Parkersburg’s Tadd Faith no stranger to rigors of long-distance running

Tadd Faith, 44, of Parkersburg, will run his first News and Sentinel Half Marathon later this summer. RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times

PARKERSBURG — Before a late afternoon Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon training run July 16 at Parkersburg City Park, Tadd Faith introduced himself to a group of runners/walkers.

The 44-year old Decatur, Ill., native was relatively new in town, having settled in Parkersburg in June. His fiance had moved to the area earlier this year.

Faith also was on the rebound from a year-ago “health-related issue” that he did not want divulged in the media.

“Things get in the way in life but you just battle back,” Faith said. “Everybody has an injury. Luckily, I can bounce back from this and get back to running.

“I’m just out here enjoying, getting to know people. That’s what it’s all about, right? This is my first training session with these guys.”

Faith and his fellow runners then proceeded to run nine miles to Belpre and back.

While Faith is training to run his first News and Sentinel Half Aug. 18, he’s no stranger to the 13.1-mile distance — or the 26.2 one.

“I’ve run both marathons and half marathons,” he said.

Faith didn’t actually begin running long distances until about five years ago. In high school, he played football, baseball, and he wrestled.

“If you had told me back then that I was going to run marathons, I would’ve called you crazy,” said Faith, smiling.

Faith ran his first 26.2-miler in 2013, the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon from Champaign to Urbana. He completed it in 4 hours, 4.47 minutes.

“That was the year the bomb went off in Boston,” Faith recalled. “So, to pay tribute to the victims, we had shirts made and wore them in the race.”

Since then, Faith has been pretty much a regular on the running circuit until last year when he was sidelined for about six weeks.

“Everybody has their ups and downs, but I’m battling back,” he said.

Indeed, this past May, Faith competed in the Eau Claire Marathon in Wisconsin and did it in 5:00.01.

“I trained for it in the winter months, and ran in the sleet and snow,” he said, smiling. “They have long winters up there.”

At the Half clinic on Sunday the trainees are scheduled to run the News and Sentinel 13.1-mile course, starting at Trinity Church.

“I’m going to try to be there,” Faith said.

When race day does roll around in August, Faith is looking forward to a large crowd in downtown Parkersburg and on the course itself.

“My goal is just to finish this one,” he said. “And the more people out there gets you hyped up.”