2014 Soldier Marathon Runners Guide


Soldier Marathon, Soldier Half Marathon, Soldier Relay Marathon, Soldier 5K Race and Soldier Kids Marathon

Registration and Packet Pickup

Registration and Packet pickup is at the National Infantry Museum, 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia near the gates of Ft. Benning on Friday, November 7, 2014 -- 11:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and on Race Day, Saturday, November 8, 2014 -- 6:00 a.m. to 7:45 a.m.  

Pasta Dinner

Friday night at the National Infantry Museum there is a wonderful pasta dinner available to runners and their families at 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm. The charge is $15 for adults, $25 for two, and $10 for children.  Also, a special 10% discount coupon will be in your race bag complimentary of Valley Hospitality allowing you to eat at either Houlihans Restaurants in Columbus or the Cannon Brew Pub.


There are 5 places to park around the National Infantry Museum:  the parking lot of the National Infantry Museum, the parking lot across the street from the Museum at Oxbow Meadows, along the side of S. Lumpkin Road south of the National Infantry Museum, in a grass parking lot on S. Lumpkin Road about ½ miles south of the National Infantry Museum with bus transportation available from the grass lot to the Museum, and along Ft. Benning Road south of the Museum.  Please plan to arrive early.

 Parking along S. Lumpkin Road north of the National Infantry Museum is restricted because it’s part of our race course.  

Ft. Benning Road and S. Lumpkin Road are the two access roads to the National Infantry Museum. On race day S. Lumpkin Road will be one-way traffic to the Infantry Museum. Ft. Benning Road to the Infantry Museum will close at 7:45 a.m. before the race to prepare for the start of the race at 8:00 a.m. Please arrive early to park and comfortably walk to the start.  Plan to walk up to ½ mile to the start line.

Porta-Potties and Restrooms

Porta-potties will be located in front of the National Infantry Museum, behind the Museum near the start line and at each water station on the course. Bathrooms are inside the Museum. 

Race Bib 

You will pick up your Race Bib with assigned race number at registration.  On the back of your Race Bib is a timing chip to record your race time.  Also a gear check tag is attached to the bottom of your Race Bib.  Please affix your Race Bib to the front of your shirt or shorts either with safety pins we provide you or your personal race belt.  You should wear your Race Bib at all times while running the Soldier Marathon race you have registered for.  This will allow us to track your finishing time.

Timing Chip

A timing chip will be on the back of your bib.  The chip is protected by a foam casing. Your start and finish time will be electronically recorded. 

Fallen Hero Bib

You may run in honor of a Fallen Hero who has died either while serving our country or after serving our country honorably. The Fallen Hero bib will be available at a registration table.  There is no charge for the Fallen Hero bib. You may run with more than one Fallen Hero bib if you wish. Please pin the Fallen Hero bib on the front or back of your shirt or shorts.  

Dry Clothing Bags

A clear plastic bag will be provided to you at registration. On Race Day Saturday morning please bring the clear plastic bag with you to the race to store your morning clothes in the plastic bag in a secured area located behind the National Infantry Museum for your pickup after the race. A volunteer will tear the gear check bag off your Race Bib and tie the tag to the plastic bag to identify the bag as yours.


Clothing To Run In

Layer your clothing to your comfort. In the cool of the morning you may need to wear a long sleeve shirt, gloves and hat. After running a while you may wish to drop some of your clothing at an aid station on the course, but we do not assure you the return of any clothing after the race.

Start Line/Finish Line

The start line and the finish line for all races (full marathon, half marathon, relay marathon, 5k race and kids one mile fun run) are on Heritage Walk (Avenue of Flags) alongside the National Infantry Museum.

Hand-Cycle Participants

Hand-cycle participants will start a few minutes ahead of the other runners.

“Drill Hill”

Be sure to smile at the Drill Sergeants “encouraging” you up the one major hill on our course at the beginning of mile 3.

Relay Marathon Race

Four person relay teams start at 8:00 am at the same start line as the other runners.  The relay exchange points are mile 7.5, mile 13.1 and mile 20.2. The first and third legs of the relay are longer at over 7 miles while the second and fourth legs of the relay are shorter at a little less than 6 miles. The lead runner on the Relay Team will wear a slap bracelet on his/her wrist. At each exchange point the runner removes the slap bracelet and hands it to the next runner. The last runner receives the slap bracelet and a race bib with a timing chip to get a finishing time. Each runner wears a Race Bib with the same Relay Team number (e.g. 5001A, lB, lC and 1D). The relay exchange points are accessible by car. Transportation for relay team members will not be provided by the Soldier Marathon. Relay exchange point #1 is directly beside the National Infantry Museum on S. Lumpkin Road at the crossing to Oxbow Meadows.  Relay exchange points #2 and #3 are on the Riverwalk behind the VFW on Victory Drive.  To access Relay exchange points #2 and #3 please park at the Victory Drive Overlook on Victory Drive across the street from the Dolly Madison plant near the VFW and walk down the stairs from the parking lot to the Riverwalk.  This Relay exchange point is new for 2014 and is different from prior year’s when the Relay exchange Point was at either Bulldog Marina at Rotary Park or 22nd Avenue near the Summit Gas Station.  The VFW graciously offered to help us this year by locating the Exchange Point near the VFW together with a water station. Handicap access is available to Relay exchange points #2 and #3 by parking at the Bulldog Marina about 0.1 mile down Victory Drive and then accessing the Riverwalk.

