Thursday, 09 August 2018 12:44

Jasen's Blue Line Journal: The 10K

“You can’t change the weather. You can change your attitude.”

I found myself repeating that phrase over and over again Monday as I ran the Goodyear 10K course.

Over the last six months, the vast majority of my runs have either been in cool weather or in the shade. Monday, it was in the mid 70s and high humidity. Not exactly the ideal running conditions. But there’s nothing you can do about the weather, and it was pretty similar to the weather for some of the previous August races in the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. So I got ready to run my first ever 10K in what felt like a swamp.

You could argue the weather was payback for June. Because I’m the Akron Marathon’s race announcer, I have to run my races on different days. This paid off at the National Interstate 8K as it was significantly cooler and more overcast for my run than the actual run. No such luck this time around.

To be honest, I was just happy that I made it to the start line. Right after I ran the 8K, I developed some pretty severe pain in my foot that knocked me out of commission for several weeks. I tried foam rolling, exercises, ice, and rest, but nothing seemed to make the pain stay away while I was running. It took changing from the support shoes I usually wear to more neutral shoes for the pain to finally go away.

New Challenges

The sticky weather wasn’t the only thing different about this run. Because the Goodyear Proving Grounds weren’t available for the Blue Line Beginners test run a few weeks ago, I ran the first mile of the actual course for the first time on race day. The proving grounds portion of the course resembles a NASCAR track. It’s fast and flat, so it’s a great way to start a race. It was great seeing several members of the Blue Line Beginners waiting for us when we exited the proving ground and headed for the street (sidewalk in my case) portion of the course.

I was hoping to match my pace from the 8K in the 10K, but I figured by the time we left the proving grounds that wasn’t going to happen. My running pace was slower than it was in June and I needed a walk break by the 1.5 mile mark, a bit earlier than I was anticipating. I was lucky to have Akron Marathon Race Director Brian Polen and Social Media Manager Lauren Toole running with me to keep me going.

The course itself helps too. It’s a fairly fast course that gives you a good tour of Goodyear’s facilities and the new East End development on E. Market St. before running uphill toward Akron Executive Airport. You get a good look at the Air Dock before the half marathon course heads for Ellet and the 10K course turns back toward the finish.

The Last Mile

After the turnaround, the course heads downhill for most of the last mile. Still, I was spent. I had also developed a blister on my foot. I knew I could still put in a decent result, though, so I pressed on.

As we entered the final half mile, Brian reminded me how far I’d come in the last five months and how few people actually finish a 10K. It was exactly what I needed to finish strong. I crossed the line in 1:11:48, only 13 seconds per mile slower than the 8K. I was happy with the result given the humid conditions and the amount of time off I had to take between the 8K and 10K.

What’s Next?

Now that I have one 10K under my belt, Brian suggested I run another before the half marathon to get some more experience under my belt. I’ll be running the Amish Country 10K in Berlin on September 8. The hillier course will be a challenge, but one that should help me get ready for the hills in the Akron Half Marathon. I’ll be announcing the Akron Marathon this year, so I’ll run my half marathon on Monday, September 24.

I’m also excited to be on the mic for the actual running of the sold out Goodyear Half Marathon and 10K this weekend. I get to spend a lot more time announcing the names of runners as they cross the finish line in this race than the others in the series. If you’re running, make sure to reach out to me or stop by the start line stage before the race so I know to be looking for you!

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

 

Published in Jasen Sokol

Eight time Bridgestone Invitational champion Tiger Woods didn't have the weekend he wanted to out on the South Course, but he did recall great times of playing here at Firestone and says he'll miss the community of Akron, the people who work the event, and the fans that appreciated his play.

Tiger says he's played in Akron for over 20 years, going back to his days as an amateur.

"This is one of the classic golf courses that unfortunately, we don't get to play that often."

 

Tiger finished the final round Sunday shooting a second straight 73.

Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 25 June 2018 18:13

Jasen's Blue Line Journal: The 8K

If you would have told me a year ago that I’d be at the start line of an 8K, I would have called you crazy. Yet that’s where I was on Monday morning.

As the race announcer for the Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series, I can’t race the National Interstate 8K on race day. Instead, the Akron Marathon staff set up a “race” for me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I pulled into the Infocision Stadium parking lot, but I arrived to see not just the Marathon staff waiting for me, but a contingent of Blue Line Beginners who would serve as our cheering section and water stop crew throughout the run. There was even pump up music and an introduction like we’ll do for the runners on Saturday!

