FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is your race change policy?
To change the race you are participating in, please click here. Event changes will permitted until September 6 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 $10 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 4; this date has been established due to our bib printing timeline. There is a $20 fee to transfer a bib; this fee is charged when the runner receiving the transfer completes the process.
What is your refund policy?
No refunds will be issued. 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 last year cannot be deferred or applied to the 2020 event, nor can your entry fees from this year be deferred or applied to the 2021 event. 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.
Can I register someone else for the marathon or 1/2 marathon on race weekend?
No. If Expo registrations are available, they must be done IN PERSON by the person intending run the event. You will not be allowed to register for another individual under any circumstances. Please note: shirt size is not guaranteed for race weekend registrants.
Do you offer special registration for groups or teams?
Because we are a non-profit organization with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as our primary beneficiary, we regret that we are not able to provide registration discounts for special groups or teams. We do, however, offer one of the lowest early registration prices for an event of our size and caliber.
If you are an organization or charity looking to set up direct billing arrangements, please contact for more information.
If the 1/2 Marathon sells out, can I register for the Marathon instead – but still only do the 1/2 Marathon?
We strongly discourage entrants from taking this route. Should you decide to do this, however, please note that our shirts and medals are assigned according to the event for which you are registered – not the event you actually complete. No changes to shirts or medals will be made after the event. Participants who register for the Marathon after the 1/2 Marathon has sold out and only complete the 1/2 Marathon distance will receive a marathon medal & 1/2 Marathon time.
Is there a way for me to track my athlete or automatically post updates to social media?
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is once again featuring real-time race tracking by providing Live Results via our partner RTRT.me. Details and updated links will be available approximately 6 weeks prior to the event.
The September 6th date is more than a month before the event. Why don’t you allow people who have last-minute injuries or training issues to change races or transfer their entries during this time?
We understand this is frustrating, but our cutoff date is established for a number of reasons. Most notably, it takes a full six weeks to assign bib numbers and then order, print, and attach timing chips to thousands of runner bibs. Once our race numbers are assigned and our participant data confirmed, that information must also be shared with a number of partners, including our race photography company, our results company, and our “RTRT” (real time race results) team. This totals 500,000 data cells! Every single change made after September 8th must be done manually and risks compromising the integrity of the data for all runners.
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/corral before the event?
To change your estimated finish time, please click here. Changes to estimated finish times will be permitted until September 30.
Can I pick up someone else's race packet at the expo?
We are happy to provide this service to our participants in the event of emergency and in recognition of the fact that certain personal and professional conflicts can make attending the Expo on either day a challenge. However, due to data security issues and increased abuse of this program, lines may be longer than in previous years. Please visit our EXPO page for additional information.
Wait, I need to bring that person’s ID?
No. You need only a COPY of the person’s ID for whom you are picking up. We do accept electronic images on smart devices.
Do you offer race day packet pick-up?
When you register for the race, you may register for Reserved Packet Pickup the morning of the event. There are a limited number of spots available for this service; the fee is $30. Due to the size and nature of our event, these are the ONLY packets that will be available on race morning.
All other participants or their proxies must pick up their race packets at the Expo, taking place on Friday, October 18 and Saturday, October 19. Race packets will not be mailed to participants prior to the race.
If you register for Reserved Packet Pickup, your packet WILL NOT be available at the Expo if your plans change. You will ONLY be able to pick it up at the Reserved Packet Pickup booth, adjacent to our gear check tent, on race morning. Reserved Packet Pick-Up will be available between 5:30 and 7 a.m. If you will be unable to retrieve your number by 7 a.m., you should NOT register for this service. Those athletes who register for Reserved Packet Pickup WILL receive both their race packet and participant shirt at Reserved Packet Pick-Up.
I want to drive in the morning of the race or I am unable to make it to the expo on Friday or Saturday. Can I have my packet mailed to me in advance?
Unfortunately, we do not have access to race numbers or race shirts prior to the Expo, making it impossible to mail them in advance of the event. We do, however, allow a proxy or representative (friend, family member, co-worker or running partner) to pick up your number for you at the Expo, provided they have a copy of your picture ID along with theirs. You and that representative can then make arrangements to meet on race morning. We also offer Race Day Reserved Packet Pickup (see above).
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.
What timing device is the event using?
The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon uses the BibTag timing device -- a device that will stay on the back of your bib. Athletes MUST wear their bib in the front and on the outside of their clothing. Additionally, do NOT bend or mutilate the BibTag.
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 10/18/20) 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.
Are you allowed to push a jogging stroller in any of the races?
No. You are not allowed to run or walk while pushing a jogging stroller. 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.
Will you have pace teams at your event?
The Striding Slyders Pace Team, sponsored by, you guessed it, White Castle, will return in 2020! The Striding Slyders Pace Team was the first ever offered at the Columbus Marathon, and was one of the first pace teams anywhere in the country, when it was launched in 1999!
