Local Legend Toto Recruits Friends, Family, Fans to Run for Him
Some of the "Iron Men" of the Ogden Classic Half Marathon came to compete once again this year. For one "iron man" named Mitch Toto, however, things were a little different.
Runners from across the United States gathered in front of WesBanco arena Saturday morning for the 38th Ogden Newspaper Half Marathon Classic. Among the runners were some of the "iron men", or the men who have participated in the race every single year. Mitch Toto is turning 77 years old this week. He has developed a heart condition that's prevented him from participating this year. Instead, his daughter Christine ran in his honor.
"We put this all together, my trail running group called the Misfits from Bar Camp, to honor him and to run the number 38 race for him. So, that's what we did, and we put that together and, symbolically, that was his retirement from the Wheeling race," said Toto's daughter Christine Toto Nicholes.
Participants could run or walk the 13.1 mile half marathon or run or walk a 5K. Toto has run the half marathon every year since it began 38 years ago, but he said he needed to give his heart a break this year.
"You know, I probably changed my mind 12 different times about trying to run this race even though I've had the surgery and the heart problems, but I used my better judgement and said 'better not.' Maybe I'll last another 10-15 years if I don't push it," Toto said.