Press Release

Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon Moving Forward with Plans for In-Person Race in October

26 May 2021 08:38
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Credit : VasenkaPhotography

(COLUMBUS, Ohio)- Registration for the 2021 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon opens June 1.

With continued progress occurring in the battle against COVID-19, the Board of Trustees has voted 10-0 to move ahead with planning for the Sunday, October 17 event.

Race officials have worked for months with local and state leaders and health officials on the return of an in-person event. If the event is unable to take place in October due to COVID-19 restrictions, however, registrants will be issued a full refund, as was the case after it was canceled last year.

“The decision to cancel the event in 2020 was based upon one key factor – safety – and this remains our main priority going forward,” said Dan Leite, Chairman of the Columbus Marathon Board of Trustees. “With the improving conditions surrounding COVID-19, we are excited to take this next step in our return to the streets of Columbus on the third Sunday of October.”

Darris Blackford, Race Director, said the June 1 opening of registration times out well with when people would typically begin training to run or walk the 26.2-mile and 13.1-mile races in Columbus.

“After such a challenging year, people can bring a bit of normalcy back to their health and wellness regimens,” Blackford said. “Our race by no means replaces or diminishes the hardship and suffering so many have endured and continue to face as a result of COVID-19, but it does provide a welcome distraction to the stresses of the pandemic.”

Blackford said he and his team are working with local and state leaders and health officials for the safe return of the race in 2021, and a number of areas are under review, including the event size, course and layout of the start and finish areas.

“We are working with all of our municipal, community and business partners, as well as our benefiting charity Nationwide Children’s Hospital, to do things safely and correctly,” Blackford said. “This is a joint effort involving thousands of people and impacts the lives of countless others throughout our region.”