Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic planning in home stretch

CLASSIC PLANNERS — Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic race committee members meeting to discuss final plans for the May 27 event include Race Director R. “Scat” Scatterday, seated; and standing, from left, Dave Monteleone, John Ford, Dennis Delbert, Jim Frye, George Frazier, Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, Public Works Director Russell Jebbia, Steve Habursky, Michele Rejonis, Arleen Owens, Co-Race Director Tim Birch, Cindy Kotsch, Bill Isaly of Mountain River Physical Therapy, Robin Weltner, Pam Bennett, Michael Angalich of Mountain River and Co-Race Director Joe Lovell. -- Ian Hicks

WHEELING — Organizers are nearing the finish line in planning for the 41st-annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.

The race, which represents the unofficial kickoff to summer in the Ohio Valley, is set for May 27 in Wheeling. This week, race committee members met at Generations Restaurant and Pub to put the finishing touches on preparations for the big event.

Race Director R. “Scat” Scatterday said sometime during the event, he plans to acknowledge road racing legend and longtime Ogden race ambassador Tom Fleming, who died last month at the age of 65 while coaching varsity track in his home state of New Jersey. A two-time New York City Marathon winner, Fleming ran the Ogden race frequently in its early years and helped put in on the map.

“He was considered the fastest human being on earth in those years,” Scatterday said.

Also discussed were efforts to ensure each and every runner is under the watchful eye of medical professionals to ensure their health and safety before, during and after the race. Wheeling Hospital is running the medical tent at the start/finish line this year, Mountain River Physical Therapy is providing both pre- and post-race services and, as always, the Wheeling Fire Department will be on hand for emergency transport, if needed.

“We’ve got a system to process each runner depending on their needs,” Scatterday said.

In addition to several physicians and resident physicians from Wheeling Hospital, Mountain River — which has offices in Wheeling, Wellsburg, St. Clairsville and New Martinsville — will have eight to 12 clinical staff members on hand to assist participants quickly with stretching, cramps and general recovery from the rigors of what’s often called the “toughest half marathon in America.”

“We get very involved with the communities where we’re at. … We’re really grateful to be a part of it,” said Bill Isaly, vice president of operations and business development for Mountain River, of the race.

Proceeds from this year’s Ogden race will benefit the J.B. Chambers YMCA, located in the Elm Grove area of Wheeling.

Registration is available at ogdenhalfmarathonclassic.com.

Race events on May 27 begin with the Half Marathon Walk at 7:30 a.m., followed by the Half Marathon Run and Run Relay at 8 a.m., the 5K Run/Walk at 8:15 a.m. and the mile-long Ogden Fun Run at 8:20 a.m. All those events begin and end at 14th and Main streets, with the exception of the Fun Run, which begins at 14th and Main but ends on Water Street.

Registration for the Tiny Tot Trot, a 100-yard dash for children 5 and under, begins at 7:30 a.m. and the trot takes place at 9 a.m. on Water Street near Heritage Port.