2017 Columbus Marathon raises over $1 million for Nationwide Children’s

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Another Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon and Half Marathon is in the books.

Thousands of runners crossed this finish line for a good cause, raising money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Once the sun came up and the clock hit 7:30am,18,000 athletes from all over the United States were off. Around 100,000 spectators cheered them on.

This was Stephanie McGill’s first marathon. “It’s my first time,” she says. “I’m really excited, I’m also nervous. I actually work at an autism clinic, so I get some first-hand experience with kids, you know, that are affected with that diagnosis, so I’m running for the kids today,” McGill.

Jesse Villalon has participated in the Columbus Marathon for 3 years and says he does it for the kids.

“I mean there’s nothing better than seeing all those kids at each mile marker, it, like, really keeps you going like for every mile that you’re running the race. I’m ready to go.”

38-year-old Teklu Deneke from Ethiopia came in first place for the full marathon, completing the race in 2 hours 20 minutes.

“You know I like Ohio racing,” he says.

Steven Smith from Wisconsin won the full marathon wheelchair division.

“My most favorite part was the downhill where we got about 30 miles an hour, you just get to cruise that one!” he says.

The Columbus Marathon helped raise $7 million dollars in the last 6 years – support for Nationwide Children’s Hospital that helps children like 11-month -old Ernie.

Ernie’s father Dave Nguyen says, “He was two years old and had seizures after he was born, so he was initially flown up here for that and he’s been treated and then he also has another condition called craniosynostosis which is the premature fusion of the plates in the skull and he actually had the surgery at Nationwide. We couldn’t think of a better way to try to give back than to for my wife to run the marathon today for us to raise a little bit of money and support of this great cause.”

According to Sarah Irvin with Irvin Public Relations, this year’s race has raised $1.2 million and counting. There were also 24 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Patient Champions and their families along the course.

Top finishers by category:

Marathon Male

  • Teklu Deneke, Ethiopia                                     2:20:26
  • Temesgen Habtemariam Bekele, Ethiopia  2:24:35
  • Makorobondo Salukombo, Cleveland            2:27:46

Marathon Female

  • Susan Jerotich, Kenya                                       2:37:31
  • Anne Flower, Columbus                                     2:46:12
  • Sarah Biehl, Portsmouth, OH                           2:49:02

½ Marathon Male

  • Macdonard Ondara, Kenya                              1:03:35
  • Benard Ngeno, Kenya                                        1:03:54
  • Simion Chirchir, Kenya                                       1:04:14

½ Marathon Female

  • Sophy Jepchirchir, Kenya                                   1:13:33
  • Andie Cozzarelli, Raleigh, NC                           1:16:53
  • Jessica Hoover, Columbus                                 1:20:06

Marathon – Wheelchair Male

  • Steven Smith, Plover, WI                                   1:55:52

Marathon — Wheelchair Female

  • Jenna Fesemyer, Champaign, IL                      2:16:23

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