Downtown Concierge

Downtown Matters: Racing Around


Downtown Matters Newsletter


Downtown Columbus

Columbus has really become a runner’s town. Chock full of road races from 5Ks to 10Ks to half marathons and more, there are many options for the avid runner. Get doused in colored powder while running? Yep. Run for the reward of abundant hot chocolate? Yep. Get doused in foam while running? Yep. Run to support a wide variety of charities? Always, for we are a generous town.

As the number of these races has grown, often they’re held on the same downtown routes. So while the public was usually pretty aware that the Columbus Marathon was coming up, they can be completely taken off guard by the sudden appearance of yet another 5K. And in the past, race promoters had until 72 hours prior to the event to set the course and apply for a permit. That meant no public notice requirement.

While no one begrudges runners and events having their fun, races require street closures that are disruptive to the public and difficult for local businesses. So earlier this year, Columbus City Council passed legislation to update the City’s laws and rules regarding competitive races on city streets after taking input from stakeholders including Capital Crossroads SID. Race promoters must now apply for a permit at least 30 days in advance of the event but are encouraged to contact City departments 90 days in advance. Race promoters must how reach out to affected neighborhoods along the race course. The Division of Police will now develop new additional race routes, so that the same neighborhoods are not affected repeatedly. The Department of Recreation and Parks will also set up a listserv for people interested in getting notices about upcoming races.

“Capital Crossroads SID was glad to see City Council develop these new rules for road races in Columbus,” explained Cleve Ricksecker, Executive Director. “These races certainly add to the character of downtown, but by extending the time frame required to apply for a permit, among other adjustments, the City should diminish the adverse affects of sudden street closures on the public and local businesses.”

For more information on the rules or to get on the listserv, contact Jason Nicholson at Recreation and Parks, (614) 645-3335 or