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Streets Come Alive

May 25, 2012
Times Leader

COMPETITORS, take your mark.

And with that, the 36th Annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic will commence.

The distance extravaganza has blossomed into a rite of summer in the Ohio Valley, more precisely Memorial Day Weekend. The classic brings with it countless entrants, spectators and well-wishers to the Ohio Valley.

The race has aged gracefully over nearly four decades. In its infancy, it was simply a distance race, one of the most demanding 12.4-mile courses in the nation, challenging champion and novice entrants alike.

Today, the Ogden Classic features so much more. The race also supports a worthwhile project as all the proceeds benefit the Miracle League of the Ohio Valley.

The Ogden event has morphed into a weekend festival.

For the second straight year, it will be contested as a half-marathon.

Activities for young and old alike get under way today and continue through the half-marathon. It has grown in stature so much that it is has added a Torch Relay, the official starting point of the weekend, to honor military personnel.

One of the sidelights each year is the dedication and dogged determination of The Ironmen -- a group of dwindling (now 13) competitors who have competed in all 35 previous Ogden races, a most notable achievement.

Mix in the Tiny Tot Trot with tonight's Fun Run, Ogden Mile and Masters Mile and a full running menu is served up to those of all ages.

Saturday is no time to sleep in as activities commence at 7:30 a.m. with the start of the Half Marathon Classic Walk, setting the stage for the headline event -- the half-marathon -- at 8 a.m. The curtain closer will be 5K Run/Walk at 8:15.

Race officials put a championship bow on all the competition at the 11:30 a.m. awards ceremony, a fitting reward for months of torturous training.

We urge the Ohio Valley to come out and cheer on all the competitors -- they deserve our support.

We wish all entrants the best of luck, and we commend race officials for putting on an annual classic in every sense of the word.



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