PARKERSBURG - The starting gun for the 26th annual Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Aug. 18 won't sound for another three months. But, that hasn't stopped the River City Runners and Walkers Club from preparing local runners and walkers to participate in the 13.1-mile race.
"This is just a chance for the club to get things started for those who want to run, or walk the half," explained Eric Stanley. "This is a 12-week program that the club provides every Monday night leading up to the week of the race."
The "chance" Stanley is referring to is the River City Runners & Walkers Half Marathon Training Program.
Photo courtesy of Eric Stanley
Runners and walkers head into City Park following the River City Runners and Walkers Club’s Half Marathon Training Program. Monday’s 5-mile course began at the park and took runners to the City Building in downtown and back to the park.
More than 100 runners and walkers met at the City Park at 8 a.m. Monday to take part in first stage of the program-the 5-mile downtown loop. The opening course took individuals from the park to the downtown area, around the City Building and back to the park.
"What we attempt to do is give the runners and walkers a base leading up to the half," continued Stanley, who ran cross country and track at Williamstown High School. "We provide the means, the run and a group to run with. We leave the rest of the week up to the individual."
The training runs increase by one mile each week with the entire 13.1-mile course being covered on Sunday, July 22. Volunteers from the RCR&WC man waterstops during each training session.
A Beginner's Running and Walking Clinic was also offered by the club and its 10-week course, that began on April 3, ends on June 5.
"What we attempt to do is offer a program that everyone can do. This is not a set program. There is no way that we could develop a set program with so many different runners and walkers. But, this allows for individuals to get an idea of what they need to do in order to prepare to run, or walk, the half."
The next two Monday classes (June 4 & 11) will begin at the City Park while the 8-mile run on June 18, will begin at the Rosemar Softball Complex off of Rosemar Road.
Individuals interested in learning more about the program can go to the club's website at www.rivercityrunnersandwalkers.com, its Facebook page, or visit The News and Sentinel Races page at www.newsandsentinelhalfmarathon.com.
Registration is now begin accepted with the entry fee for the half being $40 if postmarked by July 16. Entries received between July 17-31, will be $45 while all entries after Aug. 1, will be $50.
All entries should be mailed to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon at 519 Juliana Street, Parkersburg, W.Va. 26101. Registration can also be done online atwww.newsandsentinelhalfmarathon.com.