PARKERSBURG - A live broadcast of the 28th Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon race on 96.9 FM will be an added attraction when the event takes place on Saturday, Aug. 15.
"It will be a great addition to the race this year," race director Chip Allman said.
Allman also announced that Parkersburg Mayor Jimmy Colombo will be the starter for this year's race.
Art Smith, who is in charge of marketing and logistics for the event, said registration is ahead of where it was last year and everything is running smooth.
"Everything seems to be clicking along as it should," Art Smith said.
Race coordinator Abby Smith reported on the numbers for the event.
"We have about 400 for the half marathon, 150 for the two-mile and 59 for the walk," Abby Smith. "That was as of last week so the numbers are definitely higher."
The route of the race starts the runners on the corner of Third Street and Juliana Street in the downtown area. The course then takes runners through a few residential streets before the runners cross the Little Kanawha River near mile marker two. After crossing the river, the course tours the "outskirts" of town and takes runners onto Marrtown Road and Gihon Road, and past South Hills Golf Club.
The terrain remains anything but flat as the runners hit the southern tip of the course and head back toward town, extending the loop along Rayon Drive and turning onto Camden Avenue.
Miles 9 through 11 take the runners back across the Little Kanawha River along West Virginia 95 and back downtown to the finish line at the corner of Sixth and Market Streets.
There are currently 33 elite runners registered for the race. Eight states are represented, including W. Va. and four foreign countries: Morocco, Russia, Ethiopia and Kenya.
The defending half marathon champion, Julius Kogo, from Kenya has not registered yet but Allman thinks he will.
"I would be very surprised if he didn't come back over again this year," Allman said.
The top American male, Nic Schweikert, from Canton, Ohio, is registered for this year's race.
Allman believes the men's and women's open may be the best field.
"The open men's and women's field is as strong as it's ever been," he said. "We have many strong American men runners, but not as many strong American females.
"There is a lot of interest," Allman said. "The serious runners run the half marathon and the recreational runners run the two-mile. Everybody likes to be part of the homecoming weekend."
This year's race is the RRCA National Championship.