Columbus Half Marathon: Your Friendly Race Guide 2024

Are you planning to participate in a half marathon? Let us introduce you to the Columbus Half Marathon, a remarkable event that showcases the beautiful city of Columbus, Ohio, and supports a meaningful cause. We’ll give you a brief overview of this popular race and what you can expect from it.

The Columbus Half Marathon is part of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon event, where runners can tour downtown Columbus, Bexley, and German Village, all while supporting the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The event also includes a full marathon, and participants can expect high fives from Patient Champions throughout the course.

Not only is the Columbus Half Marathon a great way to challenge yourself physically and mentally, but it’s also an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the Children’s Hospital patients.

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05/22/2024 12:26 am GMT

Columbus Half Marathon

We’re excited to share information about the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Half Marathon. This event not only offers a chance to complete a 13.1-mile running challenge but also supports a great cause.

In addition to the Columbus Half Marathon, there is also a full marathon race available for runners who prefer longer distances. Both races have attracted participants for over 43 years, making it a staple event in the Columbus racing calendar.

Key Event Details:

  • Location: Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & Half Marathon start at North Bank Park, 311 W Long Street, Columbus, OH
  • Schedule: Race day begins with corrals opening at 6:00am, wheelchair division starting at 7:25am, and the marathon & half marathon commencing at 7:30am.

For participants and spectators looking to stay updated on race day, there’s an app available that tracks the progress of the race. Download the Mobile App and select the 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon event to get involved in the live results experience.

Sebastian Gradl after Running a Charity Run 09.2023

“I think it’s nice to think that you’re contributing to a good cause with a sporting challenge. You help others and do something good for your health. Brilliant. By the way, the photo is also from a charity run.”

Race History

Columbus Half Marathon Race Start
by Pinterest

As we look back on the history of the Columbus Half Marathon, we can see a rich tradition of running and community spirit. The half marathon is a part of the larger Columbus Marathon event, and its course features minimal elevation changes, providing a friendly and accessible race for participants of all skill levels. Throughout the years, we’ve seen many memorable races and achievements.

🏁 Past Races

  • 2015: This year marked a significant improvement in the race, with more runners participating and better organization.
  • 2019: Runners from various countries participated, showcasing the international appeal of the Columbus Half Marathon.
  • 2021: The race returned after a hiatus due to the pandemic, receiving an enthusiastic response from runners and the community.
  • 2022: The event continued to grow, drawing even more participants and generating excitement for future editions.
  • 2023: The most recent edition of the race was filled with memorable moments and achievements, including Kenyan runner James Ngandu winning his fifth straight half marathon in a time of 1:03:27, and Sarah Naibei claiming the first spot in the women’s half marathon.

Registration and Participation

Columbus Half Marathon Man is running
by Pinterest

📝 Steps to Register

To join the thrilling experience of the Columbus Half Marathon, follow these simple steps to register.

  1. First, visit the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon website.
  2. There, you’ll find detailed information about the event and a Register button.
  3. Clicking on the button will take you to the registration form.
  4. Fill it out with your personal information, including name, email, and your desired race category.
  5. After submitting the form and the registration fee, you’re all set to participate in the race!

👥 Participants Profile

The Columbus Half Marathon is open to participants of all backgrounds and running experience levels. Everyone is welcome, from professional athletes to local running enthusiasts, as well as those running for a personal cause or to support the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Welcoming individuals from different backgrounds makes the event more vibrant, fostering a diverse community of runners all aiming to achieve their goals.

🏁 Race Weekend

The Race Weekend is filled with exciting events and activities, starting with the Health & Fitness Expo. Taking place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center a day before the race, the expo offers a wide range of products and services geared towards running, health, and fitness.

On race day, the event kicks off in downtown Columbus, OH. The Half Marathon course takes participants through the scenic streets of Columbus, passing through neighborhoods like Bexley and German Village. Along the way, runners will have the opportunity to high-five Patient Champions from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, making the experience even more special and meaningful.

Throughout the weekend, there are various events to engage with, such as the pre-race pasta dinner or the post-race celebration, where you can share your accomplishments with fellow runners and locals who come to cheer on the participants.

