PARKERSBURG -The walk division for the 28th edition of the News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Saturday, Aug. 16, will feature a pair of world-class athletes with the husband and wife team of Dave and Erin Taylor-Talcott.
The Talcotts, who reside in Owego, N.Y., are quite well known across the country and a Google search of Erin could lend one to hours of reading about her exploits.
"I'm her biggest fan and her biggest advocate," said Dave, who holds the American Road Race Walking Masters (ages 50-54) 100K record. "I do whatever I can to further her goals and it makes me happy.
Dave Talcott and his wife, Erin Taylor-Talcott, both of whom have represented the United States in the Pan American Games for race walking, will compete on Saturday, Aug. 16 at the 28th running of the News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
"She's a phenomenal athlete and she doesn't get the respect she deserves. Some people weren't quite on board with her doing the 50K (at the men's American Olympic trials in 2012) just because it was someone else that was excelling and not them."
Erin, who recovered from a broken neck in 2008 following an accident, currently holds American Open Road Race Walking records in the 25K, 35K, 50K and 100K.
"I'm excited for the Talcotts to come," said News and Sentinel walk director Donna Graham, who was instrumental in getting the pair to Parkersburg.
While in town, they will give a free clinic from 6-8 p.m. on the Thursday before the race at Parkersburg's Stadium Field. It's open to anyone who is registered for the half marathon or is a member of the River City Runners and Walkers Club.
"It's for anybody who has any interest in race walking or competitive walking," Erin said while adding that "there are a lot of runners who cannot run the whole time and have walk breaks.
"Everybody can learn a little something, have some fun and have a more efficient technique and go faster where they decide to walk."
Erin has competed for Team USA in two Pan American Cup races (Colombia, Guatemala) and one World Race Walking Cup (China) competition. Her husband was a member of Team USA at the 2011 Pan American Games and Dave also won the 2011 National 40K Championship for men, but was beaten overall by his better half.
"We have a nice little friendly rivalry. This year, I've got her a few times and I'm hoping to keep that streak alive," Dave quipped. "I'm looking to beat the wife."
For Erin, although she enjoys winning and that's always a goal, she noted, "I was brought up to be a little more inner-focused. A lot of times when I race, it's to try to do a better time or improve, and then win. You always want to win, but it's generally not my first and foremost primary objective."
Later this year, the pair will be competing in some of the longer national championship races and in December, there is the 50K nationals.
"Since a half is close in distance to a 20K, which is our international distance, it's a great training tool," Erin added. "I'm totally just about the luckiest girl in the world.
"A whole lot of that is due to my fantastic husband. We really enjoy our lives and enjoy each other. We have a lot of fun and good times out here in Owego."
During their time in Parkersburg, the couple will be staying with Carol and Mike Seely.