WHEELING — For two brothers, running the Ogden Newspapers 20K Classic not only brings back fond childhood memories, but it gives them a goal to strive for.
Ryan and Colin Gundling, who grew up in Wheeling, traveled from two different states this weekend to run in honor of their father, Val Gundling.
Val Gundling was born and raised in Wheeling and ran in the race throughout the 1970s, the two said.
Colin Gundling, 23, who now lives in Pittsburgh, said the Ogden race was an annual event for his family. Both brothers remember sitting on the curb waiting for their dad to cross the finish line.
“We grew up watching him in this race,” Colin Gundling said of their father.
Ryan Gundling, 30, traveled from Staunton, Va., to run the race side-by-side with his brother Saturday morning.
Val Gundling was a very accomplished runner, Ryan Gundling said, and the two are trying to beat their dad’s best run of 1:18. The two have been trying to beat the record for the last five years, without any luck.
They even came to the race Saturday dressed in ’70s-style clothing, hoping it would turn things around for them.
“We hadn’t had any luck beating his record, so we thought the ’70s look may help,” Colin Gundling said through his fake mustache.
The two came in just a few minutes short of their mark.
Colin Gundling finished 20th overall in 1:21:55:24; Ryan followed close behind, finishing 29th in 1:25:42:27.
Val Gundling, who now lives in South Carolina, wasn’t able to make the trip this year to see his sons striving to pass his time.
“He couldn’t be here this year,” said Ryan Gundling, “but we hope to get him here next year to see us run.”
Although they weren’t able to beat their dad’s personal record this year, the two refuse to give up.
“We will be back next year,” said Ryan Gundling.
“We’re going to keep coming back, until we beat his record,” Colin Gundling said.