Tip #22: Emergency Action Plan

Tip #22: Emergency Action Plan


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 2022 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon experience! Let’s go!


Say it with us:


It’s not going to rain.

It’s not going to rain.

It’s not going to rain.


The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon has been lucky enough to avoid major weather. However, we do live in Ohio where weather can be unpredictable at times. This Emergency Action Plan is in place should we experience inclement weather and is one we hope to never have to use.


The most important thing our team can do is keep athletes, volunteers and spectators safe during the race. Dangerous weather conditions pose a challenge to that mission. As a result, the following is our Emergency Action Plan:


Safety is #1


The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon puts the safety of its participants, spectators, staff and volunteers first.


Alert Levels


The flag system at each aid station will advise you of course conditions ahead. Please become familiar with it.

  • Green = Good conditions

  • Yellow = Moderate conditions

  • Red = Potentially dangerous conditions

  • Black = Extreme conditions and event cancellation


Know the Possible Responses


One of five possible options in response to unsafe conditions on the course will be determined by race officials in consultation with law enforcement, fire/EMS and other officials. The decision will then be communicated promptly with athletes, spectators and volunteers:

  • Delay the event before the start

  • Pause the event and resume when conditions are safe

  • Pause the event and cancel if conditions do not improve within a reasonable amount of time

  • Modify the course to shorten the event or avoid unsafe conditions

  • Cancel the event prior to the start


Seek Shelter


In the event of dangerous weather, adverse conditions or race cancellation, please seek shelter immediately. All police and fire personnel, as well as water stop and course officials can direct you to the nearest shelter and emergency transportation pick-up zones.


Stay Informed


We work with local law enforcement to provide special messaging in case of any weather or safety concerns. Simply text the phrase “22RACEALERTS” to 888-777. You will receive a welcome message and be all set to receive notices as they are issued.


As part of the race day tracking app, RTRT will also directly notify you of changes in course conditions and emergency actions. You can also download the RTRT.me Mobile App here.


How We Determine What Actions to Take

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 & ½ Marathon website, as well as through other means of communication such as e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, RTRT and public address announcements.

As stated above, the race director and medical director, in consultation with law enforcement, fire/EMS and other officials, will monitor the weather and make a decision if any action will be taken to modify the race. Visible lightning will cause the race to be postponed for a minimum of 30 minutes.

If extremely high heat and humidity is predicted, extra water will be provided to the athletes 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 or cancel 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.


If possible, athletes should check the marathon website and our social channels for weather updates prior to or during the race, as well as take note of the color-coded race conditions signage at each mile marker.

Have 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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