I ran this race three years ago today. The annual race to benefit the Memorial of the OKC bombing is this weekend, so it seemed appropriate to write about the race. It was memorable.
OKC is a 10 hour or so drive from Lincoln. My wife and I drove down on Friday. She was going to run the half, and I was running the full. We got there a day early, so I was able to spend a lot of time at the expo. I listened to the talk that the medical directors gave. I learned a lot about "Marathon Medicine" from them. The guy said that pretzels are the best thing you can eat on a marathon. The course must have had millions of pretzels at his instruction. To this day, whenever I see someone offering pretzels on a course I am sure to grab some and heed his advice.
The race is all about the OKC Memorial. We took a lot of time to walk around and take it all in. It is a beautiful, but haunting memorial. I highly recommend going. I will post some pictures I took with my phone. The picture of the American Elm Tree is blurry. This tree was right next to the federal building, and somehow withstood the blast that rocked so many city blocks. It is a symbol of strength to all who visit.
The race begins at the Memorial, and starts with one second of silence for each of the 168 victims of the bombing. After that, many teary eyed runners begin the trek through the streets of OKC. The day was hot and windy, and my IT band was killing me. I finished in just over 4:50. My wife ran a good half and went back to the hotel and checked us out. I took a quick shower in the gym, and we hopped back into the car and drove back to Lincoln, humbled and honored to have participated in such a great American race.