Training for the Tenth Columbus Marathon!

 

 

 

 

Editor’s Note: Shannon McLoughlin Morrison, PhD has run the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon four times and the ½ Marathon once. This is her third year blogging for the marathon. She works for the Center for Aviation Studies at The Ohio State University.

It’s that time of year again!!!! It is time to start training for the next Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon. If my training goes well and I don’t get distracted, this will be my 10th full marathon. TENTH!I am so excited to hit the double digits.

I have been invited to share my journey again this year. I decided I am not going to go with a particular time goal this time around, but an overall fitness goal. I want to lose some of the weight I have put on from graduate school and finish the race not hating running.

In order to accomplish these goals, I am doing a couple of things:

First, I have joined a training group, Marathoners in Training, in order to make sure that I log my miles and that I have friends to push me. It has really been great to be with this group. To face this struggle on a weekly basis with friends is better than running alone any day of the week. So find your ‘gang’ and make sure you keep at it.

Second, I am working on my nutrition. I am trying to eat more fruits and veggies, less processed or starchy/sugary foods, and alcohol.

Third, I am running races to bring some joy and challenge back to my running. So far this summer I have run The Big Run and The Gary Smith Worthington Classic. The Gary Smith race was great because I ran my fastest 5 mile time in years. I can see the improvements and it makes me want to keep working hard.

I want to wish everyone good luck on their training journey. Make sure you enjoy the ride and give it all you’ve got. As Coach Gary Smith said, “Run as hard as you can, then let your heart take you the rest of the way!”

Cheers!

Shannon Morrison

Blog: https://runflysnuggle.wordpress.com

Instagram: buckeyerunnergal

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Sister Cities Exchange Applications Due May 31

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Each year we hold athlete exchanges with some of Columbus’ international sister cities that also have a marathon or half marathon. The longest such exchange has been with Dresden, Germany – this is our seventh year!

This year the Dresden Marathon and Half Marathon races are the same day as our races, Sunday, October 21, and five athletes will travel between each city to take part in the events.

As part of the exchange, the athletes stay with host families in the respective cities, receive free race entries and enjoy other perks, including – NEW THIS YEAR! – free Nike shoes and other items provided by our retail partner, Second Sole!

The Dresden trip dates are Thursday, October 18 through Tuesday, October 23, although the athletes chosen are welcome to go earlier and stay later on their own and incorporate additional travel.

Are you an athlete who would like to apply to be a Columbus Marathon Ambassador at the Dresden Marathon and Half Marathon? Visit www.dresdensistercity.org to read more about the exchange and apply online here by May 31. Want to host an athlete from Dresden? Send a note to dresdensistercity@gmail.com.

Three years ago we expanded our athlete exchange program to and Curitiba, Brazil, and Hefei, China.

Again in 2018, five athletes will get the chance to represent Columbus at the Hefei International Marathon, Sunday, November 11. The Hefei trip dates are Wednesday, November 7, through Monday, November 12. As with Dresden, athletes chosen are welcome to go earlier and stay later on their own and incorporate additional travel.

Notable regarding Hefei – the exchange will help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Columbus-Hefei Sister Cities partnership.

Another five athletes will take part in the Maratona Curitiba on Sunday, November 18. The Curitiba trip dates are Wednesday, November 14, through Monday, November 19.

As with the other visits, athletes may choose to include travel before or after the Curitiba exchange. And as with the Dresden partnership, efforts are under way to have athletes from Hefei and Curitiba take part in our race on October 21.

For information on becoming an ambassador for Columbus in China or Brazil, fill out the application found online here by May 31. Want to host an athlete from Hefei or Curitiba? Send a note to TSword@columbussistercities.org.

Good luck!

 

2018 Registration Opens Feb. 1!

NHCM start lineThe 1st day of February means one thing in the world of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon — the start of early registration. Time to sign up, shake off the winter blues, and begin training in earnest for the big event. Long outdoor runs, wearing just a T-shirt and shorts, are not far off.

Get your slot in the race while the getting is good, and at the lowest registration rates. From February 1 until February 14, the “early bird” Marathon fee is $75, with a $60 fee for the ½ Marathon.

The ½ Marathon course limit will remain 4 hours, an 18:20-minute-per mile pace, and the Marathon course limit remains six hours, a 13:44/mile pace. More than 100,000 people watch the race, with more than 3,000 volunteers lining the 26.2-mile course.

Surf over to www.columbusmarathon.com on February 1, log in your information, and get those outdoor running shorts out. It won’t be long now.

See Race Director Darris Blackford talking about registration opening on Fox28’s Good Day Columbus morning show here

26 Tips in 26 Days: Tip #26 — Last minute reminders

Tip #26As 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.

Are you ready?

