I was very proud to be a first-time participant in the two-mile walk of the Parkersburg Half Marathon. I was impressed seeing participants of all ages and fitness levels strive to do their best in whatever event they participated in. I was proud of the quality of the many volunteers, along with local law enforcement. The amenities offered to all the walkers and runners was great - awards, refreshments, dinner, lunch, aid tent, showers, etc.
From my perspective - and everyone has a different perspective - the only critical improvement that needs made is this: please allow all runners and walkers to finish the 13.1-mile race with dignity. By that I mean, please don't tear down the finish line until all walkers have crossed the finish line. I know first hand walkers finished after the clock, etc., was dismantled, and they didn't even know their finishing time, nor was there a crowd to cheer them across the finish line.
I would love to train to participate in the half walk next year, but I have reservations because I wouldn't want to finish - after months of training - to not be rewarded by crossing the finish line without knowing my finish time.
I ask the half marathon committee, and whoever else is involved, to please consider changing the marathon starting time to 7 a.m., or change the time of the parade to an hour later. The half is the highlight of the Homecoming to many.