[BEGIN BACKDATED RACE REPORT:
Marathon #8 / Overall #10 / State #3 (Oklahoma)
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon
Oklahoma City, OK
I had been running with RuNsane Running for about a year now, and this was the first ever marathon that my friend Angie (former medical school clerkship coordinator) had been planning to run for almost a year. It had been 3 weeks since Hell’s Hills 50 miler, and I honestly still felt exhausted.
I drove up to Dallas to stay at my parents’ place on Friday night (where Angie flew in to Love Field) and the two of us drove up to Oklahoma City.
Of note, my friend Ray in San Antonio and his wife Raquel were going up to Oklahoma City as well, as she was running the half.
The expo and day before the race
The OKC Memorial Marathon expo was a decent moderately sized expo.
The morning of the start
We started the race at the Oklahoma City Memorial (the site where the bombing of the federal building happened in 1995). Yes I was sporting an Oklahoma and an American flag…
Delayed start by almost 2 hours
Not to mention, the weather had been horrendous at the time of the start and there were lightning and thunder in the nearby area. The race officials delayed the start of the marathon (which was supposed to start at 6:30 am), half an hour by half an hour at a time. The clouds in they sky also didn’t look right.. They had the funneled appearance and looked like fresh fertile brewing ground for a tornado to hit… ouch!!
Finally started at almost 8:30 AM
There has now been a delay for nearly two hours! And had the delay kept on happening, the race would have been called off and cancelled. Fortunately, at around 8:15 am, we got news that the race HAS been officially cleared to start, after sitting almost 2 hours in the rain and a mixture of hot and cold air from the turbulent skies above…
First few miles through downtown (mile 1-2)
Cheers to a soggy start… haha… The first few miles were super humid, as the rain had JUST stopped. The streets were still wet, and everyone was out there on the course which meant share the body heat and odor… LOL. We went past the OKC Thunder stadium amongst the other buildings downtown.
I ran into one of my One Run For Boston relay exchange buddies at the start. He had mentioned when we did the relay a month ago that he’d be running this race too.
Passing by the State Capitol (mile 3-4)
The Oklahoma State Capitol is situated just a few miles north of downtown. The conditions were still super muggy and uncomfortable and the streets were still wet.
Passing through Crown Heights until I-44 (miles 5-8)
This is where some of the hills kicked in (although they’re not too terrible). Since I practically had no good rest in the last few days, I felt like I was hitting a wall already, and it was only mile 5, shortly after the half and the full split. The sun was intermittently coming out.
Through Lake Hefner and adjacent parks (up to mile 17)
These next 7-8 miles seemed all like a blur to me until we got to the shores of Lake Hefner, where the wind really started to kick in. And honestly, it might have been a bit boring, because I don’t remember much about it and just struggling to make it through. Physically I was already done and knew that I would just struggle and maintain myself for completion. I ended up chatting and pacing with this one other girl local to the area who was in the same boat as I am… trying to make it through.
At Lake Hefner, as the course turned southbound, the headwind really kicked in, and the skies were completely sunny. That actually makes for a bad combination because it is getting hotter and hotter. The lake was alright… it didn’t have much to it besides being open water and some trees that surround it…
NW Grand Blvd – Memorial dedicated to the victims of the federal building bombing in 1995 (mile 18-20)
This is a street dedicated with memorials of the close to 200+ victims who lost their lives from the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. This marathon is created to honor and remember those who lost their lives on that day.
Classen Blvd (mile 20-24)
These next few miles proved to be tough more physically than anything else. The temperatures have creeped up to the high 70’s, and we were going against traffic on a pretty busy street of Oklahoma City.
“You all are Kenyans”…. we wish lol
Final stretches before the finish
There were a few turns after the long stretch on Classen before approaching the finish line just north of downtown. It was super hot, and I was long done before I actually reached the finish line. It was one of my slowest marathon finish times, but whatever.
Meanwhile, my friend Angie had still been out there. By the time I finished, she was probably around mile 15-16, and unfortunately turned the wrong way for about half a mile or a mile. I ended up checking up on her for quite a bit, drove out to give some water and gatorade, and grabbing a finishers medal for her (in case the finish line closed down by chance).
After the race, we drove back to Dallas and met up with my friends Vo and some other people and pigged out at a sushi buffet. LOL.
END BACKDATED RACE REPORT – 6/26/17]