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ABOUT US AND
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon logo
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ABOUT THE NATIONWIDE CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL COLUMBUS MARATHON & 1/2 MARATHON

 

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 Children's Hospital. The Columbus Marathon began in 1980; the 1/2 Marathon was added in 2006.

Although these special moments cannot be quantified, there are many numbers that add up to a participant-focused, charity-driven, community-centered athletic event.

THE PEOPLE

  • 24 Marathon Mile 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

THE SUPPLIES

  • 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 

  • 10,000 Clif SHOT energy gels to refuel

  • 96 portable generators to power the course

THE COURSE

  • 1 Angel Mile to honor, remember and celebrate the angels of Nationwide Children’s who have already finished their race

  • 1 Alumni Mile, for the patients who lined the 2012 - 2021 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

  • 27 permits throughout five different police jurisdictions close down 26.2 miles of roads

  • Thousands of pounds of discarded clothes donated to Goodwill Columbus

GENERAL FAQ



REGISTRATION POLICIES

 

I don't remember if I registered or not.  Can I confirm my 2023 registration?

 

Yes!  You may confirm your 2023 event registration here.

Please!  Is there any way I can still register for the 1/2 Marathon or Marathon?  What if someone cancels?

Unfortunately, spots in our 1/2 Marathon and Marathon races are completely exhausted and we do not maintain a waitlist.  We know how important the race is to many people for a variety of reasons, and we truly regret that we cannot accommodate additional entries in 2023. 
 

Can I register at the Expo?  Will you be adding spots or re-opening registration for race weekend?

Unfortunately, spots in our 1/2 Marathon and Marathon races are completely exhausted.  There will be no race weekend or Expo registration available.


What is your race change policy?


The deadline for changing races was September 15 and has now passed.  If you are unable to complete the Marathon, you may make the turn at mile 12.8 and complete the 1/2 Marathon using your full marathon bib.  You will receive official 1/2 Marathon results, but you will receive the full marathon shirt and medal that correspond with your bib number.
 

What about the 5K?  Can I register for the 5K and "upgrade" to the 1/2 Marathon?


No.  The 1/2 Marathon is completely sold out and the deadline to change events was September 15.  

What is your race transfer policy? 


The deadline to transfer your bib to another runner was September 15 and has now passed.  Because our bib numbers have gone to print, we are no longer able to process transfers.  The unofficial sale and transfer of bibs numbers is prohibited for the safety of all participants.

​What is your refund policy?

We 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.


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 2024 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, email registration@columbusmarathon.com.  Shirt size changes are subject to size availability.  
 

​​Am I able to change my estimated finishing time before the event?

To change your estimated finish time, please email registration@columbusmarathon.com.  Changes to estimated finish times will be permitted until October 9. 

How old must you be to participate in the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon or 1/2 Marathon?

You must be the following age to participate in each of our events.  Due to insurance restrictions, there will be no exceptions to this policy, even with parental permission and/or a doctors’ note.

  • 1-Mile:  6 years of age (as of 10/14/23)

  • 5K:  12 years of age (as of 10/14/23)

  • 1/2 Marathon:  12 years old (as of 10/15/23)

  • Marathon:  16 years of age (as of 10/15/23)

My child is younger than the established age requirements.  May I push them in a stroller?

For the safety of all participants, strollers are not allowed on the course.

Does this apply to the 5K and 1 Mile events as well?

Yes.  For the safety of all participants, strollers are not allowed in any of our four race events.


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.

EXPO + PACKET PICK-UP

Can I pick up someone else's race packet at the expo?

We have been happy to provide this service to our participants in emergency situations and in recognition of the fact that certain personal and professional conflicts can make attending the Expo on either day a challenge.  However, an audit of our event revealed increased abuse of this program. 

We will continue to offer this service in 2023.  Please note that there will be a limit of two (2) proxy forms per person, not including your own packet.  

Online proxy forms are available HERE.  You will need a copy of this form, plus a copy of the picture ID for each person for whom you are picking up.

Wait, I need to bring that person’s ID?  

No. You need only a COPY of the person’s ID.  We do accept electronic images on smart devices.

CHILDREN'S CHAMPIONS

I love seeing the Marathon Mile Champions on the course each year! Will they be part of the 2022 race?

We are thrilled to welcome a brand new set of Marathon Mile Champions to our 2023 event, and look forward to introducing them this summer.  We will again welcome our returning past champions to our Alumni Mile.

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 thank you for your fundraising!

 

RACE DAY + COURSE

​​

Where do I park?  Can I purchase parking in advance?

There are a variety of garages that are in close proximity to our Start/Finish line, and you may view a map or purchase parking in advance of race day.  Please click HERE for more information.

Do you offer runner tracking?  How do I sign up?

Yes, we offer runner tracking through RTRT.  You may sign up HERE.


Please note: if you registered for our event on or after October 7, you will not appear in our runner tracking database until October 13.

How many fluid stations do you have?  What is served?

We have 17 fluid stations on our course, and two gel stations on the second half of the full marathon.  Fluid stations will serve water and lemon-lime Gatorade Endurance.  Clif SHOTs will be available in Strawberry, Mocha, and Citrus flavors.  Please view our course map HERE for specific locations.

Do you have porta-potties on the course?  How often?

Porta-potties will be available at each of our 17 aid stations.  Please view our course map HERE for specific locations.

Will you provide pace teams?


Yes!  The Striding Sliders, sponsored by White Castle, will be on course for the marathon and 1/2 Marathon!  Times offered will include 3:00 (1:30), 3:10 (1:35), 3:20 (1:40), 3:30 (1:45), 3:40 (1:50), 3:50 (1:55), 4:00 (2:00), 4:15 (2:07), 4:30 (2:15), 4:45 (2:22), 5:00 (2:30), and 5:30 (2:45).  Team leaders will be introduced in September!

What are the course limits?  Can I walk?

The course limit for our 1/2 Marathon is 4:00 (18:20 minute/mile pace).  The course limit for our full marathon is 6:30 (14:53 minute/mile pace).  Walking is encouraged and welcome!  Many participants successfully complete our events each year by either walking or combining walking and running for a wonderful race day experience!

I prefer to run with a personal hydration device.  Is this allowed?


Yes.  Camelbaks, hydration vests, and other personal hydration devices are permitted.  They are, however, subject to search in all secure areas.

Can I run or walk with headphones or another 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.

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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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