Canton Marathon | Bob Kroupa

More than 6,000 registered participants are expected for the inaugural Canton Marathon on June 17. More than 500 already have signed up to run all 26.2 miles. We asked 26 of those runners to tell us about themselves— and why they chose to run the marathon in Canton. Be prepared to be inspired.

26 runners for 26 miles

More than 6,000 registered participants are expected for the inaugural Canton Marathon on June 17. More than 500 already have signed up to run all 26.2 miles. We asked 26 of those runners to tell us about themselves— and why they chose to run the marathon in Canton. Be prepared to be inspired.

Age: 53

Residence: Canton

Occupation: Engineer at Summa Western Reserve Hospital in Cuyahoga Falls.

How long have you been running? In high school, I competed on the track
team and ran cross country just to keep in shape for track season. I did not care for cross country then because I thought that two miles was too long of a distance.

Have you ever completed a marathon before? Yes, my first marathon was the Cleveland Revco Marathon in 1981.That day everything went wrong, but somehow I finished. It would take 27 years to recover from that race before I decided to try a marathon again. Now since 2008, I have run 10 more marathons and I plan on running four this year. I definitely have the “Marathon Bug.”

Do you listen to music while you run? If I am running on a treadmill, I prefer to watch movies. If I am running the streets, I never wear headphones for safety reasons.

What made you sign up for the Canton Marathon? I have traveled all over the country running in different marathons and I did not want to miss one in my own backyard. I was hoping to be the first person to sign up for the Canton Marathon, but I ended up being No. 11. I’ll have to be faster next year.

Are you following a specific running program? Yes, I have a book written by Pete Pfitzinger called “Advanced Marathoning.” He has an 18-week (45-60 mile per week) program in the book that works great for me.

Where’s your favorite place to run in Stark County? For my long workouts, I love going to the Towpath in Massillon.

What is your motivation? A marathon is hard and I know that around mile 20-22 it gets really hard. Hitting the wall does happen, and it takes a lot of effort to finish the last couple of miles, but when you finally cross the finish line it is a feeling of total accomplishment. There is nothing as satisfying as when they place the finisher’s medal around your neck and you know you have done something that most people would think you are nuts for even trying.

What kind of shoes do you wear? Mizuno – Wave Precision 12. Three to four pair every year. I am trying to be Second Sole’s best customer.