Overall Rating
Overall Rating (121 Reviews)
3.3
(121 Ratings)(121 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
2.8
PRODUCTION
3
SWAG
3.9
RUN FOR THE RING IN 2020! Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the National Football League with a very special edition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon. Registration will be limited! Established in 2013, the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon’s mission is to provide an event that is … MORE
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Recent reviews

    Profile photo of Patty Dye
    patty_dye REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Awesome medal, swag race shirt and finisher shirt, amazing Pro Football Hall of Fame fleece blanket. All were included in a modest entry fee. MORE

    Awesome medal, swag race shirt and finisher shirt, amazing Pro Football Hall of Fame fleece blanket. All were included in a modest entry fee.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    5

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    RobbyC FIRST-TIMER '19

    I know the weather should have nothing to do with this run, but it rained the entire race with 40 degree temps... That made it hard! The race itself was … MORE

    I know the weather should have nothing to do with this run, but it rained the entire race with 40 degree temps… That made it hard! The race itself was fine. I am from MN and had never been to Canton, OH. The scenery was mainly residential with some park/bike path and a bit of city mixed in. The blue mile was really emotional and gave mile 10 a huge impact. The finish line was neat, right on the field! Not sure I would do this again, but if you are a football fan; maybe add it to your list.

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    cassidymegan3 FIRST-TIMER '18

    The finish line party is AWESOME! and the DJ was "on fleek" as the kids are saying these days. First of all: I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio … MORE

    The finish line party is AWESOME! and the DJ was “on fleek” as the kids are saying these days.
    First of all: I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio so I was prepared for this – potholes. The streets are riddled with them so watch your footing.
    It was very chilly this year (it threatened to snow, but it didn’t).
    I was the 4:25 pacer at this event so I decided to volunteer at the expo- and since I was volunteering at the expo, I decided to run the Draft Day 5K, too. If you can: do it! The medal is spectacular!
    •EXPO•
    The expo is at the Stark County Fairgrounds – it’s also where the start line is for the Marathon and Half Marathon. There were plenty of vendors and local businesses at the expo. There was a huge booth where the race directors were selling SWAG from the previous years’ races and I picked up a shirt from 2016 and a blanket because I liked the design of them (Plus, I didn’t know that we got one at the finish line). As a pacer, we usually have to sign up late in case of changes to commitments, etc. so I got a cotton shirt instead of the tech shirt and that was fine with me. I wear “walk around the house” shirts far more than I do tech shirts, so the event gets a little more advertisement out of me when I have something comfy to wear. At the expo, I also bought a really cool medal display made from recycled license plates I hope I’m allowed to give them a “shout-out” because I really like it and I try to support local small businesses (unlimitedstridedisplays.com).
    •RACE MORNING•
    It was chilly, but they opened up the vestibule at the place where the expo was held so if you wanted to huddle inside, you could stay warmer.
    I loved the way that they did the National Anthem. A first-responder held up the flag, the race director started singing and encouraged the runners to join in. It was amazing!
    The race started a little late but that was OK. It was sunny and cold which is a nice combination for me. You start out around the fairgrounds before taking to the streets of Canton. I’m writing this almost a year later but I remember passing President William McKinnley’s gravesite, running along a little creek, and at one point (I think that it was mile 11), for one mile, volunteers were spaced about every 5 feet holding full-size American flag and photos of fallen soldiers and first-responders were lining the streets. It was so heart-warming to see that.
    •TERRAIN•
    I live in Florida now, so I say that everything has a rolling hill unless it is mountainous (like Morgantown, West Virginia) or flat (like the Town of Celebration, FL Marathon). The biggest thing to look out for were the potholes and uneven roads. We are running on asphalt and barely out of winter/snow plow season, but I can’t fault the race director for weather or potholes.
    •OVERALL•
    ♦What I remember most was that the weather was perfect. There were some times when I though that it might rain, but it didn’t. Those gray Ohio clouds just stopped by to wave Hello to me and were on their merry way.
    ♦ The DJ at the stadium had good music with a beat playing – not singalong folk music that some races try to do. I’m here to get pumped up and run a race, man. I’m not here for karaoke! ☺ I even shook his hand from the track after I crossed the finish line.
    ♦ There was plenty of food, plenty of space to stretch out, and plenty of good tunes at the finish line. I took my blanket and sprawled out in the middle of the football field, enjoying the day as I cheered in runners. It was a good day.
    ♦ They had plenty of buses to take us back to the fairgrounds.
    ♦ There was plenty of parking at and around the fairgrounds
    ♦ I didn’t need them but they had plenty of port-a-potties at the fairgrounds for the race start. I think that they had flushable toilets at the stadium to use for post-race needs.
    ♦ Water stations were well-socked and well-manned. I had no issues at any of them. They were always ready with full cups and smiling faces.
    This was a great race. Bravo to the race management team.
    Happy Running!

