In 1999, the making of a world-class running marathon in Akron had begun, but the idea for the event was seeded in 1985 when Akron businessman and community leader Steve Marks ran his first marathon in Columbus.  That experience gave him a first-hand view of the potential for a sporting event to boost community pride, involvement and unity, while also contributing to the health, quality of life and economic vitality of a community.  With the help of his wife Jeannine and the support of many others, Steve began his journey to establish the Akron Marathon.  In 2002, the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation was established and a year later, the Akron Marathon made its debut.  Today – nine marathons later, the Akron Marathon has earned the respect that Steve Marks sought for the race.  It has experienced tremendous growth and is recognized to be among the top road races in the United States.


The mission of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, a tax-exempt, 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, is to provide a world-class marathon that promotes health and fitness, stimulates the local economy, galvanizes the community and benefits charitable organizations.

The Akron Marathon events are made possible through corporate and foundation in-kind and financial support, extensive in-kind services by the City of Akron, and the generous donation of time and talent by 3,000 volunteers.

Event Highlights & Achievements

  • Inaugural race with field of 3,775 participants
  • Hosted the North American Men’s Marathon Relay Championships
  • Hosted the USA Track & Field  National Club Marathon Relay Championships


  • Hosted the North American Men’s Marathon Relay Championships
  • Hosted the USA Track & Field  National Club Marathon Relay Championships


  • Selected as one of 50 Great Marathons, Fairbanks to Boston


  • Ranked as one of the Fastest Growing Marathons, marathonguide.com


  • Celebrated 5th running with field of 8,000 participants
  • Added Half Marathon to schedule of events
  • Selected as one of the Top 10 Newer Marathons, Runners World
  • Hosted USA Track & Field Women’s 8 km Championship
  • Event participation surpassed 10,000
  • 5- Person Team Relay event sold-out
  • Selected as a runner-up in reader’s choice category for Best Value, Runners World
  • 2010 event generated an economic impact of over $4 million dollars to the Greater Akron area


  • Ranked as the largest marathon relay in the U.S., Running USA
  • Selected as one of 11 races to run in 2011, Active.com
  • 2011 event generated an economic impact of $5.2 million dollars and the equivalent of creating 46-jobs in the Greater Akron area


  • Record setting field of 15,000 runners
  • Spectacular start line celebration for 10th running
  • Special appearance of the Goodyear Blimp


  • Awarded the Summit of Sustainability Award in the Nonprofit/Community category for our green efforts