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Virus Concerns Cancel Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend; Half Marathon, Tough as Nails to Return in 2021

File Photo - Participants scale the Walls of Fort Henry near the finish line of the 2019 Tough as Nails Urban Challenge. After both this year’s Tough as Nails and the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic on Memorial Day weekend, post-race parties will provide music, food and drink to keep the fun rolling.

WHEELING — Due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 coronavirus and new federal guidelines limiting crowd size, the 2020 Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend sponsored by WVU Medicine, originally set for May 23-24, has been canceled.

The Wellness Weekend consists of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, which has traveled the streets of Wheeling without interruption for the past 43 years, along with the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan and the Ohio Valley Trail Partners Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour.

It also includes a 5K run and walk along with two events for children — the Ogden Fun Run and the OV Parent Tiny Tot Trot.

The decision to cancel the Wellness Weekend came after much deliberation and consultation with city and public health officials, event organizers said.

“The health and safety of our community of runners, walkers, tiny tots, Tough as Nails participants and cyclists — along with our fans, staff, medical professionals and volunteers — are of the utmost importance in everything we do,” said Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register.

“Therefore, with all that we’re learning each day about the COVID-19, we knew that the right thing to do was cancel this year’s events now and start planning for next year.”

Nardo said Wellness Weekend organizers are working through the details now that the event has been canceled, and noted that more information soon will be available on the Wellness Weekend website, ogdenwellnessweekend.com, for those who already had signed up to participate in the events.

“We know everyone was looking forward to the Wellness Weekend to kick off the summer, and especially to the improvements we made for the second running of the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan, but we made the right decision in canceling the events,” Nardo said. “We thank all of our sponsors for their continued support and look forward to working with them as we prepare an even bigger and better Wellness Weekend in 2021.”

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