Wheeling, W, Va. (WTRF) – Believe it or not, the last time the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend took place in the Friendly City was back in 2019. Now after a 2 year hiatus, the tradition will be for the 44th occasion.

“It’s a very good thing to come out of the pandemic and bring something like this for the Ohio Valley,” Ogden Newspapers Race Director Joe Lovell said.

…And talk about a half marathon junkie. Despite not having the race for 2 years, that didn’t stop Larry Zalewski who has ran in the event for over 30 years.

“I still came down at race day. I wouldn’t start the race at 8 o’clock in the morning as usual but I would come down at 11 in the morning and I would do the full course; the actual course; meaning going up 21st Street and finishing the last hill up at Wheeling hill and my wife would follow me and say prayers that I wouldn’t get hit up on National Road but I did actually both years,” Zalewski said.

The race returns with something to offer for just about anybody.

“We have our regulars who show up every year; obviously, and then we have a lot of female and male participants; a lot of kids. We have the Tiny Tot Trot for the young kids and we also have the one mile fun run for 10 and under the 12 under kids that’s a one mile run,” Lovell said.

Zalewski couldn’t be happier to see the race return so he can “officially” keep his streak of over 30 years intact.

“I’ve been waiting for this day. I love the course. I’ve been telling my wife I want some of my ashes spread at Wheeling hill at the top when I die,” Zalewski said.