Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Corporate Challenge helps employees improve health

Robert A. DeFrank ON THE COURSE — The Health Plan CEO Jim Pennington is out Saturday with employees competing in the Corporate Cup Challenge during the 2019 Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic.

WHEELING — The 2019 Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic featured an opportunity for local businesses to encourage their employees to get in shape and stay healthy with the Corporate Cup Challenge.

The Health Plan kicked off the challenge last year, with WesBanco taking them up on it and competing in the race.

This year, Race Director Joe Lovell said Williams Lea Tag and Main Street Bank joined the competition as well. The Corporate Cup will go to the business that fields the most participants.

“We’ll probably announce the winner sometime this week,ã Lovell said, adding that numbers remain to be calculated.

The Health Plan finished in first place last year. CEO Jim Pennington was at the race Saturday and said his employees looked forward to defending the cup. Last year, about 160 employees and their families participated while wearing The Health Planás logo. This year, Pennington said he believes more than 200 employees competed.

“If we win, we’ll be very tickled to be part of the event. A repeat is always awesome. We have great pride in our employees and their families,” Pennington said, adding that The Health Plan offers regular opportunities for health-related challenges for employees.

“We have people in every event,” Pennington said. “We have the 5K Walk, the 5K Run, the Half Marathon Walk, and we had a couple people in the Half Marathon Run.”

“We had a lot of fun last year, and it was really The Health Plan that put out a challenge to us to see who could put out the most employees,” Todd Clossin, president and CEO of WesBanco, said. “The Health Plan beat us. They had more employees than we did, but we had quite a few people turn out, so we decided, ‘Let’s do it again.’ It’s the benefits of health and wellness and physical activity. The employees really look forward to it.”

He added that many employees are looking forward to beating their times from last year.

“We have over 160 participants,” Tony Piertranton, executive vice president of human resources at WesBanco, said.

He noted that this marks an increase from last year and said the employees were excited.

“An increase in morale and excitement. … It’s a really friendly competition, and it’s something that we can challenge our employees.

“We’ve formed teams within different employee departments and groups to rally other employees,” Piertranton said, adding that the majority of WesBanco participants had entered the 5K Run and Walk with a number of them running.

“We’ve definitely had more participation since we started the challenge,ã Brittany Birch, assistant vice president and branch operations officer at WesBanco, said. “I think we’re just competitive corporations, so that has definitely added to the participation rates. We have a whole wellness program they can sign up for. They can track their exercise.”

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