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Streak continues for runners

Browning joins Harris, Cole who have run all 25 years

August 18, 2011
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG-The more things change the more they stay the same.

At least that is what Mineral Wells resident and long time runner Steve Browning believes when it comes to the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.

"I got out my log from 1987 and saw where there were 267 finishers in the race," explained Browning. "Now look at the number of athletes that come to Parkersburg to participate in the race."

Heading into the final two days of registration 1,022 runners and walkers have registered to participate in the 13.1-mile race that traverses the streets of downtown and southside Parkersburg. But other than the larger number of entrants, the race - which is entering its 25th year - has changed very little over its quarter century of existence.

"The course, other than a few changes because of new road construction, has basically remained the same," continued Browning. "The start line is still located beside of the Town Square parking garage and the finish line is beneath the railroad trestle on Market Street."

Browning is one of three individuals that have raced in all 24 previous events. Waverly's George Harris IV and Little Hocking's Randy Cole are the other two.

"We talk about it (having raced each year)," explained Browning. "There is some pride in the ownership of this streak. Not many can say that they have run all 25 races."

All three will race in the same age division this year as Harris and Browning turned 50 over the past year while Cole was 53 when he finished in 1 hour, 39 minutes and 31 seconds last August.

Harris posted a time of 1:49:07 while Browning crossed the Market Street finish line in 1:56:08.

"None of us are able to run the times we did in the past, but none of us run it for time," added Browning, who also serves on the Race Committee. "We just enjoy getting out there and being with all of the people we have made friends with over the years."

Which includes meeting up with friends and family at the Pasta Dinner on Friday evening and the Pizza Luncheon Saturday after the race.

"I've gone to a lot of races around the country and there is no race that gives runners a better value than this one. The organization is as good as any race and the awards are nice."

Awards that include $3,000 for the first overall male and female as well as other cash awards and trophies given to other runners and walkers. Racers are also treated to more than a dozen water stops along the course that offer water, gatorade and wet sponges and a fully staffed medical tent at the finish line.



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