COLUMBUS, Ohio (JANUARY 16, 2013) — USA Track & Field has awarded the 2016 and 2017 Men's and Women's USA Half Marathon National Championships to Columbus and The Capital City Half Marathon. The championships will be held within The Capital City Half Marathon each year, which partnered with the Greater Columbus Sports Commission on the bid.
The men's and women's national half-marathon championship races will be run in conjunction with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Houston in January in 2014 and 2015 and The Capital City Half Marathon in Columbus in May in 2016 and 2017.
"We are excited to have Houston and Columbus play hosts to our USATF Half Marathon Championships from 2014 through 2017," said USATF CEO Max Siegel. "We look forward to working with both cities to deliver what promises to be four years of elite competitions that will highlight the talents of our nation's best runners."
More than 150 elite men's and women's long distance runners are estimated to participate each year and the 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships in Columbus will serve as a U.S. qualifier for the IAAF Half Marathon World Championships. Duluth, MN hosted the 2012 championships, which were won by 2012 Olympians Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, and will host them again in 2013.
“As I know first-hand, Columbus is a wonderful home for sports,” said USATF President and Chairman of the Board Stephanie Hightower. “The Capital City Half Marathon and the Greater Columbus Sports Commission will do a wonderful job of showcasing the diverse and vibrant city as they host the country's top distance runners during the 2016 and 2017 USATF Half Marathon Championships.”
Columbus hosted the men's U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 1992 and since 2004, has held The Capital City Half Marathon, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary in May 2013 with an expected sold out field of 16,000.
“We are proud to host the USATF Half Marathon Championships in Columbus in 2016 and 2017 and thank USA Track & Field for the opportunity to showcase our city to the nation's best long distance runners,” said David Babner, race director of The Capital City Half Marathon. “We also thank Mayor Coleman, the Greater Columbus Sports Commission and the Ohio Association of USA Track & Field for helping us bring such a prestigious event to our community.”
“Columbus is thrilled to host USA Track & Field's Half Marathon Championships in an Olympic year in 2016, and 2017,” Greater Columbus Sports Commission Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan said. “Our city continues to grow because of collaborative partnerships and we're excited to join The Capital City Half Marathon in hosting such a high-profile event. We will work hard to roll out the red carpet to USA Track & Field and create the best athlete experience possible.”
USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the #1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit www.usatf.org.
The Capital City Half Marathon, presented By KeyBank, is produced by M3S Sports, a sports marketing firm based in Columbus, Ohio dedicated to celebrating a healthy active lifestyle. M3S Sports also produces the Emerald City Half and Quarter Marathon, the Arizona Distance Classic, the Giant Eagle Multisport Festival and the Flying Feather Four Miler, plus a variety of other running and walking events in Central Ohio. The Capital City Half Marathon will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2013.
The Greater Columbus Sports Commission (GCSC) was formed in June 2002 to provide leadership, guidance and marketing expertise towards the region being recognized as a premier sports destination in attracting sporting events and activities to bolster Greater Columbus economically through visitor spending. Since 2002, it has bid on and brought more than 225 new sporting events to Columbus that have generated an estimated $250 million in visitor spending, while also working to retain annual bid events that have generated an additional $180 million.