As I reflect on the OKC marathon, it’s important to first say that there is no doubt the event has continued to grow in importance and participation throughout our community. The number of people who enter the event or turn out to spectate and support the event in person is impressive. To me, these are all strong signals of the success of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. I hope the event continues to evolve to better showcase the improvements the city is undergoing and appeal to more of the state’s best runners.
The fact that I have taken part in various past OKC Marathon events, and the marathon specifically, gives me a lot of memories. I have trained alongside many of the winners of the previous races, and my girlfriend won the race on her first try. I personally have had a few rough goes of it, and some could say my marathon attempts in Oklahoma City have been lackluster at best. One year, I did come really close to winning — within 6 seconds or so.
This year, it is fair to say I had an indication that I was fit to compete for a win.
A couple weeks before the race, I ran a controlled 2:30 marathon and I figured I could at least match that at OKC. Did I mention that spring humidity and allergies sometimes combine to give me issues with exercise-induced asthma? In the race, this became a stark reality at the 16 mile mark when I could tell my effort would need to increase to test the guy chasing and still putting up a fight. I wanted to see if I could open a final gap and try to ride the wave of excitement down Classen Ave. I did manage to establish a break on the overpass over the Hefner Parkway, but that may have been the only thing that went to my estimations. I felt like I have previously in my worst performances up Classen, feeling once again that my pace had slowed dramatically, and praying that I wouldn’t need to juke around any errant half marathoners while preparing for the last few hills (and hoping there was a cold beer waiting for me at the finish).
I managed to get across the line before anybody else in the 2015 OKC marathon. I don’t know if it was pretty, and it certainly wasn’t as easy as I had hoped. Regardless, I am satisfied to have finally secured this one. For me, the milestones along the way are what will define my experience in this sport — and right now, they continue to propel me to future running endeavors.
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