26 Tips for 26 Miles: Tip #2 — Become a Volunteer

Tip #2

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.

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: Become 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 $5.8 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital to date. All volunteers receive a long-sleeved shirt, free food coupons from Chipotle, 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!




26 Tips for 26 Miles: Tip 1 — Know the Course

Tip #1

Tuesday, September 19, is a milestone day for everyone involved with the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon!

Race Day is 26 days away. That’s it.

To get you through the butterflies, we are launching our “26 Tips for 26.2 Miles” series. From now until Race Day, 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 will do our best to cover every step of the process. If we miss something, please use the comments section to ask any questions. We are here to motivate you on Race Day.

Tip #1 Know The Course:

The course is the same as last year’s course for those of you who ran the event last year. For those of you who haven’t run the course, make sure you check out these two important resources to help you while you train:

COURSE MAP: The full marathon goes through Bexley, Olde Town East, passes by Nationwide Children’s Hospital, continues through German Village, downtown Columbus, Short North, The Ohio State University campus, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, Victorian Village and finishes where it starts, at North Bank Park in the Arena District.

Athletes will find 18 water stations along the 26.2 mile course to stay hydrated and healthy during the event.

The 1/2 marathon follows the same route, but athletes turn onto Long St. at about Mile 12.5 to return to North Bank Park.

To see specific directions and learn more about elevation changes, consult the Columbus Marathon course map for a bird’s eye view of the route.

COURSE VIDEOS: Athletes and fans cans see the course and feel the race experience with our video overviews of the full marathon and 1/2 marathon. In just a few short minutes, athletes will have a much better sense of just how fast and fun our race can be.

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




How Alexa Supports a Runner’s Lifestyle


How are you counting down to the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon? As we’re approaching the one month mark, remember to download the new Columbus Marathon Countdown Alexa skill! Search for “Columbus Marathon Countdown” in your Alexa app and enable it with your device. A few ways you can ask Alexa for a countdown:

  • Alexa, ask the Columbus Marathon how much time is left to train
  • Alexa, open Columbus Marathon for a countdown

Other than the countdown, there are a lot of great Alexa skills that can help you prepare for the marathon, or generally support a runner’s lifestyle throughout the year. Check out the following skills that are already programed into an Alexa:

  • Short workouts

  • Fitness tracker

  • Water consumption tracker

Don’t forget to show us how you use the Columbus Marathon Countdown skill on social media, and enable it on your Alexa if you haven’t already!

Skill Saturday: Use Alexa for Marathon Training

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Last week, we announced the new Columbus Marathon Alexa skill! If you haven’t had a chance to download, search for Columbus Marathon Countdown in your Alexa app and enable it with your device. A few ways you can ask Alexa for a countdown:

  • Alexa, ask the Columbus Marathon how much time is left to train
  • Alexa, open Columbus Marathon for a countdown

If you’re looking for other running-friendly Alexa skills, check out the following that are already programmed into an Alexa:

  • Current/future weather reports
  • Health tips
  • Motivational quotes

Each Saturday for the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing new Alexa skills that can help you with marathon training and a runner’s lifestyle. Don’t forget to show us how you use the Columbus Marathon Countdown skill on social media, and enable it on your Alexa if you haven’t already!

“It’s Just Another Marathon”

It was eerily quiet. You couldn’t hear a thing, not a bird, not insects, not even the wind. Badlands National Park was like being on another planet. But it was also the most beautiful and unique place I had been to in a long time.

This past weekend my husband and I had the opportunity to travel out west to South Dakota and the Rapid City area where we got to check out things like Custer State Park, Mount Rushmore, and the Black Hills National Forest. We were also there because I wanted to run another marathon in another state.

As I mentioned in my last blog, I’ve been struggling with staying positive about my running and training. I don’t know if it’s the weather, the fact that I’ve done this enough times that I know training is (at least for me) mostly unpleasant. Originally I thought I wanted to run Columbus in under 5 hours and that was going to be my big goal for the year. However, this goal just wasn’t helping me get out of my funk, so I had to re-evaluate what it was I wanted to do with my running.

So, the new goal became, run a marathon in all 50 states (don’t worry, still running Cbus, it’s my favorite). Which is what brought me to my 4th state and 9th full marathon in Spearfish South Dakota, the Leading Ladies Marathon. My finish time was a personal worst at 6:23:08, which makes sense because my longest run going into it was 15.5 miles (do as I say folks, not as I do!).

But that wasn’t the real story.

