2014 Boston Marathon Guess-a-thon

Photo Apr 13, 8 13 22 PMDid you know that each year, nearly 20 percent of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon participants qualify for the Boston Marathon? (Not surprising – after all, you guys are awesome in every way!) But whether you’re lacing up for Boston or kicking back to watch and relax, you can participate in the marathon fun!

To celebrate one of the biggest races of the year, we’re bringing back our Boston Marathon Guess-a-thon Contest and giving you FOUR chances to win a $100 gas card! The contest starts today and runs until 9 a.m. on April 21, just before the start of the Boston Marathon. Post your best guess of the times for the fastest finishers on our Facebook wall, Twitter page and Instagram posts. Make sure to get specific – it could all come down to the seconds!

Here’s how you can win.

Guess the finishing times for:

  • Fastest male from Ohio
  • Fastest female from Ohio
  • Fastest American male
  • Fastest American female

Four winners will be chosen – one for each category – and will each receive a $100 gas card!

Contest rules: Winners may only win once, and we will accept the next best guess in order to determine the winner if one participant guesses the right time in more than one category. If ties arise, we will pick a name out of a hat to determine the winners. Share your best guess on our Facebook timeline, Twitter, or Instagram post within the time frame. Also, be sure to include @Cbusmarathon in your Twitter response so that we see it!

Ready, set, guess!

14 Songs to Put an Extra “Spring” in Your Step

Is there anything better than the first few warm, sunny and all-around beautiful days of spring? The days when winter is officially behind us (knock on wood) and we can finally stop worrying about how many layers we’ll need to throw on before heading out for a run, but don’t quite have to worry about overheating. A.k.a. the best running days ever.

We don’t know about you, but as soon as we get a taste of these perfect days, we get a huge case of spring fever – meaning new running shoes, new workout clothes, new races, and of course, a new spring playlist!

To help put a spring in your step, we put together a Spotify playlist perfect for your next run, based off of song suggestions from our Facebook fans (and a few of our own faves!). You can listen online here, or click on the “Spring Tunes” playlist below!


Make sure to follow us on Spotify here to stay updated on our new playlists we’ll be creating leading up to this year’s race. Have a song suggestion? Tell us in the comments below!

Top Songs to Pump Up Your Run

We’ve all been there while training for the marathon or ½ marathon – only halfway through the miles and already feeling sore, drained, unmotivated and utterly exhausted.

Then, it happens. The perfect song comes on just in time and everything changes. The beat pushes you forward, the sore muscles no longer matter and the rest of the workout is a breeze – you could almost do the whole thing all over again! (Almost.)

Recently, we asked our Facebook followers what songs keep them moving when they reach that crucial point in the middle of a run and they didn’t disappoint! Of your suggestions, we picked 20 songs most likely to get you motivated on those tough training days and compiled them into a playlist on Spotify, an online radio where you can create customized music playlists. You can listen online here, or check out our “Pump Up Songs” playlist below!

Make sure to follow us on Spotify here to stay updated on our new playlists we’ll be creating leading up to this year’s race. Have a song suggestion? Tell us in the comments below!

Make a Difference, Become a Children’s Champion Today

MotivationThere are few feelings greater than finishing a marathon or 1/2 marathon. After months of sweat, sore muscles and hard work, crossing the finish line marks the end of an incredible journey. But believe it or not, there is a way to make those 13.1 and 26.2 miles even more rewarding.

This year, become a Children’s Champion and make a difference to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital and its 2014 Miracle Mile Patient Champions.

Children’s Champions are Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon participants who choose to run or walk for the marathon or 1/2 marathon while fundraising for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

As a Children’s Champion, you’ll be doing much more than reaching your own personal training goals. With each mile logged and dollar earned you’ll be supporting an organization that takes care of every child that walks through its doors, regardless of their diagnosis or the family’s ability to pay.

During the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon, each mile will be dedicated to one of 24 Miracle Mile Patient Champions who have shared their stories to inspire you. There will also be one Angel Mile to honor, remember, and celebrate those who are no longer with us and one Encore Mile, for the patients who lined the course in 2012 and 2013.

If you’d like to make a lasting impact on these children by becoming a Children’s Champion, visit the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Children’s Champions website to get started. Once you’re there, you can sign up as an individual, create a team or join an existing team, plus help recruit additional Children’s Champions and raise money for the hospital. Here’s how to sign up:

  1. Go to “Children’s Champions: Start Fundraising
  2. Click “Join Now” to begin the registration process
  3. Once your page has been created, you can begin to spread the word about it, recruit team members or ask for donations

Thank you to all of the past, present and future Children’s Champions. We can’t wait to see you again this October.

Registration is now OPEN!


