Charity Day 5K Recap

I'm a bit behind in my race reports, so it's time to catch up. A few weeks ago I walked the Charity Day 5K with my mom. This was a fundraiser for my team of Columbus Marathon Athlete Ambassadors who are going to run in Hefei, China in November. The Greater Columbus Sister Cities International group arranges our in-country accommodations, along with their counterpart in Hefei. However, we ambassadors are responsible for our own airfare and visa. This 5K partners with several charities and runners/walkers can choose which one to support when they register. Unfortunately, we entered a little late and didn't have much time to get the word out. For those who are interested in providing direct support for my ambassador travel, you can do so on a tax-deductible basis at the Sister Cities Eventbrite page here, click "Tickets" and scroll to find my name. But, on to the 5K report...

With my mom Ruth before the start

The Charity Day 5K was a very well managed race, with help from some of the big players in Columbus running. Unfortunately, this still-new race is on the smaller side. More work needs to be done to publicize the event and get more participants (for all the charities). I was initially surprised by the small field.

Festive runners ready to start

The race was held on a Sunday at 5:00 PM, and was considered a part of the Red White & Boom festivities (the main festival and fireworks would take place the following day). As such, many of the participants were decked out in 4th of July themed outfits. The weather was hot, as you might expect for July in Columbus. Due to the heat and the fact that I was dealing with a cold, I decided not to run but to walk with my mom instead. I had picked up our race packets ahead of time at Columbus Running Company, but they had race-day packet pick-up too.

We started in the Arena District and the course mostly went along the river, partly on roads, but primarily on bike trails. It was a decent, looped course. Many people were walking, just like us, and we weren't the last ones at all. There was one water station on the course, and it looked like they ran out of cups or at least pre-filled cups.

Mom and I made decent enough time walking, but we didn't really have a goal. It was nice to finish and get out of the direct sun. We received our no-frills medals (the shirt was great though - it was a red Brooks tech tee). The finish refreshments were plentiful for a 5K. There was water, sports drink and iced tea to drink. There were bags of chips, packages of cookies, candy and bananas to eat. In the festival area there were tents with vendors who had a few freebies. There was beer, wine and margaritas for sale. I had a beer as we found a shady spot in the post-race area to sit down.

And that was about it. I'd recommend this race to others in the future, but I hope they work on two things for next year: 1) a better on-course water station, 2) increased publicity. This event has the potential to be a fantastic fundraiser for several local charities.


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