The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon will pass by the event’s namesake charitable partner for its 35th running in October.
The Oct. 19 event also will feature a combined start and finish at North Bank Park in the Arena District of Downtown Columbus. Joining these areas is expected to enhance excitement at what already is known as one of the most entertaining long-distance running and walking experiences in North America.
“Running or walking past Nationwide Children’s Hospital will be very meaningful for our participants,” said Bill Burns, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for The Columbus Marathon. “This will further enhance the connection between the event and the Hospital. This is the final piece to making this partnership complete. The excitement at that spot on the course will be electric.”
The new combined start and finish areas also will hike energy levels while helping increase safety for athletes, as well as spectators, volunteers and the general public, said Race Director Darris Blackford.
“Everything will be in one easy- to-navigate location,” Blackford said. “Pre- and post-race activities, restrooms, gear check, even spectator seating, informational displays and entertainment offerings will be unified. This event deserves a single home, and we are honored that it will be at North Bank Park.”
While the inclusion of Nationwide Children’s Hospital and the combined start/finish areas are new, much of the 13.1-mile ½ Marathon and 26.2-mile Marathon courses remain the same – including the Marathon route going through Ohio Stadium for the third straight year – helping to maintain the event’s reputation as being fast and fun.
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Expected to add excitement are route changes through two historic Columbus neighborhoods – Olde Town East and Harrison West. These areas have been part of the course for years, but now the route will travel along 18th Street in Olde Town East, and Third Avenue in Harrison West.
"Our neighborhood association, residents and business owners welcome the new marathon route change. Participants will pass right through the heart of Olde Towne East on their way towards Nationwide Children's Hospital," said Olde Town East Neighborhood Association President Ken Wilcox.
Kristen Easterday, President of the Harrison West Society, expressed similar feelings for that area.
"Harrison West is excited to welcome the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon into our historic neighborhood,” Easterday said. “Harrison West residents look forward to showing off our unique and cozy community to all the race participants and supporters. Athletes can anticipate a spirited cheering section along Third Avenue!"
The Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon boasts 100 bands and entertainers on course. Additionally, 24 of the mile markers feature a “Patient Champion” from the Hospital. There also is the “Encore Mile” made up of past “Patient Champions,” and the “Angel Mile” honoring children who have passed away.
“Each mile marker is a place where our athletes can celebrate these young lives, as well as take a moment and reflect on those who have inspired them to take on the Marathon or ½ Marathon challenge,” Blackford said. “On the third Sunday of October, our message of “Triumph” will ring along the streets of Bexley, Upper Arlington, Grandview Heights, The Ohio State University, and of course, Columbus.”
About the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon
The 35th annual Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon will take place Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. The 2013 event featured a sold-out a field of 18,000 athletes. The combined events have sold out for seven straight years and the marathon continues to be the largest marathon in Ohio. For more information, visit www.columbusmarathon.com.