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Tip #18 | Key Tips for Spectators

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!

If you are a friend or loved one planning to cheer on a runner or walker during the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, we are so happy to welcome you to our event! Your athlete will also appreciate your support.

We offer a spectator-friendly course capable of accommodating thousands of supporters. Here are several popular places to visit on race day and a unique way to help get around the 13.1 and 26.2-mile course:

  • 26 Miles of Marathon Mile Champions: 24 miles are represented by a patient at Nationwide Children's Hospital, one is dedicated as an Angel Mile for the angels of Nationwide Children’s Hospital who have finished their race, and one is an Encore Mile that invites the 240 previous Marathon Mile Champions to experience the magic of race day once again. These patients and their families will be along every mile of the course to cheer on participants and serve as a visual reminder of how the marathon and Nationwide Children’s Hospital is making miracles happen in the lives of children and their families.

  • Drexel and Main Streets in Bexley: A perfect place to take in the fall colors and amazing homes as the athletes pass by. Fun fact: Bexley is home to more ice cream shops per capita than anywhere in Ohio.

  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will run past two sides of Nationwide Children’s Hospital on 18th Street and Livingston Ave. There will be bands and hundreds of signs that represent Children Champions who have been raising money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

  • Schiller Park: This German Village treasure is bordered by Reinhard, Jaeger and Deshler Streets. This year marks the 156th birthday of one of Columbus's oldest and most scenic parks — you'll enjoy walking from one side to the other to cheer on your athlete.

  • Short North Arts District on High Street: Between Nationwide Blvd. and Fifth Ave. — enjoy window shopping at the art galleries and boutique shops and have a cup of joe from one of the local coffee shops while you wait to see your athlete.

  • Upper Arlington: Upper Arlington is the stretch of course between The Ohio State University and King Avenue. It welcomes athletes and spectators with its beautiful homes and gardens. Fun fact: it’s the hometown of world-famous golfer Jack Nicklaus.

  • Grandview Heights: Spectators will enjoy Grandview Avenue with its unique neighborhood boutiques, incredible restaurants and outdoor seating perfect for grabbing a cup of coffee and cheering on the field through their 21st mile.

  • Victorian Village: Neil Avenue, with its gorgeous Victorian style homes and beautiful trees, will be a welcome reprieve for athletes and spectators as they head toward the finish line. Buttles Avenue and Park Street borders Goodale Park, another historic park in Columbus that is great for spectator viewing.

  • Celebration Village: Celebration Village will feature the Columbus Marathon store, the PR gong presented by White Castle and more. NOTE: there will also be an Information Booth on Spring Street as you enter Celebration Village and the folks there will be equipped to handle questions ranging from how to track your athlete to how to get back to your hotel.

Spectators can also take our self-guided bicycle tour to several cheer spots along the course! We have partnered with COGO Bike Share to put together a route to follow on a bike (see a list of COGO stations here that are close to the start line) that will let you visit key spots while not interfering with the race.

In addition to following your athlete in person, you can follow them virtually via the Real-Time Race Tracking App. Stay tuned for an official launch date and more information.

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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