Success breeds success.
That is the case when it comes to The Parkersburg News and Sentinel's Half Marathon.
Last year's races, which included the 2-mile, Tiny Tot Trot and Junior Race, saw more than 2,000 walkers and runners cross the finish lines on Market Street as well as on Susan Gardner Track at Stadium Field.
The race will be in its 26th year-27 if you count the original race that was held in 1985-and it appears as though it will again be the largest race held in the Mountain State.
Race director Chip Allman and his committee got together last week and compared notes and, as expected, all is heading into the right direction as the group prepares for the starter's gun on Aug. 18.
"We're in pretty good shape," Allman told the committee. "I'm in contact with about 10 elite runners right now and I expect I will receive a lot more interest over the next month."
For the most part the names are the same among the group responsible for putting on the races. Taking over the duties of Race Coordinator is Lindsey Spanner-daughter of News and Sentinel publisher Jim Spanner.
"This might be Lindsey's first year as race coordinator, but she has been helping with the race for years," said Art Smith, Marketing Director for the race.
To date more than 130 entries have been received with the monster share of those applying for the half marathon. Entry forms can be found at dozens of locations around the Mid-Ohio Valley as well as on the race's website: www.NewsandSentinelHalfMarathon.com.
Defending men's champion Julius Kogo made good on his promise to come back and repeat the title he won in 2010. The Kenyan covered the 13.1-mile distance in 1 hour, 1 minute and 47 seconds to establish a new course record while Morocco's Malika Mejdoub made her first visit a winning one by crossing the Market Street finish line ahead of the pack in 1:14.44.
One must go back to 2001 to find an American winner in the race. Dan Browne of Lafayette, Colorado, captured the men's race with a time of 1:03.55 while Milena Glusac of Fallbrook, California, took the women's title in a clocking of 1:12.13.
The 2-mile winners were a bit more local as Tyler Cantley continued Warren Local's domination of the race when he covered the distance in 9 minutes and 40 seconds while Parkersburg's Kaylee Williams outkicked the field to win the women's crown in a time of 13:22.
So many participants elected to show up on Sunday for the Tiny Tot Trot and Junior Races that the race organizers decided to return the format to its past. Races will now be limited to one-year increments-1 & under, 2 & under and so forth.
"There is no secret to our success," explained Allman. "We have a very experienced and dedicated group of volunteers on our committee that care about the success of these races.
"Their knowledge and experience are what makes this event so successful year after year."
Like I said at the start-success breeds success.