Happy Groundhog Day! It may still be winter, but we’re already dreaming about sweaty summer training days! Grab your water bottle and lace up your running shoes because registration for the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is officially open!

There’s no need to pace yourself during registration; early bird prices are only available until March 31st and are just $75 for the marathon and $60 for the 1/2 marathon. Keep in mind there is a 7,000-person limit for the Marathon and an 11,000-person limit for the ½ Marathon, so don’t wait to sign up for this event (especially since we’ve sold out seven years in a row)!  For more information and our policy on registration transfers and switching races, click here.

Will we see you at the start line? The journey begins here. Register today.

Join Us Monday for a Virtual Registration Party!

InviteRegistration for the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon opens on Sunday but if you’re like us, you just can’t contain your excitement to one day. That’s why we’ve decided to continue the celebration on Monday, Feb. 3 with a Virtual Registration Party!

Join us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. to participate in a series of fun events throughout the day. As an added bonus, anyone who comments, shares or @-replies during any of the events will be entered for a chance to win a free marathon registration!

No matter where you are located, all fans of the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon are encouraged to come together online and celebrate the beginning of the incredible journey to the finish line. And, in case you can’t join us for the entire party, we’ve included the schedule of activities so you can come and go.

Virtual Registration Party Schedule:

All Day:

  • Wear a past Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Shirt. If this will be your first race, wear another item that proudly shows you’re a runner/walker.
  • Change your social media avatar to the Columbus Marathon participant badge. (We’ll share the badge on our social channels first thing Monday morning)

10 a.m. – I’m participating because…:

  • Share and comment on our photo telling us why you’re participating in the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon!  We’ll be posting the photo on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

11 a.m. – Favorite Memories:

  • Share your favorite memory from a past Columbus Marathon on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram! If this will be your first time participating in the Columbus Marathon, share a favorite memory from any past race.  Feel free to post photos, quotes, comments, etc. — and don’t forget to tag them with #cbusmarathon!

Noon – Twitter Hashtag Trivia:

  • Think you know the Columbus Marathon? Join us on Twitter and see if you can answer our trivia questions! Beginning at noon, we’ll ask a question every 15 minutes. Know the answer? @-reply us with the answer and add the hashtag #cbusmarathon! The first person to reply with the correct answer will get a $25 gift certificate to Second Sole (note: one prize per person). Trivia answers can be found at http://www.columbusmarathon.com/ and on our blog.

1 p.m. – Patient Champion Hour:

2 p.m. – Registration Give Away:

  • We’ll wrap up our Virtual Registration Party by giving away a free registration to the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon! A winner will randomly be selected and contacted during this hour.

If aren’t already, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to participate. We hope you join us on Monday! It’s time to get excited for the 2014 race!

You’re invited! 2014 Columbus Marathon Early Registration

Registration Invite

Regardless of whether or not Punxsutawney Phil (or Buckeye Chuck) sees his shadow, one thing you can count on during Groundhog Day is registration opening for the 2014 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon!

Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 2 at midnight and don’t miss out on early registration opening online for the most inspiring, challenging and rewarding event of the year.

Thinking about being “fashionably late” to register for this event? Think again: We have a 7,000-person limit for the Marathon and an 11,000-person limit for the 1/2 Marathon … and last year both sold out before September 30.

If you need an extra nudge, “early bird” prices of $75 for the marathon and $60 for the 1/2 marathon are available for anyone who registers between February 2 and March 31. We’re committed to bringing you an outstanding race at an affordable cost, which is why prices have not increased for the 3rd year in a row.

Below are registration prices after March 31:

  • Until May 31: Marathon $85; 1/2 Marathon $70
  • Until June 30: Marathon $95; 1/2 Marathon $80
  • Until July 31: Marathon $105; 1/2 Marathon $90
  • Until Online Registration Closes/Sells Out: Marathon $115; 1/2 Marathon 100

Planning to register on Feb. 2? RSVP so that you receive a friendly reminder on Facebook here: http://bit.ly/CMRegistrationRSVP

Stay tuned as we announce more exciting events closer to registration day. See you at the start line!

2013 Holiday Gift Guide for Runners and Walkers

The holidays are almost here and time is running out to finish your shopping list! If you’re still struggling to find the perfect gift for the runners or walkers in your life (or just need ideas for your own wish list), take a look at our Holiday Gift Guide below. We’ve found the best gifts for every type of runner.

For the First-Time Marathoner: Training Package


Make sure your runner/walker is prepared for their very first marathon by gifting them a personalized training package. We recommend including membership to a virtual training program like RunCoach, a gift certificate for a massage after the race, and a big frame for their finish line photo!

For the Music Lover: Yurbud Earphones + Tempo Run App


Designed for athletes, Yurbuds earphones are water and sweat resistant, designed to not fall out during exercise, and still let in ambient noise – perfect for runners or walkers. Pair this with the Tempo Run App, an app that sorts and plays your music to match the pace of your run, and you have the perfect gift for the music lover.

