Let Us Introduce Ourselves

We are passionate about hosting a competitive point-based race series that welcomes and celebrates all runners. We also love supporting Central Ohio races and the charities those races help. Join us for the upcoming season.

Co-Founder and Director

Polly Shoemaker

Hi, I’m Polly. I was born and raised in Columbus (Go Bucks!). My husband and I are blessed with five adult children, a son-in-law, a grandson, and three granddogs.

My running journey began in earnest in my early 40s when our family lived in South Carolina. After completing two marathons, including the Boston Marathon, I wanted a new challenge that wasn’t so demanding on my body. That’s when I was introduced to a competitive, point-based race series.

Being part of the series introduced me to new races in our community and runners who quickly became teammates. We toed the line to compete with ourselves, each other, and of course, the field. Together we chased PRs (personal records) and series points as we awaited the weekly release of the race series standings.

Our family returned home to Central Ohio in 2014 to find that a local race series was nonexistent. The idea of a race series in my hometown loomed in the back of my mind. but it wasn’t until the pandemic that I began taking steps to start RUNColumbus Race Series.

The first step I took was to pitch the idea to Phil Birnie. I had worked with Phil on another project and knew of his love of running. Phil responded with a resounding ‘yes,’ and as they say, the rest is history.

Co-Founder and Creator

Phil Birnie

Hi, I’m Phil. My wife and I have three active children and a Boston Terrier named Mirabelle.

I started running at Worthingway Middle School because my parents thought it would be a good idea for me.  To be honest, I was not a great runner – or at least, not very competitive. Like any good sibling rivalry, it wasn’t until my sister started running that I found a new gear. She was a great and competitive runner all the way through college. As I watched her, I started getting more interested.  Now we frequently run road and trail races together.

I am part owner of Escape Hatch, an award-winning agency crafting custom websites. I focus on back-end development extending open-source web applications from simple tools to complex eCommerce integrations.

When Polly approached me about partnering with her to build the (live) Leaderboard that would be the centerpiece of the RUNColumbus Race Series, the concept brought together three things I love—running, creative ideas, and of course, back-end web development.

Like all amateur runners, we are juggling our training, family, and jobs while pursuing our vision to bring a competitive race series to Central Ohio.

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