Many gathered in Wheeling Saturday for the 43rd annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon and what makes this half marathon stand out is the elevation.
The runners start at an elevation of 673 feet and reach heights as high as 1250 feet.
“I like running hills,” said Kelly Mortakis, runner in the Ogden Half Marathon. “Now, these hills are terrible. No one feels good on Wheeling hill or Bethlehem hill.”
And that’s coming from the female winner of Saturday’s half marathon.
Mortakis crossed the finish line in a time of one hour, twenty-nine minutes and 45.03 seconds, beating her record from last year of an hour thirty.
For Mortakis, this run is special because she follows in her mother’s footsteps.
“I used to come to this race when I was little and I can remember the streets of Wheeling being full of people and you had to crawl through to see the runners and my mom always ran it,” said Mortakis. “She can’t run it anymore, so, I feel like it means more to me to get out there and run.”
Bryan Morseman, the defending champion, was the first person to cross the finish line Saturday. Morseman finished in just over an hour and fifteen minutes, all while feeling under the weather.
“I was like up and down but it’s close to home and like I said, being the defending champion, maybe if I wasn’t, it’d have been a different call I probably wouldn’t be here,” said Morseman. “But it’s awesome to come back and do it, especially in the heat again.”
Although running a half marathon is quite the accomplishment, it’s the ability to give back to the community that participants value the most.
7News is a proud media sponsor for this year’s event!