COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The countdown is on for runners to take their marks in this year’s Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon.
As thousands of people make their way into the city for the big event, businesses are gearing up to take on the large crowds. Some businesses in the Short North say marathon weekend is normally one of their top 10 busiest weekends of the year.
“At the end of every race, you really want to celebrate what you’ve accomplished,” said Jason Fabian, the General Manager of Barley’s Brewing Company.
Fabian said every year when the marathon rolls around, they see tons of runners come into Barley’s before and after the race.
“On Saturday when most people pick up their race packet, this area is going to be more condensed with that foot traffic and people getting a reasonable meal before the big race day on Sunday,” Fabian said.
He said they always plan ahead and load up on extra staff and food.
“Of course, the chefs can prepare a lot of extra pasta because these people do like to carbo load a little bit. Typically, 48 hours to 24 in advance,” Fabian said.
Assistant Race Director, Charissa Fee, said this year’s race is one of their biggest ever. It’s sold out with 12,000 athletes participating.
“About 60 percent of our runners are from Central Ohio, but the rest come from all over the country, all over the world represented here. I think we’ve got 48 states,” Fee said.
She said this race really has an impact on just about every industry in Columbus.
“They are dining out here. They’re enjoying our community. We experience Columbus. We send maps of all of our areas. They’re enjoying our hotels, our restaurants. They’re seeing what Columbus has to offer in really one of the most beautiful times of the year to be in Columbus,” Fee said.
Since 2012, the marathon has raised almost $12 million for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.
Organizers say whether you are coming to cheer on the runners or meeting them for lunch after to leave early and give yourself time on the road.