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    runningg8r FIRST-TIMER '18

    I signed up for this race because I got a 50% off coupon from the Cleveland marathon. It did not disappoint. I didn't have my best day out on the … MORE

    I signed up for this race because I got a 50% off coupon from the Cleveland marathon. It did not disappoint. I didn’t have my best day out on the course, but I did finish with my third best half marathon time (out of 17 half marathons completed). The park you go through in the later part of the race is really beautify and quite enjoyable. You also go by the mile that honors fallen military members with pictures and hundreds of American flags two times. That part is very humbling and quite well done. The finish is amazing, coming into the stadium gets you pumped up and it’s a really cool experience. In addition to it being a good value, they give you a lot of stuff. A nice quarter zip, a finisher’s blanket, a finisher’s medal, decent snacks/drinks, a free beer and a free entry to the hall of fame. I would do this race again given the opportunity!

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    haleyruns10 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This was my 3rd time running the Canton Half out of the 5 years they've had the race. Overall this race has good things as well as bad with it … MORE

    This was my 3rd time running the Canton Half out of the 5 years they’ve had the race. Overall this race has good things as well as bad with it – and most of the “bad” are due to the fact this race has only been around 5 years and is still working out some kinks.

    The theme of the Canton half is fun – each mile marker is themed with a pro football hall of famer and you are able to finish in the HOF stadium which is brand new. Admission to the race also comes with a free entry to the HOF the weekend of the race which I definitely recommend taking advantage of.

    In terms of the course, you are able to run through downtown Canton which has some pretty brick streets and buildings, as well as a park. A downside of this race is that besides a few spots, crowd support is pretty low so if you need a lot of people to keep you motivated this isn’t your race. The race has some hills but nothing terrible, and they have changed the race course many times due to construction (i.e. the HOF stadium was completed this year, so the course changed so we could finish inside) so I cannot say for sure that the course won’t change again.

    the biggest draw of this race is the price. This year they ran a promo where registration was only $26.20 and you didn’t get the tech t shirt, but you still received the finisher medal and finisher blanket, as well as all the post-race perks (food, beer, etc). I literally don’t think you can find a half or marathon cheaper than that, and usually I don’t even like their t-shirts. The medals are usually really cool and creative – they play off the football theme, and I love the finisher blanket.

    Overall this race is a great value and if you don’t mind the feel of a smaller half marathon then I don’t believe the drawbacks will bother you. They are still working out the best way to start the race/parking, as the past 2 years they’ve had to delay the start. My friends and I however have had no problems getting to the start as long as you leave early enough, and in the city of Canton you can park on any side street so when their was a line of cars to get in the parking we just pulled over and parked and walked – easy peasy!

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    Profile photo of Leslie Christensen
    lchristensen44 REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This race continues to evolve and improve year over year. The highlights include runners getting a free ticket to the NFL Hall of fame museum during race weekend, on field … MORE

    This race continues to evolve and improve year over year. The highlights include runners getting a free ticket to the NFL Hall of fame museum during race weekend, on field finish and post race for full, half and relay runners on Sunday and the awesome ring 5K medal on Saturday and a cool fleece blanket on Sunday. There are also shirt options each of which come with different registration fees so this race can be a real bargain if you don’t care about getting a tech shirt. Pace teams are also offered at Sunday’s race.

    The expo is now at the county fairgrounds and had a good mix of local organizations, races and essentials that a runner might need on race day. The fair grounds has adequate parking too.

    The drawbacks are getting into the fairgrounds by start time on Sunday. Plan to arrive earlier than you think you’ll need because there are a lot of cars from three directions all entering into the same gate. Good news is that you can stay warm in your car while waiting. In my opinion the two main drawbacks are that the course is not that scenic with little community support (maybe that will grow over time) and there were no food or drinks for sale for spectators waiting in the stadium for family to finish (maybe that will change in the future too). If you have spectators be sure to have them pack some snacks. The last 2-3 miles of the course was mostly uphill with a headwind in 2018 so be prepared for that too. The stadium and hall are about one mile from the fairgrounds so you’ll be taking a shuttle back to your car so you’ll want to use the gear check which transports your gear to the stadium while you’re running.

