Ogden Wellness Weekend Kicks Off Today With the Half Marathon Classic in Downtown Wheeling
Ogden Wellness Weekend Gets Wheeling Moving
WHEELING — After months of training and preparing to run 13.1 miles of one of the toughest half marathon courses in the nation, race day is finally here.
Those brave souls who are walking 13.1 miles this morning as part of the 43rd running of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic will step off at 7:30 a.m. from the start/finish line at 14th and Main streets. The lead walkers will return more than two hours later after conquering the course.
The hundreds of runners will take their marks at 8 a.m., quickly catching the bulk of the walkers. The first group of runners will make their way back downtown about an hour and 15 minutes later.
Race organizers are asking community members to get out and support the runners and walkers along the course. After leaving downtown on Main Street, the race heads through Center and South Wheeling, up 29th Street into Bethlehem, down Bethlehem Boulevard into Elm Grove, and then along National Road through the Leatherwood, Woodsdale and Fulton neighborhoods before climbing Wheeling Hill to the downhill finish at 14th and Main streets.
In the meantime, the 5K Run and Walk for Health will take place, starting at 8:15 a.m. The Ogden Fun Run — a 1-mile course through downtown — launches at 9 a.m., and the always-fun-to-watch Ogden Tiny Tot Trot, sponsored by OV Parent, will take place on Water Street at 10:30 a.m.
This year, Oglebay’s Good Zoo will be on hand, rain or shine, with a petting zoo for the youngsters. The petting zoo will be set up along Water Street.
The Half Marathon and its events will be the start of the inaugural Ogden Wellness Weekend, two days of fitness, food, fellowship and fun in downtown Wheeling to help celebrate the Memorial Day weekend and officially kick off the summer.
Following the racing events Saturday will be the recovery party, set from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. A DJ and two live bands will perform at Wheeling’s waterfront during the event, and food trucks and a portable bar being supplied by Carenbauer Wholesale Corp. will be feeding and hydrating attendees.
The fun continues early Sunday morning, with the 13th annual Ohio Valley Trail Partners Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour. The event pedals off from the waterfront at 8 a.m., with 10-, 30- and 62-mile rides.
Following that, at noon, is the inaugural Tough as Nails Urban Challenge. This 6-mile, 20-obstacle event will test even the fittest competitors with challenges ranging from climbing hundreds of stairs to scaling 8-foot walls. The challenges stress teamwork among competitors.
All of the obstacles for the Tough as Nails have been built by the staff at Seven Springs Mountain Resort, which annually holds its Mud on the Mountain event.
The Ogden Wellness Weekend is sponsored by the Ogden Newspapers and The Health Plan of West Virginia.
Today’s weather should hold out, with scattered showers predicted late in the morning. Participants should plan for temperatures Saturday morning in the high 60s with moderately-high humidity.
Sunday will see much of the same, except for an increased chance of showers in the morning and into the afternoon. The bike tour should see temperatures in the low-70s at its start. By noon, the thermometer could be in the mid-70s, with moderate humidity.
The Wheeling Police Department also has issued a traffic advisory related to the weekend events. Cars parked this morning along the race route will be towed. Motorists heading through downtown prior to 11 a.m. should prepare for delays as the race moves through.
On Sunday, there will be rolling delays for the bike tour, and then, starting at noon, traffic downtown will be delayed as the Tough as Nails gets underway. The traffic delays downtown, through Center Wheeling and from Wheeling Heights back downtown will last until about 4 p.m.
“We are really looking forward to a weekend filled with events,” said Joe Lovell, Ogden Half Marathon race director. “There’s something for everyone.”