Ways to watch, course maps, schedule of events, parking information and road closures announced
Akron, OH (Sept. 5, 2023) — Excitement is building for the 21st running of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay, the marquee event of the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health. Akron’s largest single-day sporting event of the year is set for Sat., Sept. 30, 2023.
The course features a foot-tour through the city of Akron, highlighting the historic landmarks, colorful neighborhoods, and majestic Summit Metro Parks. Thousands are scheduled to begin in downtown Akron and cross the All-America Bridge within the first mile.
Runners will journey through the heart of the city, passing by cultural gems like the Akron Art Museum, The University of Akron, Firestone Park, the Towpath Trail, Sand Run Parkway, Stan Hywet estate, and Highland Square. The ultimate finish line awaits on S. Main Street in front of Canal Park, for an extraordinary conclusion to this world-class race, followed by the popular Finisher Festival filled with food trucks and music by local cover band Roxxymoron.
Energizing the festivities the day before the race is The Akron Marathon Health & Fitness Expo presented by the Akron Area YMCA, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Open to the public at no charge, the expo not only offers race packet pick-up, but also showcases exhibitors’ presenting the latest in health and fitness insights and products as well as the Akron Marathon Official Merchandise Store.
The Expo’s Main Stage will host an array of guests, like Keira D’Amato, giving insights from her marathon training exploits, while also encouraging runners on their personal journeys. Sharing the spotlight is Martinus Evans, author of Slow AF Run Club, podcast host, and featured New York Times and Runner’s World athlete, on a mission to inspire with his message of “300 pounds and running.” Limited vendor spots remain available—interested parties can visit the vendor registration on the Marathon’s website to secure their place.
As the sun sets on the eve of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay, the Marathon will host hundreds of young walkers and runners in the Kids Fun Run—an event designed exclusively for children aged 12 and under. The memorable event is free of charge and a gift to the community by Akron Children’s Hospital and the City of Akron.
“As we eagerly await to kick off the 21st running of the Akron Marathon, we’re honored by our community and their commitment to their health journeys and our nonprofit,” states Anne Bitong, President/CEO. “Marathon weekend stands as a true testament to the unity and resilience of our community, a culmination of months, maybe years, of preparation and dedication. It’s more than a race on the Blue Line in Akron; it’s a celebration of your potential, camaraderie, and the unwavering spirit that defines our city.”
Schedule of Events:
● Fri., Sept. 29, 2023: Kids Fun Run: Start at 5:30 PM: 214 W. Bowery St., At Akron Children’s Hospital: Course Map
● Sat., Sept. 30, 2023: The FirstEnergy Full Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay: Start at 7:00 AM with Wheelchair & Push Teams at 6:59 AM.: Akron Art Museum 1 S. High St, Akron: Parking Information, Course Description, Course Maps (scroll to middle of the page to view), and Day of Road Closures
The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay will see more than 8,000 participants, 2,000 volunteers, and even more spectators. Online registration will close on Sun., Sept. 24.
Here are ways to spectate in each of Akron’s five neighborhoods:
Downtown Akron, Start Line, Miles 3.7,11, and the Finish Line
First Runner: 7:00 a.m.
Last Runner: 8:10 a.m.
Watch the start of the race north of the starting line on High Street between Market and MLK
Walk east one block using Market St towards Mile 3.7 (corner of Broadway St and Market St). Walk south 3 blocks and turn left on University Ave. to see racers near Mile 11 and finally, walk 2 blocks west to S. Main St. to see participants as they approach the finish.
North Hill, Miles 1, 2, and 3
First Runner: 7:05 a.m.
Last Runner: 7:55 a.m.
Cheer on the runners by lining N. Main St. to watch runners at Mile 1 and again at Mile 3 just north of the All-American Bridge.
Firestone Park, Miles 7 and 8
First Runner: 7:36 a.m.
Last Runner: 9:10 a.m.
Cheer on the runners at Firestone Park at Mile 8.
Merriman Valley, Miles 16 and 17
First Runner: 8:22 a.m.
Last Runner: 11:25 a.m.
Runners will be exiting the Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail at Portage Path at Mile 16.2 on their approach to Mile 17 at Sand Run Metro Park.
West Akron, Miles 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 25
First Runner: 8:38 a.m.
Last Runner: 1:25 p.m.
Cheer on the runners by lining the West Akron neighborhood during the runners’ most challenging miles.
Road closures will occur in each area during the active first-runner/last-runner times listed above which can also be found on the Akron Marathon Course Map. View Akron Marathon Road Closures for an extensive list and plan ahead!
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.
About the Akron Marathon Race Series
The Akron Marathon Race Series is organized by the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, a nonprofit group founded in 2002 to provide a world-class marathon and other events that promote health and fitness, stimulate the local economy, galvanize the community and benefit charitable organizations. The series features race dates in June (National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile) and August (Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k), culminating with the 21st running of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay & Kids Fun Run in September. Additional information is available at AkronMarathon.org or by calling (330) 434-2RUN (2786).