The Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series and Summit Metro Parks announced a training partnership for runners taking part in the three races this summer.



The inaugural Metro Parks Running Spree begins June 1, featuring natural-surface and paved trails for beginning, intermediate and advanced runners. The format is similar to the park district’s annual hiking sprees.



The partnership extends the Sept. 26 marathon’s link to the park district. Previous races have included popular stretches through parkland, but this year’s course takes a different route.



“Many marathoners already train in the Metro Parks,” said Nathan Eppink, chief of marketing and communications for the park district. “So while we’re no longer a part of the course in September, we’ll be with runners as they prepare for the starting line.”



The Rubber City series also includes races June 27 and Aug. 15.



“We’re thrilled about the Running Spree and the continued partnership with Summit Metro Parks,” said Anne Bitong, president and executive director of the Akron Marathon. “The spree helps us support our runners throughout their training.”



Each spree participant who finishes at least six designated Summit Metro Parks trail runs by Aug. 31 will earn a wooden race medal on a commemorative ribbon — much like the medals awarded by the Akron Marathon Rubber City Race Series.



Forms are available now at runningspree.summitmetro?parks.org, and will be available starting May 15 at several Metro Parks locations and all Acme Fresh Market stores in Summit County. Rewards for the spree are free to Summit County residents. Out-of-county residents will pay $10 for their rewards.



The race series staff will host six group runs for spree participants:



•?June 3, 6:30-8 p.m. at Goodyear Heights Metro Park, Akron.



•?June 16, 6:30-8 p.m. at Firestone Metro Park, Akron.



•?July 7, 6:30-8 p.m. at Liberty Park, Twinsburg.



•?July 21, 6:30-8 p.m. at Silver Creek Metro Park, Norton.



•?Aug. 4, 6:30-9 p.m., Towpath Trail (Big Bend), Akron.



•?Aug. 18, 6:30-9 p.m., Towpath Trail (Memorial Parkway), Akron.