26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #11: Gather Inspiration from Our Spirit Award Winners

Tip11SpiritAwardWinners.pngAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will spotlight 10 runners and walkers out of a field of 18,000 who have overcome enormous obstacles to train for and participate in the marathon or ½ marathon. These people have been given the title of Spirit Award winners and will be recognized at a VIP reception and at the start line. Following are their stories – we hope you are as inspired as we are by them!

Chrissie Lukuch Antonoplos, Blacklick, Ohio

chrissie-3Chrissie is celebrating the 13.1-year anniversary of having open-heart surgery from a congenital heart defect by competing in her first 1/2 marathon.  A long supporter of heart warriors and their families, Chrissie is a champion of the Beads of Courage program (an arts-in-medicine supportive care program for children coping with serious illness), volunteers with the Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities and is using her talents as a cupcake artist to raise money as a Children’s Champion.  Never considering herself a victim, Chrissie is always looking for ways to support others and does so with a huge smile on her face (and often a cupcake in her hands).

Richard Dickerman, Churubusco, Indiana

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Two years ago, Richard “Dick” Dickerman was 80+ lbs. heavier and ran a 13:40 minute mile.  Following his participation in Fort Wayne’s Smallest Winner program (a 12-week program where 25 people have an opportunity to change their lifestyle through professional training and expert nutritional assistance), Dick lost 57 lbs. and participated in his first 10K in 1:15.  Today, Dick can run a mile in 7:25 minutes. Along with the pounds, he shed his introverted and self-conscious self and is now confidently participating in his first marathon at age 60.  Anyone who can transform themselves inside and out like Dick has deserves to be recognized.

 

Jeff Dodge, Marysville, Ohio 

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In 2015 a health scare caused Jeff to take charge of his health for himself and his family.  By changing his diet and adding exercise to his life—first walking, then biking and then running.  Jeff used running as his vessel to a healthier version of himself and participated in his first 10K this past June.  He will participate in his first full marathon on Oct. 16—healthy, happy and determined.

 

 

Laura Fitzpatrick, Columbus, Ohio

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Laura is running this year in memory of her son Judah.  Judah was a patient at Nationwide Children’s Hospital who suffered from cancer and passed away last September at 26 months of age.  Last year, Laura cheered on the runners at the Angel Mile (mile #11 of the course) in honor of Judah.  This year, she will run her first marathon with each mile representing the precious months Judah was alive.

 

 

Susan Hardt, Mars, Pennsylvania

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Susan has suffered from osteoarthritis for more than 30 years and three years ago was diagnosed with hip dysplasia, which led to a hip replacement surgery.  Known for always pushing her limits, Susan would not let any of her physical limitations interrupt her passion for running.  Susan is running this year’s 1/2 marathon with her new hip and proving that nothing will get in her way of doing what she loves.

 

Rachel Mathewson, Bluffton, OH

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Rachel is no stranger to running but her training came to a halt a few years ago when, after escaping an abusive relationship, she found herself raising her young daughter alone, and put her running aside. Frustrated by her health and weight gain, she laced up her running shoes in January of this year and lost 50 lbs. and became the much-loved long distance coach of the Lima Striders (a local community youth track and field team).  She is a hands-on coach who encourages and motivates.  Rachel lives to run and spreads that joy to children!

Stephanie Orwick, Randolph, Ohio

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A rapid weight gain of 50 lbs. and severe exhaustion in 2012 led to a diagnosis of a pituitary gland tumor near Stephanie’s brain.  The tumor produced high levels of hormones and impaired her health.  Stephanie began treatment and used running as her main form of exercise to lose the weight gain caused by the tumor.  While preparing to run in her second 1/2 marathon this spring, doctors discovered that one of her hormone levels was dangerously low before the race and suggested she might not be able to participate.  Not one to ever give up, Stephanie received a hormone injection the evening before; and the morning of the race she was given the green light to run.  Through running and her dedication, Stephanie inspires others and raises awareness about pituitary adenomas.

Kathy Peterson, Ashtabula, Ohio

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Kathy is a smart, funny and legally blind champion who ran her first 1/2 marathon this spring.  Each September, she hosts a local race to raise money for The Race to Cure Blindness, a fundraising program where participants utilize a marathon, triathlon, bike race, or other racing event as a platform to raise money for the Foundation Fighting Blindness. Kathy is participating in her first full marathon .

