Akron, OH (Aug. 26, 2021) — After two successful events in the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation has announced its marquee event, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay on Sept. 25, 2021, will now require runners and volunteers to be fully vaccinated (with proof of a COVID-19 vaccination card) or have a negative COVID-19 test result 72 hours before the race to participate. This protocol was updated to help protect the health and safety of the public in light of the increase in COVID-19 cases and is aligned with best practices for mass gatherings. 

As always, Summa Health, the Akron Marathon, and FirstEnergy event organizers are working closely with the City of Akron and Summit County Public Health on race weekend plans that align with Summit County’s public health and safety efforts to protect its runners, volunteers, and spectators. Due to the increasing COVID-19 numbers and the Delta variant, new health requirements were added. 

“In order to ensure the race experience that our runners expect—including the Finisher’s Festival—we have to make certain of their safety first and foremost,” states Anne Bitong, president of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation. “I want to express my gratitude for our team, the City of Akron, and Summit County, along with our sponsors and volunteers who have been working together on the detailed logistics of the event. Health and safety at all levels have been discussedfrom packet pick-up and fluid stations to wave starts and lowered capacity—helping to keep our runners feeling safe and together. That’s what this community has always been about.”

During the Aug. Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k, 81 percent of runners self-identified as fully vaccinated. For the Sept. events, proof of vaccination may be presented as a hard copy, photocopy, or digital version of an immunization record. Registered runners who are not fully vaccinated must provide a negative COVID-19 test result for a test administered within 72 hours of attending the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test will be required to pick up an in-person race bib at the Akron Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, Sept. 24.

The Akron Marathon defines “fully vaccinated” as individuals who are two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

“The health and safety of our community is our top priority,” states Mike Bernstein, system director, corporate communications of Summa Health. “We strongly recommend the available COVID vaccines and commend the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation for its work in keeping race participants safe.”

The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay, which will follow the Blue Line through the streets of Akron on Sept. 25., is the third and final race in the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health.

“FirstEnergy applauds the race organizers and local officials who are keeping the health and safety of race participants, their supporters and volunteers at the forefront to ensure a safe and successful event,” said Steven Strah, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy. “As the proud title sponsor of this marquee Akron event, FirstEnergy and its employees look forward to celebrating with the runners when they cross the finish line in September.”   

Need to find a vaccine near you? Contact your local physician or visit vaccinefinder.org for more information on COVID-19 vaccines and where to find one. 

Based on national standards, accepted COVID-19 tests are those that have received FDA emergency use authorization and also include RT-PCR, RT-LAMP, lateral flow, and antigen tests. 

For more information or volunteer opportunities and race registration for the final event, 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 non-profit 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).

For:                 IMMEDIATE RELEASE August 26, 2021

Contact:         Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation

Kat Allen, kat@ampstrategy.com