Since our 2020 cancellation, we have been hard at work to make changes for 2021 that will improve your experience and follow the State and Federal guidelines regarding COVID-19. Together with the Stark County Health Department, the City of Canton Health Department, Plain Township, and the City of Canton, we will be implementing the following procedures in order to operate a safe and successful event. All of these details will also be available in the Final Runner Instructions on April 15th.
REMEMBER THAT WE MUST FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES TO HAVE AN IN-PERSON EVENT.
SHOULD THINGS IMPROVE WE WILL MODIFY THE EVENT ELEMENTS.
THE FINAL DECISION ON THE LOOK OF THE EVENT WILL BE MADE ON APRIL 2ND.
AS OF RIGHT NOW, HERE IS HOW THE EVENT WILL WORK:
48 Hour Health Waiver
We will require that ALL participants complete an online Health Waiver 48 hours prior to the event. Detailed instructions and a link to the Health Waiver will be mailed to you on April 15th and will be available at
No In-Person Race Expo
We will mail everyone their race bib, 4 pins, race weekend instructions, and specific details on what time you will start the race along with race weekend instructions beginning on April 12th. If you have MOVED since you registered please send us your new mailing address -
Limited Race Capacity
We are only allowing 800 Marathoners, 2000 Half Marathoners, 200 Five Person Relay Teams, 50 Two Person Relay Teams, and 1100 Draft Day 5K participants for the IN-PERSON race. We have a limited number of VIRTUAL spaces as well.
Parking on Saturday - Draft Day 5K
All Draft Day 5K runners will park in Downtown Canton using public parking. A diagram and directions for all garage and surface lots will be sent to you on April 15th and will be available in the Final Runner Instructions as well as our website.
Parking on Sunday - Marathon / Half Marathon / Relay
All Marathoners and those who purchased Preferred Parking will park next to the race site in two designated parking lots. We do not have additional preferred parking passes available. Half Marathoners will park at Belden Village Mall and will be shuttled in waves to the race site. Shuttles will run in a loop all day long. The first runner in the Team Relay will park with the Marathoners. Detailed parking / shuttle instructions for runners 2-5 will be announced by March 15th.
Runner Drop Off
We will have a designated drop off location / route if you are being dropped off rather than parking. Details will be announced in an email on April 2nd and will be in the Final Runner Instructions.
We have devised a system to keep the number of runners starting and finishing at the same time to a minimum. Remember we HAVE to follow these COVID-19 rules.
How it will work for the SATURDAY Event:
All runners will be placed in corrals based on your Pace Per Mile. You will select your corral on race morning.
Waves with a limited number of runners will be released every 2 minutes.
How it will work for the SUNDAY Events:
All runners will be assigned a Stadium Entry Time and a Starting Time. YOUR specific Stadium Entry Time and Start Time will be mailed to you along with your race bib the week of April 12th. You can see the Start Line Schedule below.
Runners will only be allowed in the Stadium at their ASSIGNED ENTRY TIME and not before.
All Marathoners and the FIRST Person in the Team Relays will start between 7:00am and 7:15am.
All Half Marathoners will start between 8:10am and 10:00am at specifically assigned times.
Half Marathoners CANNOT start before 8:10am.
The Half Marathon course will be run on the Second Half of the Marathon Course.
The Half Marathoners will MERGE with the Marathoners at Mile 13.3.
The staggered Half Marathon start will MERGE runners of equal ability together at Mile 13.3. For example, the 4 Hour Marathoner will be joined by the 2 Hour Half Marathoner at Mile 13.3 and they will run together on the back half of the course. The 3 Hour Marathoner will be joined by the 1:30 Half Marathoner, etc.
Remember...you be given YOUR specific Stadium Entry Time and Starting Time on April 2nd. This gives you one month to make arrangements if you had planned on running with others, traveling in a group, etc. and have different starting times.
We have created a system that will slowly release the Half and create the appropriate Physical Distancing required by the Health Department.
NO Spectators before or after the race are allowed in the Stadium. We have to comply with Stadium Capacity rules.
NO Family Finishers in 2021. Proceeds from the 2020 Family Finisher bibs have been donated to the Timken Family Cancer Center.
Those who are running BOTH the Half Marathon and 5 Person Team Relay must be runner #4 on their team. The leg #4 distance is 6.8 miles. Detailed Team Relay information will be posted on this website on March 15th and in the Final Runner Instructions.
