Well I survived the half-marathon and that is about all I can say about it. I ran my worst time ever which was to be expected since my training was not all that it should have been. I will say that I was proud of the fact that I did not have to walk once, which was better then what I did last year when I walked twice despite the fact that I ran it about 10 minutes faster than this year. I finished under two hours for the half-marathon, and I felt relieved when it was over but I feel more energized now to keep my training going and get ready for another race. Which one will I do next? I have not quite figured it out, all I know is that next time I am going to have a lot more motivation to train then I did for this one. I’m proud that I didn’t have to walk, but I know I can do better next race.
This was my fifth time running in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, and it keeps getting bigger each year. I believe there were around 15,000 runners the first time that I ran it and this year they were just under 27,000, which is awesome because the race is for an excellent cause and it just shows that those victims of the OKC bombing will never be forgotten. I just hope that they eventually cap the number of runners or better yet move it to two days because it was packed all the way through. Usually after the third or fourth mile space is created between the packs of runners, this year everything was packed. I was still dodging in and out trying to get around other runners whereas before I would just shift over and there would be a lane to run in. This year that was not the case until around the eighth mile.
What I like about the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is just the passion of the people that volunteer and show up to cheer the runners on. It was wonderful to hear the cheers and people giving high-fives to the runners. There were a few times that I felt like walking and then I would hear somebody encouraging us to keep going and it gave me a little bit more grit to gut it out, and boy did I need it. With all that I had going on from coaching spring soccer, working on the house, and taking more of the household responsibilities since Karen is pregnant, training was put on the backburner. In fact my longest run which was only 10 and half miles came just two weeks before the race. So, when I got passed that 10 mile marker those last three felt like forever. I kept telling myself that this is just a training run, do not worry about the time, and just enjoy the race.
What I do not like about the race is the fact that the runners are not placed in the starting corrals very well. There were some walkers way in the front and some runners like myself stuck in the middle, and even fast runners in the back so what ends up happening for the first two miles are people bumping into each other, running up on walkers, and it just becomes really difficult to get into any sort of rhythm. Every year there have been walkers at the front of the race and every year I am surprised that nobody gets mowed down. So, I hope that the organizers, just for safety sake, set up the corrals differently next year and organize runners and walkers in the right places in line.
Overall, I enjoy running in the OKC Memorial Marathon because when I sign up to run it I know that the proceeds are going to a good cause, and it shows the best of Oklahoma City. If you are a runner and are thinking about running then I highly recommend running this race.