2016 Columbus Marathon

In all the years I have either run, or spectated this race, it has never been 60 degrees at the start. It was going to be a warm day. However, it has been a really warm summer.

As a coach for Marathoner in Training, there is a tradition of meeting all of the MIT participants downtown before the race, to get plenty of pictures, hugs, and words of encouragement before the race. I am not really a morning person, but you can’t help but get excited at the prerace gathering!

This season I had the pleasure of coaching with two wonderful guys, Tony and Ron.

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I am so grateful to have these  two as part of the team that coaches the 13 minute pace group. They are two gems and our collective personalities match well. There was plenty of hugs and words of wisdom going around the room and of course, plenty of loud music in case you weren’t awake yet.

At 6:30am, the entire cohort of MIT made it’s way to the start line of the Columbus Marathon. I had not participated in the race since the start was moved away from Broad St. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about the new location. Other than being a little cramped in the first mile, I thought it was very efficient and organized.

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There were fireworks set off at the start of the A&B corral and then again for C,D,&E. It was a fun way to kick off the event-and of course, lots of friendly faces and positive energy at the start line.

During half marathons, I try not to think too hard for the first few miles and just run. Especially this time around. When I met with Race Director Darris Blackford, he was big on running for the joy of it. I hadn’t been enjoying running much lately and so I decided to approach this race with only one goal: come under 2:50 which was the time I had been pacing at for other events. Also, I wasn’t going to wear my watch.

What is unique about Columbus is it’s ties to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Participants are able to register as a “Children’s Champion” and fund raise for the hospital. Each mile marker is also dedicated to a “Patient Champion” a current child who is being assisted by the hospital. Race participants are able to ‘high five’ these kids and families come out to cheer on the runners and walkers.

I was really excited by how good I felt during this race. The warmer weather really didn’t bother me too much until Mile 10. The course had tons of crowd support and I had friends who came out and cheered me on.

The finish was much improved over previous years. I really liked how easy it was to move along  and get the medal, water, and snacks. The family meet and greet area was packed, but signs designating where to find your runner by last name were posted.

I am so proud to regularly be a part of this event, whether as a runner, spectator, or guest blogger. I love what the community is able to come out and do-and the positive attitude that the race reinforces. I can’t wait for 2017 to come around, until then- Happy Miles!

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(Oh, I finished in 2:44:20 🙂 )

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