WHEELING - Students learn to prepare for a big exam, and that was no exception during Saturday's Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic as young people were spotted stretching to prepare for the challenge ahead of them.
Only running on two and a half hours of sleep because Friday night was The Linsly School's prom, seniors Benton Nanners, Luke Miller and Robert Felton decided to return to the race this year. The trio have walked the half marathon in the past, but this marks their first time running it.
"The camaraderie keeps us coming back," Miller said of the event.
Photo by Rebecca Olsavsky
From left, Ireland, Kenadee and Heather Wayt stretch before the 5K Run at Saturday’s Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic in Wheeling.
Felton added the support of crowds cheering for participants is a nice motivating factor.
For twins Kenadee and Ireland Wayt, who both just completed seventh grade at Linsly, motivation to run the Ogden race runs in the family.
"(Runners) in front of me keep me motivated," said Ireland about staying focused during the race, adding that her twin sister is sometimes one of those runners.
While the twins usually run the mile, this year their family - mother Heather, father Mike and 8-year-old sister Brooklynn - joined them in the 5K run. They're no strangers to the event, however, as they ran it when they, too, were only 8 years old.
"They shock me every time they run," Heather Wayt said. "They just have a natural gift."
And this year, their special gift led them past mom on their way to the finish line, with Kenadee capturing first in her age group, 14th overall, and Ireland, 16th overall. Heather Wayt, an all-state runner at Wheeling Central and an All-American runner in college, finished 19th, a handful of seconds behind her twins.
She said she's "accepted the inevitability" that her 13-year-olds are beating her on the course.