26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #26

Final Reminders

ONE. MORE. DAY.

Are you ready?

The 2021 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 41st marathon, and our 15th 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 11 board members, hundreds of marathons and ½ marathons have been completed, including our races many times. Whether this is your first race or 41st, here are some last-minute ideas 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.
  • 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!).

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.
  • 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 Patient Champions will be at every mile to keep you going. Remember, you’ve worked hard for this – enjoy it!

Post-Race:

  • Celebrate – Congratulations! You have crossed the finish line and completed an amazing feat. Regardless of distance, pace and records, it is time to celebrate, reunite with friends and family, shake out your legs and remember to hit that PR Gong!
  • Recover – Check out blog #14 from our Medical Director, Dr. Darrin Bright, 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 tomorrow morning.

We hope you’ve enjoyed our 26 Tips for 26.2 Miles Blog Series! 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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #25

Celebrate After Finishing

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

Many athletes spend months preparing for the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. Finishing the race is a massive accomplishment, and we encourage you to celebrate right away!

Celebrations begin immediately after crossing the finish line. It is where athletes will get their medals and a quick bite to eat. Gear check will be nearby (at Spring St. and McConnell); so, picking up items should be simple and quick.

Athletes will be able to meet their families at the Family Reunion area next to Gear Check, and if they set a personal record can ring one of TWO PR gongs to celebrate their best time.  And while you’re in downtown Columbus with your family, be sure to support our local restaurants—there are many great options all within walking distance.

Most importantly, there will be ample space to truly reflect on the achievement of running a full or 1/2 marathon. You’ve worked hard and sacrificed countless hours to make Sunday happen. Take time to celebrate!

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #24

Packet Pick-Up

To ensure everyone has a safe and enjoyable race experience, the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon created specific rules for packet pickup.

Pickup Overview:

We do not offer packet pickup on race day. All race packets must be picked up during Expo hours. If you cannot pick up your race packet, you can have someone pick it up for you, but that person must have a copy of your ID (a photo on their phone is OK), as well as their own photo ID.

Pick up your 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon participant bib, t-shirt, bib tag timing device and clear, gear check bag at the Health & Fitness Expo in Exhibit Hall D of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Expo hours are Friday, Oct. 15, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Make sure you have your photo ID.  There are no exceptions if you do not have your ID.

(Note: Athletes will receive the race t-shirt corresponding to the event in which they are entered, i.e., someone registered for the full marathon will receive a full marathon t-shirt, even if they signed up for the full marathon but only intend to complete the ½ Marathon. Again, there are no exceptions.)

What If Friends or Family Want to Pick Up Your Number for Me?

If someone is picking up a race packet for you, they will need to first visit the “Proxy Pick Up station” and provide:

  1. Their ID
  2. The participant’s ID they’re picking up for (a clear photo of the ID on a phone or smart device is acceptable)
  3. Completed Proxy Form
  4. New for 2021! A copy or image of the participant’s proof of Covid vaccine or negative Covid test taken between October 13–16.

PLEASE NOTE:

• If any of the information is missing on the form, it will not be approved; and

No person may pick up more than two (2) race numbers in addition to their own.

And a reminder: While we allow “proxy” pickup as a service for our runners, only the registered runner may run the race with the bib.

Can Registration Packets Be Mailed in Advance?

No

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #23

Road Closings in Columbus on Race Day

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

Getting around the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Course should be top of mind for an athlete. With the race being this weekend, here are some reminders to help you, your friends and your family get around Columbus on Sunday.

Street closures at the combined Start/Finish line:

  • Starting on Thursday, Oct. 14, various roads in the North Bank Park area will be closed to road traffic.
  • Long St. between High St. to the East and Hocking St. to the West will close at 9:30 a.m. On Friday, Oct. 15.
  • Spring St. will be closed from West St. to the east, and Hocking St. to the west at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16.
  • Neil Ave. will be closed from Nationwide Blvd. to the combined Start/Finish line at Long St. at 11 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 16 (NOTE: Nationwide will still be open to get to various parking garages).

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #22

Emergency Action Plan

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

This Emergency Action Plan, in place should we experience inclement weather, is one we hope to never have to use. 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.

The most important thing our team can do is keep athletes, volunteers and spectators as safe as possible 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. We advise you to 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 “21RACEALERTS” to 888-777. You will receive a welcome message and be all set to receive notices as they are issued.

As in past years, you can also sign up for the RTRT.me Mobile App and enable alerts to be directly notified of changes in course conditions and emergency actions.

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.

One final thought: runners often throw away expensive rain gear during the race when they realize it’s not needed. Here’s a quick video that could save you some money or time at gear check on race day.

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #21

Corrals & Pace Teams

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

In an abundance of caution and to create the safest environment possible as we return to racing during a pandemic, we will not be offering pace teams, which actively encourage running closely in groups.

If running alone has you worried—please don’t be! With thousands of other runners, walkers, volunteers and spectators, you will be far from alone on race day.

There will be five corrals on race day. Athletes will need to enter at the “Athlete Only” signs at the intersection of Neil and Spring Streets to make their way to a corral. If your estimated finishing time has drastically changed since you registered, please visit the CORRAL SOLUTIONS booth at the Expo to be placed in the proper corral. If you’d like to be in a later corral than your current assignment, simply move back on race morning. A recent race result may be requested for significant changes.

