PARKERSBURG - Wheeling's Annette White made her first try at the News and Sentinel Half Marathon walk a memorable one Saturday with a winning effort in the women's division, covering the 13.1-mile course in a time of 2 hours, 21 minutes and 6 seconds.
White, 29, has been race-walking for the past nine years and has competed twice in the News and Sentinel's sister race, the Ogden Newspapers Half Marathon Classic, in Wheeling that's composed of half marathon, 5K and mile events.
''I tried track one year and I hated it,'' she said. ''I was probably in the seventh grade, and I never ran again. I was always a swimmer.''
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Wheeling’s Annette White breaks the tape to win the women’s walk division at the News and Sentinel Half Marathon Saturday in Parkersburg.
White, an accountant, got into race-walking through her uncle, who ''does a lot of marathons, and my mom, who started getting involved in 5Ks. When I was home one summer from college, my mom said, 'Hey, you want to go do the Ogden 5K?' And I was, 'Sure, why not.'
''I've always been athletic when it comes to working out and trying to stay in shape. But I never did the race until my mom got me involved.''
White won the Ogden Half Marathon women's walk this year over Memorial Day weekend. ''I won the Ogden and now this one, so I'm pretty excited and proud,'' she said, ''because I've really been training hard the last couple years. And it's really paid off. It's made a huge difference.''
White came to Parkersburg to compete because ''a lot of people who do this race and also do the Ogden said, 'Hey, you did great at Ogden. I think you'd like this course. It's really nice; it's put on really well. You should go down and try it.' ''
She did Saturday and beat her winning Ogden time of 2:25:23 as ''the weather was much better here,'' said White. ''It felt like 100 degrees at the Ogden -it was so hot that weekend, so this definitely felt much, much better.''
White too was the fourth overall half walk placer Saturday, trailing only three men, with Marge Rubertino, 53, of Mentor, Ohio coming in second for the women in 2:23:17 and Deana Farrah, 39, of Marietta finishing third in 2:25.34.
Although White's personal introduction to the News and Sentinel Half Marathon course came Saturday morning, she had previously ''saw an article on-line that kind of told you, step by step at each mile, what it did and what it felt like.''
Plus, White added, ''just from talking to other people, it got mixed reviews - completely flat, hilly. I didn't know how to train, so I just trained on my Ogden course that I knew, since I felt I'd rather train harder than not as hard.''
And White's thoughts on the News and Sentinel Half Marathon course after walking it? ''It was rolling hills, but it wasn't as bad as some people had mentioned,'' she said.
However, White did single out the 13th Street hill, which she said ''was a little rough, but at least it's only two blocks. So that seemed easy compared to other hills I've seen.''