Jeff McGowan Memorial 5K

Sun August 7, 2022 Columbus, OH 43215 US Directions RaceJoy Ready

Update as of August 2, 9:15 AM: The 2022 Jeff McGowan Memorial 5K will be VIRTUAL ONLY

For over 40 years and working with 200-plus races, I have never had to cancel an in-person race. However, due to path construction not being completed on the course and a number of other smaller issues this year’s event will be changed to a virtual event. Sorry for this news.  

Athletes may pick up their race number, race shirt, a newly designed pint glass, and a copy of the current RUNOHIO at the Short North Columbus Running Company store (765 North High St Suite B 43215) on Friday, August 5 (10am-8pm), Saturday, August 6 (10am-6pm) or Sunday, August 7 (11am-5pm). All athletes who are already signed up or registered this week for a virtual event will also get a one-year subscription to the print RUNOHIO. Hopefully, you will be able to pick up the items at the store. However, if you are unable to pick up your race packet - everything will be mailed to you next week, minus the pint glass.

You can still participate in the Virtual 5K or 1 mile, we have plenty of shirts and newly designed pint glasses. All existing registrants for the canceled in-person 5K event have been automatically transferred to the virtual 5K.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the event over the years.

Best of luck with your training and I hope to see you at a future race.

Matt McGowan

This year’s race will again honor of Mark Dempsey as his name as well as Jeff’s name will be on the back of the race t-shirts and pint glasses. Mark was president of the Columbus Shamrock Club in 2008 where Mark and Jeff first met. Mark died unexpectedly on January 10, 2020.

Remembering Jeff and Mark

"When Mark Dempsey opened Dempsey's Food & Spirits in March 2012, Jeff McGowan was one of his first friends to enjoy a pint of Guinness and take part in the raucous Irish celebration that year. After Jeff passed away Mark made it a point to always have a few of the Jeff McGowan Memorial 5K race pint glasses on hand at Dempsey's for Jeff's family and many friends who stopped in to raise a pint in honor of him. Mark passed away in January but we'd like to think he and Jeff are raising a pint in honor of all the participants in this year's race." - Megan Dempsey, Mark's wife.

Jeff McGowan unexpectedly died on May 26, 2012. Jeff was an active member of the Shamrock Club of Columbus. A 1983 graduate of Circleville High School and a 1990 graduate of Ohio University, Jeff set school records at Circleville High School in the 2.5 mile and 5km cross country events as well as in the 800 meters, 1600 meters and 3200 meters. His senior year Jeff placed 3rd in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Cross Country Championships and was second in the 800 meters and 1600 meters at the OHSAA State Track & Field Championships.

This year’s Columbus Shamrock Club’s St. Patrick’s Parade badge honors both Jeff McGowan and Mark Dempsey  - here is the story behind the badge - 

You can donate to the Jeff McGowan Memorial Scholarship Fund during your registration or by clicking here.

Race Contact Info

If you have any questions about this race, click the button below.


Available for Apple and Android devices.

Interactive Race Day Experience with RaceJoy

Live Phone Tracking, GPS Progress Alerts and Cheers!

We are providing you with RaceJoy as part of the official race experience for the Jeff McGowan Memorial 5K.

Download the RaceJoy mobile app in advance to ensure proper phone setup. Invite your friends and family to track you and send you cheers!

Some key RaceJoy features include:

GPS Progress Alerts

  • Receive continual progress updates as you complete your goal.

Live GPS Tracking

  • Remote spectators can track your progress live in a map view. You can also track others.


  • Receive supportive audio cheers from remote friends & family.

Virtual Results (virtual events only)

  • Enter your race-assigned bib number to automatically submit your finish data for real-time scored results.
To use RaceJoy, you must carry your phone and activate tracking on the day you complete your race.
View RaceJoy How-To

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies. We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience. Read how we use cookies and how you can control them by visiting our Privacy Policy.

If you continue to use this site, you consent to use all cookies.