WHEELING — Don Slusser has run the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic before, but his knee led him to walk the course this year.
Slusser, 58, both a runner and race walker from Monroeville, Pa., posted the top score in the Ogden 20K Walk on Saturday. It took him just under two hours to complete the walk at 1:57:59.
“I love this race,” Slusser said. “I ran it in the early 1980s. But I’ve had some knee injuries, and I knew I couldn’t run it as well this time.”
Slusser said he trains by running 70 miles each week and walking 30.
And he noted he was 30 years older than his closest competitor on Saturday — Lee Stough, 28, of Glassport, Pa. Stough’s time was 2:02:04.
Bill Hitchcock, 56, of Martins Ferry posted the fastest time among local competitors.
His time of 2:12:10 was third best overall.
James Lapinski, 46, of Blacklick, Ohio, finished in fourth place with a walk of 2:13:12; and Tim Finkel, 53, of Marrietta, Ohio, took fifth place after posting a time of 2:13:45.
A pair of Wheeling residents were the next fastest finishers.
Mark Bass, 43, walked the course in 2:13:59 to finish in sixth place; and Carl Burkland, 31, of Wheeling came in seventh place with a time of 2:16:04.
Richard Shea, 44, of Marietta was the eighth-place finisher, reaching the finish line at the 2:16:15 mark.
Katherine Ervin, 43, of Quaker City, Ohio, was the top female finisher. Her time was 2:16:25.
Among senior finishers, Robert Lurty, 71, of St. Clairsville came in 91st with a time of 2:54:16. And John Ford, 72, of Wheeling was close behind, finishing 93rd in 2:54:48.