Racing with buckeye pridePosted by in Miles
A highly recommended race, the Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon features green and water views that are simply beautiful. Running the gradual point-to-point downhill course, participants may find a PR within reach.
Pre-race is smooth. Water and bagels are available for any runners who missed breakfast and lots of bathrooms by the start results in very short waits for that last minute pit stop. With a relatively small pool of runners (1287 finished the race in 2009), separate starting corrals aren’t needed to avoid overcrowding. This year, runners were amply pumped with the cheesy, but awesome Eye of the Tiger before race start.
From Dublin’s Mall at Tuttle Crossing, the USATF course takes runners down Riverside Drive, past the Scioto River, into downtown Columbus, and concludes at North Bank Park.
While crowd support was a little lacking, the midwestern runners were remarkably friendly. Lots of water and gatorade stations are sprinkled along the way, with GU at mile 5. Post-race goodies were amazing—so much good stuff: gourmet cupcakes, loads of fresh fruit, bottled water, trail mix, granola bars, and more. Served indoors—it’s a cool, shaded retreat.
Race swag includes a cool duo-tone (black and red) technical t and branded drinking glass. Also each runner receives a beautiful, heavy finisher’s medal. Who doesn’t love a medal?
Shuttles at the finish line take you back to the start. With large, brand new buses, it’s a quick and simple process.
There was no race day packet pickup or registration. Held Tuesday through Saturday all the way in Gahanna, runners were required to travel more than half an hour to the Second Sole shoe store. While quick, simple, and uneventful—getting to the location can be a pain. Also disappointing was the remaining inventory at the store. Perhaps those picking up their packets before Saturday were able to snatch up the good stuff.
While the host hotel (the Hyatt) was convenient to the start, there is no pre-race pasta dinner or sign welcoming runners. There is, however, free breakfast that many can appreciate.
Held Sunday, August 29, the 3rd Annual Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon is the first in a 2-part race series that includes the Spirit of Pittsburgh Half Marathon to be held on November 7. Registration for the half marathon and two-person relay is available at spiritofpittsburgh.com. The loop course takes runners through Pittsburgh and the Three Rivers area.
According to the official Web site, the “Spirit of” concept is about two things:
- Getting back to the essence of ‘racing’
- The ‘spirit’ of the community that is hosting the event.
Timing chips were attached to bibs from MyLaps bib-based timing. There were no pacing groups and photos were taken by ASI Photos.
The tagline of the Spirit of Columbus Half Marathon is “Race with Buckeye Pride.” The Ohio buckeye is the state tree and also refers to the state’s frontier pioneers. Additionally, it is the nickname for those at Ohio State University.
2010 race results are available on active.com.