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    Lorelei REPEAT RUNNER '18

    The course winds it’s way around Canton and finishes up on the football field. It has rolling hills throughout. Nothing beastly. A nice break for the muscles in the legs. … MORE

    The course winds it’s way around Canton and finishes up on the football field. It has rolling hills throughout. Nothing beastly. A nice break for the muscles in the legs. My favorite part of the course was on the hardest hill. For a long long way, they had signs dedicated to individual fallen soldiers. After the signs, there were American flags held by folks cheering you on. What was remarkable was the number of signs and flags. It seemed never to end and this was possibly a mile long.

    There were plenty of aid stations with water and Gatorade. There was one with gu.

    The swag was awesome. And the way they handle swag is awesome. When we registered, we had the option to select from no shirt, shirt, half-zip, or shirt & half-zip. The registration fee started from $26 for no-shirt option and went up from there. You can’t ask for a better half or full for $26! And, unless this is a one-and-done for you, don’t buy the shirt. They sell all leftover previous shirts for $1 the next year at the expo, so just buy it when you come back. As for the medal, it is different every year. Each time, it’s been totally revamped, which, I must say, is awesome. They do a great job and they are always big and beautiful.

    I opted for VIP parking which put us right at the finish. It was worth it for not trying to tackle the long shuttle bus line. Alternatively, stay at the Grand Hotel which is also right at the finish. I did that last year when I ran the full – a great idea!

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    M_Sohaskey May 02, 2018 at 8:35pm

    Love this year's medal! And I've gotta say, it nicely coordinates with your INKnBURN top. The American flags are a beautiful touch, if that doesn't inspire you what will? Congrats… MORE

    Love this year's medal! And I've gotta say, it nicely coordinates with your INKnBURN top. The American flags are a beautiful touch, if that doesn't inspire you what will? Congrats again Lorelei, always love to see your smiling finish line shots and read about your experiences, since you have so many good ones. And speaking of good experiences, run well and have a great time at Flying Pig this weekend {squeal}! LESS

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    mudfunrogers FIRST-TIMER '18

    This was a great race with lots of energy. It started at the Stark County Fair grounds and finished on the Pro Football Hall of Fame football field! The energy … MORE

    This was a great race with lots of energy. It started at the Stark County Fair grounds and finished on the Pro Football Hall of Fame football field! The energy from the spectators and residents along the course was amazing. The memorial blue mile to honor the fallen was a very humbling and beautiful touch. I can’t wait for next year and highly recommend!

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    Profile photo of Elizabeth Sucharzewski
    sammyncramer REPEAT RUNNER '17

    The only disappointing thing were the shirts. I was able to size up, but the shirt is still snug. The course was OK. I know it's temporary until the stadium … MORE

    The only disappointing thing were the shirts. I was able to size up, but the shirt is still snug. The course was OK. I know it’s temporary until the stadium is finished.

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    martinbarnes REPEAT RUNNER '17

    My biggest piece of feedback is on (half marathon) course length. My GPS on race day indicated I completed 13.1 miles well before (.15-.20 miles) the actual finish line. I … MORE

    My biggest piece of feedback is on (half marathon) course length. My GPS on race day indicated I completed 13.1 miles well before (.15-.20 miles) the actual finish line. I also ran the course back in February for training with the same result. Similarly, I drove the course for my wife (also a participant) and my tripometer also indicated the course was long. And just for kicks, I plotted the course on Google Maps – to the same effect. Long story short, it seems the course measured >13.1. Anyone else find this to be the case?

    My point: for someone looking to PR or hit a specific time goal, a longer course – even .15 longer – is a big deal. As it stood, I missed my goal, even though my GPS had me finishing 13.1 well under my target time. I read that the course was “certified” but I don’t really know what that means in terms of physically validating distance. That said, if I am right and the course was long, I hope that next time better diligence is done to ensure proper distance. If I’m wrong, well, forget I said anything!

    Regarding the overall race, the course was relatively flat and fast, which was nice. The downhill finish at the end was well-planned. Outside of the park and downtown Canton, the scenery left much to be desired. I did love the large Jägermeister flag around mile 8. I got a few high fives from kids on the course, but overall crowd support was relatively low, particularly of the organized (i.e. pre-planned by event staff) variety. I will say the KAG water stop at mile 10ish was outstanding; they operate a water station every year and kill it (disclaimer: I work there, so I may have a bias, but every year there is no water stop with better crowd support than KAG’s).

