Project Best Is in Step With Ogden Half Marathon

Favede: Donations make difference in families’ lives

Photo by Heather Ziegler Project Best, a sponsor of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon, are shown with a $5,000 donation to the race. Its members include, from left, Eran Molz, Building Trades President/Operating Engineers #132 Business Agent; Bengy Swanson, Project BEST Co-Chairman/Iron Workers #549 Business Manager; Justin Klempa, Operations Manager ERB Electric; Tom Conner, IBEW #141 Business Manager; Ginny Favede, Project BEST Co-Chairman/OVCEC Executive Director; Joe Lovell, Assistant Race Director; and Don May, Bricklayers Allied Crafts Ohio Business Representative.

WHEELING — Project BEST is proud to be a sponsor of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, which steps off this morning in downtown Wheeling, said Ginny Favede, Project BEST co-chairman.

The Ohio Valley course is well known for its changes in elevation and often referred to as the “Toughest Half Marathon in America.” BEST is a longtime supporter of this event. The race will donate its proceeds to a local charitable cause that supports children and families.

The 42nd running of Wheeling’s annual distance race comprises several events, including the 13.1-mile half-marathon, run relay and walk, with hundreds of participants also taking part in the 5K Run & Walk for Health and the Ogden Fun Run and Tiny Tot Trot.

“At Project BEST, giving back to our community is more than just a catch phrase,” said Favede. “We work and live here too. And through charitable donations like this, we continue to make a difference in the lives and well-being of those who need our help the most.”

“Project BEST represents the construction industry as a labor-management organization serving the Upper Ohio Valley,” said co-chairwoman Bengy Swanson.

“Today, we have over six thousand of the area’s finest craftsmen and over 400 building trade’s contractors in our organization. We also serve the community with scholarships, partnerships, and apprenticeship programs.”

Project BEST’s $5,000 donation will support Laughlin Memorial Chapel, the beneficiary of this year’s race. The organization is an interdenominational Christian ministry, providing children and youth in Wheeling with afterschool programming, nutrition, educational enrichment and service learning opportunities without a cost to them or their families. Proceeds from the event will go toward the Chapel’s upcoming “Support the Bus” campaign, which will enable them to upgrade and maintain the bus used to transport youngsters to and from Chapel programs.

This will mark the ninth year the Ogden Half Marathon Classic has donated its proceeds to a local charitable cause. The focus each year is to help groups that support children and families. Since 2010, the race has donated more than $135,000. Assistant Race Director Joe Lovell said The Ogden Newspapers is extremely pleased to have Project BEST as one of its corporate sponsors.

Meanwhile, Dr. Enoch Chang, a sports medicine specialist at Wheeling Hospital, said being prepared for weather conditions during Saturday’s race is important for all participants.

“With the Ogden Half Marathon Classic quickly approaching (today), it’s important to be prepared,” he said. “By now, you should have trained for weeks, if not months, and should be well aware of your pace and limits. Unfortunately, with the long winter, your body will likely not be acclimated to performance in specifically hot or warm conditions.”

When looking at the weather forecast for the race, different sources report the temperature to be at around 70 at the start of the race and slowly rise throughout the day. The humidity is estimated to be around 85 percent and will slowly fall throughout the day. Although those are not considered extreme or dangerous conditions, they are enough to warrant some caution, Chang said. He said loss of fluid from sweat in an adult is expected to be about 1-3 liters per hour.

Chang suggests the following:

∫ Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, before and during the race to ward off dehydration;

∫ Wear sunblock to prevent sunburn which can decrease your ability to sweat; and

∫ Runners with poorly controlled diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease should be aware of their limits and have a low threshold to seek medical attention. Medications for these conditions also can alter the body’s natural-regulating mechanisms in running. Also, certain anti-depressants can change the way the body decreases its temperature.