Ed.: Please gave a warm welcome to Kate. She's part of our most exciting recruiting class to date. We think she's a five-star, and we're convinced you will, too.
Over 26 miles of Columbus roadways and Ohio State campus streets will be shutting down this Sunday from around 7 a.m. - 1 p.m. Instead of hearing the suspected rattle of jackhammers and rumbles of construction on the closed roads, you will hear the footfalls of 18,000 athletes and cheers of 100,000 spectators.
At 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, October 19th a pistol will fire and mark the start of the 2014 Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon.
I ran four half marathons in three states, including the Columbus half in 2010. None of the other three I have completed have held a candle to Columbus. This year's race sold out in record time and it is easy to see why when you look at what comprises the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon.
The 18,000 athletes running the race will be celebrating their own health and personal accomplishments across 13.1 or 26.2 miles, but they will also be honoring and celebrating the patients of Nationwide Children's Hospital.
24 of the 26.2 miles on the course will be represented by 24 children who are patients at NCH. These ‘Marathon Miracle Mile Patients' are facing everything from cerebral palsy, to hearing loss, to tumors.
In addition to the 24 miracle kids who will be at their respective mile markers on race day, there are two more miles with special designation. Mile 11, dubbed the ‘Angel Mile', will pay tribute to "the angels of Nationwide Children's who have already finished their race" and mile 18 will be an ‘Encore Mile' lined with the Marathon Miracle Mile kids from the 2012 and 2013 races.
To ensure runners, spectators, and the Marathon Miracle Mile children have a safe, fun, and memorable day, a considerable amount of preparation has gone into the event by central Ohioans.
- An 11 member board of directors and 27 person organizing team has accumulated more than 10,000 hours in planning for the 2014 race.
- 27 permits had to be obtained through five police jurisdictions to shut down the 26.2 miles of Columbus roads.
- There will be 17 aid stations throughout the course so athletes can stay hydrated.
- To keep everyone healthy and safe a team of 100+ medical volunteers will be available, along with participation from emergency services personnel from the Columbus Police Department, Columbus Division of Fire, American Red Cross, and Homeland Security.
- 3000 volunteers are donating their time to make sure race day runs smoothly.
To the 11,000 half marathon runners and 7,000 marathon runners: whether you are running for a PR, to simply finish, or to celebrate one of the Nationwide Children's Hospital kids - good luck. As you run the streets of Grandview, The Short North, German Village, Upper Arlington, and even through Ohio Stadium this Sunday, know that the city of Columbus is behind you.
The Columbus Marathon will celebrate its 35th anniversary on Sunday. It will be the third year that Nationwide Children's Hospital will be the title beneficiary. In the two years the partnership between the Columbus Marathon and Nationwide Children's Hospital has existed, over $2 million dollars has been raised for Nationwide Children's Hospital. To read about each of the Nationwide Children's Marathon Miracle Mile Patients click here. To learn more about giving to Nationwide Children's Hospital or to make a donation visit here.