By Okon Ekpenyong, By Michael Moore and Ganel Leconte
A 25-person marathon team worked on the 2021 Columbus Marathon all year round, as revealed by Sarah Irvin, the Media Director for the marathon in an interview. This amounted to about 10,000 workforce hours of two years since last year’s event did not happen because of the state’s covid19 safety mandate.
Because of the pandemic, we institute a Covid-19 safety protocol for all of the athletes. They had to either show proof of vaccination or covid negative testing within three days of the event, and that went perfectly. Everybody complied, and we wanted to keep everybody safe as well as we can because this is a health and fitness event.
We had 12 Kenyans in the field at the 2021 Marathon. As always, they swept, and they did great work. Yes, it is very important to have representation from all over the world; and we have people from all over the country and all over the world participating in this event.
The winners qualify for the Boston Marathon, but the winners also get first prize here. The winners get $4000 dollars. We are happy that we are back, and Columbus turned out for this awesome event. More than 8,000 in the field, and it was a great day.
Besides the board of directors implementing Covid-19 safety protocols, it is also vital that we complement the race and the medical director.
They worked to ensure that all participants in the field and spectators were safe from harm. They monitored the weather conditions and assured that a 30-minute delay would be in place if there were any sign of visible lightning. Another critical factor in the safety protocol taken was to ensure that if there were any extreme high heat and humidity, the medical team needed to be notified immediately. By law, a race and medical personal can delay, cancel, or suspend a marathon due to safety concerns, whether a threat or weather-related.
Dr. Bright is the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and 1/2 Marathon Medical Director and has competed in over 60 marathons nationwide, including Columbus, Chicago, New York City, Boston Marathons, and quite a few other short or long-distance races.