Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon will be holding an event called RunFest (click for all the specifics and to RSVP) at Landmark Aviation located at 4130 East Fifth Avenue in Columbus.
This will mark the third straight year for this free event that will hopefully draw in excess of 1,000 runners and walkers. There will be giveaways, sneak peeks at this year's race shirts and medals, booths offering training advice and healthy living tips, free food from some of Columbus’ favorite food trucks, the full line-up of Nationwide Children's Hospital Patient Champions and more!
OK, that's the nuts and bolts for RunFest with plenty of links to surf to your heart's content. Now, here's my take on why this is such a great event and an important step in your marathon or half marathon journey. And it has nothing to do with the fact that I'm one of the meet-up hosts, but more on that later. ;)
For most us, we started out running or walking on our own and may even do most of our workouts that way. I'm fortunate to have a group of friends (the Mount Vernon Running Buddies) that I run with almost every day and it's a great way to stay accountable, get advice, and get the support needed to attempt these longer races.
Well, events such as RunFest are great ways to find out that you are not alone in your running or walking endeavors. Just like on race day, you'll see people of all shapes, sizes, ages, and abilities coming together with a common interest. And, there will be plenty of experts around to ask training-related questions as well as event-specific questions. If you haven't decided to commit to one of the two races, what better way to make that decision than to stop by RunFest, check out the course map and finisher bling, and then take advantage of the final day of registration savings by signing up for this year's event before the cost goes up $10 on Sunday.
In addition to talking to experts, enjoying free food, and signing up for giveaways, you also get the opportunity to meet six people with various backgrounds who have been designated as meet-up hosts for this event. I'm very humbled to be one of these six people and I'm looking forward to meeting the other five for the first time myself. From my very first involvement with the Columbus Marathon via its Twitter account before I ever ran my first race, I've been thoroughly impressed by the great interaction that makes this large race feel like it was being put on especially for me. While I enjoy pushing myself to post the very best time possible, I also really thrive on the social aspect and all the great friends that I have made as a result of running in this race twice so far (half in 2010 and full in 2011). I've found that every runner and walker has a story and it has been a blast to hear a lot of them the past two years since I started my own journey. I would consider it a privilege to meet as many of you as possible on Saturday and would love to hear your story about what motivates you to run. So, stop by between 1:30-3:30 and look for the 6-foot-6 guy and introduce yourself. :)
See you at RunFest on Saturday and then at the starting line on October 21! Feel free to comment below or connect with me on Twitter to let me know you are coming.