The Striding Slyders will be joined by pacers from the New Albany Walking Club, who have been part of our event for several years.
Experienced athletes from both groups will provide fun and excitement for both first time and experienced marathoners and 1/2 marathoners looking to reach their goals — whether that's a personal best, or just getting across the finish line. Advance sign-up is not required, but the Striding Slyders and New Albany Walking Club invite you to visit their booths at the Expo for information and encouragement!
The following pace group times will be offered. Because our 1/2 Marathon course does not split from the full marathon until mile 12.5, 1/2 Marathon runners may run with the full marathon pace leaders.
FULL MARATHON FINISH TIME CORRESPONDING 1/2 TIME PACE per MILE
3:00 1:30 6:52
3:10 1:35 7:15
3:20 1:40 7:38
3:30 1:45 8:01
3:40 1:50 8:24
3:50 1:55 8:47
4:00 2:00 9:10
4:15 2:07:30 9:44
4:30* 2:15 10:18
4:45* 2:22:30 10:53
5:00** 2:30 11:27
5:30** 2:45 12:36
6:00 (NAWC) 3:00 (NAWC) 13:44
6:30 (NAWC) 3:15 (NAWC) 14:53
3:30 (NAWC) 16:02
4:00 (NAWC) 18:20
*The 4:30 and 4:45 groups will WALK through water stops
**The 5:00 and 5:30 groups will utilize a RUN:WALK strategy
All NAWC groups will fully walk the course
How many fluid stations are on the course?
There are 17 Fluid Stations along the course, supplying Gatorade Lemon Lime Endurance Formula® at the first set of tables and non-carbonated water at the second set of tables. We will also feature energy gels at approximately miles 8 and 17.
Can I drop off my extra runner gear before the Start?
In our Start Area, and specifically at Gear Check, the following rules are enforced to create as safe an environment as possible.
At Gear Check, we will only accept the clear Gear Check Bags you receive at the Health & Fitness Expo. All items you wish to check must be in these bags, and the numbered sticker you receive in your race packet must be on this clear bag. We will not accept any other bags, boxes, luggage, etc., of any kind, including cinch-style “goodie bag” backpacks.
In the :"Athlete-Only" areas of the Start Line or in the starting corrals, no solid-colored bags, boxes, luggage, etc., of any kind, including grocery bags or even cinch-style “goodie bag” backpacks, will be permitted.
If you arrive at the “Athlete-Only” gates to the Start Area with any other bag, box, luggage, etc., including a cinch-style “goodie bag” backpack that you wanted to take to Gear Check, you will have the opportunity to transfer your items into a clear Gear Check bag, and leave the other bag behind, return it to your car, hotel room, leave it with family or friends, etc.
Where do I meet my family?
In Celebration Village which is located just beyond the Finish Line. Large flags will be arranged alphabetically to use as designated meeting spots.
What is the course elevation?
The course is relatively flat and there is only about 100 ft. of difference in elevation throughout the 26.2-mile course.
Is there entertainment along the course?
Yes! There will be nearly 100 live bands, DJs, entertainers, radio stations and various neighborhood parties along the route to keep you going!
What are the best places for your spectators to watch along the course?
Check out the spectator section of the website here to plan the best places to wait for your athlete along the course on Oct. 20. Additionally, here’s the link to parking along the course, dining info and links to things to see in Columbus over Race weekend.
What time does the course officially close?
The 1/2 Marathon course closes at Noon and the Marathon course closes at 2:30 p.m. If you're unable to maintain a 14:54 minute per mile pace in the Marathon past Mile 12.5 (at the corner of Long and High Streets), you will be urged to go directly to the finish line where you will receive a 1/2 Marathon finishing time.
Are there other online sites for the Marathon?
Yes, in addition to www.columbusmarathon.com, there is an array of official Social Media sites - check them all out by clicking the 5 icons in the top right corner of our website.
How can I capture my Marathon or 1/2 Marathon experience through photos or commemorative engraving?
We partner with MarathonFoto who will be all over the course on Race Day to capture you at various points. They will start posting photos to their website a week to 10 days after the event. Finish Line Engravers will be in Celebration Village; you may sign up for this service when you register for the race; race day walk-ups are also available.
What are the future race dates?
>> Sunday, October 18, 2020
>> Sunday, October 17, 2021
>> Sunday, October 16, 2022
>> Sunday, October 15, 2023
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’ve lost/misplaced my shirt/medal from a previous race. Can you please send me a replacement?
We understand that shirts and medals have significant sentimental value to our participants. Unfortunately, we do not maintain an inventory of past years’ shirts or medals. Within 60 days of the event, any extra shirts or medals we may have are donated to causes that can make the best use of them. We apologize that we’re unable to provide further assistance.
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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 is 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