What a wonderful weekend I had in Tulsa at the Route 66 Marathon weekend. I didn’t know what to expect going to Oklahoma because I had never been. All I knew was this was one of those bucket list races for someone trying to run the 50 states. This was my last state to capture for the year but not my last marathon. Read more about my quest in another post if you want to know more. I am proud to say that I ran marathon #29 and captured state #15 on my journey.
Willie and I took a road trip to Tulsa, OK and it was 8 hours on Texas backroads to get there. Really, there was no interstate driving here. It was an experience but Willie and I had a lot of fun. We arrived, checked in our hotel and headed to the expo. The line was long; much longer than what we expected. We picked up our packets and looked around the expo. I expected the expo to be bigger. It had the essentials but nothing more. But I guess once you’ve been to a couple of expos, you’ve been to them all.
Saturday morning I ran the 5k in a huge weather change. On Friday it was 78 degrees but a cold front pushed through overnight and the temperature dropped to 28 degrees and it was VERY windy. I stayed in the car until 10 minutes before the race started. Thank goodness for close parking (which was free). The wind was knocking people over and levitating most of the runners. It was that strong. The course was a bit hilly but nothing major.
With the terrible wind, I finished in 30:18! It was a fun time. I collected my medal and immediately went back to the car. I told Willie not to meet me at the finish because the weather was just too bad.
I was done at the 5K by 8:30 so we just hung out in Tulsa for a majority of the day until we had to head back to the expo. I was on the Route 66 Marathon Blogger panel. This who thing terrified me because I’m horrible at public speaking but I need to push myself out of my comfort zone. Speaking is something I want to do in the future so I have to take the steps now. It was a fun experience talking about blogging and social media. We also had a great turnout of people.
I met some new friends and got to see some old ones. It was truly a great experience. That night we were going to eat the Olive Garden never ending pasta bowl but everyone seemed to have the same idea. I was wicked tired anyway so we called it night with Subway.
Sunday morning was the marathon and it started at 8am. I don’t have many pictures from the start because it was really cold. I was trying to stay as warm as possible before the start of the race. I did manage to make it the Maniac/Half Fanatics/50 State picture though. It was a lot of people!
The race had 4 corrals A-D. There were actually people there checking to make sure you made it in the correct corrals. I put my finish time at 5:15 so I was in corral C. Willie was in D so we couldn’t start together unless I started in Corral D.
I have to say this was the best start to a race I’ve ever had. Each corral had the same send off with confetti and it was just a really big deal. It was great. Too bad I almost busted it right after crossing the start line. Someone took off their trash bag and it got wrapped around my feet and it was almost over before I started. Ironically, when I finished the race, I tripped over something walking back to the car.
The race was beautiful. The crowds were also pretty great too. It’s so nice when a city really embraces the marathon and doesn’t treat it as an annoyance. Magical things happen when people are actually involved. It was just really great to see people out on all parts of the course.
The course was HILLY though. It was pretty bad for a girl like me but I took the challenge and I was going to run this sucker. We rolled through many beautiful neighborhoods and parks and under the Route 66 bridge. It was great. I started with the 5:20 pacer but I was really pulling for a 5:15 at this race. I was trying to keep it steady and the first half went pretty well. I was actually ahead of pace and not feeling overworked. That’s the place you want to be during a marathon.
I took two cups of water at every water station because dehydration has been a problem for me in the past. I didn’t want that to happen to me ever again. I have learned. I caught up to the 5 hour pacer and stayed with her for almost half of the race but then I had to make a pitstop (that apparently took too long) because I was never able to catch up to that pacer again. I wasn’t too upset because like I said I was looking for a 5:15.
The second half of the race didn’t ease up on the hills which didn’t make me happy but it was all manageable. I was having a great time. The smile never left my face. The miles just ticked off. It was so great to run through the University of Tulsa campus. It was beautiful. Everyone should go see it. Cincinnati Ave was filled with lots of fun. The neighborhoods in Tulsa were just different than what I expected. It was a pleasant surprise.
At the end you had to choice to take the Center of the Universe detour which added an extra .30 miles on to your marathon. I was making really good time and I had a battle between making a good time or taking the detour. I stopped to talk to a fellow maniac and she persuaded me to take the detour. It’s not an everyday experience. I took the detour. I played around at the detour, took some pictures and loved the experience.
I finished the marathon in 5:23:49. A little off my goal but totally worth the experience. The weather turned out to be really great. The Fanatic/Maniac Corner was amazing for this race which is why a lot of people choose to run this race. We had our own section and we even got special medals at the end. I chose to get the 50 States Marathon medal because I’m on a quest.
The swag for the race was great. This year instead of tech shirts we got jackets. If you ran the 5K you got a tech shirt. Also if you ran both days, you got a lovely pint glass and if you took the Center of the Universe detour you got a special coin.
This was a great race with a great atmosphere. It’s a bucket list race everyone should do. There are big surprises in Tulsa.