Donna Smith

More than 1,700 runners emerged on Monument Park at the Hall of Fame in Canton on Sunday morning. The Canton McKinley High School marching band welcomed runners of all ages and skills who took part in both a two and five mile race as part of the Hall of Fame Enshrinement festivities.

"The race has been a tradition for over twenty years," said Tina Riley, a race crew committee representative for sixteen years. "It's nice to have a mixture of all ages and expert levels, " Riley said. 

Runners were officially timed and winners received medals and other prizes. For several runners, this was their first time racing.

"The main reason we are here is to have fun and support the Hall of Fame," said Crystal McLendon of Canton. 

Her friend, Daisy Suggs, also from Canton agreed.

"I'm just glad that there are all kinds of age groups here today," Suggs said.

Water stops were set up throughout the race path by local businesses to help runners quench their thirst during the race. 

The winners were chosen strictly by the time on the clock.  The winner of the two-mile race, 17-year-old Alex Wind of North Canton, ran his way up the final hill to cross the finish line with a time of just over 10 minutes. 

Most runners and spectators agreed that it was all about fun and supporting the city of Canton as the Hall of Fame Enshrinement events get started. 

Festivities during the week include autograph sessions with the inductees, children's education programs, tailgating parties, inductee meetings and enshrinement dinner, and the NFL game on Aug. 5 between the Arizona Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints.

For more information on events and tickets, please go to or call 330-456-8207.