AKRON, Ohio (August 13, 2018) – The Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation (AMCC) will honor Deena Kastor with their 2018 Ambassador Award as part of the events leading up to its marquee event in the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay. The Award, given since 2008, recognizes the contributions of dedicated leaders and those who serve as an inspiration in the sport.

Deena Kastor is one of the most accomplished distance runners in American history, and currently holds eight American records in distances ranging from the 5k through the marathon. A three-time Olympian, Kastor won bronze in the marathon during the 2004 Athens games – America’s first Olympic medal in the marathon in twenty years. In the USA Championships, she is a three-time marathon winner, a five-time 10k champion, and a nine-time road champion ranging in distances between 8k and 15k. In addition to her Olympic bronze, internationally, Kastor is a two-time silver World Cross Country medalist and won the 2005 Chicago Marathon and the 2006 London Marathon. Deena set five world masters records in the 10k, 15k, 10 mile, 20k and half marathon distances in 2014 alone. Her new book “Let Your Mind Run: A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory” was released in April and gives readers a look inside the mind of an elite athlete and how the power of positivity can give anyone a competitive edge.

The eleventh annual Ambassador Award will be presented at the invitation-only VIP Reception on Thursday, September 27 at Greystone Hall. The AMCC has honored many iconic figures including Kathrine Switzer, Bill Rodgers, Amby Burfoot, Hal Higdon, Craig Masback, Creigh Kelley, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Frank Shorter, Meb Keflezighi, and Kara Goucher for their significant contributions and lasting impacts to the sport of running.

“I’m excited to be honored with this award and be a part of this marquee event in Akron. I’ve always felt that running is about pushing your limits and figuring out a way to mentally get through physical struggles so you can condition yourself towards a more positive and optimistic life. I love the tie in with Akron Children’s Hospital and hope to serve as an inspiration to their patients and families who are living that fight between the mental and physical every day,” said Kastor.

During race week, Kastor will be available to meet runners, sign autographs and copies of her new book at the Akron Marathon Health and Fitness Expo presented by Summa Health and SummaCare. The Expo, held at the John S. Knight Center on September 28, is free and open to the public.

“American women marathoners are having a monumental year and Deena is one who over her career has helped build that excitement and steam towards this exciting time in American running history,” said Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation Trustee Dave Hunter. “Deena’s approach to running and life will motivate all who participate in the Akron Marathon Race Series. Her running mantra of challenging and empowering yourself is something I know all our runners strive for as they toe our Blue Line year in and year out.”

The 2018 Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series is set to aid runners in progressing their mileage to run in the premiere event on September 29 – the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, and Team Relay. The series opened with the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile on June 30 at InfoCision Stadium featuring a stadium finish at the 50-yard line followed by a craft beer festival. On August 11, the series will shift to the world headquarters of one of Akron’s signature global brands for the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k. Registration for all events is available at AkronMarathon.org.

About the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series
The Akron Children’s Hospital 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 serves as a major fundraiser for Akron Children’s Hospital raising over $900,000 to date and features race dates in June (National Interstate 8k & 1-Mile) and August (Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k), culminating with the 16th 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).