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #20

Follow Family & Friends with Real Time Race Tracking

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

For every person who participates in a marathon or half-marathon, there are dozens of people who helped provide support to make the journey possible. Those friends and family can be anywhere in the world and track a runner’s progress on race day.

The 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Live Results is now available via web for free here.  Download the RTRT.me Mobile App and select the 2021 Columbus Marathon event. Participants, family and friends can all use Live Results to share in the excitement.

On Race Day, spectators can get status of participants in real-time using the Live Tracker & Leaderboard. Details such as time, pace, position on the map and estimated finish will be instantly available. The information will be based on five checkpoints along the course (start, 4.3 miles, 13.1 miles, 16 miles, 20 miles and finish). You can receive notifications via the online Web Tracker, mobile app with push notifications, or email.

There are other popular features including:

  • Live Web Tracker – See times and current pace within seconds of a participant crossing each split point. Estimated times will be provided based on current pace.
  • Live Leaderboard – See who is winning via the Live Leaderboard. Top runners in each category will be displayed in real-time as they lead the way through the course.
  • Live Map Tracking – Participant locations will be plotted on the Interactive Course Map as progress is made on course. The position of each participant is estimated based on the most recent timing received from the bib read. NOTE: Participants do not need to carry their phones for this feature to work.
  • Mobile App – Features include Live Participant Tracking, Push Notifications, Leaderboards, Map Tracking, Event Messages, Event Info and more.
  • Please note: Live Tracking results are unofficial. Official results are posted upon completion of the event.

NOTE: It may take a couple days for your information to be transmitted to our RTRT team if you sign up for the Columbus Marathon or ½ Marathon after October 13th, so you may not be able to register for RTRT immediately. Those registering at the Health & Fitness Expo will not be able to set up their Real-Time Race Tracking until Saturday evening.

We want as many people as possible to share in your success. Let Real-Time Race Tracking do the work for you on race day! 

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #19

Eating Right Before the Race

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

What you eat before the race can play a major role in helping you be as comfortable and fast as possible during your race.  That’s why today’s tip offers some ideas on how to eat right before racing.

Race Director Darris Blackford says knowing what to eat to get yourself through the race takes practice. Each runner needs to learn what works and what doesn’t in terms of refueling.  Here’s a one-minute video that explains why testing different food ideas is worth your time.

​Blackford also recommends fueling your race 2-3 days before the race begins. This Runners World article suggests how you can get the right amount of carbohydrates before a race. In the article: “Carbs are a good source of glucose, a form of sugar that our brain, nerves, and muscles need to function… When you deplete your stores, your muscles and brain run out of fuel and you feel physically fatigued and mentally drained. ‘Hitting the wall’ is essentially your brain and muscles running out of carbs.”

Staying hydrated is also smart fuel energy. There are 17 Fluid Stations along the course, supplying Gatorade Lemon Lime Endurance Formula® at the first set of tables and non-carbonated water at the second set of tables. We will also feature CLIF SHOTS (Vanilla, Chocolate and Raspberry flavors) at approximately miles 8 and 15.5. Here is the full map and ½ map with the fluid and gel stations listed.

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #18

Spectators Guide

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

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 Patient Champions: 24 miles are represented by a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, one is dedicated as an Angel Mile for the special children who have been taken too soon, and one is an “encore mile” for the Patient Champions from past years. 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 is helping ill and injured children.
  • Broad Street Presbyterian Church (760 E. Broad Street): Starting at 7 a.m., BSPC will open its doors to all spectators to come inside for hot coffee and treats, restrooms, and warm conversation. Spectators can come and go as they please and enjoy the hospitality center shortly before mile two. Broad Street Presbyterian Church also has a 160-spot parking lot that is free to the public. Go to bspc.org for more info.  
  • Drexel and Main Streets in Bexley: A perfect place to take in the fall colors and amazing homes as the athletes pass by. 
  • 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. and there will be great viewing opportunities for spectators at the park at Livingston and Parsons Avenues. There will be different bands, butterflies on stilts and hundreds of signs that represent those 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 152nd anniversary 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.
  • Grandview Heights: Spectators will enjoy Grandview Avenue with its unique neighborhood boutiques, incredible restaurants and outdoor seating perfect for grabbing a cup o’ joe 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 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.  

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!

26 Tips for 26.2 Miles: Tip #17

Gear Check

Welcome to our annual “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” blog series. Every day leading up to the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, athletes and spectators can get daily tips to make the most of the race experience. From parking to food to cool viewing spots to race and weather rules, we do our best to cover every step of the process. We are here to help you make the most of your experience.

The 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon team encourages your feedback. We listen to our athletes and spectators. That’s why we take great pride in making sure you get off to your best start on race day.

An efficient gear check makes sure you can focus on the journey ahead. The race starts at 7:30 a.m. The corrals open up at 6:00 a.m. With more than 15,000 parking spots near North Bank Park, you should be able to get from your car to the start quickly. We always recommend doubling your commute time downtown in order to prepare for traffic.

Participants can drop off and pick up their gear in the same location – at the Gear Check Tent at the corner of Spring St. and McConnell Blvd. (southwest corner of McFerson Park). It’s convenient and easy if you follow a few simple rules that help optimize the safety of athletes and spectators:

  • We will only accept the clear Gear Check Bags you receive at the Health & Fitness Expo during your packet pick-up.
  • All items you wish to check must be in these bags.
  • We will not accept any other bags, boxes, luggage, etc. No exceptions.
  • All items being carried at or near the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon are subject to inspection.

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