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Tip #13 | Be Safe Out There

Welcome back to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. For the 26 days leading up to race day, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of OUR race. Stay tuned for tips on parking and food, cool viewing spots and race rules, and answers to all your pressing race day questions. We are here to help you make the most of your 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon experience! Let’s go!

The most important thing the race team can do at the 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is keep you, your friends and your family safe during the race. Our team spends all year working on various measures to help ensure a safe and secure event. Please abide by the following:

  • Gear Check: We will only accept the clear Gear Check Bags you receive at the Health & Fitness Expo during your packet pick-up. All items you wish to check must be in these bags. We will not accept any other bags, boxes, luggage, etc. No exceptions.

  • Inspections: All items being carried at or near the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon are subject to inspection.

  • Athlete-Only Areas: Participants in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will have special access to athlete-only areas at the Start Line and Finish Line. Non-participants are not permitted in these areas.

  • Medical Information: Please take a few moments and fill out the medical information on the back of your bib number. Every second counts in an emergency, and this information could be crucial!

  • No Family Run-In at Finish: Only athletes are permitted on the course, including crossing the Finish Line. This is for the safety of all athletes, spectators, race and safety officials and volunteers. Any participant who is joined by a non-participant (including holding a child) on any portion of the course and/or crossing the Finish Line, risks disqualification and a ban from future events. If your child would like to experience race day magic by running a race, registration for the Highlights’ Kids Run and 1 Mile Run/Walk races are both open. Please do not risk your child’s safety or the safety of others for a photo opportunity.

  • No Strollers or Wheelchairs: No baby strollers, wheelchairs, dogs (on wheels or not), or in-line skates are allowed on the course. The only wheeled vehicles permitted on the course are official wheelchair entrants, pace vehicles, official bicycle spotters and approved wheeled devices.

  • Color-Coded Emergency Signs: A four-color sign system is used to provide information on weather conditions and emergency situations.

Green = Low Alert Level, Good Conditions.

Yellow = Moderate Alert Level, Less Than Ideal Conditions.

Red = High Alert Level, Potentially Dangerous Conditions.

Black = Extreme Alert Level, Event Cancelled/Extreme & Dangerous Conditions.

Please pay attention to the signs at all fluid stations and at the start and finish lines!

Inclement Weather Policy: The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon puts the safety of its participants, spectators, staff and volunteers first. Dangerous weather conditions pose a unique challenge to an event this size. Therefore, we have adopted the following Inclement Weather Policy:

  • Weather forecasts will be monitored prior to the event, with special attention placed on the possibility of heavy rain, thunder and lightning, high winds and extreme temperatures. If necessary, athletes will be made aware of these conditions and possible dangers which could result on the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon website (, as well as by other means of communication such as e-mail, Instagram, Facebook, the Real-Time Race Tracking app and public address announcements.

  • The race director and medical director, in consultation with law enforcement, fire/EMS and other officials, will monitor the weather and decide if any action will be taken to modify the race. Possible changes include altering the start time or in extreme situations, cancellation of the event. Visible lightning will cause the race to be postponed for a minimum of 30 minutes. Additional sightings will continue to delay the race in 30-minute increments.

  • If extremely high heat and humidity is predicted, extra water will be provided to the athletes, both prior to, during and after the event. The medical team will be alerted that athletes may require additional medical attention during and after the event due to these conditions. If it is felt that it is unsafe for participants to start the race due to severe temperatures and humidity, the race may be cancelled.

  • Race personnel reserve the right to delay, cancel, or suspend the race due to inclement weather. Participants must abandon the race if ordered to do so by the race personnel, medical staff, fire or police personnel.

Have additional questions? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Facebook and Instagram, and we’ll be sure to get them answered!

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