Overall Rating
Overall Rating (44 Reviews)
4.7
(44 Ratings) 🏆 (44 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
3.6
SCENERY
4.2
PRODUCTION
4.8
SWAG
4.4
Join us for the marquee event of the Akron Marathon Race Series presented by Summa Health, the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, & Team Relay! Our course is like a foot-tour through the city of Akron, highlighting our historic landmarks, colorful neighborhoods and majestic Summit Metro Parks. Racers begin in downtown … MORE
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Recent reviews

    davida24 REPEAT RUNNER '21

    I love the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay! I have ran the relay 3 times, and this year was the first time for me to run the half (not … MORE

    I love the Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Relay! I have ran the relay 3 times, and this year was the first time for me to run the half (not counting the virtual half in 2020).

    The Akron Marathon is very well organized and attention is paid to details. There are plenty of porta johns at the start/finish as well as on the course. Aid stations are plentiful, and volunteers are top notch. The race director does an excellent job with communicating the details of the race well in advance of race day. The swag consists of a long-sleeved tech shirt and a medal- both are great. Typically the race ends with runners finishing in Canal Stadium (a minor league baseball team); however, due to a scheduling conflict, the finish line was at Lock 3 this year. While the finish party at Lock 3 was adequate, I really, really missed entering Canal Stadium and I hope they return to the stadium in the near future.

    The course itself is hilly (it is known for being a great course to prepare for the Boston Marathon), but it is a manageable course. I find the course to be really fun, especially because you run through so many different neighborhoods. The blue line takes you through North Hill, Firestone Park, and Akron University to name a few. A highlight for many people though, is running across the Y Bridge.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    runningservant FIRST-TIMER '21

    In the winter month of January on the 15th day in the 1971 year of our LORD, a birth of a runner took place. What was his name? You guessed … MORE

    In the winter month of January on the 15th day in the 1971 year of our LORD, a birth of a runner took place. What was his name? You guessed correctly, Aaron Burros. I am the one birthed but wasn’t born to run and was far from being the Running Servant I am today.

    As I prepared to run my 50th Birthday Year Celebration running quest, 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days, I was excited to put on my schedule the Akron Marathon, even though I wasn’t sure if it would even take place due to the pandemic. But it did take place. It was a highlight of my year.

    After settling in to the guest hotel, I walked around the downtown area reminiscing of how it looked when I was 9 years old walk to my Aunt and Uncle’s house while noticing mile markers and wondering how the course would end. There was a slope which elevated in the direction of the finish area. I thought to myself how fitting. This reminded me of how the month of September was ending — heading up to a milestone of my journey. It was surreal. I’m in my home city about to tow the line and run the course. But with every race there exist challenges before you get to enjoy that moment.

    I took time to enjoy every moment. I intentionally walked the mile to the expo. I intentionally walked into the expo to pick up my packet. I continued to be intentional about every part of the process. Then it happened. My PTSD was triggered. I couldn’t believe this was happening, not now, not in front of all these people and not in the midst of my beloved birthplace. The eyes of the young volunteer told me everything I needed to know about how I had responded to him informing me that my 1/4 Zip wasn’t available. You might be laughing reading this, but it wasn’t a laughing matter. It’s my second biggest trigger of my PTSD.

    In trying to maintain a sense of control, I asked to speak to the person over the expo. She quickly came over, I explained why I was very disappointed and how I was tired of races charging extra for bigger sizes; only for me to get to the races to be told they’d ran out of my my size. Again, the look on her face told me everything I needed to know about how quickly I was losing control.

    The expo coordinator took ownership (many don’t) apologized and tried desperately to make it right. But there was nothing that could be done as they didn’t have my size in anything. I expressed to her how important it was to ensure that races maintain the integrity of merchandise where runners pay extra. She literally wrote it down and asked for my contact info. After wards we went separate ways.

    I totally lost control of my emotions. I went and sat in the hallway weeping uncontrollably. Please don’t think this was all about a 1/4 Zip. The betrayal and pain runs very deep. As I wept the coordinator comes back. She gets my attention. She tells me that one of the volunteers has a husband, who is an ultra marathoner and who has a 1/4 Zip in my size, that is willing to give it to me and take the smaller size. Seriously, now I’m crying both uncontrolled and controlled tears, some of joy and some of pain. Ultra Marathoners are awesome selfless human beings; this is what I normal do and not something that is done for me, thank you,I express to them.

