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Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Truly a ‘Run to Remember’

Marathon Runners

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!

community, family-friendly, OKC National Memorial, running
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Visit the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum

OKC National Memorial and Marathon Runners

After the bombing, a security fence was quickly erected around the perimeter of the bombsite. This fence became a de facto memorial of sorts, with mementos, cards, prayers, toys, stuffed animals and the like left by Oklahomans and visitors who wished to pay their respects to and remember those who were killed. From this temporary memorial and a task force created by then-Mayor Ron Norick came an outdoor memorial and a memorial museum.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is on the site of the Murrah Building and “honors those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever on April 19, 1995.” The Memorial Museum occupies part of the historic Journal Record building, which was adjacent to the Murrah Building and heavily damaged in the attack. The museum allows a self-guided tour and features interactive displays, artifacts and video to tell the story of what happened that day.

The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is “a place of quiet reflection” and consists of a reflecting pool and 168 empty chairs, one representing each victim, in addition to many other symbolic elements, including the famous “Survivor Tree.” It is free to visit. The Museum, 620 N. Harvey Ave., is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 6 p.m. The average Museum visit is about an hour and a half (note that the Museum is also closed on Easter). Get more details on visiting.

museums, OKC National Memorial
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Must-visit destinations

Pops on Route 66

“I had no idea!” If we had a nickel for every time we heard that phrase from a first-time visitor to the 4-0-5, we would be able to pay Russ’ contract. Visitors are always surprised about the metro’s combination of art, history, entertainment, food and nightlife and more. Here are some must-visit places in America’s best-kept secret in tourism (in our biased opinions):

Route 66
Oklahoma contains more of the historic Route 66 than any other state. While you journey across this iconic route, you’re welcome to make a quick stop for the Route 66 Museum, Totem Pole Park, the Blue Whale of Catoosa, and no trek through Route 66 is complete without a stop (and a soda) at POPS!

The Oklahoma City National Memorial
April 19, 1995 changed our city and country forever. Today, a one-of-a-kind memorial and  museum about that tragic morning stand atop the bombing site. The reflecting pond and empty chairs that represent the lives lost on that fateful morning are deeply ingrained into the hearts and minds of all who see it.

The OKCMOA
The Oklahoma City Museum of Art is the largest art museum in Oklahoma. It features a wide array of art, including (but not limited to) sizable galleries full of European art, American art, contemporary art, and an iconic collection of Dale Chihuly’s glasswork. There’s also an exhibition gallery space that features new and wildly popular exhibitions every few months. The Museum also has its own movie theater, where it hosts special screenings and events almost every day.

The Oklahoma City Zoo and Botanical Garden
The Oklahoma City Zoo is considered a staple for both locals’ “let’s make a regular visit” lists and Oklahoma City’s visitor economy. With nearly 2,000 animals, aquatic life, reptiles, insects and plants the public can admire, it’s a very popular attraction for all ages.

National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum
There is perhaps nothing more inherently Oklahoman than images of the Wild West. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of American Indians and cowboys that lived in Oklahoma throughout history with art, firearms, outfits and more.

Oklahoma History Center
Oklahoma’s rich history is preserved for all generations to see at the Oklahoma History Center. Featuring a vast collection of items tied to Oklahoma’s early history, the Oklahoma History Center isn’t a stop you want to overlook.

Stockyards City
For the quintessential Oklahoma cowboy experience, Stockyards City is a must see. Stockyards City is the largest feeder and cattle market in the world, which features architecture and shops designed to give you an authentic ranch experience. It’s also home of Oklahoma’s most famous restaurant, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, which has been featured on Food Network’s Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

Science Museum Oklahoma
With more than 350,000 square feet chock-full of hands-on science and experimentation, the Science Museum of Oklahoma is another one of the most popular and beloved tourist attractions Oklahoma City has to offer.

day-trip, family-friendly, history, museums, OKC National Memorial, Route 66, Stockyards, western heritage, zoo, Adventure District, arts and culture
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Run to Remember

OKC Memorial Marathon

Each year since 2001, thousands of runners have gathered in downtown Oklahoma City to take part in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The “Run to Remember” which begins and ends near the OKC National Memorial has grown since its’ inception, now drawing more than 25,000 runners from across the U.S. as well as Japan, China, Germany and the UK. The event has even been labeled "12 Must Run Marathons" by Runner's World magazine.

From the 168 seconds of silence before the race begins to the green banners carefully hung throughout the course which pays tribute to the victims, the race is certainly not one to miss. It is a reminder of the hope, perseverance and pride in our community that grows stronger each day.

Get involved with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 30, whether you want to support a runner, volunteer or run races of several different lengths – a full or half marathon, a relay, a 5k and even a kids marathon completed with a 1.2-mile kids’ fun run as part of the day’s festivities. The full marathon is a Boston-qualifying, USA Track and Field (USATF)-sanctioned event.

Register to run or sign up to donate or form a team to raise money for the Memorial’s mission. A separate web page is for those who want to volunteer.

If you would like to cheer on the runners, some of our favorite places include:

  • Starting line 
  • Bricktown 
  • State Capitol Complex 
  • Edgemere Park 
  • Crown Heights
  • Nichols Hills 
  • Classen Boulevard 
  • Finish line

A new addition to the race is the Standard Stretch. At 23rd and Classen, runners will through the 9:03 gate. For watchers there will be food trucks, sign-making stations, games and more.

The Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum is the sole beneficiary of Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon event proceeds. This is the Memorial’s largest fundraiser. To learn more about the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, click here.

running, volunteer, museums, OKC National Memorial
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
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Coming together

OKC National Memorial

More than two decades ago our community was forever changed and an unbreakable bond was forged among all Oklahomans. On that April day, 168 Oklahomans died when the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building was bombed, in what was then the worst terrorist act on American soil.  Hundreds more were wounded and more than 12,000 volunteers and rescue workers participated in rescue efforts, recovery and support.

Out of that act, the grief and the many acts of kindness from around the world that followed the bombing came the Oklahoma City National Memorial. The Outdoor Symbolic Memorial is a beautiful and serene park that rests between two gates etched with the minute before – 9:01 a.m. – and the minute after the attack – 9:03 a.m. In between the golden-hued gates are representations of what happened at 9:02, the minute the bomb went off – 168 chairs with each victims’ name, a reflecting pool and the Survivor Tree, an American elm that miraculously survived the blast and is still growing strong.

While you’re visiting, don’t miss the chance to tour the Memorial Museum. If you haven’t ever experienced the museum, or it’s been a while since you have, we can promise it’s something you won’t soon forget. Renovated with new interactive exhibits just last year, including  ‘Investigation and Justice, survivor experiences and “Gallery of Honor” provide visitors a true sense of the magnitude of that fateful day and the search for justice that followed. 

There’s even an app containing video and audio tours for the Outdoor Symbolic Memorial and Memorial Museum. Search OKCNM in the Apple App Store and in Google Play. Tickets for the museum are $15 for adults; $12 for seniors, military personnel and students ages 6-17; and free for children ages 5 and younger.

Oklahoma City history, museums, OKC National Memorial
Posted by: Greater Oklahoma City Chamber
Comments (1)