David Tischler. Clyde, Ohio

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Dave was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis or AS (a form of arthritis that primarily affects the spine) when he was in high school.  Three years ago, Dave’s health was also plagued with high blood pressure and cholesterol, along with being insulin dependent and overweight.  Since then, Dave lost 50 lbs. and no longer needs insulin.  He ran his first 1/2 marathon in December of 2015 and will run in the full marathon in Columbus.  Dave is committed to sharing how people with AS can run and be healthy.

Nathan Wintringer, Orchard Park, New York

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Nathan is the father of Ella, a miracle mile patient, and husband to Jamie.  Jamie is an avid runner who runs to raise awareness for her daughter’s medical condition and gives Ella her medals to award her for her bravery, strength and resilience.  This year, Jamie is unable to run because of recent ankle reconstruction surgery.  This is where Spirit Award winner, Nathan comes in.  Nathan, who admits to not especially enjoying, running, will participate in this year’s full marathon for his daughter and wife.  Training injuries aside, Nathan is determined to cross the finish line and put his medal on his daughter, Ella.

 

Please ask any questions in the comment section below. You’re also welcome to connect with the marathon team on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #10: Find Race Day Fuel.

Tip10RaceDayFuel.pngAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Staying hydrated might be the most important thing an athlete can do during a marathon and ½ marathon.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon wants to make sure all athletes know where and when they can fuel up during the race.

There are 18 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 (Mocha, Raspberry, Citrus and Vanilla) flavors at approximately miles 8 and 17. Please note the Mocha and Citrus CLIF SHOTS contain caffeine.

Everything needed for a successful race is available from official fluid or medical stations. If you need something specific, you should carry it with you.

Each station will also have several porta-potties not too far from the tables if you need to make a pit stop. Here is the full map and ½ map with the Fluid & Gel Stations listed. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below!

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #9: Get Excited At The Start Line

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As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

A good start can propel an athlete to a personal best, qualify a runner for the Boston Marathon or help a first time competitor believe they can make it 13.1 or 26. 2 miles.  The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon wants the start of the race to be more than a countdown. It should be a celebration of the running community, energizing and just plain fun.

Our start line is a party that just happens to start at 7:30 a.m.  After getting to North Bank Park, checking in any gear and finding your start corral, the marathon team put together a series of events to make the start a memorable one:

  • There’s upbeat music to help you feel good about the journey ahead. And of course, we will get you pumped up right at the start of the Race with our “signature song” – AC/DC’s Thunderstruck
  • Leaders from across the city are on hand to wish you well.
  • Thousands of spectators line the start of the race, with news crews and helicopters there to capture the energy.
  • We may have gone over budget on the fireworks, but it’s worth it.

The start is also staggered. This way, athletes can more quickly find their pace and deal with less foot traffic in the first few miles of the race.

Race Day is months in the making. We want to make sure you get off to the best start possible both physically and mentally. Have fun; enjoy the moment, and we look forward to seeing you at the Finish Line.

Please ask any questions in the comment section below. You’re also welcome to connect with the marathon team on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

 

26 Tips for 26 Days. Tip #8: Taste and Tour Columbus

Tip8TasteAndTour.pngAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Columbus continues to earn national recognition as a growing hub of food and fun. As the nation’s 15th largest city, finding food, entertainment and shopping shouldn’t be a problem. For those visiting our city for the first time, here are some ideas to make the most of all the options around town race weekend.

Dining

Dine Originals Columbus is a collection of more than 35 locally and independently owned and operated restaurants that help define Columbus and make it a memorable city. Here’s a link to Dine Originals restaurants in Columbus – have fun loading up on carbs!

Getting Around

No car. No problem.  Getting around town is easy.

  • Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), 614-228-1776. Normal one-way bus fare is $2, express fare is $2.75. Kids under 48 inches tall are free with adults (limit 3) and taller kids up to age 12 are only $1 one-way. Additionally, the new CBUS runs a continuous loop from the Brewery District to the Short North for free. NOTE: buses to the start area aren’t operating early on Race Day, so you will need to make other plans to get to the start line on time.
  • CoGo Bike Share offers 300 bicycles at 30 stations. CoGo is fun, easy, affordable and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Car2Go – More than 250 Smart Cars are available in Columbus with a Car2Go membership. Members open the car with their member card and can easily go from A to B, park their car2go again and that’s that. It’s fun, saves money and helps the environment.
  • Tell your family and friends to ride their bikes to meet you at the Race! Yay Bikes will offer free, secure bike parking at the Start/Finish, and we also are promoting a self-guided bike tour of the course.
  • Yellow Taxi, 614-444-4444. The average fare from Port Columbus International Airport to downtown is $22. Uber is also around town.
  • Cars of all types are available to rent in every corner of the city. Check with Thrifty, Dollar and Enterprise.

