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Relay Around Columbus is technically a non-competitive event. There are no awards for ‘winning’ any division and all team members will receive a finishing medal.
However, we would like to recognize teams in the spirit of the event. The goal for the event is to finish and celebrate this team accomplishment. We know that some teams will struggle and make wrong turns, have injuries, or just not have a good two days. So to celebrate these teams the following awards have been established.
The Anchor Award will be presented to the 6-person RUNNING team who is on the course the longest.
The Piano Award will be awarded to the 6-person WALKING team who is on the course for the longest time.
The Tortoise Award goes to the 3-person ULTRA team who is on the course for the longest time.
The Snail Award will be given to the 6-person HIGH SCHOOL team who is on the course for the longest time.
In addition, Relay Around Columbus would like to recognize individuals in Central Ohio who have been supportive of the running and walking community. So the following awards have been created to thank these individuals for their contributions.
Mayor’s Award – This award will be given to the 6-person RUNNING team that comes closest to their overall projected finishing time. The Mayor’s Award is a rotating names award as Relay Around Columbus utilizes many communities to host its event. In 2012 the Mayor’s Award recognizes Columbus, Ohio Mayor, Michael B. Coleman. Mayor Coleman was first elected in 1999 and was re-elected in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Prior to becoming mayor, Coleman served as President of Columbus City Council from January of 1997 to November of 1999, and as a council member from February of 1992 to December of 1999. An active cyclist, Mayor Coleman is committed to the development of off-road trails and on-street bike lanes to encourage healthy lifestyles, provide transportation options and protect the environment. The city of Columbus boasts over 100 miles of bikeways to date.
Phil Heit Award – This award will go to the 6-person WALKING team that comes closest to their overall projected finishing time. This award is named after Phil Heit who has contributed greatly to the Walking Community in Central Ohio. Phil Heit ran his first marathon in 1970 and was instrumental in helping get the NYC Marathon off the ground. When he moved to Ohio in 1976 to accept a professorship in health education at The Ohio State University, he became involved in starting a running club at OSU and also was a part of the initiating committee of the Columbus Marathon. In 2003, he started the New Albany Walking Club, and then the New Albany Walking Classic in 2005, which today has become the largest walking-only race in the United States.
Maryellen O’Shaughnessy Award - This award will be presented to the 3-person ULTRA team that comes closest to their overall projected finishing time. Maryellen O’Shaughnessy is a Columbus native and a long time athlete who competes in running, cycling and triathlon events. She has served as a 3 time Columbus City Council Member, Chair of the Public Service and Transportation, Utilities, and Development committees, and currently as the Franklin County Clerk of Courts. She serves on the boards of the Columbus Historical Society, the Greenways Working Group of the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, and Consider Biking. O’Shaughnessy has been instrumental in supporting and bringing athletic events, such as Relay Around Columbus, to Columbus for the common good.
Dale Hartney Award – This award will be awarded to the 9-person HIGH SCHOOL TEAM that comes closest to their overall projected finishing time. Dale Hartney is the Cross Country Coach for the Upper Arlington High School boys and girl teams. He has been the Head Coach for boys since 1977 and for the girls since 1985. He has lead the girls team to three State Championships and has been inducted into the Ohio High School Cross Country & Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame. An accomplished runner throughout his life, Hartney competed at Ashland High School and at Ohio University, and still trains with his teams to this day.
Amy Sessi Harris Captain’s Award - This award, as selected by the Relay Around Columbus staff, is presented to the Captain of a team that goes above and beyond their normal team responsibilities. It is named after Amy Sessi Harris who was to Captain the 2012 team ‘Bottoms Up’ before her untimely death a few short months before the inaugural event. Amy’s teammates and friends admired her selfless efforts, and inspiration, to helping others fulfill their potential by her putting others first. Dedicated to her family, friends, and her running, she was positive, encouraging, and supportive, with a constant smile on her face. Making extra effort, and going the extra distance, described Amy… and is what we at RAC look for when presenting this award.