Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register, said the Ogden Half Marathon is partnering this year with the Super Six Committee to fund the male athlete and female athlete scholarships.
The two $1,000 awards, presented annually to the state's top male and female student-athletes, are given in memory of the late Howard Corcoran, former Ogden race director and Super Six co-chair. Nardo said this year's race proceeds will be placed into a trust that will fund the scholarships for years to come.
This will mark the second year the Ogden race has donated its proceeds to a local charitable cause. Last year, race organizers presented $17,140 to the Miracle Field of the Ohio Valley, a baseball field for special needs children. The field is being planned at the J.B. Chambers Interstate 470 complex.
"We are very pleased to be able to donate the race proceeds to the Super Six Committee to be used for an ongoing scholarship fund for student-athletes," Nardo said. "In previous years, the Super Six Committee funded these scholarships through its own operating budget. Now, our donation will allow the committee to use its operating funds to enhance the Super Six weekend even more."
Ogden Half Marathon Race Director R. "Scat" Scatterday thanked the community for its support last year with the Miracle Field, and called on local residents to come out this year for the Super Six.
"Even in these times of economic challenge, the community came forward and supported the effort of the Ogden race and the Miracle Field in Elm Grove," Scatterday said. "I fully expect that to continue this year, as the Super Six has become an integral part of the local community. And there is no better way to honor Howard Corcoran than by helping out the kids."
Corcoran died Oct. 31 at the age of 64. A successful businessman for more than 30 years, Corcoran was best known for his contributions with the Ogden Classic, as a member of the Ohio County Board of Education and also as director of the Super Six Committee.
"Howard's participation with the youth of the valley goes way beyond his race directorship," Scatterday said, noting Corcoran also helped lead the fundraising effort for the new performing arts center at Wheeling Park High School, which is under construction. "The people of the local community will stand to benefit for many years to come because of the work, dedication and love that Howard Corcoran had for the community and its youth. ... What he did is ongoing."
Wheeling High School Principal and Super Six Co-Director Bernie Dolan said the student-athlete scholarships and others are given as part of the Academic Achievers Awards brunch held at Wheeling Island Hotel-Racetrack-Casino each year during the Super Six championship weekend. The committee awarded the scholarships in Corcoran's name for the first time in December.
Dolan said even though the scholarships are a fitting tribute, Corcoran likely would have shied away from the recognition.
"His only concern was, whenever we did something new, how it was going to benefit the kids," Dolan said of Corcoran. "He would try to name someone else, but he was always the boss."
Corcoran worked tirelessly, Dolan said, to provide students with a top-notch championship atmosphere during the Super Six. When a muddy 2003 championship weekend threatened to keep the Super Six from returning to Wheeling, Dolan recalled Corcoran leading the charge to have artificial turf installed at Wheeling Island Stadium.
That happened in 2004, and the Super Six has been here to stay ever since.
Nardo said partnering with the Super Six this year was an easy choice.
"The Ogden Half-Marathon and the Super Six have one important factor in common: the people involved in both endeavors have worked tirelessly to make them solid community events," he said. "That's why partnering with the Super Six Committee this year makes such sense."
The 35th annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic is slated for May 27-28 in Wheeling, with the starter's pistol for the 13.1-mile main event set to go off at 8 a.m. Saturday, May 28, for runners and a half-hour earlier for walkers.
The events start on Friday, May 27, with the Veterans' Torch Relay, the OV Parent Tiny Tot Trot, Ogden Fun Run and Ogden Mile.
Scatterday said the new half marathon format, which adds about 0.7 miles to the previous 20K course, should give the event more widespread exposure and boost participation levels. The extra distance will be added in South Wheeling, before runners tackle 29th Street Hill, the first of the event's two major climbs.
Photo by Ian Hicks
Pictured from left at Wheeling Island Stadium, the site of the annual West Virginia Super Six high school football championships, are Wheeling Park High School Principal and Super Six Co-Director Bernie Dolan; Perry Nardo, general manager of The Intelligencer and Wheeling News-Register; and R. “Scat” Scatterday, race director for the Ogden Newspapers Half-Marathon Classic Run and Walk