Planning for the Canton Marathon is hitting its stride. Here is where preparation and training for the events stand exactly three months from race day.
Runners planning to participate in the Canton Marathon are three months away from their starting line.
“We’re on the home stretch; all the details are falling into place,” said Julia Dick, Canton Marathon president.
The inaugural Canton Marathon is June 17.
Dick developed the idea for the marathon in 2008 with Stephen Mears, marathon CEO. “We’ve been planning this for years,” she said. The two announced the marathon in 2010.
“We’re surrounded by some premium marathons, and they’ve all been so helpful,” she noted. “Race directors all over the country have been generous. They know if we put on a good race, that helps everybody.”
Since its conception, the event has grown into a weekend events, including the Aultman AultCare Fitness & Health Expo on June 15 and June 16 at the Canton Memorial Civic Center and the CSE Federal Credit Union Canton Marathon Ultimate Marathon Dash & Kids Activities on June 16.
June 17 events, which will step off at about 6 a.m., include the Canton Marathon, a Half Marathon, the Marathon Wheelchair Division, the Spectrum Orthopedics 10K race, and the Chesapeake Energy Five-Person Team Relay.
There are walking divisions for the Half Marathon and 10K.
The Canton Marathon 100K/50K Gran Fondo Cycling event that had been scheduled for race weekend has been postponed. It is scheduled to be an annual event in autumn 2013.
“We want to have a year-round footprint and not be just a single-day event,” said Rob Steinberg, Canton Marathon managing director.
The marathon initially spawned a Canton Marathon Running Club. Since then, two training programs also have been introduced.
The Canton Marathon Premier Training Program, an 18-week paid training program directed by Matt Sidel of Second Sole, began in February. The Thursday night program features weekly presentations, coaching and practice runs on the Canton Marathon course.
The Mercy Medical Canton Marathon free training program, held in conjunction with Canton Marathon Running Club, began in January. Participants meet at 8 a.m. each Saturday through June 9 at Walsh University’s running track, Second Sole at the towpath at Lake Avenue in Massillon, or the entrance steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Check the Canton Marathon website for the schedule of training sites. New participants are welcome.
Canton Marathon is part of the 65-race Subway Ohio Challenge Series. The marathon’s races on Super Bowl Sunday were part of that series, which will include several races before the marathon, Dick said.
“There will be plenty of chances to train,” Dick said.
Steinberg said the marathon’s management staff are “blitzing for volunteers.”
“It’s going to take upwards to 2,000 strong volunteers to execute race weekend, particularly on the course,” Steinberg said.
Page 2 of 2 - Registration deadlines for runners are looming. About 1,600 runners have registered. Marathon officials are expecting between 5,000 and 7,000 competitors.
Current registration fees are: Marathon, $80; Half Marathon, $65; Relay, $50; Wheelchair, $80; and 10K, $40. Fees increase $10 on April 1, and will increase another $10 if registration is made at the Expo on race weekend. Registration for the Ultimate Marathon Dash is $25, increasing $5 on April 1 and at the Expo.
Steinberg said race planners have researched a multitude of factors, including weather for race day.
“We have weather on our side, if you look at the statistics,” he said. “In the last 21 years, the average temperature has been 65 degrees on the 17th of June.”
Steinberg said anticipation for the race has been generated beyond the confines of planning committees.
“It’s been neat to see the community involvement, to see how many CM12 shorts are running around.”
Information and updates on the marathon can be obtained by visiting the website, www.cantonmarathon.com.
“The community support and the enthusiasm of the participants and volunteers put the wind at our backs,” Mears said. “We’re not pacing ourselves anymore. We’re sprinting toward the finish.”