At 7:00 a.m., it was time. Akron Marathon Race Director Brian Polen, Social Media Manager Lauren Toole, and George McFly from 94.9 WQMX took off from the start line with me to start the 4.9 mile trek around the University of Akron campus and Downtown Akron.

I knew the first 1.5 miles would be important. In the Blue Line Beginners test run a few weeks ago, I walked the first half mile before running the next mile. I ended that run with gas in the tank, so I decided to try running the entire first 1.5 miles this time around. This challenge was compounded by the fact that there was still some lingering soreness from when I tweaked my leg a few weeks ago. Much to my surprise, the pain went away and we flew through it faster than I thought I could. Our cheering section was set up right where we were going to start walking, so we decided to keep running a bit longer.

After walking to the two mile mark, it was time to run down the hill to Main and Market and start the trip down King James Way. It was here where the advantages of run/walking came into play. My watch had been showing a sub-10:00/mile pace for much of our running, but there was no way I could keep that up for nearly five full miles. Instead, we walked a bit near Canal Park and again on the three major uphills on the back half of the course: Broadway near The Depot Apartments, the bridge on Exchange St., and the hill leading to the UA Student Union. It was around a half mile of walking in all, but it made all the difference in getting me through.

When you reach the UA Commons portion of the course around mile 4.3, you can see Infocision Stadium and you know the finish line is close. I was pretty spent by this point but I knew I had to keep pushing.

I thought back to the first training session I did in February when I found myself huffing and puffing after a mile of walking, a mile that happened to be the first mile of the 8K course. I thought back to a month ago when I suffered my first major setback when I tweaked my leg so badly that it hurt to walk. After coming all this way, I couldn’t stop now. With Brian, George, and Lauren cheering me on, we made it around the stadium and to the field.

Turning the corner onto the field at Infocision Stadium was a moment I’ll never forget. Seeing the Akron Marathon staff and the Blue Line Beginners crew waiting for us, getting my very first race medal, and downing some postrace Chick-Fil-A and root beer was awesome. We finished the 8K in 55:41, more than six minutes faster than the time I put up during the test run.

But the work is far from over. I’ll be back on the road later in the week getting ready for the Goodyear 10K and the Akron Half Marathon. I’ll also be on the mic this weekend, encouraging the runners at the National Interstate 8K and 1 Mile. It’s been an amazing journey so far, and I can’t wait for what’s to come!

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

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 23 June 2018 12:56

AUDIO: Previewing The Ohio Derby

Ohio's richest thoroughbred horse race is at JACK Thistledown Racino in North Randall Saturday.

The 84th running of the Ohio Derby features a $500,000 purse, several horses that ran in Triple Crown races earlier this year, and one Akron area native looking to score in a race that he says would mean more for him to win than the Kentucky Derby.

Jasen caught up with Loooch Racing Stables owner and St. Vincent-St. Mary alum Ron Paolucci, JACK Thistledown Racino handicapper Rich Ruda, and track announcer Matt Hook to preview the big race during a live broadcast of the Jasen Sokol Show at Thistledown.

Published in Jasen Sokol

It seems like just yesterday that I started this journey toward the Akron Half Marathon, yet in less than three weeks I’ll take to the National Interstate 8k course to complete the first race of Akron’s summer trilogy.

With coaching from Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series Race Director Brian Polen, I’ve gone from walking a mile to run/walking six miles. Earlier today, I put in a 5k workout in honor of Global Running Day.

Until today, I hadn’t run on two consecutive days, and my legs didn’t let me forget about it. The first half of the 3.1 mile workout went well, but I could tell that doing the whole thing without walking any of it was going to be a challenge. I wound up having to walk about a half mile in all.

While the workout didn’t quite go as I planned, I couldn’t help but think back to February when I did that very first mile walk. At that time, I would have called you crazy if you said I would be doing anything close to a 5k. It’s amazing how far you can come with a little time and a little effort.

Stick and Ball Sport

Yes, you read that right. Sticks and balls do have a place in running.

A few weeks ago after putting in my first six mile run, I noticed a sharp pain in my right lower leg that wouldn’t go away. When I was sitting or standing it didn’t hurt, but anytime I tried to walk it was painful. The issue didn’t go away as the days went on, so I wound up not running for nearly a week.

Eventually I met with Brian to talk through what was going on. He told me the pain in my shin was likely because the rest of my leg was tight. He suggested two pieces of recovery equipment that got me back running the very next day.

