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Apr 242014
 

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With the OKC Memorial Marathon right around the corner, I have been thinking a lot these past few weeks about why this run is so important… And unlike any other.

I did not live in Oklahoma at the time of the Murrah building bombing. I vaguely remember coming home from school that day in Texas and thinking the coverage on the news was from a foreign country, at odds again with some other religion or government group. Things like that didn’t happen in our country.

Our family moved to Oklahoma City exactly one year after the event, and we learned firsthand just how tight knit this community had become after such a tragedy.
A few years ago, I tuned in to the coverage of the Memorial Marathon on television and thought the people running must be crazy.  It was raining and hailing and it just seemed to be a miserable experience. Of course at that time I wasn’t a “runner.”  Boy did my view change once I started down that road.

I didn’t understand then why thousands of people would choose to expose themselves to such elements just to run. Now I know, it isn’t just a run. It is a commitment. A commitment to honor those lives affected by such horrific tragedy and grief. A chance to show just how strong and faithful this community (and many others that come in to support) are to keeping the memories alive of those lost.

It is a day unlike any other in Oklahoma City. I hope that anyone who tunes in to watch the coverage does not have the same mindset I did those few years ago. I encourage anyone, runner or not, to participate somehow in this event. Whether it be a supporter, spectator or simply watching it on television, take the time to reflect and honor the purpose for this run.

first half marathon

For me personally, it is now important for many reasons…

The Memorial Marathon was my first half marathon and the run where I witnessed and ran alongside my sister as she completed her first full. Next year I plan for it to mark my third full marathon. But, unlike other marathons, this one in particular is not about the timing or trying to break any records.

I will never claim that I can understand what the families of the victims have been through. Children taken from parents, parents taken from children, friendships and families broken forever. My prayer is that I nor anyone else will ever have to go through that experience. But what I do understand is what it is like to be a part of a community that stands together united in support of those hurting. That is one commitment I never take for granted in the running community. So this Sunday, I will be back again running the half marathon, for no other reason than these listed below:

Ted L. Allen

Richard A. Allen

Teresa Antionette Alexander

Lucio Aleman Jr.

Miss Baylee Almon

Diane E. (Hollingsworth) Althouse

Rebecca Needham Anderson

Pamela Cleveland Argo

Saundra G. (Sandy) Avery

Peter R. Avillanoza

Calvin Battle

Peola Battle

Danielle Nicole Bell

Oleta C. Biddy

Shelly D. Bland

Andrea Yvette Blanton

Olen Burl Bloomer

Lola Bolden

James E. Boles

Mark Allen Bolte

Cassandra Kay Booker

Carol Louise Bowers

Peachlyn Bradley

Woodrow Clifford “Woody” Brady

Cynthia L. Brown

Paul Gregory

Beatty Broxterman

Gabreon D. L. Bruce

Kimberly Ruth Burgess

David Neil Burkett

Donald Earl Burns, Sr.

Karen Gist Carr

Michael Carrillo

Rona Linn Kuehner-Chafey

Zackary Taylor Chavez

Robert N. Chipman

Kimberly Kay Clark

Dr. Margaret L. “Peggy” Clark

Antonio Ansara Cooper Jr.

Dana LeAnne Cooper

Anthony Christopher Cooper II

Harley Richard Cottingham

Kim R. Cousins

Aaron M. and Elijah S. Coverdale

Jaci Rae Coyne

Katherine Louise Cregan

Richard (Dick) Cummins

Steven Douglas Curry

Brenda Faye Daniels

Benjamin LaRanzo Davis

Diana Lynn Day

Peter L. DeMaster

Castine Brooks Hearn Deveroux

Sheila R. Gigger-Driver and baby

Tylor Santoi Eaves

Ashley Megan Eckles

Susan Jane Ferrell

Carrol June “Chip” Fields

Kathy A. Finley

Judy J. (Froh) Fisher

Linda Louise Florence

Donald and Mary Anne Fritzler

Tevin D’Aundrae Garrett

Laura Jane Garrison

Jamie (Fialkowski) Genzer

Margaret Betterton Goodson

Kevin “Lee” Gottshall II

Ethel L. Griffin

J. Colleen Guiles

Randolph A. Guzman

Cheryl E. Hammon

Ronald Vernon Harding, Sr.

Thomas Lynn Hawthorne, Sr.

Doris “Adele” Higginbottom

Anita Christine Hightower

Thompson Eugene “Gene” Hodges, Jr.

Peggy Louise Holland

Linda Coleen Housley

George Michael Howard DVM

Wanda Lee Howell

Robbin Ann Huff and baby

Dr. Charles E. and Jean Hurlburt

Paul D. Ice

Christi Yolanda Jenkins

Norma “Jean” Johnson

Raymond “Lee” Johnson

Larry James Jones

Alvin J. Justes

Blake Ryan Kennedy

Carole Sue Khalil

Valerie Jo Koelsch

Ann Kreymborg

Teresa Lea Taylor Lauderdale

Kathy Cagle Leinen

Carrie Ann Lenz and baby

Donald Ray Leonard

LaKesha Richardson Levy

Dominique Ravae (Johnson)-London

Rheta Bender Long

Michael L. Loudenslager

Aurelia Donna and Robert Lee Luster Jr.

Mickey B. Maroney

James K. Martin

Rev. Gilbert X. Martinez

James A. McCarthy II

Kenneth Glenn McCullough

Betsy J. (Beebe) McGonnell

Linda G. McKinney

Cartney J. McRaven

Claude Arthur Medearis

Claudette (Duke) Meek

Frankie Ann Merrell

Derwin W. Miller

Eula Leigh Mitchell

John C. Moss III

Ronota Ann Newberry-Woodbridge

Patricia Ann Nix

Jerry Lee Parker

Jill Diane Randolph

Michelle A. Reeder

Terry Smith Rees

Mary Leasure-Rentie

Antonio “Tony” C. Reyes

Kathryn Elizabeth Ridley

Trudy Jean Rigney

Claudine Ritter

Christy Rosas

Sonja Lynn Sanders

Lanny Lee David Scroggins

Kathy Lynn Seidl

Leora Lee Sells

Karan Howell Shepherd

Chase Dalton and Colton Wade Smith

Victoria (Vickey) L. Sohn

John Thomas Stewart

Dolores (Dee) Stratton

Emilio Tapia

Victoria Jeanette Texter

Charlotte Andrea Lewis Thomas

Michael George Thompson

Virginia M. Thompson

Kayla Marie Titsworth

Rick L. Tomlin

LaRue A. and Luther H. Treanor

Larry L. Turner

Jules A. Valdez

John Karl Van Ess III

Johnny Allen Wade

David Jack Walker

Robert N. Walker Jr.

Wanda Lee Watkins

Michael D. Weaver

Julie Marie Welch

Robert G. Westberry

Alan G. Whicher

Jo Ann Whittenberg

Frances “Fran” Ann Williams

Scott D. Williams

W. Stephen Williams

Clarence Eugene Wilson, Sr.

Sharon Louise Wood-Chestnut

Tresia Jo “Mathes” Worton

John A. Youngblood

God Bless Oklahoma!


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