‘Scatterday Challenge’ Seeks Fittest of Fit for Wellness Weekend in Wheeling

12:19 pm Sunday, April 7, 2019

WHEELING – It’s a challenge the late R. “Scat” Scatterday would be proud to have his name on — running or walking a 13.1-mile half marathon, biking either 10 miles or 30 miles and then participating in a 6-mile, 20-obstacle urban challenge.

For most active people, that would be at least three weekends’ worth of physical activity. For the rest of us, that might be three months. But for the region’s fittest of the fit … well, they will set out to tackle all three events in a span of about 30 hours.

That’s the task being put forth this year over Memorial Day weekend as Ogden Wellness Weekend organizers have announced the “Scatterday Challenge.”

The challenge, named for Scatterday, longtime race director of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic who died earlier this year, will consist of the following:

∫ Running or walking the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, set for a 7:30 a.m. start on Saturday, May 25;

∫ Biking either the 10-mile or 30-mile leg of the Ohio Valley Trail Partners Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour, set for an 8 a.m. start Sunday, May 26;

∫ Competing in the inaugural Tough as Nails Urban Challenge, a 6-mile, 20-obstacle challenge through downtown, Center Wheeling and East Wheeling. The Ogden Newspapers and The Health Plan of West Virginia, primary sponsors for the event, have set a noon start on Sunday, May 26.

Through April, competitors who sign up for the challenge will have a special price of $99 for all three events, said Wellness Weekend organizer James Gibbons.

Several participants already have committed to the challenge, and it’s Gibbons’ goal to have at least 25 competitors prove they’re tough enough.

Gibbons said the idea behind the challenge came through discussions with Jim Adams of Bike Wheeling and the Ohio Valley Trail Partners. Gibbons and Adams agreed it would be appropriate to honor Scatterday and his family “for all Scat did for his country and his community.”

Scatterday spent 37 years in the U.S. Air Force as a jet pilot. He also helped promote local events and served as one of the city’s biggest fans, never failing to tell anyone he met about his love of Wheeling.

“Along with being race director for the Ogden Half Marathon, Scat also was a huge fan of the Wheeling Heritage Trail Tour, and worked every year to help promote the event,” Gibbons said.

“We thought it was appropriate to honor Scat and his family this year, and with the addition of the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge, and bringing the Heritage Trail Tour into the overall Ogden Wellness Weekend, what better way to do that than to come up with a challenge worthy of Scat’s efforts. He always dreamed big, and we think this challenge falls right in line with what he would be thinking.”

Scatterday’s daughter, Wendy Scatterday, couldn’t agree more. She said “Scat” was always up for an adventure, and recalled that when she and her siblings were younger, it was common for him to come home and announce a spur-of-the-moment trip to go rock climbing, spelunking, camping, rafting or hiking.

“Our whole lives, he was always taking us on an adventure, always putting us to the challenge. He always encouraged us and our friends to get active, to be outside. Life was a never-ending challenge in the Scatterday household,” she said.

“The reality is my brothers, my sister and I, along with all of our cousins and childhood friends, have been living the ‘Scatterday Challenge’ our entire lives.”

Wendy Scatterday said a number of family members are planning to be in Wheeling on Memorial Day weekend and will play a role in the Ogden Wellness Weekend events.

She also noted her dad would love this year’s challenge.

“His whole mission was for people to be at their best and for Wheeling to be at its best. We were surprised and honored when the Wellness Weekend committee contacted us with this idea to honor Dad. He would be very pleased with this,” she said.

Those who take part and complete the challenge will be honored with a specially designed T-shirt being created by The Wheeling Feeling. Also during the events, Scatterday Challenge participants will have their own race bib to wear during all three events.

Registration for the Scatterday Challenge or any of the individual Ogden Wellness Weekend events — the Half Marathon, 5K Run and Walk, Ogden Fun Run, Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour or the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge — can be done at ogdenwellnessweekend.com.

The Ogden Wellness Weekend begins Saturday, May 25, with the Half Marathon Classic, the Ogden Newspapers 5K Run & Walk, the Ogden Fun Run and the Ogden Tiny Tot Trot, sponsored by Ohio Valley Parent. The festivities on May 26 begin with the bike tour, followed by the Tough as Nails event.

But the Wellness Weekend is about more than just the competition — it’s also about community. Both on Saturday, May 25, and Sunday, May 26, Wheeling’s riverfront will take on a festive atmosphere following the events of those respective days. There will be live music, a beer garden and multiple food vendors as participants and their friends and families enjoy the scenic views of the Ohio River.

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