The 26.2 miles of a marathon represents the peak of athletic endurance. It is said that once you run one marathon, you will always be back for more.

But what makes a great marathon? What makes people keep coming back for more?

Runners are always looking for the next best race, the hidden gems that make the grueling mission of those 26.2 miles well worth it. The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon is one of those hidden gems – a course like no other that runners love and always come back to.

Here’s a list of what people love about the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon and what keeps them coming back for more, year after year:

The Strength of the Community

The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon is one of the most motivational races you can run due to the energy and excitement that the neighborhood radiates on race day. You can feel the city of Akron come to life on race day as runners come out to run the iconic “Blue Line” that guides runners through the streets.

The course runs through 13 Akron neighborhoods, each with their own character. Residents and businesses along the course set up shop along the sidewalks to cheer on runners. Supporters from all over the city come out to watch and cheer for everyone participating.

The neighborhood residents host fun, high-energy block parties to celebrate the runners and encourage them to push through toward the finish line.

The air is electric with excitement, and as a runner, the feeling is contagious. You will be flooded with motivation as the community rallies around you and all the other runners as you accomplish your race goals and aim for the finish line.

A Fast Course to Help You Hit a New PR

The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon has a new start line, and features a flatter, faster course compared to previous years. The new course eliminates the long climbs from previous years and has a net elevation drop of 150 feet – a welcome surprise in any marathon!

“We wanted to make our course faster and more runner-friendly, whether you’re an elite athlete or a first-time athlete.” said Akron Marathon Race Director Brian Polen.  “The course is set up for you to be faster.”

Akron’s course is perfect if you’re looking to set a new PR or hit a qualifying time. When the atmosphere and conditions are just right, races that have fewer climbs are less of a challenge, which could mean amazing race day results. By making the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon your fall goal race you can guarantee to lay down a great time.

The Beauty and the Scenery of the Course

There’s no doubt the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon course is a sight to see. The race begins at Akron’s first and largest National Historic Landmark – Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens. After an unforgettable start, the course then winds through the beautiful West Akron neighborhoods, crosses the All-America bridge into North Hill, and takes runners through downtown before heading out to Firestone Park. The course then brings runners back to downtown along the scenic Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail where they can travel along the path where canal boats used to transport passengers and goods up and down the historic canal. The race ends with a world-class finish inside Canal Park, home of the Akron RubberDucks.

This year’s course brings some changes from previous years including a new starting location and a faster new route – check it out!

A Meaningful Cause that Benefits Many

The Akron Marathon and the related events of the Akron Marathon Race Series are more than miles – the event is one of the major fundraisers to benefit Akron Children’s Hospital. The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series has raised more than $1.3 million to help provide family-centered care to the children of Northeast Ohio. There are “Hero Zones” throughout the course dedicated to a young patient hero. Feeling inspired? Meet this year’s heroes! Check out their stories.

Some Great Perks

The organizers and volunteers of the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon go to painstaking lengths to make sure your day runs smoothly so you only need to concentrate on running well. That starts with free parking downtown to make your race day worry free. You will also find water, sports drink, and gel stations throughout the marathon to keep you fueled throughout your race.

A Memorable Finisher Festival for All Participants

If you’re looking for a great after party to celebrate your accomplishment you’ve come to the right place. The Finisher Festival at Canal Park is renowned for being one of the best finisher festivals out there. On top of that, you get some great swag – including a beautiful Brooks Half Zip, along with some hardware to take home after your finish.

Perks for Those Who Like to Go the Extra Mile

The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon is the running world’s best-kept secret with all the perks of a major race without all the hassles. A beautiful course, a great cause, a warm community, and the opportunity to beat your PR – a runner’s dream. See you at this year’s race!

FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay
September, 28, 2019 | 7:30am
Register Here