Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend Makes Return Today, Sunday in Wheeling
photo by: John McCabe
WHEELING – The fields are set and, as the sun rises over the Ohio Valley on Saturday morning, throngs of runners will take their marks to rekindle a valley tradition – which has a few new wrinkles to go with it.
The Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine kicks off this morning in downtown Wheeling after a COVID-forced hiatus in 2020 and 2021. Those making their way around downtown will be able to enjoy a myriad of events both Saturday and Sunday that promote fitness and fun for the entire family.
“We could not be happier to bring the Ogden Wellness Weekend presented by WVU Medicine back to the Ohio Valley community,” said Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register. “Of course, none of this could be possible without our wonderful sponsors and volunteers. I offer a huge thank you to them for helping us promote health, happiness and family fun in the region.”
The weather in Wheeling should make that return a pleasant one. According to the National Weather Service, there is a 20% chance of rain before 2 p.m., and the clouds will give way to sun by the afternoon. Temperatures should be in the mid to upper 50s at the start of the event and warming to the mid 60s by noon.
Runners of all ages will take to the streets of Wheeling on Saturday morning, some running farther distances than others. The Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic will hold its 44th race, with walkers starting at 7:30 a.m. and runners hitting the course at 7:50 a.m. Contestants will make their way through city neighborhoods from downtown to Elm Grove to Fulton, taking on some challenging hills throughout the course.
Those looking to get in a good, albeit shorter run will enjoy the Twin Pops 5K Run/Walk for Health, presented by Ziegenfelder. The walk will start at 7:30 a.m., with the run beginning at 8 a.m.
Younger runners won’t sit idle Saturday. A pair of runs are just for them. Children 12 and younger can participate in the Ogden Newspapers Fun Run, presented by Ziegenfelder. The one-mile run will take kids around downtown Wheeling. Children 5 and younger can join the Tiny Tot Trot, presented by Ziegenfelder, a 100-yard run on Water Street near Heritage Port.
Saturday’s entertainment will begin early. DJ Jan Jursa will spin tunes starting at 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. Also at 7:30 a.m. that day, the Ultra Bar, sponsored by Carenbauer Distributing Corp., will open. There, runners and spectators can purchase beer, hard seltzers and other beverages. There will be booths to check IDs and to purchase drink tickets and ATMs will be on site.
Also, WVU Medicine will hold a health expo Saturday from 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. inside WesBanco Arena. There, WVU Medicine will have representatives from nutrition services, women’s services, orthopedic and sports medicine and the Heart and Vascular Institute.
Another Fun Day Sunday
The focus of the weekend shifts from road runners to urban warriors on Sunday, as the Tough As Nails Urban Challenge presented by The Health Plan gets going at noon. The course will take participants a shade longer than six miles around Wheeling, sending them over, around and through various obstacles.
There will be a greater focus on upper-body challenges this year, as well as some added elevation.
Live entertainment is on tap Sunday, as local rock band Spinning Jenny will take the stage from 1:30-3 p.m. that day. Then, after another DJ set from 3-4:30 p.m., Pittsburgh band Jukebox will take the stage from 4:30-6 p.m. The Ultra Bar will be open starting at 1 p.m. Sunday.
The WVU Medicine health expo will run Sunday from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and food trucks featuring a number of different cuisines will be on hand both days.