WHEELING - Runners and walkers at the 37th annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic were listening to an eclectic mix of music Saturday to keep them on pace, power them up exhausting hills and distract them from aches and pains.
Matt Burke's longtime friend and running mate, Jon Short, got him hooked on running to the sound of 1990s gangster rap, including Dr. Dre and Tupac Shakur, although Burke prefers to listen to country music when he's not training.
"It makes you feel like a gangster," Burke said of his race day music selection.
Chris Ward of Wheeling was listening exclusively to Ke$ha while running the 5K. Ward said of the young, blonde pop star, "She's pretty wild, pretty crazy. She's got some dirt under her nails. She's my kind of lady, you know?"
Aaron Cochran relied on the lyrics of Drake and Jay-Z, along with other hip hop artists, during his first attempt at the Half Marathon Saturday. Said the Twinsburg, Ohio, resident, "It motivates and energizes me when I'm tired. The words give me strength when I'm sore, so I don't focus on the pain."
Wheeling resident Sally Brautigan was listening to "old school" Tupac while running the half marathon. She was listening to other music, as well, but she said of Tupac, "That's my go-to - always Tupac." She plays the R. Kelly song, "World's Greatest," on repeat for motivation while ascending the course's daunting hills.
Kristina Matyskiela said without music, she would have lacked the motivation to train for her third time running the half marathon.
On Saturday, she was listening to Rob Zombie, Flo Rida and Motley Crue - music with a quick pace to keep her swift and drive her to climb the hills.
"I'm a super beast," Matyskiela boasted.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Jacob Mayles opted for indie rock bands like Vampire Weekend and Arcade Fire to "calm him down" while taking his first shot at the half marathon Saturday.