Shannon 1

For the first time in years, I was in the best place mentally the ENTIRE race. I was incredibly anxious before the race because I knew being under trained would complicate things. As soon as I got started though, I just took my time and enjoyed the (mostly downhill) ride. Our course took us entirely through the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway. The hills in that region are older than the Grand Canyon and they were utterly magnificent. Sure, it got hot, and I got tired of running through the canyon and having to worry about the traffic flying by me, but I knew deep down that this race was for me and my confidence in my running. If I could do this, if I could gut it out and stay consistent then I would have won. And that is exactly what I did! I ran downhill and got spit back out the other side with a greater appreciation for what I was doing.

Shannon 2

(A view of the trees and hills around mile 7 or 8, the woman in orange was running her 355th full!).

I think what is so unique about running is how much it can reflect where we are at in life, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Sometimes we hit those slumps that we just can’t find our way out of. In this case, I just needed a little nature and camaraderie with other like-minded folks. Some years we are running machines, we are fast, we feel like we can conquer anything. Other times, it feels like a cheesy disaster movie, or one of those ‘end of the world’ films. Then, we come out the other side with a new perspective on running and life. I think that is what this race gave to me. A chance at some perspective. As the lady in orange above said to me when she passed, ‘don’t fret, it’s just another marathon.’ That wasn’t meant to undermine what we were doing, but in the grand scheme of life, it was just that, another marathon. With almost 355 under her belt, I think she had permission to make that case.

In the end, just remember, the training and the race are just one journey out of many that you will be blessed with in your life. Enjoy the ride!

Instagram: @BuckeyeRunnerGal

Follow Shannon at: https://runforthebuns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BuckeyeRunnerGal/


Linda Evans’ Memorial Gathering Set for Thursday, Aug. 3

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Linda Evans (front row, third from right) with other Columbus Marathon Legacy Runners before the 2016 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon.

Thank you all for the outpouring of support, love and condolences for the Evans family this week after the tragic death of Linda Evans, one of our Columbus Marathon Legacy Runners. Linda was on a run Monday morning when she was killed by a hit and run driver. Linda was an incredible athlete, having completed 30 + Columbus Marathons, more than any other Central Ohio woman. More than that, she was the kindest, most caring mother, teacher, wife and friend. Our hearts ache with her loss.

To celebrate her life, the Evans family is hosting an informal memorial gathering tonight, Thursday, Aug. 3, from 5 to 9 pm at McNamara Park in Genoa Township, 7049 Big Walnut Road, Galena, OH 43201. The family welcomes anyone there and is encouraging friends and family to come share their memories.

Additionally, the Westerville MRTT (Moms Run This Town) Group will honor Linda by having athletes meet at 6:30 p.m. tonight at the site on Park Meadow Road near Schrock Road in Westerville where Linda was struck and leave a memorial with running shoes. They will then run approximately six miles to the memorial ceremony at McNamara Park, arriving at 8 p.m. And every time you do a training run or walk for the Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon this year, the MRTT group encourages you to use #RunForLinda on posts about your efforts.

If you have any questions about the MRTT initiatives, please email Beth Stanley @ beth.garvey32@gmail.com.

Spirit Award Nominations Are Open

Nominations for the 2017 Spirit Awards for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon are now open for submission.

“The Spirit Award is a way for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon to recognize individuals who inspire and embody perseverance and strength. They are a testament to our sport and this event and it’s always an incredible privilege to celebrate them and their accomplishments.” – Darris Blackford, Race Director.

If you know someone overcoming considerable obstacles to compete in this year’s race, send us their information for a chance to be selected. Please email sarah@irvinpr.com by Wednesday, Aug. 23.

Information to be included in the email is the following:

-The nominator’s name, phone number and email address

-The nominee’s name, phone number and email address

-A 200-word-or-less description of why that person deserves to be recognized

The deadline for submissions is only a month away, so make sure to act fast!

Feel free to check out the 2016 Spirit Award Winners here.

The Marathon Blues

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July is an interesting month when it comes to marathon training. You are over the hump of slightly shorter distances, but not quite tackling 16+ training miles yet and definitely haven’t hit the wonderful 20 miler training runs (save those for later!).

But, training definitely just got real. You’ve probably registered for your race and the miles are more challenging, and the heat of summer is in full force. It is eye opening and exciting all at once. If you are running with a group, you know that everyone feels the same way, even if they don’t say it. Whether it is your first or 50th full or half marathon, you collectively know that the journey you are on is exhilarating and scary all at the same time.

Recently I have been struggling with my running and finding joy with it. I know it’s there in me somewhere, but I am also fully aware of what I am doing and the challenge it presents, leading me to question myself and my goals. I find myself asking, why? I ask this more often than I would like to. I’ve had to back off from my running group a bit because I know this is an internal struggle that no one else can make better but me.

We all feel it…sometime. The challenge is to keep moving forward. I am trying to look at this as all a part of my training, physical challenges from the running and mental from staying motivated and dedicated. This too shall pass.

