Tots trot through Wheeling

WHEELING – Potential future half-marathoners gathered Friday evening in downtown Wheeling to race their little hearts out during the Ogden Tiny Tot Trot.

The weekend’s smallest road warriors, ages 5 years old and younger, raced 100 yards down 14th Street. The non-competitive event allowed children and their parents to enjoy the start of the Ogden Half Marathon Classic Run and Walk activities. As they crossed the finish line, each child was declared a winner and received a medal to proudly wear around their neck.

Wheeling resident Kristen Seamon, along with her husband Marc, brought her sons Brighton, 3, and Christopher, 7, to the race.

”It’s a family tradition,” Kristen Seamon said, noting Christopher was to compete later in the competitive Ogden Mile with her husband.

While waiting for the race to begin, 2-year-old Gavin Hibbits wanted to check out the Wheeling Police Department’s motorcycles on patrol on 14th Street.

He was accompanied by his mother Brittney, father Frank and 6-month-old sister Harper, all of Bellaire.

”We’re running the half marathon tomorrow and we thought we’d get (Gavin) involved,” Brittney Hibbits said. ”I love it. They do a good job with all the different events. … It brings the community together.”

Wheeling residents Adrianne and Jacob Manning both enjoy running and brought their children Elizabeth, 4, and Sarah, 2, to enjoy the Tot Trot. It was Elizabeth’s third time running the race and her sister Sarah’s first.

”It’s a family-oriented event, and it’s fun to come downtown. She gets to see her friends from school,” Adrianne Manning said of Elizabeth.

Two years ago, Adrianne noted, she was pregnant with Sarah during the Tot Trot.

”Later that night I went to the hospital and had her,” Manning said. ”Hopefully we’ll get them into running and it will become a family thing.”

Martins Ferry resident Tabitha Conners brought her children Domenick, 2, and Kataleana, 1, and their grandmother Karen McCracken to the trot. It was the children’s first time.

”I run the 5K, but this is the first time I’ve done something for them,” Conners noted.

The Tot Trot was followed by the Ogden Fun Run – another non-competitive race for children 12 years old and younger. It covers the final mile of the Half Marathon course and begins atop Wheeling Hill.