Things to Do and See

For the thousands of you who are from outside of Columbus, make sure to check out Experience Columbus to see all the great attractions, entertainment, dining, shopping, museum and just general fun options available in Columbus.

And for those of you who want to take a closer look at some of the great communities the race course goes through and landmarks it passes by, check out the following:

Will you be exploring Columbus while you’re in town for this year’s race? If so, where are you headed? Let us know in the comments, or share on Facebook and Twitter!

 

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #7: But First: Safety

Tip7ButFirstSafety.pngAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The most important thing the race team can do at the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is keep you, your friends and your family safe during the race.

Our team spends all year working on various measures to help ensure a safe and secure event. Please abide by the following:

Gear Check: 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.

Inspections: All items being carried at or near the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon are subject to inspection.

Athlete-Only Areas: Participants in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon will have special access to athlete-only areas at the Start Line and Finish Line. Non-participants are not permitted in these areas.

No Family Run-In At Finish: Only athletes are permitted on the race course, including crossing the Finish Line. This is for the safety of all athletes, spectators, race and safety officials and volunteers. Any participant who is joined by a non-participant (including a child-in-arms) on any portion of the course and/or crossing the Finish Line, risks disqualification and a ban from future events.

Color-Coded Emergency Signs: A four-color sign system is used to provide information on weather conditions and emergency situations.

  • Green = Low Alert Level, Good Conditions.
  • Yellow = Moderate Alert Level, Less Than Ideal Conditions.
  • Red = High Alert Level, Potentially Dangerous Conditions.
  • Black = Extreme Alert Level, Event Cancelled/Extreme & Dangerous Conditions.

Please pay attention to the signs at all fluid stations and at the Start Line and Finish Line!

Medical Information: Please take a few moments and fill out the Medical Information on the back of your bib number. Every second counts in an emergency, and this information could be crucial!

Inclement Weather Policy: The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon puts the safety of its participants, spectators, staff and volunteers first. Dangerous weather conditions pose a unique challenge to an event this size. Therefore, we have adopted the following Inclement Weather Policy:

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

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. Possible changes include: Altering the start time or in extreme situations, cancellation of the event. Visible lightning will cause the race to be postponed for a minimum of 30 minutes. Additional sightings will continue to delay the race in 30-minute increments.

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

Please ask any questions in the comment section below. You’re also welcome to connect with the marathon team on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #6: Bands on the Run

tip6bandsontherunAs we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Mickey Hart traveled the world drumming for the Grateful Dead. For those participating in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, this quote seems fitting for the journey ahead. .

 “There’s nothing like music to relieve the soul and uplift it.”

Keeping athletes energized in mind and body is priority for our race team and volunteers. This year, there will be nearly 100 live bands, entertainers and radio stations lining the course to keep your and the party going. There’s music for every ear. From pop to techno to rock to folk to country, we want music to line every centimeter of the course.

Athletes and spectators can click here to find a complete list of entertainers and where they will perform on Race Day.

Have additional questions? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll be sure to get them answered!

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #5: Get Questions Answered Before The Race

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As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon is a world-class event. We take pride in offering a fast and fun experience for all athletes.

One of the best ways to do this is to be prepared prior to the start. Today’s tip will help address race rules and give you places to go to get any race questions answered prior to Race Day.

Race Rules:

Violation of any of these rules may result in disqualification. There are no exceptions to the rules:

  • Everything needed for a successful race is available from official fluid or medical stations. If you need something specific, you should carry it with you.
  • Non-registered runners may not run any part of the course. Course monitors and police have authority to remove unregistered runners from the course. This includes children running in with parents at the Finish. Anyone who does this risks disqualification and a ban from future events.
  • The only wheeled vehicles permitted on the course are official wheelchair entrants, pace vehicles, official bicycle spotters and approved wheeled devices. No baby strollers, dogs, in-line skates allowed.
  • Full marathon participants who are not maintaining a 13:44-minute mile pace and who don’t make it to High & Long St. (approximately Mile 12.5) by 10:51 a.m. will be urged to head to the Finish Line where they will be credited with an official ½ marathon finishing time and will receive other race participant benefits, including finish line food and a warming blanket. If an athlete chooses to continue following along the marathon course after this time, they will do so at their own risk. The water stops, entertainment areas, portable bathrooms, medical support, and Police and Fire/EMS services ahead will all be shut down. The Finish Line closes at 2 p.m.
  • Athletes will receive the finisher’s medal corresponding to the type of bib they are wearing, i.e., someone wearing a full marathon bib will receive a full marathon medal, even if they only complete the ½ Marathon.

