Run. Party. Repeat: The OhioHealth Cap City Half Marathon blends block party vibes with tons of local fun

Jack McLaughlin

A 13.1 mile block party complete with 30 live musical performances, a 12,000-person pizza party and a craft beer brewed in its honor.

No, we aren’t talking about a multi-day music festival (but we can understand why you might think that). We’re talking about the OhioHealth Capital City Half Marathon, Quarter Marathon and 5k. 

“The atmosphere is like a 13.1, 6.55 and 3.1 mile block party, and after you finish, we have the best post-race in the country,” said race director and founder David Babner.

The event, which will be celebrating its 20th year this spring, offers both half and quarter marathon courses (13.1 and 6.55 miles), in addition to a 5K (3.1 miles). 

If you’re interested in being a participant, you’ll want to start your training soon, as the Cap City Half will take place on April 29. The earlier you sign up for the race (which you can do here), the sooner you can begin receiving training tips, event information and more from organizers, all intended to help you have a remarkable experience.  This is truly a New Year’s Resolution Solution. 

And if you’re the type that’s just in it to have a good time, The Cap City Half is the place to be. While the course supports a healthy competitive scene, it’s equally open to runners and walkers, who care more about enjoying themselves on the course than winning.

This starts with the Cap City Half course itself. With musical guests lining its entirety, the race hits a handful of iconic Columbus landmarks, making it perfect for a first-timer to central Ohio, and equally entertaining to a Cbus veteran looking to take in the City from a unique new perspective. 

“You start at the Columbus Commons, see German Village, The Short North, Campus, High Street, Neil Avenue. and then catch the North Market on the way back,” Babner said. “It’s the best tour of Columbus on two feet.”

And once you’re done, a beer and pizza party with 12,000 of your closest friends is waiting for you at the finish line. Did we mention that Land-Grant Brewing Co. regularly creates a totally unique beer in honor of the race every year? In past years, Land-Grant has produced beers for the race including 13.1 Wheat and 13.1 Recovery Haze Pale Ale. The style of beer produced changes each year, but it’s always inspired by (and created for) Cap City Half runners.

According to Babner, a Columbus lawyer who now serves on the board of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission, the race was initially inspired by an of early-2000s  PSA touting the benefits of an active lifestyle. 

He thought Columbus was ready for a celebration of those pursuing an active healthy lifestyle. He had seen several other cities launching destination races, and knew that central Ohio was capable of pulling off its own unique event.  

“I knew we had something special, and we wanted to highlight Columbus as the best running city in the country,” he said.

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new January issue here!

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