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Spirit Award

Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon logo

The annual Lashutka Spirit Awards honor former Columbus Mayor Greg Lashutka, who helped launch the Columbus Marathon in 1980.  Each year we honor a select group of people for their efforts to inspire others or overcome obstacles or challenges to take part in OUR race.  This may be people facing their own health difficulties, struggles or injuries, as well as those who are helping others fight these battles. 

“The Lashutka Spirit Award is a way for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon to recognize individuals who inspire and embody perseverance and strength. They are a testament to our sport and this event and it’s always an incredible privilege to celebrate them and their accomplishments.” – Darris Blackford, Race Director.

SA Justin Boggs.jpeg
SA Harry Shood.jpeg

2023 Lashutka Spirit Award Winners


Jimmy Barker | Dublin, OH 

Jimmy Barker is a veteran runner and pillar of the central Ohio running community. But during the winter of 2022 when his wife – Melissa Barker – was battling a terminal illness, he stepped away from running to be by her side. Melissa wouldn't let Jimmy give up on his own dreams. She committed him to a new goal and signed him up for the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon. Since losing Melissa, he's been raising his children, operating his family business, and focusing his limited free time on fulfilling his promise to Melissa to continue chasing his passions.



Justin Boggs | Columbus, Ohio

Justin started running in 2020 and has since lost more than 240 lbs. as part of his weight management program. Not only has Justin experienced the health benefits of running, but also the social and community aspects as he is dedicated to the Columbus community. He joined the Columbus Westside Running Club when he moved back to Columbus last year and says he loves running with them because “it’s not just about fitness but getting to spend time with good people.” He assists in leading local block parties, has helped organize 18 “Hilltop Night Out” events, and encourages community relationships wherever he goes.


Matthew Hill | Little Hocking, OH 

Ten years ago, at 18 years old, Matthew was diagnosed with cancer, which resulted in the amputation of his right leg. Now, 10 years after his life was saved at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, he plans to run the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon as an amputee, setting his sights on raising $26,200 for Childhood Cancer Research and helping children who are facing the journey he went through himself.

Harry Shood | Salem, OH

Harry Shood was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006 and underwent chemotherapy for 6 months and drug treatments for an additional 2 years. Every 5 years, Harry finds a challenging way to celebrate remission and, to celebrate his 15th year, he and his wife are running the 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus ½ Marathon. Neither Harry nor his wife consider themselves runners, as a 5K they completed years ago is the furthest they have run. However, their son ran the marathon 2 years ago and challenged them to train for and complete the 1/2 Marathon this year.

Cassidy Trem | Aurora, OH

Cassidy ran cross country for one year in middle school but her love for running was rekindled during the pandemic. She had a goal of completing a half marathon, and did so unofficially with her brother, only to be diagnosed with pancreatitis and Covid within the span of a couple weeks after meeting her goal. While getting back into running and rebuilding her stamina, she was struck by a car in March of 2021, breaking her tibia plateau in her knee/leg, shattering her running dreams. After working day and night to get back to running, Cassidy aims to complete the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon – her first marathon -- before turning 18 years old.

Read more about Cassidy HERE.

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