For the Athlete Who Has Everything: A Donation to the NCH Patient Champions

NCH patient champs

The holidays are all about giving. This year, give a gift to a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champion in the name of your favorite runner and help a child in need.

For the Nutritionist: Clif Bar Snacks

clif bar

Stock your runner up with some nutritious and delicious fuel from Clif Bar. From Clif Shot Energy Gels to the classic Clif Bar, this is just the healthy snack any runner needs for their next long-distance trek.

For the Data-Driven Athlete: Nike+ Fuelband SE

nike fuelband

For the runner or walker who obsessively logs their miles, tracks their progress and keeps count of calories, the Nike+ Fuelband SE is the perfect gift for them.

For the Marathon Junkie: Medals Display Rack or Lasting Commemoratives Medal and Bib Dipslay

Medals Rack

This race bib and medal display rack has plenty of space for all of the medals your favorite marathoner has collected over the years.  They’ve worked hard for the bibs and medals they earned; help them show off in style!

If your runner would prefer a framed display themed around their favorite marathon, check out these products from Lasting Commemoratives. They’re even offering Columbus marathoners a special holiday deal! Now through the end of the year, receive 20 percent off and free shipping by entering the promo code ColumbusHoliday. Order by Dec. 18 to get your gift by Christmas Eve.

For the Techie: 180s Foundation Gloves

180s Foundation Gloves

Built with ALLTouch and QuantumHeat technology, these 180s Foundation Gloves make the perfect stocking stuffer for runners using a training or music app on their touchscreen this winter.

For the All-Weather Athlete: Life Proof iPhone Case

Life Proof Case

For the runner/walker who isn’t afraid of a little rough weather, the Life Proof Nüüd iPhone 5s case is ideal. It’s water, dirt, snow and shock proof – allowing your athlete to get their workout on no matter the season.

For the Fashion-Forward Athlete:

second sole gift certificate

Let the fashionable runners and walkers in your life pick out their own workout outfits by stashing a Second Sole gift certificate in their stocking. You can never have too much running gear!

For the News Junkie: Subscription to Runner’s World

Runners world

Help your favorite runner or walker keep up on all the latest running news and training tips by gifting a subscription to Runner’s World magazine.

For Any Marathoner: Registration to the 2014 Columbus Marathon


This gift ranks number one on our list (for slightly biased reasons). From novices to veterans, show your support for their marathon goals by offering to buy their registration to the Columbus Marathon.  We’ll be announcing soon when registration opens up early next year.

We hope these gift ideas have inspired you and made your shopping a little easier this year. From all of us at the Columbus Marathon, have a happy holiday!

What Are You Thankful For?

We Ask, You AnswerFrom our fastest sellout in history to raising a record amount of money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, we have a lot to be thankful for this year. We could talk for hours about how much we appreciate our participants, volunteers and fans and their ongoing support of the marathon, but instead, we want to hear from you what you’re thankful for when it comes to running or walking.

We asked our marathoners and 1/2 marathoners to share their thoughts on Facebook earlier this week. Click here to read the full list of responses, and check out a few that stuck out to us below. And, don’t forget to add yours when you’re done reading!