    Other misc. items: I am not a big medal guy, so while it was a nice one, I’d prefer to get a nice tech shirt (maybe long sleeve?) or maybe some beers (Canton Brewery?) at the finish. That’s not to take anything away from the men’s t-shirts, as the soft cotton was a nice touch. Also, contrary to other posters, the hot dogs were a nice treat at the finish. The Body Armor drinks were great, too. As mentioned previously, some beer would top the refreshments off nicely. Oh, also: parking was very easy; I found a curb spot 2 blocks from the start. And giving participants free access to the HOF is a really generous perk.

    I’m curious to see how the event changes next year once much of the construction is done at Hall of Fame Village. Ideally, the course is changed to include better scenery…and exact distance! Thanks to the event planners for their hard work in putting the race together, and good luck with future iterations.

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    Profile photo of Candice Goykhberg
    cgoykhberg FIRST-TIMER '17

    The scenery was less than desirable. Several challenging locations run through and second half of course and minimal support. The finish line was nice as my family could come over … MORE

    The scenery was less than desirable. Several challenging locations run through and second half of course and minimal support. The finish line was nice as my family could come over after I crossed but the post race food was a fail

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    Gpress FIRST-TIMER '17

    This marathon was for the most part a good one, but needs to step it up if it is going to have the HOF name. '17 was hit with warm … MORE

    This marathon was for the most part a good one, but needs to step it up if it is going to have the HOF name. ’17 was hit with warm weather that really magnified other issues. Others complained of water station issues, but I can’t complain. One station in the second half I received really watered down gatorade that made me question what I was drinking, but at the next stop got a bottle of gatorade, the water station after that I got a cold bottle of water, so I feel they tried when caught out with warm weather. Only two fuel/GU stations for a full marathon I thought was rather poor. Medal is awesome, t-shirt nice and soft albeit with cheesy graphics. What really trips up this one is the organizations communication gaffs. On the one hand, great mile by mile commentary before the race on facebook. But yet things like bad(no) direction on where to go after crossing the finish line(nobody took a food or drink ticket off my bib), repeated delays of race photos, repeated delays on updates on website pre race, what table to go to at packet pickup was a guessing game, vague answers from organization when asked specific questions, just left a bad taste. The delay of start due to supposed accident on highway might have helped some, but was a bit ‘small town’ in my eyes. I spent $30 for ‘preferred’ parking only to see empty parking meters on the streets on the way to the start. The hiccups could be due to having to organize a race on a new route and this was my first time so maybe things are easier to organize with the start/finish at the HOF, but I just felt the organization needs better attention to detail.

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    PeteSinCA May 07, 2017 at 10:26am

    I've been following these HOF Raves with some interest, despite living in the SF Bay Area. I've not run a Marathon or Marathon distance yet, but I've worked aid stations… MORE

    I've been following these HOF Raves with some interest, despite living in the SF Bay Area. I've not run a Marathon or Marathon distance yet, but I've worked aid stations at 3 Marathons. Hydration is an absolute must, for safety, and electrolytes - whether G'ade or GU - almost as fundamental. Surveying the Raves, it sounds like the aid station problems may have been principally encountered by slower runners of the Marathon. That's not to criticize slower runners, since I'm even slower, but they're the ones most at risk if an organizer is under-prepared. Your race day was hot; the organizer has the same access to weather forecasts as runners have. The HOF organizer could have been prepared for your 80s temps as the organizer I volunteered with the same day was for the 80s temps we had. As for course changes, I'm sure the HOF organizer had quite a few months to do that. Of the 8 races I've run or volunteered at this year, two have had to change their course, and one to an entirely different venue, due to storm damage to trails and park facilities. And I'm sure the organizer had much shorter notice. So changes happen and good organizers make the changes almost transparent to runners. Good organizers also learn, and were I to have a chance to try the HOF half, I'd seriously consider doing it. LESS

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    hankeric REPEAT RUNNER '17

    It was a nice race. I have done the 5K and two halfs. There were a few problems each time, but, over all each year was good and I'll be … MORE

    It was a nice race. I have done the 5K and two halfs. There were a few problems each time, but, over all each year was good and I’ll be back. When the HOF is finished it will be really cool.

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    Diane FIRST-TIMER '17

    Fumble, again, HOF planners. The shirts stink...look nice, but only on a hanger! Women's large fits a 7 year old slim child! Waste of your money and mine. I ran … MORE

    Fumble, again, HOF planners. The shirts stink…look nice, but only on a hanger! Women’s large fits a 7 year old slim child! Waste of your money and mine. I ran another of your races, won in my age group, but no medals were brought to the race! ?? Two strikes so far, but this ain’t baseball. Soooo disappointed.

