While fitness might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Scioto Mile, it is shaping up to be a popular place for people to get in shape as well. There are 22 runs, walks, and bike rides currently scheduled to take place along the Mile this year. These fitness events represent a variety of causes, organizations, and levels of intensity—the calendar includes everything from the Central Ohio Diabetes Family Fun Walk & Run to the Giant Eagle MultiSport Festival, which includes a triathlon. Also this year the Scioto Mile will serve as the new start line for the Capital City Half Marathon and will be the location for the Inaugural Scioto Mile(s) training series.
The Scioto Mile(s) series “is designed to help any runner or walker gear up for their spring half marathons,” said Jeff Henderson, manager of Fleet Feet Columbus (co-presenter of the series) and head coach for the Marathoner in Training (MIT) program.
Henderson said there is no better way to practice your race day routine than to join in several races throughout your training. The Scioto Mile(s) offer participants a choice between a 5K or 10K on March 31 and a 5K, 10K, or 15K on April 22.
Henderson explained that support is a main focus of the training series. The races are designed to be a “safe, fun environment to practice what you have been training for…we have a phenomenal route with more support than any other race in town.” Amenities include hydration stations, a fully staffed medical team from Ohio Health stationed throughout the course and the at finish line, physical therapists and athletic trainers to help with post-race stretching and Yoga on High facilitating relaxing cool-downs for finishers. Another aspect of support is the actual race course—a 5K loop that those who choose the 10K or 15K distances simply repeat. Henderson explained, “Sure, we could have made separate 5K, 10K, and 15K loops, but when you spread out the course you spread out support. We want to ensure that our participants have plenty of support every step of the way…friends and family will be able to cheer their participants on multiple times throughout the races.”
The Scioto Mile(s) course starts outside COSI, crosses the Scioto River on Broad Street then heads up to North Bank Park, crosses the Scioto again on Souder and heads back to COSI, where participants will either finish at Genoa Park or loop around accordingly. This route gives participants “the best view of the Columbus skyline,” Henderson said.
The combination of great events at a beautiful location draws a lot of people downtown. For example, the response to the Scioto Mile series has been “phenomenal,” Henderson said. “We will have well over 1500 participants in both events.” The Capital City Half Marathon, referred to as “the best tour of Columbus on two feet,” is on pace for its earliest sell-out ever, and will cap its registration field at 13,000 runners and walkers.
Are you participating in the Scioto Mile(s), the Capital City Half Marathon, or any of the many other fitness events along the Mile? Do you like to do your training there? Let us know on our facebook page and be sure to check out the Events Calendar so you don’t miss any of the races, walks, and other special events going on at the Scioto Mile!
Participating in one or more of the fitness events along the Mile? Henderson included some great pointers and guidelines for running in settings such as the Scioto Mile:
- Never work out alone, if possible. Always stay to the right on paths, no more than two abreast.
- Vocalize your intent to pass, then pass on the left.
- Follow the rules of the road/path—this includes following traffic signals. Even when you have the right of way know that most vehicles are not looking for you.
- Make eye contact with cars and passing bikes. This helps increase their awareness of runners on the roads and paths.
- Be aware of your surroundings. Our paths are becoming increasingly utilized, which at times can make them congested and frustrating to navigate. At the end of the day it’s a great thing for Columbus that we are all out there trying to better our lives.