Race Day is just hours away. On behalf of our entire team, we want to thank you for taking part in the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. This race is a celebration of spirit and an opportunity to support the life-changing work taking place at Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Our 11 board members have completed more than 300 marathons between them. If this is your first race or you are a seasoned pro, 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 – Visualize the start while everyone cheers you on, a smooth run with a calm breath and a steady pace, each neighborhood with huge crowds and funny signs, running through the pain as your training kicks in, the finish line with elation and what an awesome accomplishment it will be! Through visualization our dreams come true. If you need help, here’s a video recap of the 2016 race.

Race Morning:

  • Get there early! – Avoid any unneeded race day anxiety by getting to the start line early. The Corrals open at 6 a.m. This will allow you some extra time should something unexpected arise (i.e. – traffic delays, long restroom lines, etc).
  • 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.
  • Protein – A little bit of protein is always a good thing the morning of the race, but again, practice this first before that day!
  • Stay Warm – If it is a cool morning, use an oversized trash bag to stay warm. Take a bag and cut a hole for your head at the bottom of the bag. Once the race begins, all you have to do is throw it away! NOTE: You can also purchase a throw-away sweatshirt from the Goodwill Store at the Health & Fitness Expo for the same effect!

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. Check out the Clif Bar Pace Team — expert pacers will be holding balloons with the pace they will be running in each corral.
  • Take it all in – Once you arrive, take it all in, the sights, the sounds and the smells. This experience will never happen exactly this way ever again, so soak in every step. 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 reward yourself and Celebration Village is the perfect place to do so. Reunite with friends and family, shake out our legs, visit the vendors, feast on food from local food trucks, enjoy live entertainment 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. We can wait to see you tomorrow morning.

If you have any last minute questions, please leave a comment below or reach out to the marathon team on Facebook , Twitter , Pinterest or Instagram.

 

 

26 Tips for 26 Days: Tip #24 — Proper Packet Pickup

Tip #24As 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.

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

Pickup Overview:

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, as well as their own picture ID.

Pick up your 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon participant bib, T-shirt, bib tag timing device, runner “goodie” bag and clear, gear check bag at the Health & Fitness Expo in the Battelle Grand Ballroom at the south end of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

Expo hours are Friday, Oct. 13, from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.  Make sure you have your photo ID.  NO ID, NO NUMBER.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

(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 You?

As noted above, make sure they have a copy of your photo ID, as well as their own picture ID. They should first check in at the booth located just outside of the expo hall, “Picking Up For Others? Start Here,” for an approval stamp.

While friends or family members are permitted to pick up race numbers for registered participants, they are NOT permitted to run or walk the race using another person’s number.

To help them get through the “Picking Up For Others? Start Here” line faster, click here, print this form, fill it out ahead of time and give to the person picking up your number. They must still visit the “Picking Up For Others? Start Here” table, but only for the ID check and an approval stamp!

Expo Parking

Expo parking will be available for a flat $5 fee (credit card only; the machines no longer accept cash) during Expo hours in the following garages/lots:

Current registrants can click here to double-check your registration.  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 #23 — Know the road closures

Tip #23As 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.

Getting around the 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon Course should be the most important thing on an athlete’s mind right now. With the race just a few days away, here are some reminders to help you, your friends and your family get around Columbus on Race Day.

Here are street closures at the combined Start/Finish line:

  • Long St. between High St. to the East and Hocking St. to the West will close at 9:30 a.m. On Friday, Oct. 13
  • Spring St. will be closed from West St. to the East, and Hocking St. to the West at 11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13
  • Neil Ave will be closed from Nationwide Blvd. to the combined Start/Finish line at Long Street at 11 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 13 (NOTE: Nationwide will still be open to get to various parking garages).

On Race Day, 26.2 miles of the marathon course will be subject to rolling street closures, based upon the expected time the first and last athlete passes each mile of the course.  Spring Street, Long Street and Neil Ave. will open back up to traffic at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15.

Click here to view course maps.

Click here to view pace chart.

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

2017 Spirit Award Winners: Cheryl Silas and Jan Wilson

Each year, we honor ten people in our field or 18,000 who have overcome enormous obstacles and have inspired many while they train for and participate in the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon. In the days leading up to the big event on Oct. 15, we will be sharing two of these stories at a time.

The final two Spirit Award winners have incredible stories to tell of perseverance and heart (literally!).

cheryl-silas-1-e1507639818362.jpgCheryl Silas, Olmsted Falls, OH

Cheryl has suffered from genetic heart disease for more than 39 years. Throughout Cheryl’s adult life she was diagnosed with Lupus, had hip surgery, suffered heart attacks and had two cardiac ablation surgeries. Two of Cheryl’s sons also suffer with heart disease. One had a heart transplant three years ago and the other relies on a Left Ventricular Assist Device (LVAD) to stay alive. Cheryl refuses to let any of her medical limitations interrupt her passion for running. She is running in honor of her son’s donor, her two sons and the hero that will save her second son from this heart disease that plagues her family.

