FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

PARTICIPANT REQUIREMENTS

Effective August 26, proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result will be required to pick up an in-person race bib at the Akron Marathon Health & Fitness Expo on Friday, September 24. 

Protocol General 

Q: Why was this protocol added?

A: Due to the increasing COVID-19 numbers and the Delta variant, new health requirements were added. 

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.

Q: As a runner, how do I prove my vaccination?

A: For the September events, proof of vaccination may be presented as a hard copy, photocopy, or digital version of an immunization record. 

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.

Q: As a volunteer, how do I prove my vaccination?

A: Committee members will be asked to show their proof of vaccination or negative test at War Room.

General volunteers will be asked to show their proof of vaccination or negative test at volunteer check-in.

Q: What if I’m not vaccinated?

A: 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.

Q: What tests are accepted?

A: 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.

Q: What does “fully vaccinated” mean?

A: 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.

Q: I purchased the “mailing my bib” option. What do I need to do to show my proof of vaccination or a negative test?

A: Registered participants that paid for the mail my bib service will receive an email with instructions on how to provide their proof of vaccination/negative COVID-19 test in advance of their mailing. 

Q: Can someone else pick up my packet?

A: Yes. However, that person will need to show your proof of vaccination or negative test with your name on it.  

Each bib that gets picked up must have a proof of vaccination or negative test shown with the same name that is printed on the bib.

Q: Can I switch to the virtual event?

A: Yes, please email info@akronmarathon.org.

Q: I am registered to run virtually, can I switch to the in-person event?

A: Yes, please email info@akronmarathon.org.

Q: Do spectators have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result?

A: No. Spectators should watch the race from the spectator viewing areas; north of the Start Line, Mile 4 one block west of the Start Line, Bowery & Broadway, and Mile 12 on High Street. Runner-only areas will be strictly enforced; Start Line Corrals, Exchange Zones and the Finisher Festival.

Q: How do I find a vaccine?

A: 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.

COVID-19 Testing Questions

Q: What if I’m not vaccinated?

A: 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.

Q: What is the testing window?

A: The acceptable testing window begins at 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 22 through your packet pick-up time on Friday, September 24. Any negative test received during this window will be accepted per the guidelines below. 

Q: What types of SARS-CoV-2 test are acceptable?

A: Individuals must be tested with a viral test that could be either an antigen test or a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) with Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Examples of available NAAT methods for SARS-CoV-2 include but are not restricted to: 

  • Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) 
  • Reverse transcription loop-mediated isothermal amplification (RT-LAMP) 
  • Transcription-mediated amplification (TMA) 
  • Nicking enzyme amplification reaction (NEAR) 
  • Helicase-dependent amplification (HDA) 
Q: How do I meet the testing requirements?

A: Individuals can use a personal physician’s office, national pharmacy chain, or drive-thru collection clinic provided testing meets the following criteria: 

  • The sample is collected at a personal physician’s office, national pharmacy chain clinic, or drive-thru collection site and testing is done on-site (point-of-care) using a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (NAAT or antigen test) with EUA from the FDA. 
  • The sample is collected at a personal physician’s office, national pharmacy chain clinic, or drive-thru collection site and testing is performed at an accredited laboratory using a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (NAAT or antigen test) with EUA from the FDA. 
Q: Does a self-test meet the requirements?

A: Individuals can use a self-test (sometimes referred to as home test) that meets the following criteria: 

  • The test must be a SARS-CoV-2 viral test (NAAT or antigen test) with EUA from the FDA. 
  • The testing procedure must include a telehealth service affiliated with the manufacturer of the test that provides real-time supervision remotely through an audio and video connection. Some FDA-authorized self-tests that include a telehealth service may require a prescription. 
  • The telehealth provider must confirm the person’s identity, observe the specimen collection and testing procedures, confirm the test result, and issue a report that meets the requirements below. 
Q: What information must be included on the test result?

