Runners come out the running event regardless of rainy weather

AKRON, Ohio (June 27, 2015) – Rainy conditions didn’t scare away runners from the first race of the 2015 Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series. A total of 2,673 runners competed in either the 1-mile race or 8k event Saturday morning, and had the opportunity to enjoy Thirsty Dog beers at the finish line. Out of those participants, nearly 50 percent of the registered participants are signed up for all of the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series events.

“We’re very pleased with the way the race went today and were happy with our final runner number for this first race of the series,” said Anne Bitong, Akron Marathon President/Executive Director. “We hope the excitement and passion continues to grow as we get closer to the August Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k since we built this race series to provide a world-class experience and training program for the running community.”

The top 8k men’s open finisher was Verrelle Wyatt with a time of 25:12, and the top women’s open finisher in the 8k, Rebecca Nussbaum, finished with a time of 30:06. In the master’s 8k competition Damon Blackford came in with a time of 29:37, and the women’s master top finisher, Kristy Kenna, had a time of 33:51.

Top 1-mile runners of the day included the men’s open winner, Andy Knapp, with a time of 4:30, and the women’s open winner, Kristy Hill, with a time of 5:37. In the masters competition, Timothy Lewis came in first with a time of 5:24, and Kyrstn Was came in with a time of 8:09.

Bill Rodgers, a four-time winner of the Boston and New York City marathons, was on hand to help celebrate the start of the inaugural Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series, and wore wore honorary bib #1. Rodgers finished the 8k with a time of 44:46.

“It was a great weekend to be a part of from meeting so many passionate runners on Friday night to the great atmosphere on race day,” said Rogers. “The Akron Marathon has done a fantastic job with this race series and I’m honored to have the chance to take part in it.”

The Thirsty Dog 8k & 1-mile started and finished at The University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium. Participants of the 8k received a short sleeve shirt, medal with built in beer opener, commemorative pint glass and entry to the Runners’ Circle with a tasting glass and five tasting tickets (valid for Thirsty Dog craft beer or root beer tastings). One-mile participants received a short sleeve shirt, commemorative root beer mug and an entry to the Runners’ Circle with a tasting glass and a ticket for a Thirsty Dog craft root beer.

“We are excited to have this opportunity to bring this unique event to the Akron area and to collaborate with such a well-known Akron entity,” said John Najeway, Thirsty Dog Vice President. “It’s been a fun experience to work together to create the specialty Akron Marathon brews: Blue Line Brew Ale &Blue Line Brew Lager.”

The remaining 2015 race dates for the inaugural running of the Rubber City Race Series are as follows: Aug. 15 (Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k) and Sept. 26 (Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay). The dates were developed to help guide runners through a typical training schedule. Registration is available at