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Milhoans run across the globe

Married couple continues 8 year run of marathon racing

July 27, 2017
News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - Mark and Linda Milhoan have been married for nearly 28 years.

For about the last eight years of their marriage, the Milhoans have taken up running as a hobby, and it's taken them all over the country.

"In 2015 we ran a half marathon every month, plus we did the New York marathon the same year," Linda said.

Article Photos

Linda Milhoan, left, and her husband, Mark Milhoan, have run half marathons all over the country together for nearly eight years. Photo by Jordan Holland.

Added Mark, "We've been out to San Francisco, New Orleans, Chicago, Boston Try to make it a mini-vacation."

The Milhoans are planning to run in their eighth straight Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon together this August. Residents of Belpre, they enjoy supporting the local race.

"They run it really well," Linda said. "It's just a well-run race and the course is just different. You've got a little bit of hills, you've got a little bit of flat and it's just a nice course."

Mark said it stacks up well with any race they've run.

"For a small town race, they do a tremendous job," he said. "The crowd support, the water stops, they do it right. For your money, the price, it's well worth it."

Along with the aforementioned locations, the Milhoans also have raced in Niagra Falls and France. As far as the United States go, Linda says she's run in 15-20 states so far.

"It definitely gives us something to look forward to as far as trips and stuff," she said. "We're always looking for different locations, places that we'd like to go. San Francisco we did last summer and it was amazing. We got to run across the Golden Gate bridge."

The Milhoans never imagined all the places running could take them, but here they are.

Other than eighth grade, when Linda ran track and "placed one time and then quit," she didn't start running consistently until she was around 45 years old. Mark, who ran cross country in high school, followed suit.

"I blame her," he joked.

Linda actually started out just walking, but received some motivation from a lady with a walker.

"I started walking with my friends and somebody goes, 'Hey, why don't you do the half marathon training?'" she recalled. "We just looked at each other and laughed, like 'We can't run a half marathon.' We heard we didn't have to run it, we could walk it, and thought 'OK.' We started walking it (during training) and a lady was pushing a walker she was kicking our butts. We said, 'OK, next week we're going to stay ahead of her.' That was our goal."

"That just got us to where we could run further and further every week, and eventually, now I can keep running and do the whole thing."

Last year, Mark finished the Parkersburg race in one hour, 43 minutes and 13 seconds. Linda wasn't far behind at 1:53:09.

"It's a lot hillier than a lot of them," Linda said. "Nothing too bad, but it's one of the harder ones. It's not hard, hard, but it's a bit of a challenge."

Part of the reason the Milhoans keep coming back for the local half marathon is the camaraderie.

"We used to run in big groups," Linda explained.

"They're just a great group of people here. There's always somebody to run with. If you want to run, just come down to the park around 4:30 or 5 (p.m.) and there's usually somebody down here ready to run."

The Milhoans have two kids - a son, 27, and a daughter, 25. Both played soccer in high school, which requires plenty of running, but neither have decided to join mom and dad in a half marathon yet.

For now, Mark and Linda will continue to run together, and see where it takes them.



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