Recently the First Day of Winter Half/Full Marathon and 50k Ultra was held in Earl Thomas Conley Park in West Portsmouth. Participating in the event were people several states and four countries as far away as Japan.
The event has been going on for several years and has been organized by local fitness enthusiast Jennifer Hatcher.
“This was the third year and the second official year for a marathon, half marathon and a 50k ultra,” Hatcher said.
She said there were 20 states represented at the event.
“We had a runner that came from Japan just to run the race and it was his 685th marathon. We had a couple that came from Brazil to run. They were running another race in California and found this race,” Hatcher said.
She said the couple from Brazil travel to the United States for a couple of weeks to run as many races as they can.
There were a little over 100 people that participated in the event. She said there were participants from Canada.
She said the half marathon course is 13.1 miles, the marathon course is 26.2 miles and the 50k ultra is 31 miles.
All three of the races took place at the same time.
Winning the Half marathon Timothy Brett From Georgetown KY male division and Female division Nicole Huston from Columbus Ohio.
Winning the Marathon was Robert Toonkel from Hilliard Ohio and female Alyssa Byberg from Lake Village IN. Winning the 50K was Jorge Garcia from Glen Carbon IL.
According to Garcia has been to the event several times and has said he keeps coming back because he’s friends with Hatcher and many other runners that typically participate in the event.
Female 50K winner was Katie Bahran from Los Alamos NM.
Hatcher said her mother Vicky was talking with someone from Lansing, Michigan who was excited to see the school where Trevon Pendleton, Michigan State Football player, went to high school, Washington-Nile Local Schools.
She said the event would not be possible with the support of local business as well as family and friends who work the race.
Hatcher said although she has plans to move to Columbus in the near future, she will return to the area every year to put on this event.
For more information about the First Day of Winter Half/Full Marathon and 50k Ultra, find them on Facebook.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT