The Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic encourages families to include their youngest members in race festivities on Friday during the Ogden Tot Trot and Ogden Fun Run.
Children ages 5 and under are invited to participate in the Tiny Tot Trot, a free, non-competitive event that allows little runners to race down the final 100 yards of so of the half marathon course on 14th Street. Registration begins at 5 p.m. at the tent outside WesBanco Arena, where each child will receive a nylon drawstring backpack filled with items provided by the Tot Trot sponsors, while supplies last. This year's goodies include beach balls, cups, sandwich containers and flying discs.
Final registrations will be taken at 6:30 p.m., at which time the Tot Trotters will be led in some warm-up exercises before taking their marks at 6:45 p.m. at the starting line underneath the WesBanco skywalk.
The Tot Trot is run in two waves, ages 3 and under and ages 4-5. Once they cross the finish line, the runners will receive a balloon and a "gold" medal declaring them "#1." Parents are permitted to run with their children. T-shirts will be available for purchase, while supplies last.
"We have so much fun watching the little ones. They are all smiles, although some take their running very seriously. Many families have made the Tot Trot a tradition, and we love to see the kids return each year," said Betsy Bethel, editor of OV Parent magazine, which sponsors the Tot Trot.
In addition to OV Parent, Tot Trot sponsors include Wheeling Country Day School, The Vineyard Church, Ohio County Family Resource Network, Children's Museum of the Ohio Valley, Steele Pediatric Dentistry, Easter Seals and Oglebay Institute. Some sponsors will have tables set up to provide activities for the kids and giveaways. Additional table sponsors include Ohio Valley Kids With Food Allergies, Children's Society of West Virginia and Child Care Resource Center.
The Fun Run, for children 12 and under, follows the Tiny Tot Trot with a 7:15 p.m. starting time at the top of Wheeling Hill.
The race course is the final mile of the half marathon.
Registration for the Fun Run can be done from 10 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. inside the Intermodal Transportation Center at 14th and Main streets.
There is a fee for running the race, and runners receive T-shirts. Parents are permitted to run with their children at no charge.