Thousands of runners will make the trek through various Akron neighborhoods and landmarks in the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay Sept. 24.
‘A world-class event':Akron Marathon makes great strides in 20 years
This is the race’s 20th anniversary, which means there are new events for runners, volunteers and spectators. Here are some of the highlights:
Akron Marathon's 20-Year Celebration & Blue Jean Bash: This event will take place at the John S. Knight Center at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22. The Blue Jean Bash is the marathon’s largest fundraiser to date with a goal of raising $400,000. Running celebrities Ali Feller, Meb Keflezighi, Bill Rodgers and Kathrine Switzer will be present at the event. Attendees can also look forward to a live auction, live entertainment, open bar, interactive displays and much more. Tickets start at $262.
20-Year Museum at the Health and Fitness Expo: The expo will be at the John S. Knight Center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. The 20-Year Museum will highlight race memorabilia through the years and will include interactive displays and photo opportunities.
Blue Line Celebration Stage at the Health and Fitness Expo: This stage will be in the main exhibit hall of the John S. Knight Center from 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23. This event will feature speakers, celebrity runners, yoga classes, and more. A runners lounge will be at the center of the exhibit hall so that they can stretch, get KT taped and relax before the big race.
Ali on the Run Show at the Health and Fitness Expo: One of the nation's most popular sports podcasts is the Ali on the Run Show, hosted by Ali Feller. At some point during the expo, which well be in the John S. Knight Center from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 23, Feller will host a live podcast with running legends Kathrine Switzer, Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi.
The course itself has undergone some changes too. This year, those participating in the Half Marathon will traverse a new, flatter course. The finish line has also been moved back to the Akron Civic Theatre instead of Lock 3, which will host the Finisher’s Festival this time around. The race will start in six waves, with the first being at 7 a.m. and the last at 7:07 a.m. All runners should cross the starting line by 7:10 a.m.
Significant alterations have also been made to the marathon’s policies regarding COVID-19 vaccination and testing.
“Since we have more resources than we did a year ago, we are shifting our COVID-19 prevention strategy to one based primarily on personal responsibility,” said Anne Bitong, president and CEO of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corp. “Depending on the community risk level at the time of our event, we may require masking at indoor venues for both participants and volunteers; however, we will not require proof of vaccination or testing.”
Despite all these differences, Marathon racers will still encounter places such as Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens and Sand Run Metro Park; those in the half marathon will experience the part of the course that includes the North Hill and Firestone Park neighborhoods.
Marathon organizers created a map to help runners and spectators navigate the marathon — and for motorists to see how the course's broad footprint may affect driving plans; bookmark this page for reference on race day.
Hydration, energy gel and medical stations will be placed throughout the course, along with portable restrooms for participants and bystanders. Every runner and volunteer will also receive a 20-year commemorative hat.
Running in Akron:Local runners score big at Goodyear Half Marathon and 10K
Runners can register online through Sept. 18.
Onsite registration will open, based on availability, on Friday, Sept. 23 at the Health & Fitness Expo.
Volunteers can register online through Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Watch a livestream of the 2022 Akron Marathon
The event will be live streamed on the Akron Marathon Race Series’ Facebook page starting at 7: 45 a.m. Saturday.
Where to find 2022 Akron Marathon results
Once the race has concluded, you can find out how specific runners finished here.
The marathon's results page allows users to sort the data in multiple ways, including by event. You can also search for specific names, bib numbers or hometowns to find runners.
The dates for next year’s Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health are:
National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile: June 24, 2023
Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k: Aug. 12, 2023
Kids Fun Run: Sept. 29, 2023
FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay: Sept. 30, 2023
Roads closed for 2022 Akron Marathon
If you are planning to go downtown Friday or Saturday or need to know how your driving route will be affected by the marathon and other events, here's an overview of what to expect.
Friday, Sept. 23 – Kids Fun Run
The Kids Fun Run will step off at 6 p.m. in downtown Akron on Friday, so those heading into the area should anticipate these roadblocks:
South Main Street will be closed between Bowery Street and Buchtel Street starting at 9 a.m.
South High Street will be closed between East Mill Street and East Market Street starting at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24 – Akron Marathon Race Series
Streets along the race course aren't the only thoroughfares that will close for Saturday's main event. Popular workout spots along The Ohio & Erie Canal Towpath Trail and in Sand Run Metro Park will be overrun with race competitors.
