Registrations up for Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic

WHEELING — With two weeks to go until the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, assistant race director Joe Lovell was happy to say the number or participants registered for the event so far surpasses last year’s number by a considerable margin.

Lovell met Wednesday at Generations in Wheeling with a dozen members of the marathon committee, including representatives from city departments, to discuss progress and to check that preparations were progressing smoothly. He also thanked those in attendance for their continued support.

Chief among the updates was Lovell saying he was pleased to announce the event has drawn more than 200 more registrants at this point in the registration process than at the same time last year. The 2018 event already has 529 registrants, while only 315 had registered by this time in 2017. The total participation last year was 835. Lovell hopes to top 1,000 registrations this year.

“Our numbers are up — over 200 more than last year,” he said. “A lot of it is due to the corporate challenge. … It’s a fun event of just participants — not worried about your time, just running.”

The corporate challenge began when The Health Plan approached Lovell asking to invite local corporate businesses to seek volunteers for the event. It eventually drew participants from WesBanco and Orrick. The business deemed the fastest will receive a “traveling” trophy that is intended to be passed around among participating corporations in the coming years.

“I keep saying it’ll be like the Stanley Cup,” Lovell said. “Do whatever you want with it for the year.”

Lovell said most participants through the corporate challenge are scheduled to walk in the 5K portion of the overall event.

Concerning the races, Lovell said changes for this year’s event include the addition of sand into the mix of paint used for the sign painted on the ground at the start/finish line of the event, located at 14th and Main streets in downtown Wheeling. The sand is being used to increase traction and reduce the risk of sliding or slipping if conditions are wet.

Additionally, the national anthem and commencement prayer will be performed only once, before the start of the first race, rather than before each event.

“We’re going to have one prayer …” Lovell said. “You go to a double header at a baseball game, they don’t do two anthems.”

The Half Marathon Walk steps off at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 26, followed by the Half Marathon Run and Half Marathon Relay Run at 8 a.m. The 5K Run/Walk for Health begins at 8:15 a.m. Events for children include the Ogden Fun Run at 8:20 a.m. for those 12 and under, as well as the Tiny Tot Trot at 9 a.m. for little ones age 5 and younger. The Fun Run begins at the start/finish line and ends on Water Street, while the Tiny Tot Trot takes place only on Water Street.