9/30/2023 Kristi Gunyula, Scott Orlando, Veronica Neubert, Asad Khan, Mike Williams, Loretta Harland, Christine Churpek, Cleopatra Sirnic Clifford, Nancy Wardell, Jillian Kearns, Laura Fairfax, And Russ Neubert The Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, And Relay Akron, Ohio


The First Energy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, And Marathon Relay

Akron, Ohio

Half Marathon

Kristi Gunyula

Finish Time:  1:34:07

Overall Place:  81st Place / 2136

Division Place:  4th Place / 155

Scott Orlando

Finish Time:  1:44:07

Overall Place:  224th Place / 2126

Division Place:  14th Place / 98

Veronica Neubert

Finish Time:  1:48:24

Overall Place:  327th Place / 2136

Division Place:  15th Place / 155

Asad Khan

Finish Time:  1:51:43

Overall Place:  417th Place / 2136

Division Place:  24th Place / 98

Mike Williams

Finish Time:  2:05:29

Overall Place:  841st Place / 2136

Division Place:  43rd Place / 98

Loretta Harland

Finish Time:  2;20:55

Overall Place:  1337th Place / 2136

Division Place:  24th Place / 58

Marathon Relay

Christine Churpek

Member of the Cascade Auto Full Throttle team # 8064

Finish Time:  3:26:16

Overall Place:  35th Place / 555

Division Place:  13th Place / 343 (Mixed Division)

Cleopatra Sirnic Clifford

Member of the MECCL team #8507

Finish Time:  4:17:25

Overall Place:  243rd Place / 555

Division Place:  156th Place / 343 (Mixed Division)

Nancy Wardell

Member of the Insert Clever Team Name Here team #8398

Finish Time:  5:47:47

Overall Place:  541st Place / 555

Division Place:  337th Place / 343 (Mixed Division

Volunteers And Team Support

Laura Fairfax

Volunteered with the race elite field

Russ Neubert

Road the course by bike providing support and taking pictures of Team ER members

Jillian Kearns

Provided course support and cheered on Team ER members.

Race Recap By Nancy Wardell:

It was a great day in Akron this morning! I saw Scott Orlando, Mike Williams, Cleopatra Sirnic, and Veronica Judith along the way!  Nice job to everyone today!  I was very excited to find a team on the Akron Relay Team Facebook group and completed the second leg for my team! I completed my 6.7 miles in 1:08:49, so around a ten minute mile pace. It was a great day and ended with beer and Chick-fil-A!

Race Recap By Kristi Gunyula:

I run a lot of races each year, but The Akron Marathon will always have a special place in my heart.   I am very proud of my 1/2 marathon finish today and gaining a new PR by almost 2 minutes on a tough course. I crossed the finish line with a time of 1:34:07. I’m still learning how to race and how to listen to my body. It amazes me how much it’s willing to take and adapt to what I’m asking it to do.
Also, big thanks to our Team ER sponsors, marathon staff, volunteers and those who came out to support us runners. Congrats to everyone on another year of chasing the blue line!

Race Recap By Scott Orlando:

The 2023 First Energy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon, And Relay did not disappoint!  This was my 9th time running the half marathon.  I have also previously completed the full marathon 3 times.  This year weather conditions were very pleasant with temperatures in the mid 50’s at the start of the race with just a slight breeze.  Heading into the race I wasn’t as prepared as I would have liked to have been.  My training cycle was interrupted by a sinus infection, a bout with food poising and then some calf tightness.  Some last minute treatment on my calves at the race expo the day before the race helped loosen them up but I wasn’t confident how long or if my calves would hold on.  My goal was to run the race somewhere between and easy cruising speed and my typical race pace.  If by mile 10 I was feeling strong then maybe I would look to push my pace the last 3 miles.

As soon as the race started I was immediately feeling the tightness in my left calf.  I settled into a comfortable pace and hoped for the best.  I wasn’t sure if my calf would strain at any given stride.  Early in the race I was thinking it would not hold and might strain early.  Mile after mile I could feel it but it was not impacting my ability to run.  The course for this year was for the most part the same as most years for the half but there were a few changes particularly the finish.  I did notice a few things on the course that had me a little confused.  Right away in the first few miles I was surprised to see that the blue line painted on the street to designate the course was missing at times.  That wasn’t a big deal but a couple of times I questioned if I was off course because of the absence of the blue line.  The race is known for the blue line marking the course so I was a little surprised and was wondering what happened that it was missing in areas.  Another early course navigation issue had me a little confused.  There was a right turn just after mile 2 I believe onto North Main Street leading back to cross the Y bridge again that didn’t feel right.  Runners were directed by the police officers in the intersection to run up over the curbed median in the road while marking the turn.  I don’t recall ever making that turn and having to jump over the median in years past.  This left me a little confused wondering if I had ran the correct direction.  It also didn’t seem to be like the safest way to turn the corner.  I hope no one tripped jumping over the median.

Luckily my calf was holding on as I continued deep into the race.  By mile 10 I was still feeling strong and maintaining my chosen pace.  I finally had some confidence that I would finish the race.  I was close enough that if my calf did strain I would be able to walk the remainder of the course.  This thought eased my mind and relaxed me.  I felt strong enough to start pushing my pace in the last few miles but the hills on the course had other ideas for me.  I slowed a little on the hills on miles 11 and 12 but was able to pick it up on the last mile to finish with a time of 1:44:09.  It wasn’t my fastest finish at this race but under the circumstances I felt it was a big win.  I stayed below an average 8 minute mile pace and crossed the finish line in one piece.

The finisher festival is always well done at the Akron Marathon race events.  This year because of construction the finisher festival was held in a parking, lot close to the finish line.  The finisher festival had a tailgating like vibe and quickly became very crowded.  Runners had the very tough choice to choose between OH Donut Company, Sandy Bottom Bowls, Swenson’s or Chick-Fil-A.  Let me tell you that was a tough choice to make!  Finishers also received a variety of food options in a bag provided by Acme.  All runners received finisher medals and shirts specific to the race distance that was run.

Akron Marathon does an amazing job producing the 3 races that they offer each year.  I believe their races are some of the best organized races in the area.

It was great to see so many running friends before, during and after the race.  It was a great race for Team ER with 6 members completing the half marathon, 3 members competing on relay teams, and 3 more members volunteering and providing course support and pictures.  Thank you to the army of volunteers and fans that got up early to work at the race and cheer us all on to victory!