On the eve of the 13th Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I have quite a bit going through my mind. However this time around, none of it is about me.
Typically, I am thinking about my race, my plan, my goal. This is new to me. For the first time in my endurance life, I am so excited for others. For the past 5 months, I have been coaching and training an incredible group of people from Koda CrossFit. We have over 40 people running some part of the race tomorrow. 5Ks, 10Ks, 12Ks, Half Marathons and the Full Marathon. We even have two people in California right now running the Big Sur Marathon (jealous!). For those that don’t know, I had always wanted to pay it forward in the endurance community. I did most all of my training for my marathons by myself and even my Ironman. For that one, I did have a coach from afar. I wanted to be that person for others. I wanted to share my knowledge, my pointers, my failures so other people could learn from me and I’d be able to be a part of their journey. I finally got the chance to do that this year.
I am running the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon for the 2nd time and this will be my fifth marathon overall. I have enjoyed it more this time around I can honestly say. The first time I ran it, it was my first marathon. I was overweight, new to the running scene and was clueless as to what would come next. I focused on the running aspect. This time around, I focused more on the why aspect of this marathon. Today, my roommate Cole and I went downtown and walked around the Oklahoma City National Memorial. We saw the chairs, saw the Survivor Tree, saw the notes and letters and stuffed animals on the fence outside the Memorial. It was very overwhelming to see everything on the eve before the race that was put in place to remember the victims and the coming together of a city.
I want people to remember this race as a huge accomplishment in their life but also to take everything in. I want them to listen to people. I want them to listen to the cheers. I want them to talk to people. I want them to read the signs. Read the bibs and see who people are running for. I want everyone to feel the 168 seconds of silence. These are things that I missed my first time around and things that I will not miss tomorrow.
Seeing the Memorial today and having a flood of emotions run through me as I remembered where I was and what I was doing when the bomb went off on April 19th, 1995 was incredible. It made me proud to be a part of this city and to be a part of a city that built itself up from that horrific day. It also made me proud that I was able to share my running experience with others and will be able to see them cross that finish line tomorrow and receive their Finisher’s Medal.
My first OKC Memorial Marathon, I didn’t think of it as a Run to Remember but more as a run for me. This time around, it will be for others.