Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

“I’m going to run a marathon”, those words tumbled out of my mouth as I slowly pedalled my way up a steep Peruvian mountain pass. I could only think of one marathon that I would even be remotely interested in doing, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon #RuntoRemember. But could I realistically do a full marathon with virtually no training? I planned to be back stateside and pretty much off my bike by Feb. 1, 2019. That gave me Feb – April to train but again, a full? Well, after chatting back and forth with Amy Downs Head, a survivor of the horrific bombing back in 1995 that killed so many and injured many more, she stated that she would be walking the 1/2 marathon. Count me IN! I signed up from my hotel room in Punta Arenas, Chile.

We had so much happening and my training was non-existant for this event and I have to admit I was very concerned about my ability to complete a 13.1 mile walk. We all have those little voices that say “you can’t” or “you are going to fail” or “you won’t finish” and I am no different. Those voices were loud and I talked myself out of the 1/2 and then back into the 1/2 numerous times. When the time came though, the decision was really easy and after rolling into OKC on April 24, 2019 I was fully committed to doing it.

Moni has a beautiful stand of purple and yellow Iris.

Oklahoma Freewheel, a cross state bicycle ride brought many life long friends together. I met Moni in 2007 when I did my first of seven OKFWs. We spent our time in OKC with Moni. We also got a chance to visit with Moni’s bike partner, Mel. It was really great to see him again.

On Friday, April 27, 2019 we set out on “The Moni Tour” of OKC. I needed to do packet pickup for the Sunday 1/2 Marathon. The tour took us from Moni’s home to downtown OKC.

We cycled to the Cox Convention center where Moni and Curtis waited for me outside. I walked in and the signs hit me; this just got REAL! I’ve done a number of 10Km runs but never anything of this distance. I shoved those nasty little voices to the back. I will do this. There were few people at the Expo and I had no wait time to get by Bib# and my participants shirt. I also purchased a 13.1 decal for the back of the van. This is real.

We made our way back to Moni’s house via some really awesome bicycle trails. This city is incredibly bike friendly and we really enjoyed that.

Saturday Curtis and I took off on trails and made our way to Pro Bike, hoping to pick up some tire sealant. The man behind the counter was Andy, another OKFW friend from years ago. Monday night he will come over to Moni’s for supper so we get a chance to visit more in depth.

Parking and traffic for the marathon was insane. There is a shuttle bus from some local hotels. We decided to head to an IHOP for a 4AM breakfast, start the day off right and then I could catch one of the shuttles from right there. This worked out fantastic. Curtis remained behind, opting to not fight the traffic into downtown. He was able to track my progress via a phone app.

Amy Downs Head and I at the start of the 1/2 Marathon. We were in Corral E because we are walking.

The day was incredible! The energy of this race was awesome. Amy and I walked much of the race together. The first 5Km I walked a brisk pace, then I dealt with a very long bathroom line. Amy passed by while I was in line but I was able to jog and catch up to her, allowing us to chat away the last 10 miles together. We encountered a lot of fun and fun people along the route.

Amy & I walking the 1/2 Marathon. So awesome and such an honor to do with this remarkable woman. It is a privilege to call her “Friend”.

My goal was to complete the race with a 20 minute walk pace. I was so happy to have achieved that goal and finished. I had aches and pains like anyone else and I did it.

I bumped into Mary and Curt, two more OKFW friends and we had a chance to chat before collecting my finishers shirt and boarding the shuttle back to the IHOP.

I did it, I am still in shock that I did. My legs are a bit sore but I am grinning ear to ear.


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