    I often say that it isn’t about things going wrong, as they shall, but what you do when things go wrong that matters. These ladies provided to me the best experience that the towing and crossing of a start / finish line could ever provide.

    The next day I was past excited to run even though I battled the depression from being triggered. I went from not running the race to a place of running and enjoying the sites and sunrise (on the bridge) to the people and police along the course. All because two ladies embodied what I would experience along the course inside the expo. Akron owes me nothing.

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    5
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4
    My Media

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    Gpress REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I've done this marathon for the past 5 years. It used to be a race that had easy downtown parking and great crowd support through the entire marathon route. Not … MORE

    I’ve done this marathon for the past 5 years. It used to be a race that had easy downtown parking and great crowd support through the entire marathon route. Not anymore. Organizers have turned their back on the marathon and flipped the course to cater to half marathoners. Even though the organizers call the marathon the ‘crown jewel of the race series’ they also admitted that more runners enter the half so are catering to those runners. It was decided to cater to half runners by giving them a route through the western loop since crowd support is bigger there. I would say for the most part that is true albeit throwing shade on all the supporters that would show up for the first half. The result on the new course is reduced support in the first half and not much support in the second half. Downtown construction or not, the marathon course has been bastardized. When the new 2019 route was announce and registration was opened, it never really sat well with me how the organizers went on a tour to talk about how happy they were to finally get a ‘flatter and faster course’ and that was the reason for the change, not road construction. But if you compare the profiles of past marathons, there was only a few hundred less climbing feet. To me the organizers came across as dishonest. Really though the volunteers are what makes this event. They are always super supportive and encouraging while providing loads of water at the aid stations.Also at the aid stations the marathon organization provides Bodyarmour drink, a low sodium drink so expect cramps if you don’t make preparations. Finishing in the Rubberducks ball park is always nice, although the ‘party area’ is a madhouse as you have to step over people in the loud crowded outfield. Not always enjoyable after 26.2. Runners used to get socks or extra swag at the finish line, special coupons emailed to you but that ended a few years ago and cost has gone up considerably the past few years. For what it’s worth, it was announced that much of the organizers staff received promotions. It’s a well organized race with a great number of volunteers that help out but really there are too many cheaper options in Ohio to bother going back.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    SCENERY
    2
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    3

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    itibrout REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race has changed its course. The traditional back end, which finished in the shade with awesome crowd support, is now at the beginning of the race. The back end … MORE

    This race has changed its course. The traditional back end, which finished in the shade with awesome crowd support, is now at the beginning of the race. The back end is in full sun on Summit Lake, which isn’t the best part of Akron to showcase in a race. The race starts half an hour later, which exacerbates the heat factor for slower runners. The start is also unexciting for back of the packers. The finish party is still exceptional.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    4
    My Report
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    4

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    hannahefuller REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The hills were hilly but the but the race a a whole was fine. Love running into the stadium. Miss the extra swag at the end (use to get a … MORE

    The hills were hilly but the but the race a a whole was fine. Love running into the stadium. Miss the extra swag at the end (use to get a hat or socks).

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    patty_dye REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The race organization is like a well oiled machine. I have run the half marathon 5 years in a row with also doing the relay 2 of those years. This … MORE

    The race organization is like a well oiled machine. I have run the half marathon 5 years in a row with also doing the relay 2 of those years. This year i had to walk the majority of the race for to injury and walking is all PT would allow. Even with walking, i had time to finish under the time limit. There are so many great volunteers which i have also been. The course has hills but completely doable. This is definitely a race you should try.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    4
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    5

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    anz731 FIRST-TIMER '19

    The spectators are the best aspect of the race! They line the streets of Akron with bands, cheerleaders, hero zones, block parties and more. This is what kept me going! … MORE

    The spectators are the best aspect of the race! They line the streets of Akron with bands, cheerleaders, hero zones, block parties and more. This is what kept me going! The whole process….from registration to the finish is so smooth, with a ton of information for newbies. Great swag and finishers medal, and yummy food afterwards!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    5
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    5
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    dawgs REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I really enjoy running the relay compared to the actual marathon. The Toe path was really enjoyable and had great scenery to look at while running. The relay exchange area … MORE

    I really enjoy running the relay compared to the actual marathon. The Toe path was really enjoyable and had great scenery to look at while running. The relay exchange area was organize and spacious. Due to the heat there were plenty of cooling stations on the course

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    mjhastings93 FIRST-TIMER '19

