Akron, OH (April 8, 2021) — As part of its 2021 return to racing plan, the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation staff and Board of Directors have announced this year’s FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay will feature a return to a Downtown Akron start, a new course, and reduced capacity, along with other safety protocols. 

This year’s course was redesigned with a focus on the health and safety of all participants, adhering to current mandates related to COVID-19 public safety orders, and following social distancing protocols. The course map can be viewed here.

Major changes include: 

  • The new start line location, back to Downtown Akron: The starting location at the intersection of Broadway and East Market features the Akron Art Museum and was selected to allow traffic into downtown for those starting in the later waves, minimizing logistical issues due to an active racecourse. 

  • Revised course: The new course features a few familiar sections of previous courses, highlights various neighborhoods and landmarks, and will also have self-serve fluid stations. 
    • Half Marathoners will experience North Hill, The University of Akron, Firestone Park, and will run a brief section of the downtown portion of the Towpath Trail before their South Main Street finish.
    • Marathoners will enjoy a return to the Ohio Erie Canal Towpath Trail leading to the Merriman Valley, Sand Run Metro Park, West Akron neighborhoods, Stan Hywet, and a downtown finish.
  • New relay legs: New distances based on the revised course with minimal transportation points include:
    • Relay leg #1 – 4.6 miles 
    • Relay leg #2 – 6.6 miles
    • Relay leg #3 – 5.7 miles
    • Relay leg #4 – 4.5 miles
    • Relay leg #5 – 4.8 miles

  • New finish line: Runners will finish on South Main Street at Lock 3 in the heart of Downtown Akron. This new location is due to scheduling conflicts related to a later-finishing Akron Rubber Ducks season. 

“As always, the Akron Marathon team is preparing to provide world-class running to our community of runners with unparalleled organization on-course and off,” states Anne Bitong, president and CEO of the Akron Marathon. “This year, we’ve had to go from Plan A to Plan Z on more than one account, but we’re here for it, and we’re as committed as ever to ensuring a safe and enjoyable race day experience. To our staff, board, volunteers, and committee members, thank you for the extra hours and work you’re doing to ensure that happens. We can’t wait to welcome you as we make our 19th journey down the Blue Line on Sept. 25, 2021!” 

The following Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health race dates are confirmed:   

  • National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile, June 26, 2021
  • Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k, Aug. 14, 2021
  • Kids Fun Run presented by Akron Children’s Hospital, Sept. 24, 2021
  • FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay, Sept. 25, 2021

Registration for the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health events has reached over 50 percent capacity. For more information, race registration, and volunteer opportunities, please visit AkronMarathon.org

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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 19th 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).