The Stick is exactly what the name suggests: A long, flexible stick with handles on each end. Eight plastic rings surround the stick and act as massagers. It's basically a rolling pin for tight, sore muscles. Along with a foam massaging ball called The Orb (apparently they don’t spend much time coming up with names for these things) and a plan to rotate shoes between the support shoes I was wearing with a more neutral pair, I was able to get back to my training program.

Three Weeks To Go

It seems like it has come up fast, but the National Interstate 8k and 1 Mile is three weeks from Saturday on June 30. Because I serve as the race announcer for that race, I’ll be running the course on Monday, June 25. For anyone looking to get a taste of the course before race day, the Blue Line Beginners are planning a test run on Saturday, June 16.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 13 April 2018 13:46

Area Runners Prepare for Boston Marathon

Several hundred runners from Ohio will be among the more than 30,000 taking part in this year's Boston Marathon. Jasen talked to second time Boston runner Scott Hinkle of Loudonville and first time Boston entrant Lindsey Beachy of Glenmont about what it takes to qualify for the big race, getting the official word from Boston, and their experience in getting ready to run one of the most famous races in the world.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 28 March 2018 17:45

AUDIO: Blue Line Beginners Set For Year Two

It started as a Beacon Journal project, became a year-round organization, and is now ready to welcome its next batch of running newbies.

Blue Line Beginners will hold its first meeting of 2018 for new members on Saturday, March 31 at 11:00 a.m. at the Main Branch of the Akron Summit County Public Library in Downtown Akron. The organization, founded by Beacon Journal reporter Paula Schleis, aims to take people who have never run a race before and train them to run the races of the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. 

Schleis and Akron Marathon Race Director Brian Polen joined Jasen to talk about the program and how just about anyone can get involved.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol

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.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol

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

Published in Jasen Sokol

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:

Published in Jasen Sokol
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.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
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:

 

#PerfectSeasonParade

A post shared by Jasen Sokol (@jasensokol) on

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

Published in Jasen Sokol
Thursday, 30 November 2017 23:46

AUDIO Hoban Makes It Three In A Row!

The Archbishop Hoban Knights are now in rarified air as they captured a Division II State title over Cincinnati Winton Woods 42-14 at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton.

The win gives the Knights three titles in a row and their first in Division II. Their first two titles in this dominant run came in Division III.

Coach Tim Tyrrell's team opened up the game in a big way when quarterback Shane Hamm connected with Garrett Houser on a 73-yard pass play to make it 7-0.

Tyrrell said his freshman signal caller played well tonight.

"He was very smart in being able (to check at the line of scrimmage)," Tyrrell said.

"The offensive line did a great job in protection and the receivers made great plays on the ball."

 

Hoban also capitalized early on mistakes by the Warriors, opening up the first quarter scoring off a blocked punt to make it a 14-0 game.

They didn't take their foot off the gas as Houser, a Navy commit, got his 2nd TD of the ballgame to open the second quarter to put Hoban up 21-0.

A long run by Winton Woods' Miyan Williams led to a touchdown pass to Cornell Beachem from signal caller Kenny Mayberry to cut the lead to 21-7 with 9:19 left to play in the first half.

The Knights answered quickly with a long pass to Nate Bauer to set up a 1-touchdown plunge by junior Tyris Dickerson to make it 28-7.

Raquean Prince of Winton Woods then answered for the Warriors returning the subsequent kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown to cut the lead half 28-14.

Hoban then connected on a 38-yard scoring strike to Mason Tipton, who appeared to step out of bounds, but the TD stood.

Freshman QB Shane Hamm then hit end zone again with another touchdown pass to Tipton to make it a 42-14 halftime lead after a failed fake punt attempt by Winton Woods.

It was Hamm's fourth touchdown toss of the night.

Both teams had a scoreless third quarter, but Hoban kept up the defensive pressure, which was just what Coach Tyrrell wanted.

When asked which was the most memorable aspect of this three year run by the Knights, Tyrrell pointed to the seniors who led on the field, in the weight room, and with the underclassmen.

For the full presser, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad

Actor, comedian Rob Schneider joined the Sam and Brad Show to talk about his upcoming stand-up comedy performance at the Hard Rock Rocksino November 25.

 

For more information on Rob's performance next Friday, click here. 

Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 17:27

AUDIO Michael Rapoport Talks New Book

Actor, director, and author Michael Rapoport spoke with Sam and Brad about his new book "This Book Has Balls" complete with rants about some of sports' greatest athletes including LeBron James. 

 

For more information, click here.