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    peatmoss83 FIRST-TIMER '17

    I thought this was great for my first half marathon. The price was excellent, I love the shirt (I didn't have trouble with fit) and the medals were awesome! I … MORE

    I thought this was great for my first half marathon. The price was excellent, I love the shirt (I didn’t have trouble with fit) and the medals were awesome! I have participated in other events that perhaps were run a bit more smoothly. The day of the Akron marathon the city shuts down (especially downtown) so I was a bit surprised with traffic sharing the road or crossing the marathon course. It did cause some delays for me getting back to my car but not a serious issue. I thought the volunteers were great but was disappointed in the half running out of Gatorade at the last station. due to the heat it was desperately needed. I thought the course was fairly flat except for a few small hills. Overall a great race with an awesome medal!

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    Profile photo of Taylor Sowers
    sowersts REPEAT RUNNER '17

    This race went really well given the conditions. As with any large marathon event in a smaller city, the race had some hiccups with the start being delayed 15minutes. As … MORE

    This race went really well given the conditions. As with any large marathon event in a smaller city, the race had some hiccups with the start being delayed 15minutes. As many runners are very specific about getting to a race, and ready to run, this was challenging given the impending heat. The heat continued to beat down on the runners the longer they were out. I would say that this race is going to be a lot better in the future, and given this situation, runners are going to feel more negatives from this race than positives. However, knowing the race staff and director, this is going to be a great race in the city of Canton. Come back and enjoy the festivities!

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    Profile photo of Adam Buttacavoli
    adam FIRST-TIMER '17

    First time running in this race, but I've spectated the past couple years. Still seems to be some growing pains going on but also seems to be improving. The course … MORE

    First time running in this race, but I’ve spectated the past couple years. Still seems to be some growing pains going on but also seems to be improving. The course needs work, I know construction threw it for a loop this year, but this is definitely not the route that should be stuck with. “A tour of Canton” is not always something someone wants to experience. There we’re nice sections but overall having to run them twice was a bit lack luster. The aid stations could really use some work too, the ball got dropped a bit this year and was compounded by the brutal conditions. 2 mile spans in 85 degree heat at the end of a marathon is not acceptable plus running out of supply is not what will lift this race to the level of any of the other major spring and fall marathons in the region.

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    Runswith2dogs FIRST-TIMER '17

    -Ladies shirts were extremely small. -Lack of organization at race check in -Parking arrangements were not good. Waited over an hour in traffic to get the fair grounds. -Didn't start … MORE

    -Ladies shirts were extremely small.
    -Lack of organization at race check in
    -Parking arrangements were not good. Waited over an hour in traffic to get the fair grounds.
    -Didn’t start with other runners because I was still on the school bus trying to get to the starting line.
    -Felt like you weren’t prepared for the amount of participants or the weather.

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    The course was changed this year due to construction at the Pro-football Hall of Fame so we didn't even pass by it or finish near it which was unfortunate. I … MORE

    The course was changed this year due to construction at the Pro-football Hall of Fame so we didn’t even pass by it or finish near it which was unfortunate. I hear that the course will be changed either next year or the year afterwards when construction is complete but check to make sure before registering if that is important to you. A few hills but nothing terrible. It was a very hot day and several aid stations ran out of Gatorade which was disastrous for me and many others in the second half of the pack…better planning needs to take place for something like this not to happen again! Lackluster food selection at the finish and no cold drinks at all!!! I had to ask for my medal and blanket as volunteers at the finish were sparse. Parking was very far away from the start/finish area and long wait times to get a bus back afterwards! Some people opted to walk the hour long walk back to their cars!! Lastly the notification system for texting phone numbers of my choice (family members) of my progress on the course did not send the texts out until 20 minutes after I passed by the tracking stations causing my family to miss me to cheer me on almost the whole race – this is unacceptable!! On the positive side, the expo was good, the course had some very pretty sections, the neighborhood and community fans were supportive (especially the Malone college boys doing the Macarena!), the finisher’s medal and blanket were nice, and I liked the unique idea of having stands for spectators at the finish. I would greatly recommend beer or cold beverages at the finish and some kind of sandwich other than a bad hotdog. Also, better planning for hot weather so that aid stations don’t run out of Gatorade. I would also suggest more frequent aid stations and 3-4 Gu stations instead of just 2 for the full marathon.

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    bayleefclover FIRST-TIMER '17

    There are slow long steady inclines that wear you out a bit but medina Half is much hillier. Just practice hills beforehand. The finisher festival could have more healthy options. … MORE

    There are slow long steady inclines that wear you out a bit but medina Half is much hillier. Just practice hills beforehand. The finisher festival could have more healthy options. Swag was great!

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  1. Races
  2. Pro Football Hall of Fame (HOF) Marathon