FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Road Runner Akron Marathon Racecourse
Highlights and Improvements for 2008
AKRON, Ohio, September 10, 2008 – September 27th, 2008 promises to be a day
to remember for Road Runner Akron Marathon participants. Race organizers
have been working hard to integrate new and improved race elements to
better accommodate the growing number of runners. Exciting entertainment is
planned throughout the city and spectators will see the women's top
distance runners in action.
The race itself will be an even more thrilling main attraction, due to
dramatic increases in registration. The best part: Spectators can see all
the guts and glory as runners put themselves to the test. "Our marathon is
unique in the sense that it allows spectators to view the race from start
to finish," said Jim Barnett, Executive Race Director.
"The majority of marathons don't have this luxury. After spectators see the
big start, they can see the three-mile mark, 10.2-mile mark and finish of
the race, all by walking within a few blocks in the city," continued
Adding to the excitement, the marathon is also hosting the 2008 USA Women's
8 km Championship. "This is a great opportunity for Akron," said Bret
Treier, Course Co-Chair. "These women are some of the most remarkable
athletes you will ever see and include former Olympians. It's sure to be a
fun, fast and impressive event."
In response to runner feedback, this year will feature a newly expanded
20-foot finish line. Runners can also expect a roomier entrance through
Canal Park Stadium's centerfield.
"This year we are utilizing all areas of the stadium. For the first time
ever, spectators and runners can roam freely around the concourse. We have
worked hard to develop a plan that will make it easier for runners and
family members to reunite and avoid congestion on the concourse as in
previous years," said Anne Bitong, Executive Director.
This year's race also features a new D-tag timing system that is lighter in
weight and has improved technology. "No longer is there a need for chip
collection," said Jim Barnett, Executive Race Director. "Within 4-8 seconds
we can determine the exact time of our runners and where they are on the
course as they run."
Saturn has also sponsored a new text messaging service available for
marathon and half marathon participants. Prior to the race, family and
friends can sign up to receive updates as they track runners on their
progress along the course.
"In the past, family members would come to the solutions booth and medical
tents to find the status of their runner. The new text messaging feature
allows us to provide fast, accurate information," said Barnett.
Entertainment has also grown along the course with an anticipated
75-entertainment spots, including a new Chipotle block party event at
Highland Square. Acme Fresh Market is also this year's official
distribution location for block party kits.
This year's Kid's Fun Run has also been revamped and will include the 4th
Annual Zippy Mascot Invitational Race. The Kid's Fun Run will also feature
improved start line activities and a staggered race start by age. "Our main
goal is to make the day as stress free for parents as possible," said Amy
Freeman, Operations Director. "The Kid's Fun Run is capped at 2,000, so we
encourage parents to register online early."
Other Road Runner Akron Marathon course-related enhancements include a
fully wheelchair accessible racecourse, new inspirational signs, and an
enhanced start line sound system.
To date, registration for the marathon is the highest it has ever been.
"We're thrilled with the community's interest in our event," said Treier.
"Registration for full and half marathon alone is up 60% from last year! We
look forward to seeing that number grow in these last few weeks and seeing
everyone on race day!"
The Road Runner Akron Marathon is organized by the Akron Marathon
Charitable Corporation, a nonprofit group that is dedicated to promoting
health and fitness. Additional information on the Road Runner Akron
Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relays is available at
www.akronmarathon.org or by calling (330) 375-2786 (2RUN).