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 have gotten all kinds of daily tips on parking and food, cool viewing spots and race rules, and answers to all your pressing race day questions. To wrap up this year’s 26 Tips and countdown to race day, we are here to give you a few final reminders and help you make the most of your 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon experience! Let’s go!
ONE. MORE. DAY.
Are you ready?
The 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon races are just hours away. On behalf of our entire team, we want to thank you for taking part in the 43rd Marathon, and our 17th annual ½ Marathon. This event is not only a celebration of health and wellness, but the opportunity to support the life-changing work taking place at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Between our nine board members, hundreds of marathons and ½ marathons have been completed, including our races many times. Whether this is your first race or 43rd, here are some last-minute tips to make the most of Race Day – straight from our Board.
What You Should Do Saturday Night:
Lay it all out – Avoid Race Day anxiety and rushing around by laying out everything you will need the night before.
Have a parking plan - Know where you’re going and where you’re parking. Plan for it to take you at least double the time it usually would to get there. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about parking and road closures throughout the course.
Visualize – Seeing is believing. Visualize the start while everyone cheers you on, a smooth run with a calm breath and a steady pace, and the finish line after you’ve pushed through the pain. You will be elated and learn it was – and always is – worth it. Through visualization our dreams come true.
What You Should Do Race Morning:
Get there early! – Avoid any unneeded Race Day anxiety by getting to the start line early. Learn how long it will take you to get there, then double that time! As a reminder, the Corrals open at 6 a.m.
Stop by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Gear Check Tent – Drop off any gear at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Gear Check Tent at the corner of Spring St. and McConnell Blvd. (southwest corner of McFerson Park). Find out more about Gear Check here.
No Firsts – You shouldn’t do anything for the first time – from the food you eat to what’s on your feet: breakfast, clothes, shoes, Gatorade and Clif Shot should already be tested.
Stay Warm – If it is a cool morning, wear some “throw-away clothing” that you picked up at the Expo from our friends at Goodwill Columbus. Or use an oversized trash bag to stay warm by cutting a hole for your head at the bottom of the bag. Once the race begins, all you have to do is toss it to the side of the road (avoid throwing it on the ground near you so no one trips over it!). Check out Tip #3 for more information.
What You Should Do During the Race:
Pace - Relax and don't get too excited before and during the first few miles. Trust your training and stay true to your pace. Note: we are thrilled to welcome back the Striding Sliders Pace Team, sponsored by White Castle. Visit their booth at the Expo and register for free!
Take it all in – Once you arrive, remember to take in the sights, the sounds and the smells of one of Columbus’ biggest (and in our opinion, BEST) annual events. Entertainment and Marathon Mile Champions will be at every mile to keep you going. Remember, you’ve worked hard for this – enjoy it!
Celebrate - Congratulations! You have crossed the finish line and completed an amazing feat. Regardless of distance, pace or records, it is time to celebrate, reunite with friends and family and shake out your legs!
Stop by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Gear Check Tent – Pick up any gear you left at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Gear Check Tent at the corner of Spring St. and McConnell Blvd. (southwest corner of McFerson Park).
Recover – Check out Tip #14 from our Medical Director, Dr. Ben Bring, that gives a list of tips on how to recover immediately after the race and later in the day.
Sunday culminates months of hard work. You are ready. You can do this. We can’t wait to see you.