WHEELING - Motorists can expect minor delays during Saturday morning's fourth-annual Veterans Day 10K Run/Walk Three Rivers USA Track and Field 10K Championship in Wheeling.
Most of the course follows National Road, one of the city's busiest thoroughfares, from Bridge Street Middle School west into downtown Wheeling. Measures will be in place to make sure motorists and runners can share the road safely during the race, but officials say it's important for the public to do their part by taking extra caution if they plan to drive through the area Saturday morning.
"Be aware that National Road may be a little congested, and try to be a little patient," Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball said.
LEADING MEN — Medal of Honor recipient Hershel “Woody” Williams, left, is pictured with John Nanny, commandant of the Marine Corps League of West Virginia, during the luncheon following last year’s Veterans Day 10K Run/Walk in Wheeling. - File photo
As the race begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, police will shut down the intersection of National Road and Kruger Street until the participants clear the area. Traffic also will be stopped intermittently downtown as finishers make their way down Chapline and 14th streets to the finish line at the conclusion of the race, but Kimball said these delays should be for no more than a minute or two at a time.
There will be officers posted near the start and finish lines, as well as at key intersections along the course directing traffic. Where possible, the course will be blocked off with cones keeping cars in the left lane separated from race participants in the right - but even with the cones and signs posted along the way, Kimball said, motorists sometimes get confused about what lane to use.
Registration for the race will take place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and again from 7 a.m. until the start of the race Saturday at Bridge Street Middle School. Following the race, there will be a luncheon inside WesBanco Arena, with Wheeling native Command Sgt. Maj. Lee Bonar Jr. of the III Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group for the Pacific as the featured speaker.
Race organizers encourage the public to come out and cheer on the runners and walkers, including more than 100 military veterans who already have signed up for the event. Veterans will sport special red, white and blue race numbers to distinguish them from the other participants.
Proceeds from entry fees support the Paralyzed Veterans of America, for which the race has raised $45,300 during its first three years. Major sponsors for the race are Progressive Bank, the Ohio County Commission, Valley Hospice and the Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston.