Tip #21: Join a Pace Team & Remember to Get into Corrals EARLY on Race Day!

As we put the final preparations in place for this year’s race, we’ll be 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 FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Photo Oct 10, 8 21 12 PMDid you know the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon was one of the first marathons in the country to have pace teams? Since 1999, both our marathoners & 1/2 marathoners have been paired up with other like-minded runners and walkers who have helped them stay motivated and on track to finish (it’s a win-win for everyone!).

If you’re nervous about hitting your split times or getting that new personal record you’ve been working toward this year, today’s tip is for you: Join a pace team to help you keep time and get into corrals early to make sure you start on time. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, please remember that corrals are open from 6-7 a.m., meaning all runners and walkers MUST be in their corrals by 7 a.m.!

(Disclaimer: We realize this is a long tip, but please bear with us. This is all extremely important information to ensure a smooth race day experience for everyone. That said, sit back, grab a cup o’ joe and start reading!)


Once again this year, we are honored to have the ClifBar Pace Team leading our runners and the New Albany Walking Club leading our walkers. Here’s a break down of how each will work:

ClifBar Pace Team (Runners)
ClifBar Pace Team members will lead groups at the following times: 3:00; 3:05; 3:15; 3:25; 3:35; 3:45; 4:00; 4:15; 4:30; 4:45; 5:00; and 5:30. Since both of our races share the first 13 miles, 1/2 marathoners get the benefit of running with the ClifBar Team too: If you’re a 1/2 marathon runner, just divide the times above in half and select the one you want to follow (For example, if you’re a 1/2 marathoner and have a 2-hour goal, run with the 4-hour full marathon pace group). Additionally, there will be 1:40 and 1:50 groups for the 1/2 marathon.

Please note that our group times are set to coincide with the primary qualifying times for the Boston Marathon (3:05, 3:15 for men and 3:35, 3:45 for women). We realize that we miss some runners in this lineup, but we only have the ability to offer reliable, qualified pacers at a set number of finishing times. If you’re not running with a pace team, you can make sure to stop by the ClifBar Pace Team booth at the Expo, where there will be free pace bands.

Runners can register for this free service online, at the Health & Fitness Expo or at the Start Line on race day.

New Albany Walking Club (Walkers)
New Albany Walking Club members will lead groups at the following times: 5:45, 6:00, 6:30, 6:45 and 7:00. Again, if you’re walking the 1/2 marathon, simply divide the times above in half and select the one you want to follow. Walkers can meet the pacers and get last minute race tips at the New Albany Walking Club’s booth at the Health & Fitness Expo.


Again, we can’t stress enough: There’s no such thing as being “fashionably late” to a marathon so PLEASE make sure to get to your corrals early (As a reminder, the corrals will open at 6 a.m. and close at 7 a.m.) on race day. Once you’re in your corral, you’ll be able to say hi to friends and family or take care of business before the race gets started, but PLEASE be sure to be back by 7 a.m. There will be plenty of entertainment and activities to keep you energized before the fireworks mark your send off. There will be lots of traffic and a few street closures throughout downtown, so plan your route and parking ahead of time.

You will receive your corral assignments when you pick up your race day packet and bib at the Health and Fitness Expo. For reference, below we’ve listed the pace teams within each corral:

  • CORRAL A: 3:00, 3:05, 3:15, 3:25, 3:35, 3:45 (plus 1:40, 1:50 for the 1/2 marathon)
  • CORRAL B: 4:00, 4:15
  • CORRAL C: 4:30, 4:45
  • CORRAL D: 5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30 and 7:00

Moving up or down in corrals
To move FORWARD in a corral, you will need to visit the Corral Solutions booth at the Health & Fitness Expo (You may move back a corral without doing so). If you wish to move to a different corral, please be prepared to explain your situation fully and to be able to verbally support it with training times or race times.

Have questions about getting into corrals or joining a pace team? Visit our website for more information, or let us know your comments on Facebook, Twitter or in the comments below.


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