The Weather Channel this week announced it will produce an 11-week, multiplatform series called The Weather Channel Half-Marathon Challenge that will chronicle the preparation of three runners—including the host of the network’s Road Crew show—for a 13.1-mile race in Atlanta on Thanksgiving Day.
The idea behind the series, according to network officials, is to inspire and educate people who have never run long distances before to the joys of running outdoors.
The more than 40 on-air vignettes are produced exclusively for The Weather Channel by Warren Miller Entertainment, and started airing on Day Planner, Abrams & Bettes—Beyond the Forecast and Evening Edition on Tuesday, September 2. The vignettes, as well as extensive outdoor training information, are also be featured on www.weather.com/tv.
One of the profiled runners is Jeff Mielcarz, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel and host of Road Crew. He will interview two fellow half-marathon trainees who will be featured in the vignettes—a busy single mom of two in Boulder, Colo., and an army staff sergeant in Washington, D.C. training to run with a prosthetic leg after a combat injury. The progress of all three runners will be filmed throughout their training period with new installments airing each week starting September 2 and continuing into the week of the race, November 26-27.
Traveling across the country to locations that include New Orleans, the Las Vegas strip, Death Valley, the Great Smoky Mountains, and sandy Florida beaches, Mielcarz will examine how weather factors such as temperature, terrain, altitude, and humidity affect training efforts.
The 11-week program culminates in the 13.1 mile half-marathon event through downtown Atlanta Nov. 27. The Weather Channel will present live cut-ins from the course of the Atlanta Marathon and Half Marathon on the day of the race. The Half Marathon series will conclude with final stories for each profiled runner, also produced by Warren Miller Entertainment, airing December 2 through 5.
“Millions already look to us for trusted weather information to plan their outdoor activities. By creating this multiplatform event, we hope to encourage and inspire millions more to enjoy the weather through running,” Lynn Brindell, TWC’s executive vice president of strategic marketing, said in a statement.
In its 47th running, the Atlanta Track Club-organized event, is the oldest marathon in the Southeast and among the 10 oldest in the country. This is the first year that The Weather Channel has participated as the title sponsor of the Atlanta Marathon and Half Marathon.