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The Suburbanite
  • Marathon was a first-class experience

  • The issue: Inaugural Canton Marathon


    Our view: Events were planned and executed with professionalism and style

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  • The issue: Inaugural Canton Marathon
    Our view: Events were planned and executed with professionalism and style
    In a word: awesome. It’s the word we’ve heard over and over, from runners and spectators alike, about Sunday’s Canton Marathon.
    You’d never have guessed, if you didn’t know, that it was the first marathon held in Canton since the 1970s.
    For this great accomplishment, many, many people deserve credit and thanks.
    Marathon CEO Stephen Mears, President Julia DIck and Director Rob Steinberg skillfully led the massive amount of planning needed to coordinate the weekend of events. They delivered on what began as a dream five years ago with style and professionalism — exactly the kind of “first-class experience” that Julia Dick said last week they had set out to create.
    The runners numbered more than 4,500. This is an exceptional turnout for a brand-new event with plenty of competition from marathons in larger cities.
    About 2,000 volunteers, including members of churches and civic organizations, pitched in to keep the runners on course, offer them water and deal with the unexpected.
    And runner after runner told The Rep that their excitement about being part of an inaugural marathon was enhanced by the enthusiasm of the many people who lined the long route to cheer them on.
    This is the kind of planning and welcome at which Stark Countians excel. Ask any out-of-towner who has spent time here during the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s big summer week.
    As for the biggest factor outside the planners’ control, concern about the forecast for a 90-degree day evaporated when the runners were greeted instead with cooler temperatures, a good breeze and even a welcome rain shower. In fact, the overall winner of the full marathon, Justin Baum, who had run in the Boston Marathon on a steamy day in April, said the Canton Marathon “offered perfect conditions, compared to Boston.”
    Compared to Boston. Wow.
    Canton native Ryan Kienzle echoed the sentiments of many when he told The Rep after he won the half marathon, “It was awesome to be a part of it.”
    Congratulations to all who made it so.