Jasen Sokol

Jasen Sokol

Jasen is a lifelong resident of Northeast Ohio. He found his passion for radio while at WBWC at Baldwin Wallace University. He then went on to Kent State University, where he earned a Master's Degree in broadcast journalism and served as Morning Edition Producer at WKSU. Before becoming the host of The Jasen Sokol Show, he served as morning news editor for AkronNewsNow.com and traffic reporter for 1590 WAKR, 97.5 WONE, 94.9 WQMX, and 107.3 The WAVE. Off the air, Jasen is an avid sports fan (he lists NASCAR, football, and horse racing among his favorites), a news junkie, and a member of the Young Professionals of Akron. You can reach Jasen by phone at 330-869-9800 or via e-mail at jasen@wakr.net.

I'm well into my second week of training for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. While I'm nowhere near ready to hit the Blue Line yet, I've already made a few observations:

  • The right pair of shoes helps. Brian Polen, the race director for the Akron Marathon and my running coach, brought me to his store to get fitted for a proper pair of running shoes. At Vertical Runner of Wooster, Brian was able to watch how I walk and recommend shoes that would correct my stride. That said, if you have a pair of athletic shoes already you have all you need to get started. Which brings me to my next point...
  • Just get moving. I had to tell myself that a few times this week. To say the weather this week was less than ideal is an understatement. I've only had one workout so far that didn't involve snow or ice. It's been in the 30s or lower for most of the last week. But if you wear a few layers, the cold isn't so bad. I figure I'll be missing this weather when it's 90 degrees in August.
  • Start slow. Slow and steady might not win the race, but I'm just trying to get to the finish line so I'm fine with that! I have yet to do a workout that actually involves running. Instead, Brian has me doing brisk walks at increasing distances. Despite that, my pace is still getting quicker each time out.
  • We're lucky to be in Akron. I live halfway up a pretty steep hill, so my options for places to run close to home that don't involve a ridiculous climb are a bit limited. Luckily we have the Towpath Trail, the jogging trail in the Sand Run Metro Park, and a bunch of other great places to run in Akron that are not only less hilly, but also absolutely beautiful.

We're less than 200 days away from the Akron Marathon, but that doesn't mean it's too late to get started on your own Blue Line journey! One of the cool things about the Akron Marathon Race Series is that they have different distances at different races throughout the summer, so if a half marathon or a relay leg seems too daunting you can start with something as short as a 1 mile and work your way up from there.

The week ahead: Two more brisk walks at longer distances... hopefully with less snow!

Follow Jasen's journey on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Strava. For more information or to register for the races, go to www.akronmarathon.org.


Wednesday, 14 March 2018 14:49

AUDIO: After #Enough Walkout, What's Next?

Thousands of students across the country walked out of their classrooms Wednesday morning to call for a variety of school safety measures in the wake of the deadly shooting in Parkland, Fla. last month. Now that the children have spoken, what will the adults do?

Lisa Mansfield, member of the Akron School Board, joined Jasen to share her thoughts on the walkout she attended at Firestone CLC and talk about what the board is doing to address school security:

Jasen also sat down with Rosie Craig from the Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence and Dean Rieck of the Buckeye Firearms Association to talk about what they think should and should not be done to avoid another school shooting.

For the last three years, I've been the announcer for several of the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series events. It's become something I look forward to every year, but there has always been one thing about it that has been awkward for me:

I've never actually run a race.

Not a marathon, not a half marathon, not even a 5k. But that's about to change.

Brian Polen, the race director for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, told me after last year's Goodyear Half Marathon and 10k that he wanted to see me run some races this year. I've never been one to jump at the opportunity to work out, but for some reason I said I would. When the weather began to warm up, Brian decided it was time for me to begin my training.

Over the next six months, I'll be preparing to run the National Interstate 8k in June, the Goodyear 10k in August, and the FirstEnergy Akron Half Marathon in September. I'll still be announcing the June and August races and covering the marathon for 1590 WAKR in September, so I'll be running each course about a week before the actual race. Brian has put together a complete training plan for me, and I'll be visiting Vertical Runner of Wooster (which is owned by Brian and his wife Tammy) soon to get all the gear I need to put the plan into action.

I'll be documenting this journey through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Strava, and here on WAKR.net, and I'd love for you to join me! While you may have an idea of what a runner looks like, I've learned that there really is no one type of runner. People of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels challenge the Blue Line each year and achieve their goals. I'll be taking part in this year's Blue Line Beginners program, and I hope I'll get to call your name when you cross the finish line this summer.

For more information or to register for the races, go to www.akronmarathon.org.

