Akron, OH (Sept. 30, 2023) — More than 7,000 athletes and nearly 100,000 spectators gathered for the marquee event of the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay on Sat., Sept. 30, 2023, beginning at 7:00 a.m.
Traveling 26.2 miles through the blue-lined streets of Akron at 2:25:06 and 2:52:03; Dylan Garritano of Akron and Joanna Line of Hiram were the top finishers in today’s marathon. City of Akron employee Garritano is a “three-peat” winner– taking the win on all three of the Akron Marathon Race Series Presented by Summa Healthevents including today’s Full Marathon, the Goodyear Half Marathon, and the National Interstate 8k.
This morning’s cool and crisp weather was described as “the perfect running weather” by athletes of all fitness levels who participated from 37 states, three countries, with ages ranging from four years old (on a push team) to 82 years old.
The first runners to cross the finish line in the half marathon distance were Chad Johnson of Galion and Hannah Moulton of Ann Arbor, MI with times of 1:07:10 and 1:17:55.
Ethan Cannon of Minneapolis, MN was the runner-up in the men’s marathon with a time of 2:28:02, while Charles Smogoleski of Eaton Rapids, MI crossed the line third at 2:29:12.
For the women’s division of the marathon, Christina Johnston of Xenia finished second with a time of 2:54:36 followed by Ashley Letteney from Rochester, NY in 3:01:15. (Complete winner information can be found at the end of this release.)
The half marathon had Collin Oswalt from Hutchinson, KS, and Luke Hickman from Mentor, placing second and third in the men’s division. Andrea Klima from Independence and Jennifer Simmerman from Streetsboro rounded out the winner’s podium for the women’s half marathon.
Top times in the Master’s Division (40 years and older) were put up by John Ladesic of Olney, MD, and Christina Johnston of Xenia in the marathon. For the half marathon, the top masters were Matthias Wilder of Winter Garden, FL, and Jennifer Simmerman of Streetsboro. Simmerman set a new event record in the women’s Master’s Division with a time of 1:23:59.
“The Akron community has once again united in support of the Blue Line,” shared Anne Bitong, president/CEO of the Akron Marathon. “With remarkable race times, the dedication of thousands of volunteers, and the unwavering support of our generous sponsors, we are thrilled with how Akron showed up today!”
Along the Blue Line, stories inspired those participating, like that of Josh Sommers who competed in his 7th Akron Marathon—but today marked the first time he participated in the Male Wheelchair division. In 2022, Sommers was in a motorcycle accident that paralyzed him from the chest down.
Josh shared with the Marathon team, “I was not able to participate in last year’s Marathon due to the accident, but I was able to start learning how to race in a wheelchair last November. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, but more than that, when I cross the finish line, I prove to myself that if I can finish a marathon, I am strong enough to persevere when life throws me curve balls…In those hard times, I can look back to finishing the race and find the strength to keep going. I am celebrating the fact that I can still participate in the Akron Marathon even though it may not be in the traditional way.”
Plans are already underway for the 2024 Akron Marathon, which marks the 10th year of the Akron Marathon Race Series. Details will continue to be updated at AkronMarathon.org in the months to come.
Dylan Garritano, Akron, 2:25:06
Ethan Cannon, Minneapolis, MN, 2:28:02
Charles Smogoleski, Eaton Rapids, MI, 2:29:12
Joanna Line, Hiram, 2:52:03
Christina Johnston, Xenia, 2:54:36
Ashley Letteney, Rochester, NY, 3:01:15
John Ladesic, Olney, MD, 2:45:35
Scott Davis, Carlisle, PA, 2:50:09
Ron Hayes, Akron, 2:56:05
Christina Johnston, Xenia, 2:54:36
Amanda Fire, Stow, 3:04:00
Nicole Gareri-David, Canton, 3:21:42
Chad Johnson, Galion, 1:07:10
Collin Oswalt, Hutchinson, KS, 1:08:12
Luke Hickman, Mentor, 1:08:29
Hannah Moulton, Ann Arbor, MI, 1:17:55
Andrea Klima, Independence, 1:20:56
Jennifer Simmerman, Streetsboro, 1:23:59
Matthias Wilder, Winter Garden, FL, 1:15:46
Matthew Yacoub, Northville, MI, 1:15:55
Matt Harbert, Kent, 1:21:16
Jennifer Simmerman, Streetsboro, 1:23:59 (New Record)
Cheryl Bayart, Cincinnati, 1:28:45
Lauren Sajovie, Hudson, 1:30:02
The Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health is organized by the nonprofit Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation whose mission is to promote health and wellness in the community. For more information about the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health or the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, visit AkronMarathon.org.