FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Jim Barnett
ROAD RUNNER AKRON MARATHON RECRUITS TOP AMATEURS
FROM SURROUNDING STATES
AKRON, Ohio (Sept. 22, 2006) – There likely will be nearly 6,000 runners
participating in the 4th annual Road Runner Akron Marathon & Chase Team
Relays on Sat., Sept. 30, at 7:30 a.m., but those breaking the tape at the
finish line may be a little more familiar than in years past.
In an effort to continue growing the Road Runner Akron Marathon
as a favorite, community-centered event, marathon organizers decided to
cater to the top amateur runners this year, rather than the elite
Creating an Invited Runners program this year is one way the
Road Runner Akron Marathon is extending its hospitalities to more local
participants. "We know that there is a caliber of runner out there who
isn't quite fast enough to be a professional, but that consistently runs
very respectable times while still maintaining the everyday life of a
non-professional athlete," Race Director Jim Barnett said. "Our goal was to
reach out to a number of those runners in the surrounding states, and
personally invite them to participate in the Road Runner Akron Marathon."
"We've been known to treat every runner like a world-class athlete,
and through the Invited Runners program, we are able to bring in a number
of talented male and female runners who may not win a Chicago or New York
marathon, but that can run marathons at a remarkable pace," Barnett said.
"It's our way of giving something special to the more local runners who
don't often receive much attention."
One such runner is Chuck Engle, a Cloverleaf High School graduate and
three-time All-American at Mount Union College in Alliance, Ohio. Engle
decided that in 2006, he would run one competitive marathon per week,
totaling at least 50 for the year. He is nearly two-thirds of the way
through his grueling schedule and has already won a number of races that he
has participated in this year.
"Rather than offering high prize money to the winners, which brings
numerous elite athletes to the race, we decided to take those funds and
team up with Etonic to offer a free pair of running shoes to all marathon
finishers this year," said Steve Marks, Road Runner Akron Marathon founder.
"We wanted to make the race so appealing that no local runner could decide
not to participate in our marathon."
"With the Invited Runners program in place and the great incentives
for local athletes to participate on the 30th, it is a possibility that the
winner of the men's and women's marathon, who will both collect $2,000,
could very well be a local runner," said Marks. "We're just happy that we
can continue giving back to the community that continues to graciously
support us in so many ways."
For more details about the Road Runner Akron Marathon or to
register for the marathon or team relays, visit www.akronmarathon.org or
call (330) 375-2RUN