Friends accept the ‘Scatterday Challenge’ during Wellness Weekend in Wheeling

PRACTICE RUN — Wheeling residents participating in the Scatterday Challenge during the Ogden Wellness Weekend set for Saturday and Sunday include, front row from left, Ellen Nau and Lori Abraham; middle row, Brian Sorge, Mark Peluchette and Fritz Braunlich; and back, Mark Whitehouse. -- Scott McCloskey

WHEELING — For a local group of friends who regularly compete together in different fitness challenges around the region, the lineup of events and entertainment scheduled as part of the the Ogden Wellness Weekend is something they are truly excited to see in their own back yard.

Wheeling residents Fritz Braunlich, Mark Peluchette, Ellen Nau, Lori Abraham, Brian Sorge and Mark Whitehouse all have signed up for the Wellness Weekend’s inaugural Scatterday Challenge, which consists of the following:

¯ Running or walking the 13.1-mile Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, set to begin at 7:30 a.m. Saturday.

¯ Biking either 10 miles or 30 miles in the Ohio Valley Trail Partners Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour, set to pedal off at 8 a.m. Sunday.

¯ Participating in the 6-mile, 20-obstacle Tough as Nails Urban Challenge, presented by the Ogden Newspapers and the Health Plan of West Virginia, set to begin at noon Sunday.

“We have a local group that likes to do a lot of half marathons and obstacle course races. We run, and we do Crossfit. If there’s any local Tough Mudder or Spartan Races, we often do it as a group and kind of celebrate afterwards,” said Braunlich, an orthopedic surgeon who is sponsoring the Stairway to Heaven obstacle as part of the Tough as Nails event.

“We like to run the Ogden (Half Marathon.) We were very excited this year to see how this (event) has expanded and they’re offering the entertainment … and so we were really on-board when we read about the ‘Scatterday Challenge,” Braunlich added.

He said the group is excited and hopeful that wellness weekend organizers will continue to build on the family weekend events in the future.

The challenge is named for the late R. “Scat” Scatterday, longtime race director of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic who died earlier this year. Wellness Weekend organizer Jim Gibbons said 25 people have signed up for the challenge, and the Wheeling Feeling, a local company that creates T-shirts, will be providing specially created shirts for this year’s participants.

Peluchette, with Liberty Distributors Inc., sponsor of one of the Tough as Nails’ mystery obstacles, said the weekend challenges are “right up their alley.”

“It’s stuff we enjoy,” Peluchette said of the group. “I’m anxious to see what the obstacles are and I’m anxious to see how the community embraces it.”

Peluchette said Liberty Distributors even has its own small obstacle course that members of the group use to train on a regular basis.

“We have five or six obstacles,” he commented, noting there are ropes climbs, tires and a straight wall among the challenges on their course.

Nau echoed the comments of Braunlich and Peluchette, saying she is very excited to see the events of Ogden Wellness Weekend unfold.

“It’s very exciting to have this come to our hometown, because we travel sometimes, we’ll go to Pittsburgh, we’ll go to places in Ohio, but this is right in our backyard, so we’re ready,” Nau commented.

The Tough as Nails Urban Challenge is the marquee event in the first Ogden Wellness Weekend, but it’s not the only event. The fun begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, with the 43rd running of the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, the 5K Run and Walk for Health, the Ogden Fun Run and the Tiny Tot Trot, sponsored by OV Parent.

On Sunday, the Ohio Valley Trail Partner’s Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour pedals off at 8 a.m., with 10- and 30-mile legs. For the more seasoned riders, there’s also a 100-kilometer tour that heads through West Liberty and Bethany.

That’s followed at noon with the Tough as Nails.

Following events on both days is the recovery party.

There will be portable bars set up near WesBanco Arena by Carenbauer Distributing to serve water, soda or choice adult beverages to those of legal age, and a number of food trucks from throughout the region will be filling empty stomachs.

There also will be a number of local and regional bands both days, helping to fuel the festive atmosphere at Wheeling’s waterfront.

Registration for any of the Ogden Wellness Weekend events — the Half Marathon, 5K Run and Walk, Ogden Fun Run, Heritage Trail Bicycle Tour or the Tough as Nails Urban Challenge — can be done at ogdenwellnessweekend.com.