Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Run and Walk organizers are taking steps this year to remove the stress from race-day registration, allowing those participants to concentrate on competing to their fullest potential.
Race Director R. "Scat" Scatterday said for the first time this year, the registration tent will feature seven computer kiosks that will be open for late registrants on Friday evening and Saturday morning of race weekend.
Scatterday said a typical year sees about 400 people enter the race during that period, and it's not uncommon to see a few people enter after the starter's pistol has already fired. This new feature, he noted, will speed up the registration process and immediately enter runners' information into the race timing system.
Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic committee members preparing for the 36th annual event May 25-26 are, from left, Race Director R. 'Scat' Scatterday, David John, John Ford, Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, Betsy Bethel-McFarland, Lance Tarr, Pam Bennett, city Public Works Director Russell Jebbia, Shellie Higgins, Scott Miller, Steve Habursky and Dennis Delbert.
Photo by Ian Hicks
"This is just one more way to ensure accuracy. ... It's going to make it almost error-proof," Scatterday said.
Preparations for the 36th annual event are entering the home stretch, with the 13.162-mile main event and 5K Run/Walk for Health set for May 26 and preliminary events including the Torch Relay, Ogden Mile, Kids Fun Run and Tiny Tot Trot kicking things off the evening of May 25.
There's still plenty of time to take advantage of pre-registration, and those who sign up by May 14 will avoid paying an additional fee on race weekend - $10 on Friday and $15 on Saturday.
Pre-registered participants in the Half Marathon Run and Walk, 5K Run and Walk and Ogden Mile also are guaranteed to receive a Dri-Fit shirt, which provides an improvement in absorbency and ventilation over the T-shirts provided in past years. For late registrants, Scatterday said Dri-Fit shirts will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
The annual Torch Relay honoring U.S. armed forces past and present begins at 4 p.m. May 25 in Elm Grove and traverses the last 6 miles of the Half Marathon course. It is followed by the Ogden Tiny Tot Trot, sponsored by Ohio Valley Parent Magazine, and the Ogden Fun Run.
On May 26, the Half Marathon Walk gets under way at 7:30 a.m., with the Half Marathon Run and Half Marathon Run Relay beginning at 8 a.m. and the 5K Run/Walk for Health at 8:15 a.m.
And as always, city of Wheeling employees have stepped up to make sure the race is not only enjoyable but safe, with Operations Director Tim Birch leading the way.
"All city personnel are ready," said Birch. "We've got this down to a science."
Scatterday noted the race is made possible each year through the hard work of its "experienced, competent and reliable" committee members whom he trusts to make sure everything is just right.
"My task on race day is to hand out water and just watch these guys do their thing," he said.
Race committee members include: Shellie Higgins, Wheeling Operations Director Tim Birch and Wheeling Public Works Director Rusty Jebbia, co-directors; Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball, course safety; David John and Mark Ridgely, aid stations; Fire Chief Larry Helms, emergency services; Leen Dijkstra, radio communications; Steve Habursky, Lance Tarr and Dennis Delbert, runner representatives; Scott Miller and George Frazier, finish line; Melvin Kahle and Chuck Scatterday, announcers; Betsy Bethel-McFarland, Tiny Tot Trot coordinator; John DeBlasis, medical services; J.T. Thomas, massage therapy; David Monteleone, signage; Jim Frye, torchkeeper; Michele Rejonis, race assistant; Ian Hicks, website; Kathy Fugate, registration; Terry Lewis, timing results; Rick Thorp, sports media; Pam Bennett, advertising; Dawn Kestner, graphics; Travis Mollohan, government representative; and John Ford, sponsor liaison.
In addition to the Ogden Newspapers, major sponsors for the event to date are United Bank, The Health Plan, the city of Wheeling, the Ohio County Commission, Project BEST and Panhandle Cleaning and Restoration.