Janet Wilson 2.jpgJan Wilson, Grove City, OH

In 2010, Janet started running at the age of 55. In 2016, she lost her 35-year-old daughter “Moo,” who was severely handicapped due to complications at birth. Moo never let her body define her, but always had an incredible spirit and love of life and was always at the finish line to greet her mom after races. Janet started “Moo’s Milers,” a running group to celebrate the life of her daughter. Together they ran last year’s ½ marathon and stopped at every mile to remember Moo; crossing the finish line was the start of Janet’s healing. Janet and Moo’s Milers will continue to celebrate Moo at this year’s Nationwide Children’s Hospital Marathon and ½ Marathon. See a recent story that aired on ABC6 and Fox28 about Jan and Moo.

Thank you, Cheryl and Jan, for being an inspiration to us all! We look forward to seeing you at the start line on Oct. 15!

26 Tips in 26 Days: Tip #22 — Know the Emergency Action Plan

Tip #22.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.

It’s not going to rain.

It’s not going to rain.

It’s not going to rain.

And no heat wave, either!

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon has had only a trace of rain over the last 14 years. We would be more than happy to keep that streak; we also live in Ohio where weather can and does quickly change.

The most important thing our race team can do is keep athletes, volunteers and spectators as safe as possible during Race Day. Dangerous weather conditions pose a challenge to that mission. As a result, following is our Emergency Action Plan:

cm17_EmergencyInfographic_JPEGSafety is #1

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon puts the safety of its participants, spectators, staff and volunteers first.

Know the Alert Levels

The flag system at each aid station will advise you of course conditions ahead.

  • 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 and 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

Sign up for RT/RT.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 website (www.columbusmarathon.com), as well as through other means of communication such as e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, Real-Time Race-Tracking 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.

If possible, athletes should check the marathon website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and RTRT 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.

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 #21 — Join a pace team

Tip #21.pngAs we are less than a week out from the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon, 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.

Athletes spend months training in early morning hours, often running alone or with a small group of people.  On Race Day, there’s no reason to be alone, not with 18,000 other athletes, 3,000 volunteers and more than 100,000 spectators.

Join a Pace Team:

The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon offers free pacing from expert pacers with the Clif Bar Pace Team and the New Albany Walking Club. This team of athletes provides fun and excitement for both first-time and experienced marathoners looking to reach their goals — whether that’s a personal best, or just getting across the finish line.

  • Our friends at Clif Bar have an elite team of pace leaders to help every athlete.
  • The New Albany Walking Club have experienced pace leaders for walkers.

The Clif Bar Pace Team is a group of experienced athletes who help set the pace at marathons and ½ marathons nationwide. Part coach, part friend, and part mentor, these are expert long distance runners who set a steady pace while offering encouragement and advice. The Pace Team Leader is capable of finishing the event anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes faster, so they can devote their extra energy to assisting their team. The leaders also have completed multiple marathons and can share their expertise with you.

The New Albany Walking Club provides assistance to people of all ages for races of various distances.

Don’t go it alone on Race Day. For more information on the Clif Bar Pace Team and their pacing times, visit their booth at the Expo. You can also download a pace chart to your computer.

We also want to remind everyone you can set a great pace before the race ever begins. Please make plans prior to race day to get downtown and into your parking spot well before the Race starts at 7:30 a.m. The Corrals open at 6 a.m., so plan accordingly.
We encourage everyone to double the time it normally takes them to get downtown. With 18,000 athletes making their way to the Start Line at the same time, you’ll need extra time to get where you want to be.

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 #20 — Download the Real-Time Race Tracking (RTRT) app to follow your athlete

Tip #20As 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.

For every person who participates in a marathon or ½ 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 your progress on Race Day.

The 2017 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 2017 Columbus Marathon event. Participants, family and friends can all use Live Results to share in the excitement. Sign up now to have race progress posted automatically to your Facebook or Twitter feeds or texted to your mobile phone. 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, 4.2 miles, 13.1 miles, 20 miles and finish).

Online Runner Tracking for the full marathon and the 1/2 marathon is also available. (NOTE: these links will not be working until race time)

RTRT popular features include:

  • 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.
  • Real-time Facebook/Twitter Notifications – Get automatic posting as progress is made on the course. As a spectator, the times of the person you are tracking can be posted to your Facebook or Twitter feed automatically allowing friends and family to share in the excitement. If you are a participant, claim your profile and enable Facebook or Twitter notifications. Your stats will post live as you pass each checkpoint.
  • 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.
  • Text2Follow – Follow participants in real-time via text notifications to your Mobile phone.
  • 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: If you’re registering for either event after 10/6, it may take up to four days for your information to be transmitted to our RTRT team, 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 any pre-race questions we can answer now? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below!