 

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 18 October 2017 16:32

AUDIO: Zips Football Off To Hot MAC Start

It took a bit longer than the Zips would have liked, but Akron beat Western Michigan 14-13 on Sunday to improve to 3-0 in MAC play. The game was delayed from Saturday after rain flooded Western Michigan's stadium. The win leaves Akron just two wins away from bowl eligibility with six games to play.

Akron head coach Terry Bowden joined Jasen to talk about the game, the challenges involved with a postponed game, and this week's game against Toledo at the Glass Bowl.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 23 September 2017 14:44

AUDIO: Talking To The Akron Marathon Champions

It was a hot morning Saturday for the 15th running of the Akron Marathon, but four runners beat the heat and their competition to emerge victorious.

Marathon winners Blair Teal and Emma McCarron and half marathon winners Kevin Castille and Liz Weiler talked to Jasen after breaking the tape.

Jasen also talked to men's marathon runner up and Akron native Verrelle Wyatt, whose hometown pride was on display as he wore a "just a runner from Akron" t-shirt on the course and screamed "Akron!" as he crossed the finish line.

Published in Jasen Sokol
Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:34

Winners Crowned At Akron Marathon

More than 9,000 runners from 46 states and 12 countries took to the Blue Line in unseasonably warm conditions Saturday for the 15th running of the Akron Marathon.

Blair Teal of Charlotte, North Carolina avenged his runner up finish in last year's marathon by winning in 2:23:39. Verrelle Wyatt of Akron came in second, just over a minute behind Teal.

In the women's marathon, Emma McCarron of Mansfield ran down eventual runner up Shawanna White in the closing miles to win in 2:52:29. McCarron's sister Grace finished third after the two ran together for much of the morning.

Experience beat youth in the men's half marathon, as 45 year old Kevin Castille of Baton Rouge, Louisiana won in 1:05:16, just over a minute ahead of Medina's Mick Iacofano.

Northeast Ohio runners swept the podium in the women's half marathon. Liz Weiler of Cleveland won in 1:20:09, less than a minute ahead of Beachwood's Amy Gannon. Marissa Baranauskas of Akron finished third.

Click here to hear from the marathon and half marathon champions

The male, female, and mixed team relays were won by One 26.2 Sticker (2:54:58), Five Fast Femme Fatale Freak (3:07:46), and George's Farmer Boys and Girls (2:52:43), respectively.

Over the last two years, the Akron Marathon Race Series has raised nearly $900,000 for title sponsor Akron Children's Hospital.

Top Finishers

Men's Marathon
1. Blair Teal, Charlotte, N.C., 2:23:39
2. Verrelle Wyatt, Akron, 2:24:57
3. Zachary Hoagland, Hatfield, Pa., 2:27:47
4. Brent Martin, Wooster, 2:28:11
5. Israel Merkle, Akron, 2:30:52

Women's Marathon
1. Emma McCarron, Mansfield, 2:52:29
2. Shawanna White, Columbia, S.C., 2:53:27
3. Grace McCarron, Mansfield, 2:54:11
4. Barbara Lorson, Orrville, 3:02:36
5. Jenny Robinson, Cuyahoga Falls, 3:07:23

Masters Men's Marathon
1. Dustin Sprague, Kettering, 2:43:05
2. Francesco Arato, Bolingbrook Ill., 2:48:15
3. Orinthal Striggles, Columbia S.C., 2:48:15

Masters Women's Marathon
1. Dolores Valencia, Chino Hills, Calif., 3:09:46
2. Kristy Kenna, Akron, 3:11:29
3. Teresa Ferguson, Akron, 3:11:46

Men's Half Marathon
1. Kevin Castille, Baton Rouge, La., 1:05:16
2. Mick Iacofano, Medina, 1:06:20
3. Ryan Roush, Canfield, 1:08:14

Women's Half Marathon
1. Liz Weiler, Cleveland, 1:20:09
2. Amy Gannon, Beachwood, 1:20:58
3. Marissa Baranauskas, Akron, 1:23:02

Masters Men's Half Marathon
1. Jason Lafave, Sanford, Mich., 1:15:08
2. Ken Richendollar, Maumee, 1:17:17
3. Mike Seymour, Akron, 1:19:10

Masters Women's Half Marathon
1. Beth Woodward, Orrville, 1:26:19
2. Brenda Hodge, York, Pa., 1:28:48
3. Michelle Farr, Medina, 1:29:22

---------------

(Akron Marathon) The FirstEnergy Akron Marathon, Half Marathon & Team Relay celebrated its 15th year along the Blue Line today with a brand new route and warm temperatures. What started as a modest marathon with a field of 3,775 participants has thrived and grown over 300 percent in the last 15 years into a major, first-rate, and signature event within the city of Akron.

