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Half Marathon numbers look good

Race weekend set for Aug. 22-23

July 17, 2009
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG-The field is growing daily for the News and Sentinel Half Marathon, Two Mile, Junior Races and Tiny Tot Trot slated to take to the streets-and Stadium Field-on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 22-23.The half marathon again will serve as the Road Runners Club of America's half marathon championship with the top male and female finisher each receiving a check for $3,000.

"Right now, I have 14 elite runners that have verbally told me that they will be here," race director Chip Allman explained Tuesday night. "I have several others who have contacted me, but none of them have given me their verbal commitment and there are some that I want to check out on my own."

Tuesday's meeting of the race committee, which lasted approximately two hours, gave members an opportunity to report to Allman and the rest of the committee on the progress being made in their respective areas.

To date, 14 elite runners have committed to run in the News and Sentinel race. Included among those are 2008 USA runner-up Becki Michael as well as a trio of Ethiopians-Worku Beyl (22), Buzunesh Deba (21) and Fikau Iemma (22)-Allman believes will be in the running for the title.

Discussions also centered around the starting line and the ceremonies to begin the 13.1-mile race.

Course coordinator Joe Corra explained to the group that the race will have four new markings for runners at the 5, 10, 15 and 20K points. Tom Kramer, who is in charge of banners and also coordinates the awards ceremony, reported on the banners to be used for each of the race's sponsors.

The only negative information on the night came from Allman, who explained to the committee that the "Cool Zone", which had been located in the finish line area, will not return this year.

"I hate to see it leave us," said Allman. "But, we will set up another water stop at that spot to try and make up for it not being here."

Allman also reported that he had received a $15,000 check from the City of Parkersburg for the race and expects to apply the monies to "a lot of smaller bills that we need to take care of".

Other areas of discussion surrounded the use of the Easy Rider Bus system to shuttle the elite runners from the hotel to and from the start and finish lines as well as providing special shirts for the staff which will man the medical tents located in the finish line area on Market Street.

The House of Music will again handle the trumpeters who perform the opening ceremony and a pep band will again entertain runners at the start line prior to the 7:50 a.m. wheelchair start.



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