Tip 17: Spectator Solutions

As 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.


The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon offers a spectator-friendly course for you and 100,000 of your closest friends. Here’s a breakdown of things to check out before, during and after the race.

Tip 17 - spectator solutions

  • Bleachers Lining the Start/Finish Line— We set up bleachers that line the north side of Long Street at the combined Start/Finish Line. They can hold hundreds of spectators and are a great place to see the start and the finish of the race and the spectacle that comes with these events!
  • 26 Miles of Patient Champions: 24 miles are represented by a patient at Nationwide Children’s. Our Angel Mile is for the special children who have been taken too soon. Our “Encore Mile” for the Patient Champions from 2012-2014. 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 7:15 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 is a perfect place to take in the fall colors and amazing homes as the runners pass by. It also has more ice cream shops per capita than anywhere in Ohio.
  • Schiller Park in German Villageis bordered by Reinhard, Jaeger and Deshler Streets. This is one of Columbus’s oldest and most scenic parks — you’ll enjoy walking from one side to the other to cheer on your athlete and take part in the German Village Neighborhood Party.
  • The Nationwide Insurance “Blue” Bridge – There is only one way across the race course in Downtown Columbus, and this above it via the Nationwide Insurance “Blue” Bridge that spans High St. near the corner of Nationwide Blvd. Simply follow the signs to get from the east to the west side of the street, and back again!
  • The Short North Arts District on High Street — between Nationwide Blvd. and Fifth Ave. — is a great place to enjoy window shopping of the art galleries and boutique shops. There are also several local breakfast stops while you wait for your athlete.
  • Celebration Village is where athletes and their friends and family can meet up at signs based on the first letter of their last name. Celebration Village will feature vendors and exhibitors, food trucks, live entertainment, bounce houses for the kids and much more. Plus, there will be an Information Booth on Spring Street as you enter Celebration Village; it’s the place to go with questions ranging from how to track your athlete to how to get back to your hotel.

Spectators can also learn more about parking and self-guided bike tours of the course in our previous tips.

If you have any additional questions, please let us know in the comment section, or ask us on Facebook and Twitter!

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