The Akron Marathon is canceling two summer events. The cancellations follow restrictions set by the city of Akron on city-sponsored events of more than 250 people until September 7. Canceled races include the National Interstate 8k and 1 Mile scheduled for June 27, and the Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k scheduled for August 8.
However, Marathon president and CEO Anne Bitong says they are doing what they can to make sure the canceled races don’t go to waste.
Bitong says the Marathon is donating at least $20,000 that is usually used for things like shirts and medals to the Akron Community Foundation's Community Response Fund, which is assisting local charities to help those affected by COVID-19.
Runners have the option of donating their registration fee to the same fund, or deferring it so they can participate in a later race. The marathon, half marathon and team relay races scheduled for September 26 are still on for now, but Bitong says they are constantly evaluating their options.
“Mostly, we’re factoring in the health and safety of our participants, making sure that we can continue to provide a safe, well organized race that our customers have come to love,” Bitong says.
Bitong says they are communicating often with the city of Akron and USA Track and Field to come up with the best plan for how to safely hold future events.