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Columbus Joins List Of Ohio's Post-Pandemic Fall Marathons

Fireworks go off at the starting gate of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon in the Arena District.
Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon
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Fireworks go off at the starting gate of the Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon in the Arena District.

October will be a busy month for marathoners in Ohio, as the state's three biggest races all hold events within days of each other thanks to rescheduling driven by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nationwide Children's Hospital Columbus Marathon announced Tuesday that registration opens June 1 for an in-person event Oct. 17. Race organizers didn't announce a cap on participants for the full and half marathon races, but said they could limit registrations based on guidance from health officials.

The race, normally held in October, is the second-largest marathon in Ohio, with 3,594 finishers in 2019. Last fall's race was canceled by the pandemic.

The Cincinnati marathon, the biggest in Ohio with 3,874 finishers in 2019, is normally held in May but is now planned for Oct. 31. The Cleveland marathon, third-largest in Ohio with 1,397 finishers in 2019, is also normally held in May and is now scheduled for Oct. 24. Both canceled their spring races because of the coronavirus.

The resumption of the Columbus race can bring some normalcy back to people's training regimens, said race director Darris Blackford.

“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," he said in a statement.