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Sharon Marks wins women’s Half Marathon walk

August 18, 2018
Steve Hemmelgarn - Sports Writer ( , News and Sentinel Half Marathon

PARKERSBURG - One of the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon's own was the winner of the women's half marathon race-walk event Saturday morning.

Sharon Marks, who has been one of the race directors for 22 years now, "used to run the half marathon all the time. But it's got to be 20 years since I've done it."

A new knee, though, two years ago, and Marks "decided to walk this year would be good, since, "she added, "I was going to do a marathon in October, and that's kind of the end of my walking career."

Article Photos

Photo by Jeff Baughan
Sharon Marks crosses the finish line as the Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon women’s walk champion Saturday.

Nevertheless, Marks' 13.1-mile walk on Saturday, saw her win the women's race-walk by margins of 11 and 12 seconds over her closest competitors.

Marks' time was 2:31.29, with the next four women all bunched up as Brenda Colvin was runner-up at 2:43.05, followed by Susie Fullerton at 2:43.40 for third and Gretchen Hill of Walker fourth at 2:43.42. No. 5 was a local too as Waterford's Linda Arnold came in fifth at 2:55.15.

The two-mile race director for the half marathon, Marks said she wasn't surprised she won her race Saturday. "I knew I was strong, but I also knew there were a lot of good walkers," she said. "The second half (of the race) when it got humid, then a few times the sun would come out, it was really brutal out there. It was bad. I definitely slowed down. I thought for sure anyone was going to pass me any second."

Marks led the other female race-walkers all the way. "They're were four guys in front of me and I caught one guy, not the others though, but I tried," she said.

Initially, Marks "decided to try it (race-walking) because I had the knee thing, so I've been trying to walk.

"We have a series for River City Runners that I've been walking, and doing pretty good. So I thought, 'Well OK, I'll try to walk this half.' But I haven't really trained probably as hard as I should have, and it was hard. It was really hard. I really have a new-found respect for the walkers out there, because that was very difficult. It's a lot harder to walk than it is to run - definitely.

"I use the strength that I have and I go as hard as I can for as long as I can.

"But I don't really have a whole lot of form, so I actually try to watch some of the better race-walkers.

"So now that I got to do it as a walker after being a runner all my life, it definitely is a different perspective. It was really special to win the walk and I'm happy with what I did, so I'm OK."

Marks, at age 60, had a lot of fans rooting her on Saturday. "I'm a teacher-coach, have been around town all my life, so it's nice to have that crowd support to keep me going; I really appreciate it," she said.



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