WHEELING — Pittsburgh resident Roger Brockenbrough has only competed in the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic Run and Walk three times, but the 75-year-old has a victory under his belt.
Brockenbrough finished first in the 70 and older age group with a time of 1:52:16 at the Saturday 20K race, during which runners battled warm temperatures on their journey over Wheeling’s hills and streets.
“The heat was a little bit of a factor,” Brockenbrough said. “I think I did OK, though.”
Brockenbrough, who did not start running until his early 50s, said the Wheeling course presents quite the challenge.
“I am used to doing triathlons (swimming, biking and running) events,” he said. “This is pretty tough.”
The overall winner of the Grand Masters category — those age 60 and older — was 62-year-old Bob Gracie from Cranberry Township, Pa., with a time of 1:37:27.
The female winner in the Grand Masters category was Marilyn McKinley, 62, of Pittsburgh, with a time of 2:07:06.
Finishing second in the Grand Masters category was Bellefontaine, Ohio, resident Michael Kennedy, who finished with a time of 1:41:29.
The 61-year-old enjoys running in front of the Wheeling crowd.
“The people here in West Virginia treat us well,” he said.
“It is nice to have people out cheering you along.”
Steve Habursky — a member of the exclusive “Ironman” club, members of which have competed in all 34 of the 20K races since 1977 — finished with a time of 1:47:17.
The 61-year-old also said the heat was a factor in the competition.
“It was really hot out there. As soon as we started up 29th Street Hill, I knew it was going to be tough,” he said.
Habursky noted he will keep racing in the Ogden 20K “for as long as I can.”
Zeke Howard, 63 of Ashland, Ohio, said he has competed in each 20K race since 1992 because he loves the challenging course.
“Wheeling has the toughest course I have ever been on,” he said.
“The first hill on 29th Street is always the toughest.”