More than Miles

Opening Ceremonies at Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens. L to r: Chuck Jones; City of Akron Mayor, Dan Horrigan; County Executive, Eileen Shapiro; and Akron Children's Hospital CEO Emeritus, Bill Considine.

October 3, 2019

On Saturday, Sept. 29, a 26.2-mile blue line united a community of more than 10,000 runners, thousands of spectators, hundreds of volunteers and 14 hospital heroes. Our employees supported the FirstEnergy Akron Marathon from start to finish. Literally. At the starting line, located at the historic Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, President and CEO Chuck Jones welcomed runners, including more than 100 employees who trained for months in preparation for this world-class event. Riding along the blue line were bike escorts Amy Hopkins and Tricia Ingraham, who kept pace with the full and half-marathon lead runners.

At mile .8, the FirstEnergy Hero Zone was filled with nearly 100 employees and family members cheering for runners and supporting our Akron Children’s Hospital Hero, Brayden McDonald, daughter of Melanie McDonald. At mile 5, Matt Kasinecz led our Young Professionals in staffing a fluid station to help keep runners hydrated. And to keep runners motivated, Dan Dutton, Brian Kern and Eric Shaw made sure Ohio Edison bucket trucks were parked along the route with banners encouraging runners to power on!

Members of our Employee Business Resource Group THRIVE staffed the first-ever sensory inclusive finish line to create a safe space for spectators with autism and other sensory disorders. At the finish line, Ohio Edison Regional President Ed Shuttleworth held the finish line tape and presented awards to winning runners.

Many thanks to employees, family members and friends who exemplified that this event is about more than miles.

Bike escorts accompany lead runners from key divisions of the race to keep them on course and encourage support from spectators. Included in the group photo are Amy Hopkins and Tricia Ingraham. Also pictured are retirees John Leuken and Steve Briggs.

Our FirstEnergy Hero with her fans, l to r: Brian McDonald, (Brayden’s dad); Debbie McDonald, (Brayden’s grandmother); Our hero, Brayden; Dr. Gregory Omlor, Director, Lewis H. Walker Cystic Fibrosis Center at Akron Children’s Hospital (Brayden’s Pediatric Pulmonologist); and Bob McDonald (Brayden’s grandfather and former Ohio Edison employee). Brayden’s mom Melanie McDonald participated in the marathon and ran in support of her hero and Akron Children’s Hospital.

Ed Shuttleworth holds the finish line ribbon with Grace Wakulchuk, President & CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital, to welcome the men’s marathon winner, Caleb Hoover of Flagstaff, Ariz.

MaryBeth Emerich of THRIVE works with a child at the sensory-inclusive finish line.

Mask makers joined in the fun by creating their own superhero characters.

Nancy Davis and her 4-H Club, the Hutch Bunch.

Hero Zone volunteers, Rosheadra Edwards, Christina Brunson and Patricia Sewell, with family members and friends.

Ohio Edison utility truck with Brian Kern encouraging runners to “Power On!”