe return to an in-person event.
Will I be able to do fundraising as a Children’s Champion?
Yes. Helping Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a key part of our mission in putting on this race each year, and we plan to have the Children’s Champion program in place in 2021!
RACE DAY + COURSE
Can I run or walk with an iPod or other personal music device?
The short answer is yes. USA Track & Field Rule 144.3, which pertains to the use of headphones and other electronic devices, enables race directors to choose to allow the use of headphones by runners in non-championship races. 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.
Are you allowed to push a jogging stroller or wheelchair in any of the races?
No. You are not allowed to run or walk while pushing a jogging stroller or wheelchair. Additionally, bicyclists (with the exception of Marathon-sanctioned bicycle athlete escorts), in-line skaters, dogs, etc. are not allowed on the course – only registered participants are allowed on the race course during the event.
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Each year, thousands of athletes gather in Columbus for a day celebrating health and wellness, personal victories, record-breaking performances and of course, the children helped by Nationwide Children¹s Hospital. The 40th anniversary Columbus Marathon took place on Oct. 20, 2019.
Although these special moments cannot be quantified, there are many numbers that add up to a participant-focused, charity-driven, community-centered athletic event.
24 Miracle Mile Patient Champions who have shared their stories to inspire
3,000 volunteers making this marathon possible
15,000-plus athletes come from across the country and around the world.
Nearly 100 bands and entertainers add extra cheer
25-member marathon team and 11-member Board of Directors that have put in approximately 10,000 hours of planning
Approximately 60,000 people attend the Health & Fitness Expo
Approximately 100,000 spectators cheer on athletes on Race Day
250,000 White Castle cups of water to quench thirst
250,000 Cups of Lemon-Lime Gatorade (approximately 11,600 gallons of Gatorade) when water just doesn’t cut it
16,000 bananas, 30,000 bottles of water, 14,000 bags of salty snacks, 12,000 cartons of Chocolate Milk and more
600 portable bathrooms for relief
24,000 Clif Shot energy gels to refuel
96 portable generators to power the course
1 Angel Mile to honor, remember and celebrate the angels of Nationwide Children’s who have already finished their race
1 Encore Mile, for the patients who lined the 2012 - 2018 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon courses
20,000 feet of fencing (nearly 4 miles) along various parts of the course
201,600 watt sound system to rev up runners at the Start Line
26 Striding Slyders + New Albany Walking Club pace leaders
27 permits throughout five different police jurisdictions close down 26.2 miles of roads
Thousands of pounds of discarded clothes donated to Goodwill Columbus
The Road Beyond
Nationwide Children’s Hospital is honored to be the title beneficiary for the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon. 2021 marks the 10th year
of this partnership; so far more than $10 million has been raised for the Hospital. This includes more than $1 million contributed since 2012 by the Columbus Marathon Board of Directors.