Akron Running Project ties community together

Running, workouts, yoga and more included in free program

Akron Running Project

AKRON, Ohio (WOIO) - Runners in Akron were crushed when the Mayor Daniel Horrigan limited gatherings to 250 people. It cancelled the first two races of the Akron Marathon Race Series, the National Interstate 8K and 1-mile and the Goodyear Half Marathon and 10K.

But now the running community is bouncing back thanks to Michael Dilisio and several others. “We knew that was a we blanked on the running community, and we wanted to come forward and give them something,” said Dilisio, the owner of Second Sole, a running store in Akron.

His business teamed up with the Akron Marathon Charitable Corp., Portage Lakes Running Club, Run Well Be Well, Orangetheory Fitness of Akron and Copley, and Yoga Bliss Akron.

They’re keeping people busy with online coaching sessions and workouts that people can do at home, along with gatherings in the community for runs and more workouts. Distancing is not a problem. “It’s all about the size and just being respectful,” said Akron Marathon Race Director Verrelle Wyatt. “The running community has accepted everything. You go to the parks and it’s groups of people and families, but it’s distanced.”

Participants can register for free online for the activities. “You join a group on Strava and you are part of this community,” said Dilisio. “You can see what everybody is doing. You know when you’re watching Verrelle take us through a yoga class you’re doing it with a thousand people.”

Wyatt, also of Yoga Bliss, drives the yoga portion of the program. He has had nothing but good feedback from people participating in the Project. “They are proud. They are saying ‘finally something happened,’" said Wyatt. "Everyone went virtual and only offered a virtual race. I think it’s so cool that the community in Akron decided to put our partners together. Let’s have fun.”

The Akron marathon itself is not until September 26th. It has not been cancelled as of now. In the meantime, the Akron Running Project can keep Rubber City runners busy.

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