Water Stations

Full Marathon                                              Volunteers                            Half Marathon

1. Mile 2.5          Chapel Parking Lot              OCS                                        Mile 2.5

2. Mile 5             Running Avenue                  OCS                                         Mile 5

3. Mile 7             Custer Road                         Team RWB                             Mile 7

4. Mile 9             Golf Course                         House of Heroes                     Mile 9 and Mile 12

5. Mile 10           Water Works                          PlantAflac & Reservists         Mile 10

6. Mile 11           Rigdon Park                         Aflac

7. Mile 13.1        VFW Riverwalk                    Brookstone HS/Pacelli HS/VFW

8. Mile 16            Trade Center                        Smiths Station HS

9. Mile 17.5        TSYS                                   Northside HS

10. Mile 18.5      Trade Center                        Smiths Station HS

11. Mile 20.2       VFW Riverwalk                    Brookstone HS/Pacelli HS/VFW

12. Mile 22         Rigdon Park                         Aflac

13. Mile 24         Water Works Plant               Aflac & Reservists

14. Mile 25.5      Golf Course                          House of Heroes

GU Supplement nutrition

Half Marathoners – Gu supplement is available at mile 7 (Custer Rd) and mile 10 (Water Works Facility).

Full Marathoners – Gu supplement is available at mile 7 (Custer Rd), mile 10 (Water Works Facility), mile 16 (Trade Center), and mile 18 (Trade Center). 


Coca Cola will provide PowerAde at each water station on the course and at the finish line. Callaway Blue will provide water at each water station on the course and at the finish line.  B&B Beverage will also provide an energy drink.


Timing clocks will be at the start and finish as well as mile 6.2, mile 13.1 and mile 20.


Weather is forecast to be clear and in the 40’s at the start and rise to the 60’s during the day.  

Two-Way Traffic

Our course has some sections on the Riverwalk that are an out and back. Faster runners will be returning on the RiverWalk at the same time as slower runners are outbound on their race. Please “Stay Right” on the Riverwalk to avoid oncoming runners. We also have hand crank participants.


Both the Soldier Marathon course and the Soldier Half Marathon course are certified.  The marathon race is a Boston qualifier. The Full and Half Marathon are also sanctioned by USA Track and Field. 


Music will be playing at 14 different locations on the course.  You will pass several of the music locations twice so you will be able to enjoy music on most of the miles along the course.


Cut Off Times

There is a time limit of 7 hours to finish the Soldier Marathon and Half Marathon. You should plan to reach mile 15 (Aid Station #8 at the Trade Center) by 12:00 pm to reach the finish line at the National Infantry Museum by 3:00 pm and finish within the 7-hour time limit.  We will be as flexible as we can to accommodate all finishers.

Finishing Medals

Each finisher of the Full Marathon, the Half Marathon, the Relay Marathon, the 5K Race and the Kids Marathon will receive a finishing medal that commemorates your completion of your race. 


Half Marathon winners will be presented at 11:00 am at the statue at the end of the Avenue of Flags. 

Full Marathon winners will be presented at 12:00 noon at the statue at the end of the Avenue of Flags.

Awards will be presented to the top overall finisher, the top three finishers in each age group, male and female, and to the master’s finisher (40 and above), male and female.

5th Year Anniversary

This year is the 5th anniversary of the Soldier Marathon.  We plan to recognize those runners who have run in one of our races each year (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014) with a special gift during the award ceremonies.  Participation in any of our races will be considered as having participated.

Food at Finish Line

At the finish line runners may enjoy Callaway Blue bottled water, Coca Cola Powerade, Coca Cola soda, as well as a McDonald’s breakfast burrito or a hamburger, fresh fruit, bagels, energy bars and cookies. Finishers will also be treated to a Michelob Ultra beer (over age 21 only). Buck Ice will keep our drinks cool.  We also will offer gluten free food to our finishers.  And a special home-made Popsicle made by local business Planet Pops will be provided to each finisher.

Race Blankets

At the finish line each runner will receive a mylar “space” blanket to keep warm. 


Volunteers wearing distinctive brightly colored shirts and soldiers in uniform or camouflage shirts will serve runners at Registration, Water Stations, and along the course. Please be sure to thank them. 


Medical Aid Stations are at the Start/Finish area and at the Trade Center.  Ambulances will be “roaming” the course to attend to your medical needs. All medical staff along the course will be identifiable in red medical shirts.  Please thank the doctors and nurses from St. Francis Hospital, Columbus Regional Healthcare and Columbus State University for donating their time.


Post-race massages will be available at the finish line to runners without any charge.

Track your Runner

A link on our SoldierMarathon.com website will allow you to key in the bib number or last name of the runner you wish to follow.  This site is designed to work on smart phones and computers.


Please enjoy our Expo at the National Infantry Museum. Our Soldier Marathon shirts and gear with logo will be available.  Running gear and other outdoor gear will be available by Big Dog Running Company and other national clothing and shoe brands.

Things to Do In Columbus Before or After the Race

The National Infantry Museum is wonderful.  The Vietnam Wall Memorial is a wonderful testament to the sacrifices made by so many of our finest men and women. The IMAX theatre inside the Museum is an incredible experience with its screen that is 5 stories tall and 70 feet wide.  The Infantry Museum also offers exciting Combat Video Simulators and Rifle Range Simulator.  Across the street from the Infantry Museum, Oxbow Meadows provides you with an environmental learning experience with live animals.  Along the RiverWalk is the Civil War Naval Museum and Coca-Cola Space Science Center that you will find very interesting. And our latest and biggest attraction is Whitewater rafting and kayaking along the Chattahoochee River.  New this year is the zip-line across the Chattahoochee River and the ropes course along the River.

We wish you the very best running.   

The Soldier Marathon Race Committee