On your mark: Runners get ready for races at Commons expo

EVEN as the forecast shows cooler temperatures, excitement for the 10th annual Mill Race Marathon is heating up.

Some of that excitement was felt at the marathon expo at The Commons on Friday. Aside from being a hub for checking items off the marathon to-do list — such as picking up race packets and parking passes — the event was also a chance for runners and spectators alike to meet and greet with different businesses and organizations.

Brandi Legge with White River Running Company said she enjoys the pre-race excitement of the expo and seeing other vendors. And naturally, the store also sees business from the marathon and other races.

“Being downtown has been great for the past eight years and being involved,” said Legge. “And being right next to the start and finish line has been good as well.”

They tend to open before the race, just in case people need to buy any equipment at the last minute.

Organizers with the Indy Mini Marathon also took part in the expo, handing out QR codes so that interested individuals could register for their upcoming races.

“It’s great,” said Lindsay Labas, who helped staff the table. “I’m a runner myself, and I love the hype of the expo and what that leads into.”

Another visitor from Indianapolis was Chris Stann, who is running the half-marathon for the first time in the hopes that it’ll prepare him for an upcoming race in Panama City. He’s also heard good things about the Mill Race Marathon and looks forward to seeing more of Columbus.

“I’m really excited,” said Stann. “I feel like my training’s gone well, and the weather’s supposed to be beautiful tomorrow.”

As of noon on Friday, The Weather Channel predicted a temperature of 57 degrees for 7 a.m. and a mostly cloudy morning. Temperatures were expected to stay in the 50s and 60s until 1 p.m.

Angie May, president of local company and marathon sponsor Analytical Engineering, Inc., said that while past years have been pretty hot, the race day forecast showed “ideal weather” for runners looking to set personal records.

May has run in the 5K for several years and has once again signed up.

“It is a lot of work,” she said. “I was never really a runner, so it was a push the first time I did it.”

Still, she keeps coming back because it’s good for her. She also enjoys seeing people during marathon weekend that she hasn’t seen in a while.

While May recently had a knee injury and hasn’t run a lot lately, she plans to do her best and “try to enjoy the day.”