WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — What we know as the Ogden Newspaper Half Marathon started as the Big Boy Classic in 1977.

And while Elby’s has sadly left Wheeling in the years since, the enthusiasm for running through our sloped streets has remained.

Whether you’re an experienced runner, or taking those first steps toward fit…the path to wellness in Wheeling has always begun at the intersection of 14th and Main.

And with the Ogden Newspapers Wellness Weekend back to being an annual event, it’s time to start planning your Memorial Day weekend.

Anyone who’s worn an Ogden race number will recognize the 2023 events.

The half marathon will begin Saturday, May 27th at 7:30 for walkers and 7:50 for runners.

At the same time, the 5K Walk and Run will begin, alongside the Cherry Larry Fun Run and Tiny Tot Trot for the younger athletes.

An even more intense workout is planned for Sunday, with the Wheeling Heritage Trail Bike Tour and Tough as Nails lined up back-to-back.

As for what’s new…the Scatterday Challenge is making its return, only with a new name: the Ultra Urban Challenge.

It’s one of those things where you get a special t-shirt and bragging rights. Because it’s a pretty big endeavor to be able to do all three events, especially coming off the bike and then having to do Tough as Nails.

Joe Lovell, Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Race Director

But don’t expect the traditional Market-and-Main route this year.

The starting line will remain the same, but with the construction overhaul on Wheeling’s streets, where you’ll be setting foot isn’t finalized just yet.

We may be doing some different routes just at the beginning, and really from 16th Street south it will be pretty much the same course.

Joe Lovell, Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Race Director

The hard planning work, the events for everyone and the summer sun are all a big part of the yearly success.

But Lovell says one of the biggest factors in the Half Marathon’s iconic status comes down to geography.

They love the hills. They love to run the hills. Everybody says ‘if you change the course, we might not come.’ It’s that challenging hills of up and down, up and down going through the course, they love it.

Joe Lovell, Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Race Director

Something that even four and a half decades worth of change will never be able to flatten out.

WTRF is the TV sponsor for the packed weekend of fitness, which isn’t just about getting the blood pumping.

WVU Medicine will have their health expo in the shade of WesBanco’s lobby.