When the first two races of the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, the National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile and the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k were canceled, key members of the Akron running community rallied together to ensure those focusing on their fitness goals had an outlet to continue their race training—and the Akron Running Project was born.
The Project is a collaboration of Akron businesses, running crews and organizations that share a passion for the sport and for helping runners—at any stage of their fitness journey—stay motivated and connected to their community.
Partners, which include the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation, Portage Lakes Running Club, Orange Theory Fitness of Akron and Copley, Second Sole Running Store, Run Well Be Well and Yoga Bliss Akron, have committed to offering coaching, nutrition, training tips and unique experiences to assist runners and walkers to continue on their path to healthy lives.
“When I heard that spring and summer races were canceling, I started brainstorming ways to keep our Akrun community motivated, while giving back to our runners,” said Michael Dilisio, owner of Second Sole. “The very next morning, I connected with Nicole from PLX Running Club and Verrelle, race director of the Akron Marathon, on ways we could work together to support small business, keep our community (especially new runners) active, and rally our ‘sweat’ scene.”
Offerings will include:
● Daily virtual coaching tips, nutrition information, and cross training classes by Orange
Theory Fitness, Yoga Bliss, and Run Well Be Well
● Weekly challenges and incentives
● Monthly discounts and special offers by the small businesses involved
“This is such a strange time for all of us, and even though runners are such a resilient group, the canceling of summer races hit us all pretty hard,” said Nicole Gareri-David, founder of Portage Lakes Running Club. “Instead of throwing in the towel on running because of the pandemic, we are pulling our resources for newbies who have never run a race in their lives, all the way up to the local elites who start at the front but still have some work to do in other areas. We are so excited to give Akron a full dose of how special this place is and how much the running community means to us!”
It’s free to take part in the Akron Running Project. To register, visit raceroster.com/events/2020/31949/the-akron-running-project and sign up for regular email updates. This also will serve as the hub for the Project.
Participants may also join Akron Running Project’s Strava (a running app) group and log their runs to be eligible for prizes, along with following @AkronMarathon, @PLXrunningclub, @SecondSoleAkrun and @RunWellBeWell.
“This community is always proving itself, time and time again, as one that stays together—even when apart, and we are proud to connect with runners across every fitness level to welcome them to our Blue Line family,” said Verrelle Wyatt, race director of the Akron Marathon. “The Akron Running Project is for everyone. It’s for the family of five walking together for the first time, for the parent in need of some self-care for 30-minutes a day, or the person just needing to feel connected. We’re proud to collaborate with our partners and to be here for you.”
For info, visit akronmarathon.org/akron-running-project.