PARKERSBURG - For many running, and or walking, is a sport.
For others it is something they do to relieve stress from a hectic day at work or dealing with the kids.
That isn't the case, however, when it comes to Lisa Sutton and her 22-year-old daughter Brittany McCullough.
Photo courtesy Brittany McCullough
Daughter/mother duo Brittany McCullough, left, and Lisa Sutton take a break after completing the Ogden Half Marathon last month. The twosome will be at the starting line for the 26th annual News and Sentinel Half Marathon when the gun sounds at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 18.
"It (running) has brought us closer together," explained Sutton prior to beginning her Monday night workout with the River City Runners and Walkers Half Marathon Training Class. "We've always been close, but running has added to that closeness. It gives us a special bond, especially when we cross that finish line holding hands."
Sutton, a 44-year-old employee for child protective services, got things started for the duo when she elected to compete in the 25th annual News and Sentinel Half Marathon. Cheering her on as she crossed the Market Street finish line was McCullough.
"Right after the race she (Brittany) came up to me and said that she wanted to do the race with me this year," continued Sutton. "She goes to school in Wheeling so we don't get to train that much together, but we have gotten the opportunity to run some races together."
The first time came at the Dicks Sporting Goods/Pittsburgh Half Marathon-a 13.1-mile race that witnessed more than 12,000 finishers.
"Mom always wanted to do it (the Pittsburgh Half Marathon)," explained McCullough, a student at West Liberty State University majoring in social work. "We had heard so many good things about it and it was close to my school so we chose it as our first race together."
As planned the duo crossed the finish line-hands held in victory-in just a little more than three hours (3:01:05).
"It wasn't about time," continued the former-Red Wing. "It was about finishing something we started."
A task that almost didn't happen when the twosome elected to participate in the Odgen Half Marathon 20 days later.
"It was so hot," explained Sutton. "About two miles into the race we both began wondering if either of us would finish. But, she (McCullough) started encouraging me and I started encouraging her and before you knew it, we had finished the race."
And, just like Pittsburgh, the mother/daughter tandem hit the finish line at the same time, although Brittany's official clocking of 3 hours, 12 minutes and 49 seconds is one second better than her mother's time.
"Running is more than about winning and losing," said McCullough. "It is about proving something to yourself, setting goals and reaching those goals."
Her new found love has helped McCullough do something she thought could not be done-lose 129 pounds.
"When people ask me why I do it (run), all I have to do is remind myself of what it felt like to be 129 pounds heavier." said the Hilltopper. "I still want to lose weight, but running is something I want to do with my mom."
And, McCullough will get that opportunity when both take to the streets of downtown and southside Parkersburg on Saturday, Aug. 18, to participate in the 26th annual News and Sentinel Half Marathon.
"I'm looking forward to that day," added the daughter. "I have a great support system. It starts with my mom and includes my whole family and I'm sure we will have a ton of friends and family there (at the finish line) cheering us on."
And, you can bet, they will be holding hands when they hit the finish line.