These rules were carefully created with the runner’s safety in mind. If you have any questions, please check out our frequently asked questions page. You can also let us know in the comments below or ask us on Facebook and Twitter!

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #4: Bathroom Breakdown

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As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing daily tips to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Achieving a personal milestone requires constant concentration. The last thing an athlete should have to do is wonder where they need to go for a quick restroom break. Today’s tip will help alleviate those concerns for athletes and spectators lining the 26.2 mile course.

Tip #4: Bathroom Breakdown

The 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon will have 600 portable bathrooms available throughout the Start and Finish ares and along the 26.2-mile course.

  • In the “Athlete-Only” Start Area, there will be portable bathrooms in ALL Starting Corrals!
  • Portable bathrooms also are located just past every fluid station on the course. Here are course maps for both races.
  • For those who don’t want to wait as long, Children’s Champions will have special access to restrooms at the start. Or should we say a “VIPee” trailer, complete with running water! You can register to become a Children’s Champion through Race Day.

Have additional questions? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll be sure to get them answered!

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #3: Become A Children’s Champion

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As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is proud to be part of a community much larger than the 18,000 athletes, 3,000 volunteers and 100,000 spectators who participate every year. We believe our race is the most meaningful marathon in the country.

That’s because of our partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. For the fifth year in a row, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is honored to be the title beneficiary for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.

Tip #3: Become a Children’s Champion!

Since 2012, more than $4.5 million has been raised to help support the life-saving work of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. You can meet the 2016 Columbus Marathon Patient Champions or watch this short video to see just how much these boys and girls impact the race. Everyone involved in the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon has a chance to race for children in need here in central Ohio and across the entire country.

On the course, every mile is dedicated to a Patient Champion, including 24 individuals who have shared their story to inspire you, one Angel Mile to honor the children who have already run their race, and one Encore Mile featuring all the patients who have lined the course since 2012.

There is no minimum fundraising requirement to become a Children’s Champion. Instead, you can earn a variety of race-weekend benefits based on the amount that you raise! From private gear check and bathrooms to custom medal engraving and VIP Tent Access, you will look and feel like a true Children’s Champion!  Register Now.

We are accepting Children’s Champions through Race Day. 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 “Join Children’s Champions
  2. Once your page has been created, you can begin to spread the word about it, recruit team members or ask for donations

Become a Children’s Champion and race for the kids who can’t.

Have additional questions? Let us know in the comments below, or share with us on Facebook and Twitter, and we’ll be sure to get them answered!

 

 

26 Tips in 26 Days. Tip #2: Become a Volunteer

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As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’re sharing “26 Tips in 26 Days” to make sure you’re ready to go on race day. Click here to read them all, or follow along on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

More than 3,000 people help make the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon possible every year.

Volunteers are needed across the course prior to, during, and after the race. From the Expo to the Kids’ Run to the start line to the aid stations to the finish, volunteers make the race possible.

Tip #2: Be A Volunteer:

Being a volunteer for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is a great way to give back to the community and support an event that has raised more than $4.5 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital to date. All volunteers receive a long-sleeved shirt, free food coupons from Chipotle and Bob Evans, and tons of gratitude from our 18,000 participants.

We welcome all volunteers ages 16 and older. For volunteers ages 12 to 16, we ask that they volunteer with a trusted adult in a 6 (or fewer) to 1 ratio.

Groups of volunteers are welcome.  All members of a group will still need to register individually, and volunteer spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis. You will want to act fast! Please send an email to volunteer@columbusmarathon.com and we will do our best to find a great volunteer opportunity for your group.

Most volunteer opportunities happen outside on Race Day. The race will take place rain or shine, and we rely on all of our volunteers to make our event successful. Please wear comfortable shoes and dress in layers so you can respond to changing conditions.

You can make a profound difference in the lives of athletes, not to mention the families that rely on Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Consider becoming a volunteer today.

Do you have any questions about volunteering? Let us know in the comments, or share on Facebook and Twitter!