Canton Marathon | Kari Willoughby

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: 36

Residence: Canton

Occupation: Volunteer, Weaver Child Development Center at Malone University.

How long have you been running? I have been running for five years. I started running for the health benefits and then I realized how much I enjoyed those long runs outside where it’s just you and nature! I strongly believe it’s helped me in all areas of my life; it’s a great way to get rid of stress!

Have you ever completed a marathon before? No, but I’ve completed the Akron Road Runner Half Marathon and the Cleveland Rite-Aid Half Marathon.

What’s the farthest distance you’ve ever run? 15 miles

Do you have a pre-race and/or post-race routine? I usually eat a banana and a bowl of cereal before a race … double knot my shoes … and I always run on the right side of others (not sure why, but it’s a habit now) … post-race routine is always stretching and chocolate milk. Do you listen to music while you run? Yes — A lot of everything! Anything fast that keeps me motivated!

What made you sign up for the Canton Marathon? I’ve always had the goal of completing a marathon and having the Canton Marathon in my own backyard seemed like the perfect opportunity to give it my best shot! It’s also been exciting to see so many friends sign up for their first 5K, 10K, half, full, etc.

Are you following a specific running program? Yes

Where’s your favorite place to run in Stark County? We are so blessed to have trails of the Stark Parks. One of the trails is directly behind our home! I also love meeting friends at Washington Square and running those trails as well! For those quick runs, running from Washington Square to the North Canton YMCA and back again is around 3 miles!

What is your motivation? My husband, Patrick, would say I run for the race T- shirts! I’m a very goal-oriented person and it’s something I’ve set my mind to do and I will work hard to complete my goal! And maybe the medal as well! :)

What kind of shoes do you wear? Saucony.