    New course design. The half marathon portion was pretty easy and it got challenging in the back half of the course. Hot weather made hitting the wall a little sooner … MORE

    New course design. The half marathon portion was pretty easy and it got challenging in the back half of the course. Hot weather made hitting the wall a little sooner than anticipated for a late September race. You get suburbs, urban, and park running and the finish at Canal Park was awesome. Can’t wait to run again next year!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    5

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    cstavale FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first half marathon and I couldn’t have had a better experience at any other race! The best part is the support from the community. Passing block party … MORE

    This was my first half marathon and I couldn’t have had a better experience at any other race! The best part is the support from the community. Passing block party after block party of people there to support runners and Akron Children’s Hospital gave me the rush I needed to push through the hard points and finish with a time better than any of my training. Excellent communication throughout the process, and the shuttle service was flawless. Also, it was an unseasonably hot day, and the staff went above and beyond to keep people hydrated, safe and informed. I will always remember this day!

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    orangy13 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I would say the Akron marathon is one of the marathons in the country. I love everything about this race. Despite the new start location, which had received some skepticism … MORE

    I would say the Akron marathon is one of the marathons in the country. I love everything about this race. Despite the new start location, which had received some skepticism from some runners, the shuttles from the parking lot to the start line were very well organized. The race support and volunteers were amazing. I highly recommend this race.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5

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    jae0049 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I’d give the marathon a B- ... Shuttling to the start took a while (good thing I went a half hour early!) and because you had to shuttle to the … MORE

    I’d give the marathon a B- … Shuttling to the start took a while (good thing I went a half hour early!) and because you had to shuttle to the start, they pushed the start time back. I’d rather start early – especially as a slower (5 hour) marathon runner and especially since the weather was ridiculously hot this year! I read on Facebook that they were closing the course early, ahead of walkers who were keeping pace. It didn’t affect me, but I wanted to share for any walkers considering doing the race. It was especially problematic since they sent out warnings about the weather/heat telling everyone to slow down significantly. I was impacted however by the fact that they also shut down gear check and moved it a half hour early. I didn’t appreciate having to track down my things after running 26.2 miles, especially as an out of town runner who couldn’t just pick up things later in the week. I don’t care if there were only 50 bags left, keep the check open until the time you said you would.

    Otherwise. The race was well organized, I could easily find all the information I needed online. Plenty of water and aid stations along the course, which was great with the heat! I loved the shirt given to marathoners – a quarter zip is much nicer than a T-shirt! The course itself was marked very clearly. It’s VERY hilly – killer! Apparently this year was a new course, and I wish I had seen it before because the way the course flows now, the first half of very energetic and the second is boring. Lots of Akron neighborhoods handing out snacks and holding signs of encouragement in the beginning, and then pretty desolate on the second half of the course when I probably could have used extra motivation and some snacks! Plus: What marathoner wants the milkshake mile in the front half? I might have stopped around mile 20, but not mike 6 or wherever it was!

    Finisher festival was fun, albeit a bit quiet by the time I came through. Luckily I got a loud cheer because I entered the stadium at the same time as a wheelchair participant. Medals are really nice, good quality. I wished it was as cool as the series medal.

    Expo was smaller than I expected, seemed like a lot of local organizations which weren’t very attractive to me as an out of towner. But meeting Des Linden more than made up for it! Super cool!!

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    3
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    rmorris2128 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is very well organized and the crowd support is amazing on the entire course! This year, the course changed and you had to bus to the start line. … MORE

    This race is very well organized and the crowd support is amazing on the entire course! This year, the course changed and you had to bus to the start line. So many people were worried, but it was a seamless process. I look forward to running this race every single year and highly recommend it!

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
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    4

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    slbeck94 FIRST-TIMER '19

    First time running a half marathons bf participating in Akron’s marathon series. I was overall impressed with the organization and production of the whole thing! It was so great and … MORE

    First time running a half marathons bf participating in Akron’s marathon series. I was overall impressed with the organization and production of the whole thing! It was so great and fun and everyone’s energy was great and made me want to keep going! I was so happy with myself and my fellow runners that we pushed through and made it such a great race. I definitely plan on doing it again! Thank you everyone who brought it all together

    DIFFICULTY
    3
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    runlrn REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Loved the new start. Was skeptical about the shuttle BUT actually it was smooth & easy. Signage was clear. TONS of bathrooms at the start! Loved the blue uplighting around … MORE

    Loved the new start. Was skeptical about the shuttle BUT actually it was smooth & easy. Signage was clear. TONS of bathrooms at the start! Loved the blue uplighting around SH. The half had some decent hills, but the down hill made up for it. LOTS of hydration stations on the course. This is really one of the BEST marathon events you could participate in.

