Since 2001, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon has been held to help remember those killed in the 1995 bombing as well as benefit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. Special traditions are a hallmark of the race. For example, runners and volunteers observe 168 seconds of silence prior to the starting gun to help mark the occasion and honor each of the 168 victims. Runners also participate in a “Sunrise Prayer Service” under the Survivor Tree at Northwest 6th Street and Harvey Avenue. Through the race’s 26.2 miles, runners pass by signs denoting the names of those killed. Indeed, the “Run to Remember” tag is an apt description of the event.
Massive community support is also a tradition, as runners pass through such celebrated areas like “Gorilla Hill,” “Irish Alley,” Crown Heights, Classen Boulevard and others where many come to cheer, volunteer, help spur on participants and keep spirits high all the way to the finish. The famed Oklahoma Standard is truly echoed throughout the race.
This year, the course is changing a bit due to construction, feedback from runners and other developments. While still beginning in front of the OKC National Memorial and Museum, the finish line this year will be at Hudson Ave. and Sheridan Ave., adjacent to Devon tower. Next year, as Scissortail Park is opened, the finish line will shift there for the 20th anniversary race.
Gov. Stitt is also entering a relay team, and is taking on all challengers via the aptly named “Governors Relay Challenge.” Can you beat his team? Your group will win a cool t-shirt if you do, in addition to some pretty high-level bragging rights, TBH. There are also awards for 15 different relay divisions in which you can compete. See more about that, find a race in which to participate or other ways to get involved and we’ll see you on race weekend!