Join Us at the Blue Line: FirstEnergy Employees Run, Volunteer at the Akron Marathon

Akron Marathon

The Akron Marathon celebrates its fifteenth running this Saturday, September 23. The Akron Children’s Hospital Akron Marathon, Half Marathon and Team Relay presented by FirstEnergy is one of our region’s premier sporting events, attracting thousands of runners from across the country and beyond.

FirstEnergy is proud to be the presenting sponsor of the Akron Marathon benefitting Akron Children’s Hospital again this year. Check out some of the highlights for this year’s race below.

FirstEnergy Employees Get Involved

Community involvement is a top priority at FirstEnergy, and our employees have a rich history of volunteering. The Akron Marathon is no exception.

In addition to the FirstEnergy employees who are running in the marathon, half-marathon and relay, many more are serving as volunteers. Members of the FirstEnergy Young Professionals organization will be working at fluids stations along the course, and several employees are joining Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan as bicycle escorts for the runners.

Stop by the FirstEnergy Hero Zone

For the second year, the Akron Marathon will feature 13 “Hero Zones” throughout the course. Each Hero Zone recognizes an Akron Children’s Hospital “superhero” patient who courageously faces a medical condition.

The FirstEnergy Hero Zone will highlight Elise Bonsky, the six-year-old granddaughter of Jim Pearson, executive vice president and CFO of FirstEnergy. Elise is our hero because of her fearless efforts to overcome the obstacles of Alexander Disease, a rare neurological disorder with no cure or treatment.

We invite spectators to stop by the FirstEnergy Hero Zone, located at the corner of High and Bowery streets, where many employees and their families will cheer on the runners. We will have refreshments, sign making, clappers and the ever-popular cow bells.

Learn more about Elise and the other Akron Children’s Hospital heroes at

Meet the Runners

FirstEnergy employees Chris Wolny, Luke Anderson and Anne Lazzerini are no strangers to the Akron Marathon. As three of nearly 120 employees running, they look forward to this race each year because it is a staple for the community that attracts thousands of residents and visitors.

Wolny is a seasoned runner who got his start in the sport after a last-minute plea by his colleagues to run a leg of a relay in the 2010 Akron Marathon.

“This race definitely piqued my interest in running and I’ve since completed over 25 half-marathons and additional long-distance races,” he said. “Akron takes the cake when it comes to race day atmosphere and crowd support.”

WATCH: Runner Spotlight: Chris Wolny

Like Wolny, Anderson said he appreciates the crowd’s enthusiasm and support during the race. He particularly enjoys seeing the Akron Children’s heroes cheering on the runners along the way.

“I ran the half marathon last year and wanted to step it up a notch this year and run the full 26.2 miles,” he said. “I look forward to seeing all the kids cheering us on and getting the medal at the end of the race.”

WATCH: Runner Spotlight: Luke Anderson

For the fourth consecutive year, Lazzerini will run a relay leg of the Akron Marathon with her fellow employees. She has trained for the race by running 25 to 30 miles per week over the past several months.

“My advice to new runners is to just have fun with it and run at any pace that feels most comfortable,” she said.

WATCH: Runner Spotlight: Anne Lazzerini

FirstEnergy has supported the Akron Marathon since its inception in 2003, and partnered with Akron Children’s Hospital to become the presenting sponsor in 2015.

For information on this year’s event, including course map and parking, visit We’ll be sharing the race day action on our @firstenergycorp Twitter handle, and be sure to follow hashtags #runAkron and #ACHero.

See you at the Blue Line!

Last Modified: September 20, 2017