Akron, OH (Sept. 25, 2021) — More than 6,000 athletes and thousands of spectators gathered safely at the marquee event of the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay, which began with a new starting line at the Akron Art Museum.

On a crisp and cool morning, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay welcomed runners with ages 14 to 84 competing on Sat., Sept. 25, 2021, beginning at 7:00 a.m.

Traveling 26.2 miles through the streets of Akron at 2:25:07 and 3:18:45 Nick Stricklen of Akron, and Teresa Ferguson of Coventry Township were the top finishers in today’s Marathon. The first runners to cross the finish line outside of Lock 3 in the Half Marathon distance were Jeremiah Fitzgerald of Lakewood and Becki Spellman of Galloway with times of 1:08:03 and 1:20:53.

Dylan Garritano of Akron was the runner-up in the men’s Marathon with a time of 2:27:30, while Israel Merkle of Akron crossed the line third at 2:28:08

For the women’s Marathon, Greer Rothermel of Uniontown, finished second with a time of 3:20:10 followed by Taylor Warrick from Cleveland, 3:26:51 in the Marathon. (Complete winner information can be found at the end of this release.)

In the Half Marathon, Nathaniel Orndorf from Akron and Josh Rieskamp from Columbus placed second and third in the men’s division. Caroline Ostry from Copley in second place and Brittany Eismon from Hudson in third place, rounded out the winner’s podium for the women’s Half Marathon.

Top times in the Marathon’s Masters Division (40 years and older) were put up by Brian Polen from Wooster and overall female Marathon winner Teresa Ferguson from Coventry Township. For the Half Marathon, the top masters were David Stewart from Mogadore and Leslie Owen from Copley.

“We loved being back with you, Akron!” said Anne Bitong, president and CEO of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation. “To our Blue Line runners, sponsors, supporters, volunteers, and vendors, this community truly showed the best of itself during this unforgettable year. It is your commitment that helps make this a world-class event—and we’re so incredibly proud of your work and grateful for you!

Congratulations to all those who participated in this weekend’s events,” said Cliff Deveny, M.D., Summa Health president and CEO. “From running to walking and even cheering on your friends and family—we celebrate your hard work. We are honored to be part of this great organization and can’t wait for next year’s Akron Marathon.”

Friday night, the Kids Fun Run presented by Akron Children’s Hospital had more than 500 kids ages 12 and under race their own “big race” along the one-mile course and shared finish line.

Plans are already underway for the 20th anniversary of the Akron Marathon which is set for Sept. 24, 2022, and details will continue to be updated at AkronMarathon.org in the months to come.

List of winners in the Full Marathon:

Female Overall:

Teresa Ferguson, Coventry Township, 3:18:45

Greer Rothermel, Uniontown, 3:20:10

Taylor Warrick, Cleveland, 3:26:51


Male Overall:

Nick Stricklen, Akron, 2:25:07

Dylan Garritano, Akron, 2:27:30

Israel Merkle, Akron, 2:28:08


Female Masters:

Teresa Ferguson, Coventry Township, 3:18:45

Katie McNeil, Zanesville, 3:46:56

Jennie Swires, Mantua, 3:47:34


Male Masters:

Brian Polen, Wooster, 2:42:44

Paul Stock, Hudson, 2:50:42

Ron Hayes, Akron, 2:57:40


List of winners in the Half Marathon:

Female Overall:

Becki Spellman, Galloway, 1:20:53

Caroline Ostry, Copley, 1:27:31

Brittany Eismon, Hudson, 1:28:20


Male Overall:

Jeremiah Fitzgerald, Lakewood, 1:08:03

Nathaniel Orndorf, Akron, 1:09:34

Josh Rieskamp, Columbus, 1:09:49


Female Masters:

Leslie Owen, Copley, 1:37:37

Nicole Gareri-David, Canton, 1:37:40

Tammie Pruett, Massillon, 1:44:14


Male Masters:

David Stewart, Mogadore, 1:25:21

Mark Rohrer, Wadsworth, 1:27:56

Jason Vickers, Massillon, 1:28:06


For more information about the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, please visit AkronMarathon.org.