Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon logo



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.


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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



The Board of Trustees announced the elimination of all COVID-19 protocols for our 2022 events on September 16, 2022.  While the Board has announced this policy change regarding vaccination and testing requirements, our event STRONGLY recommends all participants, volunteers, vendors and others involved with the event be vaccinated against COVID-19, and STRONGLY encourages mask wearing indoors at the Health & Fitness Expo and in other indoor areas such as tents during race weekend.  You may read the full statement from our Board of Trustees HERE.



I don't remember if I registered or not.  Can I confirm my 2022 registration?

Yes!  You may confirm your 2022 event registration here.

What is your race change policy?

Due to our bib printing and production timelines, the deadline to change events has now passed. 

What is your race transfer policy?


Due to our bib printing and production timelines, the deadline to transfer bibs between runners has now passed.  The unofficial sale and transfer of race bibs is strictly prohibited for the safety of all participants, and may result in permanent disqualification.


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 2022 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.​ 

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 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 10/15/22)

  • 5K:  12 years of age (as of 10/15/22)

  • 1/2 Marathon:  12 years old (as of 10/16/22)

  • Marathon:  16 years of age (as of 10/16/22)


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.



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.


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 2022 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!




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.

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.


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.