This year's route will close off a section of the Towpath Trail from the Mustill Store near downtown to North Portage Path in the Merriman Valley. Shortly after that, the course follows Sand Run Parkway through Sand Run Metro Park to Sand Run Road, a stretch that includes a heavily used jogging and walking trail.
Here are road closures, organized first by closure time and then by race course:
South High Street between Bowery Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, 5 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
All-America Bridge southbound between Martin Luther King Boulevard and North Main Street, 7 a.m. – 7:30 a.m.
North Main Street southbound between Olive Street and East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue, 7 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
Tallmadge Avenue between Cuyahoga Street and North Main Street, 7 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue between North Main Street and Carpenter Street, 7 a.m. – 7:45 a.m.
North Main Street northbound between East Cuyahoga Falls Avenue and Olive Street, 7 a.m. – 8 a.m.
All-America Bridge northbound between North Main Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, 7 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
South Broadway Street between Martin Luther King Boulevard and Exchange Street, 7:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Market Street (eastbound lanes only) between Rand Avenue and Forge Street, 6:55 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.
South College Street between East Market Street and Buchtel Avenue, 7:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
East Mill Street between South Main Street and Fir Hill, 7:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Fir Hill between South Forge Street and East Buchtel Avenue, 7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
East Buchtel Avenue between Goodkirk Street and Hill Street, 7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Spicer Street between East Buchtel Avenue and East Thornton Street, 7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Power Street between Spicer Street and Brown Street, 7:15 a.m. – 8:40 a.m.
Brown Street between East Exchange Street and West Wilbeth Road, 7:15 a.m. – 9 a.m.
East Wilbeth Road (westbound lanes) between East Wilbeth Road and South Firestone Boulevard, 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
South Firestone Boulevard between East Wilbeth Road and Aster Avenue, 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Aster Avenue between South Firestone Boulevard and North Firestone Boulevard, 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
Lindenwood Avenue between Aster Avenue and North Firestone Boulevard, 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
North Firestone Boulevard between Aster Avenue and East Firestone Boulevard, 7:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.
East Firestone Boulevard (westbound lanes) between Firestone Boulevard and South Main Street, 7:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
South Main Street (northbound) between East Wilbeth Road and Thornton Street, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m.
East Thornton Street between South Main Street and Grant Street, 7:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Wolf Ledges Parkway (southbound) between Thornton Street and University Avenue, 7:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Wolf Ledges Parkway (northbound) between Arc Drive and University Avenue, 7:45 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
University Avenue between South High Street and Hill Street, 7:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.
Hill Street between South Forge Street and University Avenue, 7:45 a.m. – 10 a.m.
East Buchtel Avenue between Hill Street and South College Street, 7:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.
Carroll Street between the University of Akron and Wolf Ledges Parkway, 7:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Buckeye Street between Carroll Street and East Exchange Street, 7:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
East Exchange Street (northern westbound lane) between Buckeye Street and South Broadway, 7:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
North Main Street (southbound) between Market Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard, 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
North Howard Street (southbound) between North Main Street and Cuyahoga Street, 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
West North Street between North Howard Street and North Maple Street, 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Merriman Road between Treaty Line and North Portage Path, 8:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
North Portage Path between Treaty Line and Merriman Road, 8:15 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Sand Run Parkway between North Portage Path and Revere Road, 8:15 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Sand Run Road between West Market Street and Smith Road, 8:30 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Overwood Road between Sand Run Road and Wiltshire Road, 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Wiltshire Road between Overwood Road and Fairfax Road, 8:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Fairfax Road between North Hawkins Avenue and Castle Boulevard, 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Rampart Avenue between Fairfax Road and Bond Street, 8:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Castle Boulevard between Fairfax Road and Garman Road., 8:40 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
Garman Road between Melbourne Avenue and North Portage Path, 8:40 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
North Portage Path (southbound) between Mayfair Road and West Market Street, 8:45 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.
West Market Street (eastbound) between Portage Path and South Main Street, 8:50 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.
South Main Street between Market Street and Mill Street, 9:00 a.m. – 1:40 p.m.
Main Street Broadway exit to I-76 West will be completely closed, 7:30 a.m. – 10 a.m. Use the detour at the Dart Avenue exit.
This article originally appeared on Akron Beacon Journal: 2022 Akron Marathon: Road closures, results and more