A: Individuals must provide race officials proof of a negative COVID-19 result with a document that includes: 

  • Type of test (indicating it is a NAAT or antigen test) 
  • Name of entity issuing the result (name of laboratory, healthcare entity, or telehealth service) 
  • Specimen collection date. The specimen must be collected within 3 days before picking up a bib 
  • Information identifying the tested individual (full name plus at least one other identifier such as date of birth) 
  • Test result 

Team Relay Questions

Q: What do we have to do to switch to a virtual event?

A: It is the responsibility of the team captain to determine if the team would like to proceed as an in-person team or a virtual team. All 5-team members must be registered in order to be moved to a virtual team. Runners may run multiple relay legs to complete your team. If some members would like to run in-person and some virtually, you should find alternates to complete your in-person team. Alternates/Relay changes can be processed at the Health & Fitness Expo on September 24 at the JSK Center. The transfer fee will be waived in 2021 due to our new COVID-19 protocols. Members of your team who want to move to virtual can be moved once your in-person team is complete. We are not requiring that virtual teams be complete. All virtual participants will have the opportunity to upload a finishing time through our virtual race dashboard. 

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.

Q: Also, does the entire relay team have to all be virtual for us to switch, or can it be just a couple people out of the 5?

A: All 5-members of the team must choose to run in-person or virtually. A complete team must be registered to get in-person race bibs and a complete team should be recorded at all timing mats/relay legs to have an official race time. A relay member can run multiple legs; however, each leg must be registered and paid. 

Q: Is there a still a $10 fee?

A: The transfer fee will be waived in 2021 due to our new COVID-19 protocols. 

Q: One of our relay team members is no longer able to participate - can their registration be transferred to another person?

A: Yes, the registration can be transferred. The deadline for online transfers has passed. Registration changes/transfers can be processed at the Health & Fitness Expo on September 24 at the JSK Center. The new runner will need to come in-person to register. The transfer fee will be waived in 2021 due to our new COVID-19 protocols.

NEW 2021 EVENT CHANGES 

  • All events have been tweaked to provide social distancing and minimize contact.  
  • We will have both virtual and in-person races for all events. Please note, you will not be able to use a virtual bib to participate in-person. 
  • Participants will select their packet picup time in 30-minute windows during the registration process. There will be no race day packet pick up. Virtual participant’s packets will be mailed. 
  • Start Line moved back downtown; 7:00 a.m. start 
  • The race will start in 14 waves. There will be 400 participants per wave, and each wave will be walked to the start line, held for 45 seconds, and then have they own starting commands. Participants will select their pace per mile during the registration process. Wave number will be indicated on your race bib. 
  • Certain services have been suspended including gear check, pace teams and elite athlete program.
  • If you are fully vaccinated, wearing a mask is optional.   
  • Attendees who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear face coverings throughout race areas unless actively running, eating, or drinking.   
  • Please be sure to read all race related emails and Final Instructions leading up to race day for the latest race information and instructions. 

GENERAL

Q: What are the runner premiums for the Akron Marathon races?

A:
Marathon
Half Zip
Medal
Post Race Recovery Food & Beer (21 & older) 

Half Marathon
Long Sleeve Premium Tech Shirt
Medal
Post Race Recovery Food & Beer (21 & older) 

Relay
Short Sleeve Premium Tech Shirt
Medal
Post Race Recovery Food & Beer (21 & older) 

Q: Is there a minimum age requirement?

A: The minimum age for the marathon and the half marathon is 16 and the minimum age for the team relay is 14.

Q: What is the start time?

A: The Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay race will start at 7:00 am. The Wheelchair Division will start at 6:59 am. 

Q: Where should I park?

A: Runners should park downtown where you can conveniently access your vehicle post-race. Free parking is available at all downtown decks and lots 

If coming into town after 6:50 am roads will start to close along the course route. Please plan accordingly. Also, keep in mind that certain lots and decks will have delayed exiting if it is located along the course route, particularly along High Street and Broadway. Additional information & maps will be available in Final Instructions which will be sent out 2 weeks prior to race day.  

