Andrew Holleran / Photo editor
Marathon runners will get a chance to see what Buckeye football players get to see every home game this Sunday: a view of Ohio Stadium from the field.
During the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon, participants are mapped to be routed for a stretch through Ohio Stadium at about mile 18 of the 26.2 mile run.
In previous years, the race course was routed around the stadium and near the Olentangy River, but runners didn’t have the chance to enter the stadium. But this year, participants competing in the full marathon will have the opportunity to run the same route football players do: down the ramp of the “home tunnel” and across the field, said Darris Blackford, Columbus Marathon race director.
To contribute to the atmosphere of Ohio Stadium, a cheering section will be stationed in the stands to encourage runners as they near the 18-mile marker on the course.
The idea of running through the stadium was inspired by other races with courses that allow runners to cross major football fields, such as the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in Wisconsin that routed runners through Lambeau Field last May, home of the Green Bay Packers.
Blackford said no one had thought of routing runners through the ‘Shoe before.
“No one had ever asked (about Ohio Stadium),” Blackford explained.
Some students on campus said they are excited to have OSU showcased in the marathon.
Brian Phillips, a fourth-year in mechanical engineering, said it would “add value to the race,” because “a lot of people really admire Ohio Stadium.”
Sunday’s race will mark Phillips’ fourth time running the Columbus Marathon and he said the stadium portion will come at a “point in the race where you start to lose steam.”
Other students agreed, such as Kayla Kilar, a second-year in criminology and sociology, who is participating in the half-marathon. While she won’t get to run through the stadium, she said she’s happy other runners will.
“A full marathon is such an accomplishment. It’s more of an honor that the full marathoners get to run through the stadium,” she said.
She said she hopes the new race route will encourage other students to participate in the race in future years.
“I think it’s an honor and it’s a great idea to get Ohio State involved,” Kilar said. “More students can get involved and aspire to have good health.”
The Columbus Marathon is scheduled to begin at 7:30 a.m. and travels throughout Columbus. The race begins downtown and weaves through Bexley, Olde Town East, German Village, Grandview and Victorian Village in addition to an appearance at OSU.