Craig Nieset and Faye Hellman take 1-Mile titles

AKRON, Ohio (June 24, 2017) – The 2017 Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series is off and running (pun intended) as thousands of participants toed the starting line at the 3rd annual National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile. Sunny skies and ideal race temperatures greeted runners as they zipped through the city and finished on the 50-yard line at the University of Akron’s InfoCision Stadium.

The first runner across the finish line was Craig Nieset of Chardon with a time of 4:47 in the one mile event. The top 8k finisher, Bobby Moldovan of Twinsburg completed the unique course in 24:57. Becki Spellman, 2016 National Interstate 8k champ from Hilliard, retained her title with a finishing time of 29:30. Both Moldovan and Spellman set new event records.

In total, 1,960 runners crossed the finish line. Nearly 100 competitors took in their first race as part of a new area running group – the Blue Line Beginners – named after the fabled blue line marking the Akron Marathon course. Training since April, these runners and walkers have committed to participating in the entire race series. “The team at the Akron Marathon is proud to welcome all first-time racers. This group has formed a unique bond and dynamic support system, and that was evident out on the course today with groups of runners and walkers completing the course together and cheering each other on through the end,” said Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon. “Their spirit truly characterizes all that is wonderful about this running community.”

The day’s winners included

  • Men’s 8k: Bobby Moldovan, Chardon – 24:57
  • Women’s 8k: Becki Spellman, Hilliard – 29:30
  • Men’s master’s 8k: Damon Blackford, Akron – 30:38
  • Women’s master’s 8k: Debbie Harding, Akron – 36:37
  • Men’s 1-mile: Craig Nieset, Chardon – 4:47
  • Women’s 1-mile:Faye Hellman, Philadephia, PA – 5:38
  • Men’s master’s 1-mile: Matt Cochran, Tallmadge – 5:36
  • Women’s master’s 1-mile: Amanda Richardson, Copley – 7:35

As with all Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series events, enthusiasm was never in short supply as spectators and local ‘superheroes’ from Akron Children’s Hospital encouraged and cheered participants along the way. Upon finishing, runners celebrated with family and friends at the finisher festival. “Whether you are a first-time racer or seasoned veteran, the attitude and vibe at this event is unlike anything you find at most other races; high-energy, social and wellness opportunities and of course, fun,” said Tony Mercurio, President and CEO of National Interstate. “We hope that the race will serve as a reminder of how simple it is to get involved and take control of living a healthy lifestyle.”

The remaining 2017 race dates are as follows: August 12 (Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k) and September 23 (FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay). The dates coordinate with a typical training schedule to help runners reach bigger goals and longer distances. Registration for all Akron Marathon Race Series events is available at

“The race series continues to grow with each passing year. We are very excited by the momentum,” said president & CEO of Akron Children’s Bill Considine. “Together we are impacting lives and building an increasing commitment to health and wellness in our companies and our community.”