By Alyssa Sperrazza, News Editor
Continuing the tradition conceived in 2001, the 2017 Memorial Marathon will take place Sunday, April 30. The Memorial Race, voted one of the 12 ‘must-run marathons worldwide by “Runner’s World Magazine”, has multiple events to participate. Besides the marathon’s 26.2 mile loop, there’s also a half-marathon, a relay, the Memorial 5K and a kids run. All these events make sure that every age group can participate.
Two OBU students are tying up their shoes, ready to run this year’s race.
“I have run the Memorial relay and the half marathon,” senior nursing major, Hannah Christian said. “I am running the full marathon this year.”
Tackling the 26.2-mile beast will be a first for Christian.
“I have run half marathons before but this will be my first full marathon,” Christian said.
Joining her as a first-time marathoner is sophomore nursing major Moriah Lamb.
“I’ve run several other 5K and 10K races [but] this will be my first [marathon],” Lamb said.
The marathon is a Boston qualifying event, letting runners try to beat the time to compete in next year’s Boston Marathon on Patriot’s Day. Both the Boston Marathon and the OKC Memorial Marathon now hold special places in runners’ hearts, in remembering the lives of those lost in terrorist attacks.
“I’ve always wanted to run a marathon,” Christian said. “I remember crewing my dad on this race and ever since then, I knew this is the one I wanted for run. This weekend I was reminded why we run. My running group ran by the memorial and just took a moment to remember. It was very humbling.”
Runners will pass banners along their run, each honoring one of the 168 people that died during the bombing April 19, 1995. The race– honoring those lives that were lost, the rescuers that aided and the survivors who carry on—attracts runners from all over the country.
“It’s awesome to see people from almost all 50 states come to remember the victims,” Christian said. “We run to show strength and courage. We run to celebrate life. We run with a purpose: to make a difference and change the world.”