Wheeling Businesses Set for Corporate Cup Challenge During Ogden Half Marathon

The Health Plan Looks to Defend Its Title

Photo by Alan Olson Pictured, from left, are Laurie Conway, communications associate at Williams Lea Tag, Emily Dailer, Wes Banco Human Resources Specialist, Kim Griffith, Senior VP of Human Resources at WesBanco Bank, Wendy Hodorowski, Marketing Director at The Health Plan, Jim Pennington, President and CEO of The Health Plan, and Joe Lovell, Ogden Race Director.

WHEELING — Last year, The Health Plan of West Virginia issued a challenge to local businesses to get their employees fit by taking part in the inaugural Corporate Cup Challenge.

The Health Plan CEO Jim Pennington is again this year putting forth the call, as he believes his business in downtown Wheeling will register more employees and their family members for the 2019 Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic than any other company.

The 43rd running of Wheeling’s 13.1-mile distance race kicks off the Ogden Wellness Weekend at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, May 25, at 14th and Main streets downtown. The Corporate Cup Challenge began last year as a way to attract more interest in the event from the business community.

The Health Plan did, in fact, capture the Corporate Cup in 2018, as the company had 160 employees and family members take part in one of the events on race day — the half marathon run, half marathon walk, the 5K run and walk, the Ogden Fun Run or the Ogden Tiny Tot Trot, sponsored by OV Parent. Pennington is confident his employees will have a strong turnout again this year and keep the Cup in house.

“We are looking forward to again participating in the Corporate Cup Challenge and defending our title,” Pennington said. “Our employees had a good time with it last year and we hope we can encourage more companies to participate.

“Last year, The Health Plan and WesBanco were well represented. There was a sea of green shirts for the 5K. It was really great to see that kind of participation from the employees and we would love to see more colored shirts in the mix this year. We challenge the businesses of Williams Lea, Orrick, Main Street Bank, Kalkreuth, Panhandle, and all others to sign up and participate. This year will be a great weekend of events. We are certainly looking forward to it.”

One new aspect to this year’s Corporate Cup Challenge is a division for companies with less than 50 employees.

The team with the most participants per division will display the Corporate Cup at its office for a year, receive recognition in The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, and earn local bragging rights.

“The winner will be based solely on the number of participants,” Ogden Race Director Joe Lovell said, noting it will not be based on where the runners or walkers finish in the race.

Lovell also said the Corporate Cup Challenge is open to any business, no matter where it is located.

For more information on the Corporate Challenge, call Lovell at 304-233-0100, ext. 208, or email him at jlovell@theintelligencer.net. Deadline for businesses to register for the Corporate Cup Challenge is Monday, May 6.

The Ogden Half Marathon is the kickoff to a weekend full of events known as the Ogden Wellness Weekend, which will celebrate the Memorial Day weekend kickoff to summer.

On Sunday, May 26, the day starts early, 8 a.m., with the 12th rendition of the Ohio Valley Trail Partners Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour. The event will feature rides of 10, 25 and 62 miles.

Then, at noon May 26, the inaugural Tough as Nails Urban Challenge begins, as competitors will tackle 20 obstacles over 6 miles through downtown, Center Wheeling and East Wheeling.

The obstacles over the 6-mile course are being planned and constructed by the staff at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, which annually puts on the “Mud on the Mountain” event.

The competition also will provide participants with a unique perspective of Wheeling, organizer James Gibbons said, noting the course will go through areas of the city that many people never encounter.

Tough as Nails, sponsored by The Health Plan of West Virginia, also will be fan-friendly, as spectators will have an easy walk to at least half of the obstacles.

But the Wellness Weekend is about more than just the competition — it’s also about community. Both on Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, Wheeling’s riverfront will take on a festive atmosphere following the events of those respective days. There will be live music, a beer garden and multiple food vendors as participants and their friends and families enjoy the scenic views of the Ohio River.

For more information on the Tough as Nails, the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic or the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour, visit ogdenwellnessweekend.com.

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