"The overall feeling of this race weekend is second to none – from the starting line to the Finisher Festival. The on-course atmosphere was very special this year, with entertainment throughout the course and loads of enthusiastic spectators alongside our Akron Children's hero patients and their families cheering on all the participants," said Shawn Lyden, executive vice president of Akron Children's. "This year more than 13,000 took to the streets during our three race weekends, experiencing the best of what this city has to offer. We couldn't be more proud to serve as the title beneficiary for this great series."

The festivities kicked off Thursday night with two-time Olympian and world champion, Kara Goucher being honored with the 2017 Akron Marathon Ambassador Award. More than 1,000 kids ages 12 and under joined in the fun on Friday night at the Kids 1-Mile Fun Run, presented by Signet Jewelers. After offering inspiration to the runners at the Health and Fitness Expo presented by Summa Health and SummaCare on Friday, Goucher joined the runners in Saturday's Half Marathon event, and earned cheers from the more than 100,000 race spectators there to rally their favorite runners toward the finish line.

"Fifteen years is no easy feat. Through many course and venue changes, adding distances along the way, and expansion into a race series, we are so proud to be hosting the 15th annual event. We are thrilled to report that 143,165 runners have run this event throughout the 15 years," said Steve Marks, founder and chairman of the Akron Marathon Charitable Corporation. "Although so much has happened and so much has changed over the years – it still seems like it wasn't too long ago that we were doing this for the first time. The continuity of the having an amazing city like Akron as a partner and having the support of many loyal sponsors through the years, along with one of the best race staffs out there, is a big part of our success."

Blair Teal of Charlotte, North Carolina, and Emma McCarron of Mansfield, found that success on Saturday morning and were the first to cross the finish line inside Canal Park Stadium for the marathon, with respective times of 2:23:39 and 2:52:29. While Kevin Castille of Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Liz Weiler from Cleveland, took top places in the half marathon.

The runner-up in the men's marathon was Verrelle Wyatt of Akron, finishing with a time of 2:24:57, and Zachary Hoagland of Hatfield, Pennsylvania, crossing the line third at 2:27:47. Shawanna White of Columbia, South Carolina finished in second on the women's side with a time of 2:53:27, followed by Grace McCarron from Mansfield in 2:54:11.

Top men's half marathon finishers included Medina's Mick Iacofano and Ryan Roush from Canfield with equally fast times of 1:06:20 and 1:08:14. Beachwood's Amy Gannon took second in the women's half marathon finishing in 1:20:58, with Akron's own Marissa Baranauskas, crossing in third at 1:23:02.

The top finishers in the masters (40 years and older) marathon competition were, Dustin Sprague of Kettering and Dolores Valencia of Chino Hills, California, on the women's side. For the half marathon, the top masters were Jason Lafave of Sanford, Michigan and Beth Woodward of Orrville. (Complete winner information can be found at the end of release.)

The marathon relay didn't disappoint with fast times and wins turned in by Five Guys, One 26.2 Sticker for the five-person male team relay in 2:54:58, Five Fast Femme Fatale Freak was the top women's squad with a finishing time of 3:07:46. A time of 2:53:43 was clocked by the top mixed competition team – George's Farmer Boys and Girls.

For the third year, prize money was awarded to the top three men and women to finish the marathon who are Ohio residents. Those top winners were, Verrelle Wyatt, Akron and Emma McCarron of Mansfield.

"FirstEnergy is very proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Akron Marathon, a marquee event for our region that draws some of the world's top runners to compete just steps from our headquarters," said Charles Jones, president and chief executive officer of FirstEnergy Corp. "We have nearly 2,500 employees who live and work in the Akron area, many of whom volunteer or run in the Akron Marathon every year. This event showcases the city and we're pleased to be a part of it."

2017 served as the third year for the Akron Children's Hospital Akron Marathon Race Series. The National Interstate 8k & 1 Mile was held on June 24 and the Goodyear Half Marathon & 10k was run on August 12. More than 1,400 runners completed the series and participated in all three races this year.

