WHEELING -- An extra seven-tenths of a mile proved more of a challenge for some than others during Saturday's Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic Run and Walk.
At 13.1 miles, the race is 0.7 miles longer than the previous 20K course, with the added distance in South Wheeling.
In becoming the first American-born runner to win the Wheeling distance race since Jon Sinclair won back-to-back Ogden titles in 1982-83, Friendly City native Colin Gundling said the extra 0.7 miles was not much of a factor in his victorious run.
"I have run it several times. I had better training this year," he said after blistering to the finish line in 1:20:25.
Allen Olexa of Neffs finished second in the 55-59 age group with a time of 1:39:50. He said the 0.7 miles did not make much difference.
"This is my third half marathon in the past seven weeks, so I am used to it," Olexa said.
However, Danielle Wilson of Wheeling had a different take on the matter.
"The added distance was a factor. I did not like going so far before the (29th Street) Hill," she said. "I'll still be back to do it again, though."
James Wallace of Bellaire said taking the extra loop before heading up the 29th Street incline "loomed large."
"I should have trained more for that," he said after finishing third in the 25-29 age group with a time of 1:36:27.
Brian Meyer of Chagin Falls, Ohio said the added 0.7 milles was a challenge, but he was glad it came near the beginning of the race.
George Frazier of Wheeling said having the extra mileage at the beginning of the run was actually better in terms of preparing for 29th Street.
"It helped me get loose before heading up the hill," he said.