Those who are running BOTH the Marathon and 5 Person Team Relay must be runner #1 on their team. The leg #1 distance is 6.2 miles. Detailed Team Relay information will be posted on this website on March 15th and in the Final Runner Instructions.
Those who start as a Marathoner and drop down to the Half Marathon during the race will finish at Exchange Zone #3 and NOT in the Stadium.
Start Line Schedule
Here is the Start Line Schedule as of Wednesday, February 17th, 2021. While this will probably remain unchanged, we reserve the right to modify this up until April 15th, 2021. Download the Schedule Here.
Modified Water Stations
We will utilize contact free water stations along the course. Each station will have 8 ounce bottles of water for you to take. Bottle deposit containers will be placed 200 meters past each water station for you to deposit your bottles. Please be kind and deposit the water bottles in the containers along the course.
Gatorade / Gel Stations
We will NOT have Gel Stations along the course. We recommend that you carry the nutrition that you used during your training. We will ONLY have TWO Gatorade Stations. One will be after Marathon Mile 11 and one will be after Marathon Mile 20 / Half Marathon Mile 7.
Neighborhood Cheering / Spectators
Letters will go out to all homes on the course requesting that they come out and cheer for you AT A SAFE DISTANCE. We will ask them to keep at least a 12 foot distance from the course. We will provide Course Entertainment in as many places as possible. We will also have 4 Spectator sections on the course for your family to see you. All details will be in the Final Runner Instructions.
No Stadium Post-Race Party
After crossing the finish line you will receive a bottle of water. You will then proceed out of the Stadium. Along the way be given a box/bag containing your finisher medal, fleece blanket (Sunday events), event shirt, snacks, and a beverage. We are working on a plan for a potential Distributed Post-Race Party at a variety of local restaurants. Final details will be announced by April 2nd.
Masking and Physical Distancing
All runners MUST wear a mask to enter the Stadium prior to the start.
All runners MUST keep their mask on in the corral area UNTIL 30 seconds before your individual start.
We are asking that you carry your mask during the race.
All runners MUST wear a mask after you cross the finish line until you exit the Stadium.
We will provide a mask to you if you lost your mask during the race.
We reserve the right to refuse entry into the Stadium if you refuse to wear a mask.
We reserve the right to NOT recognize your finish if you refuse to wear a mask.
We will provide a safe, physically distanced plan at the start, on the course, and at the finish.
We reserve the right to modify the race environment, based on COVID-19 conditions, that will allow us to safely run in-person. We will continually monitor and comply with State and Federal Guidelines.
In-Person vs Virtual
All In-Person participants have the opportunity to participate Virtually. Virtual runners who wish to change to the in-person option must contact us and will only be granted access if we have space based on our in-person capacity.
Q: The COVID-19 schedule does not work for me. What are my options?
A: We recommend that you switch your registration to become a Virtual Runner. We will not be doing the RING medal in 2022 and this is your best option to receive that medal. Other options are to defer to 2022 or to cancel. Please contact if you need to make a change.
Q: I gave an Estimated Finish Time a long time ago. How can I change that?
A: Contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We can change your estimated time for you. We will ask for proof of time from a recent race that corresponds to the new estimated time. It is critical that you are placed according to actual ability. We will discuss that in the email with you.
Q: I would like to run with a friend and start together. What can I do?
A: Any runner can move BACK to a slower corral to start with a friend. You may not move UP into a faster corral.
Q: I am running the Marathon and my spouse is running the Half Marathon. We are starting several hours apart from each other. How do we handle this?
A: Please contact Jim - - to discuss the options.
Q: My Relay Team is traveling together. Since we can't wait inside the stadium, what can we do?
A: We will have specific Relay Team instructions and options by April 2nd, which is 30 days before the event. Please be patient while we put the plan together.
Q: Can I wait inside of the Stadium for my friends / spouse / partner to finish?
A: No. Once you cross the finish line we will require you to grab your Finisher Box and exit the Stadium. There will be a few Spectator Zones along the course and near the Finish area where you can wait.
Q: Can my Family wait for me in the Stadium?
A: Unfortunately no. We will have several Spectator Zones along the course where we recommend they see you.
Yeah...a lot of this is a bummer. We wish we could have a "business as usual" event. Every other larger event in the Spring has been cancelled and we have made the best modifications that allows us to run in-person. We are fortunate to be able to pull this off. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. The 2021 event will also be the last year for the RING medal. We will move to a new design after 2021. If you are concerned with attending in-person, we highly recommend that you switch to the Virtual Option. Just let us know.
We believe it will be a great event as we return to racing!