The 37th Annual Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic has blossomed into a rite of spring in the Ohio Valley, more precisely Memorial Day Weekend.
The classic attracts thousands of entrants, spectators and well-wishers to the Ohio Valley. It also generates unbridled anticipation, excitement and business.
The race has aged gracefully in its nearly four decades. In its infancy, it was solely a distance race, one of the most demanding 12.4-mile courses in the nation, challenging champion and novice entrants alike.
Today, the Ogden Classic features so much more.
The Ogden event has morphed into a weekend festival.
Events for young and old alike commence today and continue through the half marathon.
It has grown in stature so much that is has added a Torch Relay, the official starting point of the weekend, to honor military personnel.
One of the sidelights each year is the dedication and dogged determination of The Ironmen -- a group of dwindling competitors who have competed in all 36 previous Ogden races, a most noteworthy achievement. Twelve Ironmen will toe the starting line Saturday.
Mix in the Tiny Tot Trot with tonight's Ogden Mile and Masters Mile and a full running menu is served up to those of all ages.
Saturday is no time to sleep in as activities commence at 7:30 a.m. with the start of the Half Marathon Classic Walk, setting the stage for the headline event -- the half marathon -- at 8 a.m. The curtain closer will be 5K Run/Walk at 8:15.
We urge the Ohio Valley to come out and cheer on all the competitors, they deserve our support.
We wish those same entrants the best of luck and we commend race officials for putting on an annual classic in every sense of the word.