38th Ogden Half Marathon was one to remember

WHEELING – From great morning temperatures to an Ironman’s gritty performance, the 38th annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic will go down as one to remember.

Philip Lagat of Kenya, running out of the Kentucky Running Club, captured first with a time of 1:08.57, nearly two minutes ahead of his nearest competitor. Wheeling native Colin Gundling, winner of Friday’s Ogden Mile and the 2011 Ogden Half Marathon champion, finished third.

For the women, longtime Ogden veteran Tammy Slusser of Monroeville, Pa., captured her first title with a time of 1:32.26. She was followed in second by former Wheeling Central and current Marshall University standout Kelley Mortakis at 1:33.48.

Ogden Half Marathon Race Director R. “Scat” Scatterday was left humbled following the race.

“This event is so wonderful for this community. … I just can’t say how much this means to the Wheeling area, and how much the support this community shows means to this race,” Scatterday said. “I just can’t wait for next year so we can do it all over again.”

The day was marked with many wonderful and heartfelt performances, from the tribute to Ironman Mitch Toto to those who ran for one of a handful of worthy causes. But the lasting memory for many came shortly after noon Saturday, when Ogden Ironman Steve Habursky, nursing a knee injury, finally crossed the finish line to complete race No. 38.

He joined several of his fellow Ironmen at Wheeling’s Heritage Port, where they were enjoying the awards ceremony. The dedication and commitment shown by Habursky – and many others – are what make the Ogden Half Marathon Classic one of the premiere running events in the region.