The Course

Columbus Half Marathon Women are running
by Pinterest

🛣️ Route Description

The course of the Columbus Half Marathon is a truly amazing experience that takes us through some of the most historic and picturesque areas of the city. Our journey starts at the North Bank Park, an iconic location known for its beautiful skyline views. From there, we make our way towards the vibrant neighborhoods of Downtown Columbus, filled with stunning architecture and a lively atmosphere.

As we continue, we are presented with a unique opportunity to explore the charming German Village, famous for its preserved brick streets and quaint homes. This experience allows us to travel back in time, as we take in the ambiance of the historic district.

Here are some key features of our Columbus Half Marathon course:

  • Distance: 13.1 miles
  • Type: Fast Course, suitable for both beginners and experienced runners
  • Starting Line: North Bank Park
  • Finish Line: North Bank Park
  • Course Map: Available here

In terms of pacing, the course is designed to be fast and relatively flat, enabling us to achieve personal bests during the race. The overall atmosphere along the route is friendly and inviting, helping us push through any challenges we may face during the 1/2 marathon.

All things considered, the Columbus Half Marathon course provides us with an unforgettable running experience, as we take in the rich history and energetic spirit of the city while accomplishing a significant athletic feat.

Event Partnerships

🏥 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Partnership

We are excited to share that the Columbus Half Marathon has partnered with Nationwide Children’s Hospital as the Title Beneficiary for this year’s event. This partnership highlights the commitment to support the community and promote health and wellness among the participants. Nationwide Children’s Hospital provides essential care to children in need.

In addition to the hospital partnership, the Columbus Half Marathon organizers have taken the initiative to support local education as well through the Columbus Promise program. This year, they are renaming the popular 5K running and walking event the Columbus Promise 5K. The Columbus Promise program offers free tuition to new Columbus City School students.

👥 Name of Other Partners

The event is made possible by the collaboration and support of various partners. Roosters is one of the Official Partners for this year’s Columbus Half Marathon. Roosters is known for their award-winning boneless wings, and they will be featured during the Byers Xtra Mile Finish Line Party, adding extra excitement to race day.

Race Day

Columbus Half Marathon Woman celebrating
by Pinterest

🏁 The Start

We’re excited to welcome you on race day for the Columbus Half Marathon. To ensure that everything goes smoothly for all participants, we’ve prepared a brief guide to help you navigate the race day activities.

Make sure to set your alarm early and arrive for the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus 1/2 Marathon well ahead of time. The starting line is in downtown Columbus, and it’s essential that everyone is in their designated corral before the race begins.

Here are a few tips to make your race day experience even better:

  • Arrive early: Make sure you have ample time for parking and warming up.
  • Hydrate well: Keep your body hydrated both before and during the race.
  • Pace yourself: It’s important to maintain a steady pace and not overexert yourself in the initial stages.
  • Cheer others: Being supportive of fellow participants creates a lively atmosphere.

🏅 Results and Leaderboard

When you cross the finish line, remember that you’ve completed a fantastic accomplishment! You’ll receive your hard-earned medal and celebrate the achievement with friends and family. After the race, you can check the 2023 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon Live Results to see your time, overall rank, and how you fared in your age group.

We’d also like to remind everyone that the Mobile App will help you track your progress during the race, with friends and family able to join in and follow your journey through the marathon event.

“But I also realize that winning doesn’t always mean getting first place; it means getting the best out of yourself.” 
– Meb Keflezighi

Additional Information

🏥 Health and Safety

We understand that the safety and well-being of the participants are of utmost importance. That’s why the Columbus half marathon takes numerous precautions to ensure a secure environment during the event. The team of medical professionals will be available throughout the race, providing assistance as needed at stations along the course and at the finish line.

Additionally, they closely monitor weather conditions leading up to the event and update the race day plans accordingly, keeping participants informed every step of the way.

🎒 Expo

Before the big event, join the Race Expo held at the Columbus Convention Center. Alongside other races in the series, you’ll be able to pick up your race packet, browse through exhibitors showcasing the latest running gear, and grab event merchandise to remember your experience. The Race Expo offers a great opportunity to get excited for your race and connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion for running.

