Specially designated areas to recognize patient heroes

Akron, Ohio (June 10, 2016) – Training for the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series has officially begun and both the Akron Marathon and Akron Children’s Hospital are excited to announce a new addition to enhance the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon race day experience for runners, spectators and the Akron community as they run, cheer or volunteer throughout the series.

“Fighting an illness takes courage, strength and hope – it takes a superhero,” said Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital. “This summer we will be introducing patients from Akron Children’s Hospital who have a unique story to tell. We’ll highlight these young patient heroes in specially designated stretches of the 2016 race course called ‘Hero Zones.’ These children are our real-life superheroes, and we are proud to celebrate their victories with our community.”

The sponsored Hero Zones will feature an Akron Children’s patient who has overcome an obstacle or illness. There will be a total of 17 zones placed along the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon course where runners will pass by the patient hero and their family and friends.

“The goal of our partnership with Akron Children’s Hospital is to make race day even more meaningful,” said Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon. “Hero Zones give us an opportunity to showcase patients who have shown incredible courage, strength and hope providing inspiration for runners throughout their training and on race day.”

Throughout the summer, Akron Children’s Hospital and the Akron Marathon will share the stories and photos of our patient heroes leading up to and on race day of our marquee event on Sept. 24, 2016. Their stories can be found at marathon.akronchildrens.org.

The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series will kick off with the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile on Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 10 a.m. at InfoCision Stadium. In recognition of their special role along the Blue Line, the patient heroes have been invited to be official starters of the race.

Registration for all three Akron Marathon Race Series events is available at AkronMarathon.org. More than 1,000 people have already signed up to run the entire series.

The 2016 race dates for the second running of the Akron Marathon Race Series are as follows: June 25 (National Interstate 8k & 1-Mile), Aug. 13 (Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k) and Sept. 24 (FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay). The dates coordinate with a typical training schedule to help runners reach bigger goals and longer distances.