The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is a celebration of life. Focusing on the power of the human spirit and will to persevere, it’s no surprise this race has landed a spot on the ’12 must run marathons in the world’ by Runner’s World magazine. It was created to honor the 168 people who lost their lives in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, and the race’s mission is to encourage positive change in the world and inspire hope to all who participate. All proceeds are donated to the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, and is the organization’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
“Our mission is to celebrate life, reach for the future, honor the memories of those who were killed and unite the world in hope. This is not just another marathon. It is a Run to Remember…and a race to show that we can each make a difference and change the world.” – OKCM staff
The inaugural race set out in 2001 with a little under 5,000 runners in attendance. Now, in its 17th year, the event draws over 25,000 people from 50 states and around the world. Through out the entire course, the race honors those who where lost. At the starting line, racers fall silent for 168 seconds, a moment for each of the victims. The course itself is lined with 168 victim banners in remembrance. The marathon course leads runners through some of the most beautiful areas in Oklahoma City, crossing historic neighborhoods and into the capitol, it ends beneath the famous neon signs perched in Automobile alley. Did we mention it’s a Boston Marathon qualifier?
The marathon is only one of six events offered, racers can choose from:
The relay race is a crowd favorite. Comprised of 5 person teams, the race has two 3.1 mile legs, two 6.2 mile legs and one 7.5 mile leg. There are opportunities for runners and walkers of all skill levels. Want to be part of the relay, but you’re a die-hard marathoner? This race will let you do both… at the same time! Run the full marathon (or half) and the tracking chip you wear will use your time during a specified section of the course as your relay results.
With events for all levels of skill, age, and ability, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is an experience you’re going to want to share with all the runners in your life. Registration for the 2018 event will open on Labor Day weekend of this year; be sure to check the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon website for more info and to register!
Interested in learning about other great events? Check out our top race lists like Best Beer Runs and Our Favorite Races in Miami. Make sure you head over to Athlinks.com, and create a free profile to claim and share all your race results!