Really excited to recap this race. The Columbus Marathon is one I have wanted to run for a while and finally got my ducks in a row and registered.
Why did I want to run it?
- Columbus is my hometown.
- Children's Hospital is a great place to support.
- Ohio = FLAT!
It was super fun to run through my hometown and see familiar places from a runner perspective. I didn't start running until I was in college, so I didn't explore a ton of the city on foot and this was my chance.
So with that, let's get started!
This expo was at the Columbus Convention Center and was really awesome! Lots of great vendors and GoodWill had set up a booth so you could grab your throw away clothes. I thought that was an awesome idea! Other race director's take note.
Each mile was dedicated to a child that was treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus
The thing I enjoyed most about the expo was that the packet pickup was on the upper level and the vendors were on the lower level. So when you picked up your bib and shirt, you could then scan the vendors and see if you could spot something you were looking for, genius!
After the expo, Wookie (my boyfriend) and I grabbed lunch at the nearby North Market which has a lot delicious things to eat. If you are in central Ohio I highly recommend this place.
After grabbing a small bite it was time to head home to have a proper dinner with my family. After dinner I got my stuff together, painted my nails, and started getting excited for the race the next day. Good night all!
So after reading a lot about the race, I decided I needed to give myself some extra, extra time in the morning to make sure I got there, got parked, and got to the start line in time. I was in the first corral so I didn't want to miss the start time.
I left my house a little before 6 and made the 15 minute drive to downtown Columbus. I was then met with the aforementioned confusion/traffic. Some garages were open, some weren't and everyone was a little bit on edge to find a spot to park. After circling around for a bit I settled on a lot near the start/finish area and then decided to chill in the car for a while instead of getting out in the chilly fall air.
I passed the time in the car by applying this cool temp tattoo. It lists the child that each mile is dedicated too!
I made my way to the start area, checked my bag, and then went and found a porta-potty for a final pitstop. Once again, I picked the wrong line and we crawled. Seriously, if you ever see me at a race, get in a different porta-potty line, I always choose wrong. As the minutes ticked by I thought I wasn't going to make it into my corral, but I made it just in time.
With a wonderful singing of the National Anthem, some fireworks (so fun!), and the final countdown, we were off!
The course is a great tour of the city. You get to go through some historic areas, the OSU area including the Short North, and then some more suburbs with the finish in downtown. We started off towards Bexley seeing Franklin Park Conservatory, Capital University, and some of downtown Bexley.
One of the things I liked most about the entire course was all the support! Seriously people were along almost the whole course cheering. It was for a great time!
We then made our way to Nationwide Children's Hospital and this is when the feels really took over. Fun fact, when I try to hold back tears while running, I end up hyperventilating. When I got to this part of the course for both personal and since there were a bunch of kids out front, I got emotional. I almost had to stop but kept it together enough to be able to keep running.
German Village is always a fun area to run through then back to downtown to drop off the half marathoners at the finish line. Once again, there was a lot of serious course support out! Loved it!
We split from the half marathoners and then started running towards OSU! Looking at the map, it didn't dawn on me how many miles were on High St and on OSU campus. It was super fun to see all these familiar areas. Also, running through the Horseshoe was WAY cooler than I thought it was going to be. Super cool!
Leaving the stadium, I was sort of on target for meeting my BQ time, if I kept trucking then I was going to meet it but if I faded at all then, well, not so much. At this point I was fading. Around mile 7 or 8 my hip started hurting and I was having trouble keeping my head in the game. I kept going but I just didn't have it in me to really, really push.
I kept going and finally got to my suburb where my friend, dad, and the Wookie were waiting. I was so glad to see them since at that point I knew this wasn't my day. Once we left Grandview, the course got a little boring. It just wasn't super pretty. We then got into Victorian Village which was really nice but the brick roads at mile 24 were not great and after the rolling hills, my legs didn't like it, especially that late in the race.
I was getting tired and just wanted to finish, "don't walk" became my fighting mantra towards the end because I was just desperate to finish. This was not my day or my race.
We turned into downtown and I just kept waiting to see the final turn. When I got into the final stretch I was able to push a little but I mostly just rolled in.
Official Finish Time: 3:43:01
Marathon 9 is in the books!
A really fun touch at the finish area!
Medal was nice and big!
I shaved off a little time, not a lot, but I'll take it. Going into the race I was feeling tired and overtrained and it totally showed on race day. While it wasn't the best race for me, the race itself was awesome. The crowds, the course and the meaning behind the race make this an awesome race! The shirt, expo, and swag are what you'd expect from a large city race.
I definitely recommend checking this one out if you are looking for a race in Ohio!
- Fairly flat course, there is a slight incline everywhere which can be taxing
- Great community support! So many people come out and cheer!
- Great shirt and swag
- Expo was well laid out and had great vendors
- Charity tie in is really strong, you definitely feel connected to the cause
- October weather in Ohio can be a little unpredictable
- Traffic in the morning and at the end of the race
- Water stops felt really spread out towards the end of the race