What’s been helping is running some 5k’s for fun. Recently I ran the Charity Day 5k here in Columbus Ohio. It is a really great concept for a 5k. With so many local races these days, non-profits can find it to be challenging to host their own race and the cost of which can become a burden rather than a fundraiser. This event lets organizations partner together to bring the costs down, and each non-profit is responsible for recruiting runners and walkers to be a part of their ‘team.’ There were quite a few incredible organizations to run with, but there is one that is particularly near and dear to me- the Ohio House Rabbit Rescue. They operate an adoption center for rabbits here in Columbus Ohio (http://www.ohiohouserabbitrescue.org/). Next to cats and dogs, these are pets that are frequently abandoned. Check out their website for more information! My goal for this 5k was to have a good time and run at a faster pace than I had that morning for my 9-miler— and I did it! Finish pace was a 12:30


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How has your training been going? Have you ever hit a running snaffoo? How do you keep yourself motivated? I’d love to hear from you- follow me at one of the social media platforms below!


Left, right, repeat! Happy training! Until next time!

Instagram: @BuckeyeRunnerGal

Follow Shannon at: https://runforthebuns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BuckeyeRunnerGal/


Kick-Off for the 2017 Columbus Marathon

By Shannon McLoughlin Morrison

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Here we go folks! Are you excited yet? I know that I am! Before we dig in too far, I would like to add a note of gratitude to Darris and his crew with the Columbus Marathon. This is one of my favorite races and it is awesome to be able to be a part of it, if even in this small way.

Some of you might (kind of) remember who I am from last year, but for those of you I’ve never met, HI!!!! My name is Shannon Morrison, lover of running, pet rabbits, self-professed nerd, and your very humble guest blogger for the summer.

Speaking of this summer, it promises to be a hot one. I don’t know about any of you, but I’ve been outside a few times lately and it has been quite the scorcher. I am so glad that I have all of you, my virtual running buddies, to help me get through what promises to be a warm training season.

This year I will be tackling the full marathon. I am hoping that it will be my 10th full and first time coming under 5 hours. This will be quite challenging for me as I don’t enjoy speed work much and have grown comfortable running nice and easy paces. But, I thought that if I don’t throw this goal out there, I will never go for it!

So, how is it going so far you might ask? As I am sure many of you have also started your summer training, it has been going OK so far. To help me out this year, I have joined a running group called Marathoners In Training. In past years, I have been a pace coach, but this season I have taken off my coaching hat and put on my participant one and I am totally excited.


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We have three amazing coaches, Ron, Erin, and Wade taking us through our Saturday long runs and the rest of the gang has the best attitude each week, it’s definitely contagious! If you are looking for a way to make your long training runs more bearable, I would highly suggest coming out and running with us one Saturday, or checking out one of the many other local running clubs around Columbus or in your hometown. It is way more enjoyable to spend those hours with friends then by myself!

I also joined the Fleet Feet Columbus Run Crew, because I wanted to run more races this summer that were important to the Columbus running community. Last week there was The Big Run to help celebrate National Running Day. Ron and I had a good showing at the race and of course we had to get the selfie!


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This week marks an 8 mile Saturday run. I don’t have any race plan for the week, but if you do, tell us about it! I would love to hear about your training plans and goals for the Nationwide Columbus Marathon this year!

Left, right, repeat! Happy training! Until next time!

Instagram: @BuckeyeRunnerGal

Follow Shannon at: https://runforthebuns.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BuckeyeRunnerGal/

Join OUR Team At The Charity Day 5K!

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Looking for a fun running and walking event where you can do some good (besides our Race, of course)?  Then join the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Team at the 2017 Charity Day 5K on Sunday, July 2!
What is Charity Day 5K? This event allows non-profit organizations to be part of and benefit from all the fun and excitement of a full-scale running and walking event without putting on their own race. Everyone gets a t-shirt, finisher medal, race amenities and competes together, but the charities also get to share in the proceeds!
The Charity Day 5K is Sunday, July 2, at 5 p.m., at North Bank Park in Downtown Columbus, the same place where we Start and Finish our Race in October! The Charity Day 5K will serve as the kick-off for Columbus’ Red, White & Boom activities.
Everyone who signs up for our Team will have the chance to win special prizes, and we will give out awards for our top 10 male and female finishers! We will have a special area at the Start/Finish where you can hang out, get questions answered about Marathon & ½ Marathon training, meet some of the patients from Nationwide Children’s Hospital that we will honor this year, and even register for our October 15 Race.
Complete details about the Charity Day 5K can be found at http://www.charityday5k.com  Click the Register button, and sign up for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Team!