"Fifteen years after the first race, our mission and focus remains the same: providing a world-class marathon and other events that promote health and fitness, stimulate the local economy, galvanize the community and benefit charitable organizations," said Anne Bitong, executive director of the Akron Marathon. "With more than 9,000 runners this weekend from 46 states and 12 countries, nearly $900,000 raised for Akron Children's Hospital during our two-year series partnership and the smiling faces from our volunteers, runners and the spectators today, I think it is safe to say it was another successful year for the Akron Marathon."

 

Published in Local
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:55

AUDIO: Tribe GM Mike Chernoff Joins Jasen

It's been an incredible ride for the Indians this year, and one of the architects of it all joined Jasen live from Progressive Field Wednesday.

Indians General Manager Mike Chernoff joined Jasen to talk about the Tribe's winning streak, the acquisition of Jay Bruce, and the timetable for injured players Andrew Miller, Jason Kipnis, and Michael Brantley.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 13 September 2017 12:45

AUDIO: Jasen Talks To Indians Drummer John Adams

For more than 40 years, Indians fans have heard the beat of John Adams' bass drum at nearly every Indians game.

Adams first drummed at an Indians game on August 24, 1973 at the old Municipal Stadium. He joined the Jasen Sokol Show ahead of the Indians' run at a 21st consecutive victory to talk about the Tribe's remarkable run and share some of his stories of four decades in the Cleveland bleachers.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course is technically the home track for NASCAR Xfinity Series driver and Hinckley native Matt Tifft. But until just a few weeks ago, he had never even seen the place.

Tifft, who will drive the #19 Akron Community Foundation Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing in Saturday's Mid-Ohio Challenge, said he played the video game iRacing.com and will race in a Trans Am race to learn the track. He missed last year's race while undergoing treatment for a brain tumor. 

Now back on the track and running his first full Xfinity Series season, Tifft is currently seventh in the championship standings. He plans to work with the Akron Community Foundation to help build awareness for brain tumor research.

Tifft joined Jasen to talk about Saturday's race, his partnership with the Akron Community Foundation, his recovery from the brain tumor, and racing against drivers from the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series.

Published in Jasen Sokol

"Race car drivers aren't athletes."

I hear that one all the time. I know better because I've been a race fan my whole life. And I'm almost certain none of the people who say it have ever been in a race car at speed before.

Thursday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, I had that opportunity.

Thanks to the Pirelli World Challenge and K-PAX Racing, I was able to get in the passenger seat of a McLaren GT two seater with pro driver Bryan Sellers at the wheel as part of the runup to the series' two races at Mid-Ohio this weekend. It was one wild ride.

Sellers says the car gets up to about 160 mph in the high speed portions of the Mid-Ohio road course. But you don't really feel the speed until you're under braking. The rapid deceleration ahead of the corners slams you forward into your seatbelt and really makes you appreciate just how fast you were going.

We only took one lap but I got out of the car exhausted and drenched in sweat, the G-forces and heat taking their toll in less than two minutes. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Check out video of Jasen's ride and an interview with driver Bryan Sellers:

Published in Jasen Sokol
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 15:41

AUDIO: Jay Brophy Reacts To New CTE Study

A new study of the brains of more than 200 former football players finds almost all of them show signs of the brain disease known as CTE.

The study, led by Boston University neuroscientist Dr. Ann McKee, doesn't confirm that CTE is common among football players. But the percentage of brains studied that had CTE went up with the level of play.

1590 WAKR football analyst Jay Brophy, who played at the University of Miami and with the Miami Dolphins, joined Jasen to talk about the study, what football teams and leagues are doing to combat brain injury, and what high school teams should be doing to protect young players.

Published in Jasen Sokol

John Telich from Fox 8 Sports spoke with Sam and Brad Monday to talk about the Cavaliers' loss to the Boston Celtics Sunday night.

The Cavs will face the Celtics Tuesday at 8:30pm. You can listen to the game on 1590 WAKR and listen to Sam and Brad as they broadcast from the Q from 2pm-8pm.

 

The full interview can be heard here. 

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Sports Anchor/reporter Hakem Dermish from News 5 joined Sam and Brad to talk Cavs and Celtics in Game #2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Brian Dulik joined Sam and Brad to talk about the Browns as they conduct their rookie mini-camp, the Indians as they start a weekend set with the Twins, and the Cavaliers as they await the winner of the Boston and Washington series for the Eastern Conference Finals.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

It's the first Saturday in May, and that means it's time for the Run for the Roses. 20 horses will go to the post at what is expected to be a rainy Churchill Downs for the 143rd running of the Kentucky Derby. Classic Empire is the favorite at 4-1, but the possibility of a sloppy track has the experts looking for a mudder.

