As spring starts to blossom, the organizer of a new half-marathon that will wend through downtown Delaware has summer on his mind.
Event organizer Craig Thompson said the New Moon Half and Quarter Marathon, planned for 6 p.m. May 31, will serve as a welcome party for the season. Thompson, founder of the Lewis Center-based fitness event firm Greenswell, said the hope is for the marathon to become a late-spring tradition.
"The goal is to have this grow to be an annual event -- a celebration of summer in the city of Delaware," he said.
The event also will feature live music and a sidewalk festival following the race.
The marathon's course, which will begin on North Sandusky Street between William and Winter streets, will take runners throughout the city's downtown and across the Olentangy River on the city's bike trail before ending at the starting line.
Thompson said he sees the event as a showcase of all downtown Delaware has to offer, including its stores, restaurants and the Ohio Wesleyan University campus.
As of last week, Thompson said more than 200 participants already had registered for the event, which costs $55 for half-marathon participants and $45 for quarter-marathon participants.
"That's been entirely (based on) word of mouth," he said. "There's been an excitement about this event, especially in the Delaware County community."
Thompson said the current plan is to cap the number of participants between 750 and 1,000.
Runners will help raise money for the American Lung Association of Central Ohio and other local charitable organizations. Thompson said Greenswell will donate more than 50 percent of the proceeds from the event to the lung association, while members of local charitable organizations can volunteer on the day of the race in return for a donation to their cause.
Delaware City Manager Tom Homan said city staff members have been working closely with Thompson in preparation for the event.
"I've known Craig for a number of years, and he's a very well-respected events organizer," Homan said. "He's done a lot of things in the Columbus area, and I know he's wanted to do something in Delaware. I'm glad we're finally able to make this match."
Thompson said his talks with city officials have revolved around how they can "do everything that we can to have a safe event." Although the city will not contribute funding, he said the city and the nonprofit Main Street Delaware have championed it.
In addition to the marathon, Greenswell will sponsor a triathlon in the late summer in Delaware County. MingoMan Triathlon, a play on the popular Ironman Triathlon, will be conducted Aug. 17, starting at Delaware State Park.