Q: Is the Akron Marathon a qualifier for the Boston Marathon?

A: Yes, the course is a USATF Certified Course and is a qualifying event for the Boston Marathon. Qualifying times can be viewed here.

Q: After registering, will I receive additional information?

A: Yes, we will send emails leading up to race day with additional information to help you get ready. Final instructions are sent 2-weeks prior to the race via email. When registering, please provide your primary email address.

Q: What is the average temperature on race day?

A: The temperature typically varies from 52°F to 66°F and is rarely below 42°F or above 77°F.

Q: Where will I pick-up my packet?

A: Friday, September 24, 2021 from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. 

Runners will choose a pickup time during registration in 30-minute increments. There will be NO race day pick up. Virtual participant’s packets will be mailed. 

 John S. Knight Center 

 77 E Mill Street 

 Akron OH 44308 

Q: When is the virtual race?

A: You can run/walk your race between September 25, 2021-October 31, 2021.

Q: How does a virtual race work?

A: A virtual race is a race you can run at any location, at your pace, outside or on a treadmill. You will run the race distance and upload your finishing time. We suggest that all runners followrecommendations as provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help slow the spread of COVID-19We ask that you do not use the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay course route as it is not pedestrian safe without the usual race day street closures and safety assistance with traffic. Please note if you are registered for the virtual event & later decide to participate in-person you must contact info@akronmarathon.org to update your registration. You will not be able to use a virtual bib to participate in-person. 

Q: I am unable to pick up my packet, what are my options?

Q: We recommend everyone to pick up their own packet however if you are unable to do so, someone can pick up for you. That person will need to verify that your registration information is correct (name, gender, age & emergency contact information) and be able to provide your proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 result. 

REGISTRATION

Please review the following 2021 policies carefully prior to registering: 

  • No refunds or deferrals will be offered. 
  • We will have both in-person and virtual options for all events.
  • If the 2021 Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health in-person event(s) are canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all participants will be automatically converted to the virtual event. There will be no refunds or deferments offered for the event – no exceptions. 
Q: I deferred my 2020 registration. How do I register for 2021 and what are my options?

A: All participants who deferred their 2020 registration will be automatically uploaded into the same in-person event for 2021. You will receive an email on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 with instructions on how to claim your registration, sign your waiver and answer additional questions. Please note your 2021 registration is not finalized until you complete the instructions in the email. If you did not receive an email, please email info@akronmarathon.org.

Participants who deferred their 2020 registration will be registered for the same event they originally registered for in 2020. If you wish to register for a different event or participate virtually, please email info@akronmarathon.org.

Q: Will the number of runners be limited in any of the events?

A: Yes, all our events will be capped in effort to provide the same world-class experience for all our runners. The Marathon race will be capped at 1,000 participants. The Half Marathon will be capped at 3,500 participants. The Team Relay will be capped at 4,000 participants/800 Teams. 

Q: I originally registered for the in-person event and would like to participate virtually / I registered for virtual race and would like to participate in-person can I switch; is there a fee?

A: Yes, please email info@akronmarathon.org and we will be happy to switch your registration. There is not a fee to do so.  

If switching from in-person event to virtual, please note that to guarantee on time delivery of your premiums, this should be done by August 1, 2021. Changes can be made after August 1; however, delivery time is not guaranteed.  

If switching from virtual event to in-person, this can only happen if the caps have not been met. 

Q: Will you email a confirmation to me?

A: Once you register online, you will receive a confirmation email immediately from Race Roster. Provide your primary email address.

Q: Can I register on the day of the race?

A: No, the last opportunity to register for in-person events online is Sunday, September 19, 2021; virtual registration closes on August 20, 2021. Due to COVID-19, there will be no on-site registration at Packet Pick-Up.  

Q: I can’t remember if I registered. Can I confirm my race entry?

A: To confirm your registration for the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay, click here for the searchable “Confirm Registration” feature on Race Roster. 