Rich Ruda, track handicapper for JACK Thistledown Racino, and Max Barton, executive director of the Canton Museum of Art and a longtime owner of racehorses, joined Jasen to share their picks and how they'll play the Derby.

Published in Jasen Sokol

Maurice Clarett knows what it's like to be on the inside. He's using that experience to try to reform the system.

Clarett, who helped Ohio State to the 2002 BCS National Championship while a running back for the Buckeyes, was sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for robbery and concealed weapons charges in 2006. After he was released early in 2010, he became a motivational speaker and is working with substance abuse recovery organizations in his native Youngstown.

On Wednesday, Clarett will return to Columbus for an event sponsored by the U.S. Justice Action Network in support of two criminal justice reform initiatives. Senate Bill 66 would widen eligibility for substance abuse treatment in lieu of incarceration, while an element of Gov. John Kasich's state budget proposal would allow for more funding to house nonviolent, first-time offenders in community-based facilities instead of prison. 

Clarett joined Jasen to talk about changes he would like to see made in the criminal justice system.

Published in Jasen Sokol

The University of Akron formally introduced John Groce as its new Head Basketball Coach Thursday. Groce, who previously served as Head Coach at Illinois and Ohio, inherits a team that won 27 games in 2016-17 under Keith Dambrot before he left for Duquesne.

Groce joined Jasen shortly after his introduction to talk about his plans for Zips Basketball.

 

Published in Jasen Sokol
Friday, 31 March 2017 16:23

AUDIO Clark Kellogg Talking Final Four

Clark Kellogg from CBS Sports joined Sam and Brad on Friday to talk about the upcoming Final Four.

 

Clark also discussed the four teams and their shot to play for a national championship.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

In the wake of the World Baseball Classic with the USA winning over Puerto Rico, a lot of people were tuning in to see two of the world's best baseball nations go at it on the diamond.

The Puerto Rican team was known for playing with a lot of emotion and fire. Sam and Brad weighed in on when and when not to show emotion on the playing field.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Monday, 20 March 2017 18:34

AUDIO Wager Of The Day Monday

Sam and Justin got in on a "Vending Machine Monday" edition of the Wager of the Day on the Sam and Brad Show.

The guys wagered on the NIT games tonight, Mike from Cuyahoga Falls joined in on the fun as well!

You can join in the fun as well by listening to the Wager of the Day every Monday-Friday at 5:25pm on 1590 WAKR.

  

Published in Sam and Brad

The NBA is none to happy about the Cavs' Big Three taking a rest day against the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday.

Cavs beat writer Joe Gabriele from Cavs.com joined Sam and Brad Monday to discuss the issue.

 

For the full interview, click here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

You all know "that" sports parent and one California man is taking that to a whole new level in Chino Hills as it relates to his basketball-playing sons.

LaVar Ball has been in the headlines and features reporter Ryan Kartje spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday to talk about the buzz surrounding the patriarch of the Ball family.

 

For Ryan's article, click here.

 

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell spoke with Chris Broussard from FS1 to talk about the Cleveland Cavaliers as they get closer to the close of the regular season. 

Chris talked about the challenges posed to head coach Ty Lue in terms of managing minutes and lineup combinations. 

 

 

For the full interview with Chris and the guys, click here. 

Published in Sam and Brad

After 38 seasons as the head coach of the Ellet Orangemen football team, Joe Yost resigned from his position Friday morning.

Athletic Director of the Akron Public Schools, Joe Vassalotti joined the Sam and Brad Show on Friday to talk about his legacy for the Ellet community and how he impacted the lives of many young people.

Vassalotti coached against Yost during his own coaching journey.  He said when people think Ellet, and especially Ellet football, you think Joe Yost.

 

Yost won 234 games as the Ellet head football coach and accumulated many other accolades throughout his coaching career including multiple City Series Championships.

Vassalotti said Yost plans on taking some time to himself and still being active in the Ellet community.

Joe Yost could not be reached for comment.

The full interview can be heard here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 02 March 2017 17:27

AUDIO Steve Palazzolo Talks NFL Combine

Steve Palazzolo from Pro Football Focus joined the Sam and Brad Show Thursday to talk NFL Combine from Indianapolis.

 

For the full interview, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 01 March 2017 18:46

AUDIO Dr. Ajay Seth Talks Durant Knee Injury

Dr. Ajay Seth from Spectrum Orthopedics to talk about the knee injury sustained by Kevin Durant, what that means for him and the Golden State Warriors moving forward, and a possible June date with our Cleveland Cavaliers.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Cleveland Cavaliers beat writer Joe Vardon spoke with Sam and Brad Friday to talk about the Wine and Gold and what moves they may or may not make to solidfy their spot as one of the premier teams in the league.

