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Janie Davis Running Into Retirement

photo by: Photo by Joselyn King

Ohio County Schools superintendent's secretary Janie Davis prepares to run in her 32nd Ogden Newspapers Half-Marathon Race.

WHEELING – Janie Davis may be reaching the finish line in her job with Ohio County Schools, but she is not retiring from running or the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.

Davis, who turns 60 in July, is retiring effective June 30 as the superintendent’s secretary after 40 years of employment with the school district.

On Saturday, she ran her 32nd Wheeling distance race and she has no plans to stop.

“I just love to run,” she said. “It’s like second nature to me. I love the fresh air. I love to let my mind release.

“It is my time – my hour of the day. It’s my time to clear my head and I like that.”

photo by: Photo by Joselyn King

Ohio County Schools superintendent's secretary Janie Davis prepares to run in her 32nd Ogden Newspapers Half-Marathon Race.

Davis runs six miles – for about 60 minutes – each weekday. On Saturday, she runs 12 miles. When the weather is bad, she exercises indoors using either an elliptical machine or her spinning bike.

“But when it’s spring, summer or fall, I am outside,” she said.

She called the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic “a monster.”

“But once you get at the top of all the hills, it’s like heaven coming down,” Davis said. “Once you reach the top of 29th Street Hill – and especially Wheeling Hill – it’s like, I’ve got this now.”

She said it was one of the toughest years for training for the race. The sidewalk is closed along Wheeling Hill.

photo by: Photo by Joselyn King

Ohio County Schools superintendent's secretary Janie Davis prepares to run in her 32nd Ogden Newspapers Half-Marathon Race.

“I’ve practiced it a couple of times, but I hold my breath because I know how dangerous it can be with all the cars coming down,” she said.

“Bethlehem Hill – I didn’t practice it this year because there’s so much traffic. It’s where all the big rigs are. And with all the roads closed, it has been a mess.”

Davis lives in the Springdale area, and starts her Saturday morning run from there to Wheeling Hill. She turns around and heads back toward Claytor, along Washington Avenue to National Road. From there, she heads to Elm Grove, goes through the Elm Terrace loop to Elm Grove School, and heads back to Springdale.

Then it is time for dinner, according to Davis. She admits to having a sweet tooth, but she was recently diagnosed with celiac disease that precludes her from eating anything containing glutens.

Davis hopes to continue her running in retirement.

“God willing, if I can keep running I am going to keep trying because I really do enjoy it,” she said. “I’m getting slower in my old age, but as long as I can get out there and go I’m good.”

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