Q: I was injured after registering for the race. Can I get a refund or defer until next year or a different event?

A: Did you purchase registration insurance? If so, use this link to file a claim with the registration insurance company. 

If not, we have no refund or deferment policy.

COURSE

Q: What distances are offered for the September race?

A: Events will include Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Team Relay, & 1 Mile Kids Fun Run.

Q: Will the number of runners be limited in any of the events?

A: Yes, all our events will be capped in effort to provide the same world-class experience for all our runners. Marathon-1,000; Half Marathon-3,500; Relay- 4,000 (800 teams); Kids Fun Run- 500. 

Q: Do you allow walkers?

A: The Akron Marathon does not have a walking division. However, if a walker is able to finish before the time limits listed below, then they are welcome to participate.

Q: What is the time limit for each event?

A: The Full Marathon course will remain open for 6.5 hours and will close on a continuous pace of 14:52 min/mile. The Half Marathon course will remain open for 3.5 hours and will close on a continuous pace of 16:00 min/mile. Anyone who cannot maintain the pace requirements must move to the sidewalk or catch the SAG bus as the course will reopen and allow vehicular traffic through. Runner services cannot be guaranteed for participants beyond stated pace requirements.

Q: What type of running surface is on the course?

A: The race is run on paved asphalt, concrete streets, and crushed limestone.

Q: What type of liquids do you provide along the course?

A: BODYARMOR sports drink and water will be provided at all fluid stations along the course.

Q: Is it possible to drive the course?

A: The course is not entirely drivable due to some restricted areas only accessible to runners on race day as well as portions of the course that run against traffic.

Q: Will Pace Teams be available during this race?

A: Due to COVID-19, pace team services have been suspended in an effort to socially distance runners. 

Q: Can I wear headphones while racing on the Akron Marathon course?

A: Yes, runners participating in the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health may use portable listening devices. At all times runners must be aware of their surroundings and be courteous of those around them, so if you plan to run with music, make certain that you are able to hear audible cues from race officials and those runners in your immediate area. 

Q: Can I join a friend/ family member for a few miles at the end of the race?

A: No. Due to liability considerations, and out of respect for the registered participants, non-registered runners are not permitted to run or walk within the boundaries of the official course. Friends may stand adjacent to the edge of the defined course and cheer the participants on! Friends must NEVER cross the finish line or enter the finish zone. 

Q: Are wheelchairs, strollers, or special vehicles permitted on the course?

A: The Wheelchair Division is limited to push rim racing chairs only in our September event in the Marathon distance only. Due to course restrictions, we no longer permit handcycles on our course. 

The following items are not permitted on the course: skateboards, scooters, bicycles, roller blades, baby joggers, baby carriers or any other types of vehicles (other than official race vehicles). These regulations are for the participant’s safety and the safety of the other participants in the race. 

AWARDS

Q: Will there be awards for each event?

A: 

Marathon 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Overall 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Masters 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Age Groups 

Half Marathon 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Overall 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Masters 

 Top 3 Men’s and Women’s Age Groups 

Team Relay 

 Top 3 Men’s, Women’s and Mixed 

 Top 3 Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Masters 

Q: Can I double dip with awards?

A: No. You can only win one award. There is no double dipping for awards. If a masters finished in top 3 overall, they become an overall and taken out of Masters. 

Q: What age is Masters?

A: You must be at least 40 years of age on race day.

Q: What's the age breakdown for Age Group Awards?

A: Age groups: 19 and under, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70+. All awards will be mailed, please allow 4-6 weeks. Please note virtual participants are not included in awards since virtual results are unofficial. Age group awards will be based on chip time.

Q: If I complete all 3 events will I receive anything special?

A: Yes, all series finishers will receive a commemorative Race Series medal & commemorative gift.

Q: Will there be series awards?

A: Yes, for in-person participants. Please visit our Series Scoring page to learn more about these awards. Series awards will be mailed, please allow 6-8 weeks.