Brian Polen joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Monday to talk about turning Jasen into a runner

Since the school shooting Wednesday in Parkland, Fla. that claimed the lives of 17 people, many people are searching for a solution to the problem of gun violence. But the political debate over mass shootings is often approached with cynicism after years of gridlock on the issue.

Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, a Republican candidate for Governor, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) joined Jasen on Monday to give their ideas on how to reduce the chances of a school shooting happening again.

It's been a week of turmoil in professional fastpitch softball. The future of the Akron Racers has been questioned after the removal of General Manager Joey Arrietta and reports that majority owner Craig Stout has partnered with a Chinese group to bring in a group of players from China to fill a significant portion of the team's roster.

On Thursday, the Beacon Journal reported that the team will become the Cleveland Comets under new general manager Stephen Dunn. NPF Commissioner Cheri Kempf said in an interview Thursday there was "nothing (she) could do to validate that rumor."

The shakeup has also extended to Texas, where the Scrap Yard Dawgs announced they would not play in National Pro Fastpitch this season. They were later formally dismissed from NPF.

Kempf joined the Jasen Sokol Show for an in-depth discussion of the future of pro softball in Akron:

Cuyahoga Falls is about to open a new main road while preparing to make major changes to another.

Front Street in Downtown Cuyahoga Falls will open to traffic for the first time on February 3 after decades as a pedestrian mall. Mayor Don Walters says the first vehicles on the new road will be school buses from Cuyahoga Falls and Woodridge followed by a 1978 Pontiac Trans Am and a new Tesla to signify the years the street was closed and re-opened to traffic. A formal grand opening will be held in June.

While it will be easier to get around the Downtown area this year, it will get much more difficult to navigate the Chapel Hill area beginning next year.

Howe Avenue will be completely repaved beginning in April 2019. According to the plan unveiled recently, Howe Ave. will be one-way westbound (toward Route 8) from Main St./Home Ave. to Bucholzer Blvd. until the project is completed in the fall of 2020. That will allow shoppers who want to get to the plazas along Howe to use the entrances along Main/Home. Drivers who need to get to Chapel Hill Mall will need to detour down Main/Home to Independence Ave.

Walters joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about both projects and what they mean for Cuyahoga Falls.

Akron and Warren will be the pilot cities for a new eBay program aimed at helping brick and mortar businesses expand via the e-commerce site.

The "Retail Revival" program will provide 20-40 Akron small businesses with resources and training to help them use eBay.

Business owners interested in applying for the program can apply through this link through February 9

Heather Roszczyk, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Advocate for the City of Akron, joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk more about the program and what it will mean for Akron.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:24

AUDIO: Tony Mansolino Named RubberDucks Manager

There's a new head Duck in Akron.

The Cleveland Indians named Tony Mansolino the new manager of the Akron RubberDucks in an announcment released Wednesday. Mansolino, who served as the RubberDucks' hitting coach in 2015, has spent the last two seasons managing Indians single-A affiliate Lake County (2016) and advanced-A Lynchburg (2017).

Mansolino joined The Jasen Sokol Show to talk about the move and what to expect from the RubberDucks this season.


Saturday, 06 January 2018 14:01

PHOTOS: Fans Protest Browns at 0-16 Parade

The bitter cold Cleveland weather didn't deter several thousand disgruntled Browns fans from converging outside FirstEnergy Stadium to show their displeasure with the 2017 season at the Perfect Season Parade 2.0.

Cleveland Police estimated the crowd at 2,500 to 3,200 people with no arrests made. Dozens of trucks and party buses normally seen at pregame tailgate parties participated in the parade. Organized by Browns fan Chris McNeil, better known by his Twitter handle @Reflog_18, the event also raised funds and collected canned goods for the Greater Cleveland Food Bank.

Check out some of the best floats and signs from the Perfect Season Parade:



A post shared by Jasen Sokol (@jasensokol) on

Browns players Emmanuel Ogbah and Danny Shelton took to Twitter to criticize the parade attendees.

Monday, 11 December 2017 15:09

AUDIO: Downtown Akron Plan Unveiled

The City of Akron and the Downtown Akron Partnership have unveiled their Downtown Akron Vision and Redevelopment Plan. It's a comprehensive plan to overhaul Downtown Akron, with the addition of street-level retail, business, residences, and infrastructure designed to connect the current hotspots of Downtown while maintaining the historic character of the neighborhood. 

Akron Planning Director Jason Segedy and Downtown Akron Partnership President and CEO Suzie Graham joined Jasen for an in-depth look at the plan and to talk about how long it may take for the ideas to come to fruition.

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