FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Blackford Signs Multi-Year Contract To Lead
Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon & 1/2 Marathon
2010 event enjoyed largest field in its 31-year history under Blackford's
(COLUMBUS, OH) -- The Board of Trustees of the Columbus Marathon has signed
Darris Blackford to a three-year contract, with an optional fourth year
extension, to serve as race director of the Nationwide Better Health
Columbus Marathon and 1/2 Marathon.
Blackford, 47, of Columbus, assumed the role of interim race director in
April for the 2010 event, which was held on Oct. 17. He previously served
as its marketing director and pace team organizer.
"We've had extremely positive reviews from last weekend's 31st anniversary
Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon," said Bill Burns, Chairman of
the Board of Trustees of Columbus Marathon, Inc. "I continually hear from
participants, spectators and sponsors that the 2010 event was our best
ever. That is a particularly impressive feat given that Darris had to do a
year's worth of work in six months. From sorting through the details left
from the previous race director and staging an extremely successful
training kick off event, through his work with the staff and the
outstanding expo, VIP reception and, of course, race on Sunday, he proved
that he is the perfect individual for this job."
The contract covers the 2011 to 2013 events, with an optional fourth year
extension. Financial terms are not being disclosed. Burns said the contract
length was designed to include the city of Columbus' planned 2012
"We are an important part of the fabric of the community, and we hope to
play a role in the activities planned for the Bicentennial," Burns said.
"Columbus-area officials and citizens have been very supportive and have
helped us remain vital for 31 years, and we want to give back and show our
Blackford said he is honored to have the opportunity to continue leading
the events, and already has ideas to make them even more successful.
"Although we have had incredibly positive feedback from participants,
volunteers and spectators regarding the 2010 event, I still feel there is
work that can be done," Blackford said. "This action by the board gives me
the confidence to look toward the future and to continue to do their work
in a positive, civic-minded way."
The 32nd Nationwide Better Health Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon will be
held on Sunday, October 16, 2011. The Nationwide Better Health Columbus
Marathon was one of the 25 largest marathons in the U.S. in 2009. For more
information, visit www.columbusmarathon.com.