Linda Milhoan to run in 9th straight Half Marathon

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Linda Milhoan is running in her ninth straight Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon on Aug. 18.

Several years ago, Linda Milhoan was out walking with some friends when one of them suggested that she should consider training for the Half.

Well, it sounded like a pretty good idea to the Belpre resident at the time and since then…well, let’s just say that she’s become a running enthusiast.

“I started out walking and ended up running,” said Milhoan, laughing. “I like to eat, so I’ve got to do something to kind of balance it out.”

Milhoan, a 1983 Parkersburg South grad, will be running in her ninth consecutive Parkersburg News and Sentinel Half Marathon Aug. 18. And, her goal is a modest one.

“I just want to run it under two hours,” Milhoan said, “and have fun.”

So far, Milhoan has been under two hours in six of the eight Halfs that she’s run. Last year, she covered the 13.1-mile distance in the annual Parkersburg event in a PR (personal record) time of 1 hour, 52.24 minutes. Not only that, but she placed in her age group (50-54).

“I like to be a little competitive,” said Milhoan, smiling. “I’m not really good, but it depends on who shows up that day.”

Just for the record, Milhoan was clocked at 2:20 in her first Half back in 2010. So, she’s definitely come a long way in a relatively short time.

“It took me a couple of years to get it under two hours,” she said.

While Milhoan ran track in the eighth grade, she was not a long distance running thinclad at South. There, she was a Patriot volleyball setter.

Fast forward to the present, Milhoan and her husband Mark have evolved into seasoned runners and are pretty much regulars on the running circuit, competing in several different distances (5K, 10K, 15K, etc.).

“Mark started the year after I began running,” she said. “He’s way ahead of me. He’s better than me.”

Milhoan paused.

“We’ve been to 19 states so far,” she continued. “Altogether, we’ve done 40-50 half marathons. We’ve done a lot of traveling.”

Milhoan said she’s also competed in three marathons, including the New York City Marathon in 2015.

“That one was exciting,” she said. “It was really cool and a lot of fun. Lots of people everywhere.”

How ’bout Boston?

“We did a half marathon in Boston but not the marathon,” Milhoan said. “I doubt that’s going to happen. It would be nice if it did.”

As for the N&S Half, Milhoan offered some advice to first-timers on race day.

“Just pace yourself,” she said. “Don’t start out hard. Start out easy and when you get to the last couple of miles, start picking it up. Just make it fun and enjoy it.

“The course has a lot of rolling hills on it. It’s challenging, but I don’t think it’s tough-tough.”