Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The OKC Marathon is more than just a 26.2 mile run

I don’t know how many Oklahoma City citizens know this (roughly 20,000) but the noisiest cross streets in North America on Sunday, April 26, 2009 happened to be in Oklahoma City…at N.W. 6th and Harvey to be exact. I know this because I live one block away on 5th street. I was awake against my will at 6:00 a.m., but this time I was ok with it.

I have been awaken numerous times living downtown (mostly by the train because it feels the need to blow its horn for 3-4 minutes straight at 4:30 a.m.) but never have I been more…um…fulfilled to be awake so early to the sound of loud speakers and dedicated runners; dedicated to running at the remembrance of the 168 that lost their lives due of the tragedy striking Oklahoma City in 1995.

Everyone has a story of that morning. Mine happens to be one of sitting in Miss Mayer’s 6th grade English class feeling the building shake and later on at lunch hearing the announcement over the intercom of a bomb in the downtown area. I also remember seeing nothing on TV for that entire week except half of a downtown building I had never seen before yet would change my life and millions of others’ forever.

I see that site every day walking to work; walking back from work. I meet tourists all the time coming here to remember; coming here to witness. They remember that day. I remember that day. On April 26, 2009 we all remembered it together.

I’m a little embarrassed to say that I have never participated in the marathon. I think we all should. On Tuesday at lunch I talked with a friend, Nancy Redinger, who participated in the 5-person relay.  I thought to myself, “I want to do that…There are five people in my family…we should all participate.” I immediately sent out a text to my mom, my dad, my younger brother Tristan and my older brother Mike with the idea. Within minutes I got response from all of them. “Yes!” “Wow…cool” “Sounds good.” Responses I had hoped and for responses I expected.


Marathon participants pray under the Survivor Tree during a service at the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial before the start of the ninth annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Sunday, April 26, 2009, in Oklahoma City. Photo by Sarah Phipps.

Next year team Cornett is looking to run the course. We’re looking to join those in waking those sleeping in downtown. I figure if enough join us in the cause than hopefully there will be nobody left to “wake up.” Where were you on April 19, 1995 and will you join with your neighbors and participate in someway next year?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” -Gandhi


  1. I love the marathon. The last couple of miles are through my neighborhood, so two years ago I went out to cheer. So fun! The past two years my alma mater/employer, Oklahoma Christian University, has recruited massive teams (500+), so I have been part of relay teams. It's such a great, community building experience and I can't wait til next year!

  2. So...when is Team Cornett going to run the marathon?!