🏃‍♂️ 5K Race Details

If you’re looking for a shorter distance to conquer, the Columbus Half Marathon also includes a 5K race for runners and walkers. The 5K event follows a similar, yet shortened, route through the scenic streets of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Just like the half marathon, participants in the 5K will have access to aid stations and medical support along the course.

Spectation Locations

If you’re looking to cheer on the participants of the Columbus Half Marathon, we have compiled a list of great spectation locations for you! These locations were chosen based on their accessibility along the course and their ability to provide ample space for spectators and an exciting atmosphere. Here’s a table of our top picks:

Mile MarkerLocationDescription
2Downtown ColumbusStart near the Marathon start line and enjoy the bustling energy of downtown as runners begin their journey.
5BexleyThis beautiful neighborhood offers a scenic spectating spot as runners pass gorgeous stately homes.
8German VillageThis historic district is known for its charming brick streets and close-knit community, providing a unique spectating experience.
10Scioto MileWitness runners along the picturesque waterfront park, with its fountains and skyline views.

In addition to these locations, we encourage spectators to explore the various trails throughout central Ohio, such as the Olentangy, Alum Creek, and Blacklick Creek trails. These paths provide great opportunities to catch a glimpse of the runners while also enjoying the natural beauty of the region.

5 Post Race-Activities

Columbus Half Marathon Woman stretching
by Pinterest

After completing the Columbus Half Marathon, we highly recommend taking part in the following post-race activities to make the most of our hard-earned accomplishment. These activities are both fun and rejuvenating, offering the chance to connect with other participants and celebrate together.

1. 🏠 Inflatable Bounce Houses

Some races, such as the 2FGR Run for Down Syndrome, feature inflatable bounce houses for post-race entertainment. It’s a delightful way to unwind and let our inner child run free!

2. 🍔 Delicious Post-Race Food

We can treat ourselves to some delicious post-race food offered at various running events across Columbus. We deserve a hearty meal after pushing our limits and achieving our goals in the half marathon.

3. 🎵 Music & Entertainment

Often during race events, there are live music performances and other forms of entertainment present. It’s the perfect atmosphere to socialize with fellow runners, take loads of pictures, and enjoy the positive vibes.

4. 🎪 Festival and Vendor Booths

Many races have festival areas where local businesses set up booth to showcase their products or services. We can explore these booths, take advantage of special deals, and even pick up some new gear for our upcoming races.

5. 🍻 Celebrate at a Local Brewery

Columbus offers a variety of breweries that are perfect for celebratory drinks with fellow runners. After all, there’s no better way to mark the end of a half marathon than by sharing a refreshing brew with our new friends.

Remember, participation in these post-race activities helps to create memorable experiences and foster a sense of community among fellow runners. Enjoying these activities is a fantastic way for us to cap off our incredible achievement in completing the Columbus Half Marathon.

Our 4 Tips on the Columbus Half Marathon

Dennis Heinrich Mallorca Marathon Bild 6 10.2023

“Ensure to prioritize health and safety by following the guidelines provided by the organizers and being mindful of personal well-being before, during, and after the race.”

“Make arrangements/to collect your bib on the designated date or on race day as per the outlined schedule to avoid any last-minute hassles.”

Sebastian Gradl after Running Wertach X-Run
Dennis Heinrich Mallorca Marathon 24.10.2023

“Familiarize yourself with the age group categories to understand the competition and potential awards for top finishers in each category.”

“Pay attention to the corral assignments communicated via email and arrive at the designated corral well in advance of the assigned start time for a smooth race start.

Sebastian Gradl 27.101.2023


What is the date of the Columbus Half Marathon?

The Columbus Half Marathon is typically held in late October. 

Can I transfer my race registration to another person?

Race registrations are non-transferable and non-refundable. 

Are strollers allowed in the race?

Strollers are not allowed in the Columbus Half Marathon for safety reasons.

What is your opinion on the Columbus Half Marathon? I would love to hear it in the comments. I’m sure you also like reading about Half Marathon Calorie Burn or our Marathon Checklist.

Sebastian Gradl 26.09.2023
Sebastian Gradl

Nice to meet you, I´m Sebastian Gradl!

I write the articles on

I hope I can awaken your passion for running too and would be happy to take you on the runfitjourney!

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