  • I started running for the Canton Half-Marathon in 2012 just to see if I could do it, after years of telling myself that I couldn’t. I had a good experience and kept it up last year during one of the most stressful years at work that I’ve ever had. I am thankful that I took the risk, tried it and now love it! I am thankful that I am able to do it, that it gets me outside and out of my head and that I now have a connection to lots of runners! – Becky Blackford
  • I’m thankful for my organ donor/family. I received a heart transplant in 2004. Prior to that it was a challenge to do daily tasks; I plan on participating in my 4th half marathon in Oct 2014. I think sometimes we take the daily tasks such as walking to the restroom, vacuuming, even going to the grocery store, for granted until you cannot do them. – Bobbi Shaffer
  • I am thankful that I can run, thankful for all the lessons I learned and thankful that my family runs with me. – Alana Jensen
  • I am thankful for my brother and sister-in-law who got me into running. I have only been running for about a year and a half and have already completed three 5Ks, one 5-miler, and two half-marathons, and I know there are lots more to come. I am also thankful for all the spectators who are there to pick my spirits up. – Jason Stephen Jackson
  • I’m thankful for the great feeling of accomplishment! Never did I ever expect to even attempt let alone complete a half marathon! – Nicci Basil Swint
  • I am no longer addicted to cigarettes or to anything else harmful. I don’t need to drink to escape my problems any longer, because I can go for a run and quiet and overcome them all. I no longer feel angry at the entire world. I am no longer depressed. I am no longer overweight. I don’t have high blood pressure any longer. I am not who I once was, any longer, because running set me free, showed me who I really am, and introduced me to countless wonderful people who show me every single day that the human spirit can triumph over anything. – Ryan Gilbert
  • Real simple.. Thankful that I can do it. – Rob Belt
  • I’m thankful that running can be done literally everywhere you go. I’ve gotten to run on two continents and 8 countries over the past year. – Paul Christopher Hopkins
  • I am thankful for my amazing running friends who are always there to support me at just the right time. Whether it is helping me through training runs, encouraging me when I battled through injuries, or cheering me on at a race, my running friends are the best! – Dave Parsons
  • I decided to run the 2012 Columbus marathon after losing my Mom to leukemia. Though I was never a runner, I wanted to honor her in a big way. Through running, I discovered healing in a way I had never known. Hitting the pavement, looking at the stars, reconnecting with God…Wow. I am so thankful that running not only made me healthier, it helped heal my heart after losing my best friend, my Mom. – Stephanie Daniels
  • I am thankful that I have the right mindset to go out and run! No excuses, just me believing in myself to go the distances. – Blaire Courtnee
  • I have always supported my marathon man husband who has been running for 46 years. He encouraged me to start running even though I’ve walked for exercise for 39 years. I celebrated my one year running anniversary at the Columbus Hot Chocolate race last weekend. On Monday I saw my doctor. My blood pressure dropped dramatically within that year; she took me off of my osteo meds since my bone mineral density had improved considerably. There is no question that I owe these results to running. – Marnette Roth Severance
  • I am thankful for the time it gives me alone with my 12 year old son. He runs XC and the time we train together is my favorite time of the day, week and month. Just the two of us and I let him talk about whatever he wants. Getting to know the young man he has become is priceless! – Jeff Powell

What are you thankful for this year? Let us know in the comments or tell us on Facebook and Twitter. 

Guest Post: The Marathon is a Columbus Gem

Matt McCoy, author of the 610WTVN.com sports blog, shares his experience as a returning participant in this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon:

Back in 1988 when I was much younger and more athletic, I ran the Columbus Marathon. It is still the one and only time I’ve run the full 26.2 miles. It was a fantastic experience but unfortunately my running days were short-lived.  Shin splits and back issues took me off the road and onto the couch for more than two decades.

A few years back, as a father of two kids, and at the urging of my wife, I decided it was time to live a more healthy lifestyle. I started exercising every day, mixing aerobic work with strength training and got myself in decent shape.

In the spring of 2012, my daughter signed up for a half-mile run in Gahanna. I helped her get ready by doing short jogs with her and found myself enjoying being on the road. It inspired me to start running again, which I did for about two weeks. That’s when the old back issues started again.

Rather than give up on it, I turned to something my back and shins could handle…walking. So I added two to three walks per week to my exercise routine. To give myself something to shoot for, I made a goal to return to the Columbus Marathon. This time as a walker, and doing the half.

The experience last year was so enjoyable, my new goal became to make it a yearly event so Sunday, I walked the 13.1 miles for a second year in a row.

With 20,000 people doing the Columbus Marathon or Half-Marathon, it’s obviously an event that continues to grow in popularity and once you experience it, you know why. Any physical pain involved is overcome by the thousands who line the streets. The countless bands playing music, the volunteers at water stations, the people on hand to cheer on loved ones and/or strangers make each step that much easier.

The other athletes are equally inspiring. I saw runners and walkers who were doing the race in remembrance of a lost loved one…some were on the course to raise awareness to a particular cause…each mile is dedicated to patients at Nationwide Children’s Hospital…I saw firefighters, in full gear, on the course…and runners with shirts indicating they were cancer survivors. Awesome.

There are also those who deliver inspiration through humor. It’s bit blurry because I was walking, but the shirt below made me chuckle at mile four.

if you can read this

I also saw a shirt which read “Stopping at 26.2 miles or when the Browns make the playoffs…whichever comes first.” The supporters who lined the streets kept the mood light as well, like the sign in Bexley that said “Look alive…mortuary ahead.” There were also plenty of “Kick Asphalt” and “You’re running better than the Government” signs.

My personal favorite signs though were the two below…made by my daughter Ana and my son Jonathan.

go dad

walk this way

I guess the message here is, if you’re like I was a few years ago, and looking for a reason to get off the couch, circle the Columbus Marathon as a goal. It’s for runners and walkers of all skill levels, from the exceptionals to the beginners. Best of all, however is every runner or walker has their own story.

It took me 2 hours 54 minutes and 59 seconds to walk my 13.1 miles…and I enjoyed every step and every second…and I’ll be back next year.

This post originally ran on Matt McCoy’s Sports Blog on 610 WTVN.