Book Trailer for Pilikia

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oklahoma City Marathon

I'm back from Oklahoma City where I ran the marathon on Sunday. My time was far from a personal best, but it wasn't my worst time. Oklahoma City is very attractive, the people are friendly and the course goes through interesting parts of the city and suburbs.

It would have been a wonderful marathon but for the wind. The forecast on Saturday was that winds would be gusting from the South at 30 miles an hour. I think they were steady at thirty and gusting much higher. The wind wasn't much of a factor the first half of the race. At mile 14, however, we reached the lake and turned South--right into the teeth of the wind. At least eight of the next twelve were right into the wind. At one point I realized it was much more efficient to walk than to run and I was able to make better headway by walking. It was also humid. A lot of people cramped up and some collapsed because they didn't take enough fluids. The wind evaporated any sweat quickly, so you didn't realize you were over-heating and losing fluid. I think the wind added 20 to 30 minutes to my time.

I was smart enough to take plenty of fluid at every water station and all I came away with was a jelly bean-sized blister on one toe.

The marathon was a memorial and fund-raiser for the bombing victims so people on the course were very supportive of the runners. The race began and finished at the Federal Building Memorial. The names of the 168 victims were on banners along the route. About 3000 ran the marathon and 16,000 took part in the half-marathon, the relay, the 5K, and the kid's marathon.

I was surprised at how attractive OK City is. I'm not sure what I expected, but what I saw was a clean, well-organized, somewhat compact downtown area. Next to downtown is the old city, now called Bricktown because of all the brick buildings. Bricktown is an area of entertainment and restaurants cut by a canal. We had dinner at The Bourban Street Cafe Saturday night (carbo loading) and at the Alewerks Brew pub the next night. I'd go back to both places. If I can, I want to make another trip to OK City to catch a game at the Bricktown Ballpark and dinner at Mickey Mantle's across the street.

Mary Fran and I did this trip with my running partner, Ernie, and his girlfriend, Marilyn. The women didn't run, but they were real troopers. Marilyn handled the hotel and got us one on the marathon route about six blocks from the start. The rooms had whirlpool spas in them. I soaked in that for forty-five minutes after the race. Mary Fran discovered that there wasn't a beer tent, so the two women cajoled the hotel manager out of some beers for the finish.

I have some pictures that I'll post later this week.