 

For the full interview, click here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Vince Cellini from NBA TV spoke with Sam and Brad to talk about NBA Trade Deadline Day and the moves going on around the Association.

Vince also spoke about the matchup tonight between the Cavaliers and Knicks tonight at the Q. Sam and Brad are broadcasting live ahead of the game.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Indians beat writer for the Elyria Chronicle Telegram Chris Assenheimer spoke with Sam and Brad to talk about the Indians as they train in Goodyear, AZ.

He says with all the strengths the Indians have, it's the depth of the outfield which remains the most concerning.

 

The full interview can be heard right here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Tuesday, 21 February 2017 15:05

AUDIO STVM Ready For Hoover, Tournament

The Fighting Irish of STVM will be getting ready to face the Vikings of North Canton Hoover tonight at LeBron James Arena.

The Irish are coming off a big win last week against Jackson, but they're not looking in the rear view. Coach Dru Joyce II of the Irish joined Sam and Brad Tuesday.

 

For the full interview, click here. 

 

Published in Sam and Brad

Steve King from BrownsDailyDose.com spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell to talk about some of the Browns' free agency and draft needs.

The NFL Combine is at the end of the month and the Browns have the #1 and #12 picks in the NFL Draft in April.

 

For the full interview, click here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Friday, 17 February 2017 14:58

AUDIO TK Griffith Talking Hoban Hoops

Hoban head basketball coach TK Griffith spoke with Sam and Brad Friday to talk about the team as they head into their game with Padua Fransiscan tonight.

 

For the full interview, click here.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 16 February 2017 16:39

AUDIO Indians Ready For Spring Training

Indians reporter Zack Meisel from Cleveland.com and the Cleveland Plain Dealer spoke with Sam Bourquin and Brad Russell to talk about the Cleveland Indians as they head into the spring training season.

 

For the full interview, click here.

Published in Sam and Brad
Thursday, 16 February 2017 15:07

AUDIO Kent State, Akron Ready For Rivalry Game

Rob Senderoff, coach of the Kent State Golden Flashes men's basketball team spoke with Sam and Brad Thursday ahead of the game Friday between KSU and the University of Akron.

Tomorrow's game is sold out at Akron's James A. Rhodes Arena and can be seen on the ESPN family of networks.

The Flashes are 14-12 overall and 6-7 in the MAC. 

 

University of Akron head basketball coach Keith Dambrot also spoke with Sam and Brad as well to offer his take on tomorrow's contest.

 

 The Zips are 22-4 overall and 12-1 in the MAC.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

As we here at 1590 WAKR continue to celebrate Black History Month, we caught up with one of our community's most influential athletes, Akron native Butch Reynolds, who is doing some fantastic things in the community, both in Akron and Columbus.

He talked with Sam and Brad Wednesday about the importance of giving back to the community and how it all starts with our youths.

A graduate of Archbishop Hoban High School here in town,  Reynolds is currently a coach of track and field at Ohio Dominican University in Columbus, and is involved in various community initiatives, including the Butch Reynolds Care For Kids Foundation.

He represented the United States in track and field in the 1988 Seoul Olympics, where he picked up a gold medal in the 4x400 relay and a silver in the 400 meters.

For the full interview, click here.

 

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 16:03

AUDIO Fred McLeod Talking Wine & Gold

Cavaliers play-by-play man Fred McLeod from Fox Sports Ohio spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday to talk about the team's workmanlike win over Minnesota Tuesday and their game tonight against the Indiana Pacers.

  

 The full interview can be heard below.

 

Published in Sam and Brad
Wednesday, 15 February 2017 15:13

AUDIO Buchtel Ready For Ellet, City Championship

Steve White, the head coach of the Buchtel Griffins, spoke with Sam and Brad Wednesday ahead of the City Series Boys Basketball Championship Friday with the Ellet Orangemen.

 

Published in Sam and Brad

The Barberton Magics are getting ready to hit the hardwood tonight against Kent Roosevelt in a Suburban League tilt.

The Magics will be getting ready to head to Copley for a playoff matchup against the Indians in March.

Head coach for Barberton Jack Greynolds Jr says things are going well in the Magic City for his team.

For the full interview, click here. 

Published in Sam and Brad
Page 1 of 9