24-year-old Colin Gundling became the first Wheeling native ever to win the Ogden Half Marathon on Saturday, with a time of one hour, 20 minutes and 25 seconds. Technically, he was the first person to win the Ogden Half Marathon, period, as the race changed from a 20K format to a half marathon this year, but no Wheeling resident had ever won the race before the switch, either. He is the first U.S. resident to win the race since 1983. Gundling is studying for a doctorate in physical therapy at Pitt.â†µ
40-year-old Jason Newport of Eaton, Ohio placed second, followed by Bryan Harvey of Leon, West Virginia; Dan Holland of Pittsburgh; and Sean Flanagan of Wheeling. Maria Busienei of Charleston, West Virginia placed tenth overall and had the top women's time.â†µ
The race goes around the city of Wheeling and is a staple of Memorial Day weekend there. It was originally known as the Elby's Big Boy Classic. Pirates owner Bob Nutting, whose family also owns Ogden Newspapers, was there cheering runners on.â†µ
The race appears to be attracting fewer top talents from outside the area than it used to - Gundling's time was 14 minutes slower than the 2009 winner, Mohammed Awol of Ethiopia, even though the course is now just seven-tenths of a mile longer. It was 17 minutes slower than the 2008 winner, Wogayhu Tefera of Kenya.