WHEELING - What were you doing in May 1977?
Dr. John Holloway, Paul Exley, David Fiorilli, Grant Marx, Joe Kubik, Steve Habursky, Mitch Toto, Tim Cogan, Larry Jones, Bruce Kirby, David Claypool, Ted Rouse, Pat Cronin, the Rev. Bob Cole and Mike LeMasters were busy getting ready to run in Wheeling's inaugural distance race.
Members of this select group, known as the Ironmen, are now getting ready to run their 35th Wheeling race as part of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, set for May 27-28.
Photo by Casey Junkins
Preparations for the May 27-28 Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic are under way throughout Wheeling. Preparing to run their 35th race are these “Ironmen.” In front from left are Dr. John Holloway, Paul Exley, David Fiorilli, Grant Marx, Joe Kubik, Steve Habursky, Mitch Toto and Race Director R. “Scat” Scatterday. In back are Jim Holt, Wheeling Jesuit University vice president for institutional advancement, and Ironmen Tim Cogan, Larry Jones, Bruce Kirby, David Claypool, Ted Rouse and Pat Cronin.
"These guys ran that very first race and have run each and every race since," said R. "Scat" Scatterday, race director. "By virtue of their endurance, they are strong individuals, both physically and mentally."
Lending an extra hand to the Ironmen this year is Wheeling Jesuit University. Jim Holt, vice president for institutional advancement, said the university is honored to help.
"We are very proud to assist with this great event," Holt said. "These guys are a great example of people using their whole person to persevere."
Also lending their hands are Kathy "K.J." Burley and Jeannie Wright of That's The Spot Therapy in Moundsville. The Ironmen are getting free massage sessions during the month of May and for the first two weeks of June.
"We are really happy to offer our services to the Ironmen," said Burley. "We are very impressed with their dedication and ability to overcome challenges."
Scatterday emphasized that several Ironmen have overcome "serious injuries" to kept their prestigious streaks intact.
"Whenever these guys quit, they will become hall-of-famers." Scatterday added.
The Ironmen will face a slightly greater test this year because the course is 0.7 miles longer than the previous 20K course, with the added distance in South Wheeling.
Scatterday said the main reason for changing the former 20K race to a half marathon was because the new race can attract a larger crowd.
Along with the new course, Scatterday said there are some significant changes in the race timing process that will allow competitors to receive their official times in a much faster manner.
Proceeds from the 35th annual race will be used to fund an ongoing scholarship for two student-athletes and also to honor the memory of the late Howard Corcoran, former Ogden race director and Super Six state football championship co-chair. The awards will be presented annually to some top student-athletes, via the Super Six Committee.
This will mark the second year the Ogden race has donated its proceeds to a local charitable cause. Last year, race organizers presented $17,140 to the Miracle Field of the Ohio Valley.
The half marathon events start Friday, May 27, with the Veterans' Torch Relay, the OV Parent Tiny Tot Trot, Ogden Fun Run and Ogden Mile.
Though preparations are still under way, Scatterday hopes to have U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., lead the torch relay, just as Manchin has in previous years while serving as governor. Scatterday has also requested to have a Black Hawk helicopter land on the Heritage Port stage Friday night.
For more information on the Ogden race or to register, visit www.ogdenhalfmarathonclassic.com.