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    3
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    5
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    Scottaorlando REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This was my 3rd time running the Akron Marathon. All 3 times were different courses. The new course features a negative elevation gain. Other than the first 5 miles I … MORE

    This was my 3rd time running the Akron Marathon. All 3 times were different courses. The new course features a negative elevation gain. Other than the first 5 miles I am not sure runners really felt the effects of the new negative elevation course. The first 5 miles had a lot of substantial downhill running. After that, the rest of the course was filled with rolling hills. Miles 16-19 were all uphill. After you gut your way through this hardest section of the course things seem to flatten out as you make your way onto the trails of Summit Lake and back to downtown Akron. This year the heat and high humidity really took it’s toll on runners especially late in the race. I was worried about parking downtown and taking a shuttle to the start but everything ran very smoothly with no problems. The start time was moved from the traditional 7:00 am start to 7:30 am to allow more time for the shuttles. My preference would be to go back to the 7:00 am start time especially if weather is going to be hot. The marathon used to give all finishers jackets and finisher gifts like hats and socks but they don’t do that anymore. The 1/4 zip Brooks pullover I received is very nice but I would prefer a jacket. If you complete the 3 race series you receive an additional medal and medal holder so I am guessing budgeted funds got pushed from finisher awards to race series swag which is fine if you can complete the entire race series. The Akron Marathon and the Akron Marathon Race Series are some of the best most well organized running events out there. I would like to see miles 16 -20 tweaked for next year to create a faster more runner friendly course. There is no doubt that as marathon qualifying times get faster runners are gravitating towards faster flatter courses. Continued improvements to the course will go a long way in keeping registration high for the Akron Marathon.

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    4
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    brodie.lisam REPEAT RUNNER '19

    The new route was way better than the original! I ran the 6.1 mile leg of the relay and it was spectacular. Castle Blvd had a huge amount of spectators, … MORE

    The new route was way better than the original! I ran the 6.1 mile leg of the relay and it was spectacular. Castle Blvd had a huge amount of spectators, Stan Hywet and Portage Path did not disappoint! Taking West Market into downtown was really something too. I’m definitely doing it next year, except I might try the Half instead!

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    HollyE REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This year, they moved the start line miles from the finish line / runner parking. Runners had to park and then take a shuttle to the start line. Needless to … MORE

    This year, they moved the start line miles from the finish line / runner parking. Runners had to park and then take a shuttle to the start line. Needless to say, that made some of us nervous. However, the parking and shuttle process was so easy when I arrived downtown at 5:20 AM.

    The start line was at a historical, local house. I was in corral A and there were plenty of portable restrooms near there and areas to walk around before getting in the corrals.

    Photos of start line had been posted and looked like it could hold 3 runners wide at once. Definitely not the case, as there were no hold ups in starting.

    The course itself was great. I had only ran the relay before so there were some changes I could tell, but not all of them. Overall, another great year with the Akron Marathon Race Series.

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    3
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    4
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    2

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    milkdud627 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is is very well organized. The course is great (this year the course was flipped). The crowd support is amazing. The 🦸‍♀️ 🦸‍♂️ ‘s are inspirational! I can’t … MORE

    This race is is very well organized. The course is great (this year the course was flipped). The crowd support is amazing. The 🦸‍♀️ 🦸‍♂️ ‘s are inspirational! I can’t say enough. This is truly a MOST DO!!!!

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    fairlawnrunnermom REPEAT RUNNER '19

    I’ve ran almost 75 half marathons. The Akron Marathon is hands down the most organized race I’ve ever ran. Everything from packet pickup, the race itself and post race activities … MORE

    I’ve ran almost 75 half marathons. The Akron Marathon is hands down the most organized race I’ve ever ran. Everything from packet pickup, the race itself and post race activities are so well done. The race course was wonderful this year. Starting at Stan Hewitt was a real treat. I was a little skeptical of have to take a shuttle to the start line, as I’ve had terrible experiences in the past. Even though the line for the bus was extremely long in the morning, they had so many buses, that the wait was no longer than ten minutes. I was so impressed! I loved the new, updated course through West Akron. I myself had a rough go, as I was terribly sick and overly tired and I got a pretty poor finishing time, but I still thouroughly enjoyed myself!

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