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Great State: A Survivor’s Marathon

OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA — An early weekday morning and Amy Petty has the path at Lake Overholser to herself. The long runs in her marathon training are done. Hers is truly light work for someone who’s struggled so much to reach this point. “I feel fantastic,” she says. “I feel like I have a new lease on life.”

There are lots of people who remember where they were and what they were doing on April 19, 1995. Amy’s office faced the 5th Street window on the third floor of the Murrah Building. When it collapsed she was trapped in the rubble for six hours, much of it spent making deals with God. Petty recalls, “I had a six and a half hour ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.” “I felt like my life was over and I had regrets.”

Step by step, she changed her faith, her mind, her family, and her priorities. She went back to school, had a son, and the last priority she chose was her weight. Now, Amy says, “I feel like a completely different person. You know, your character and who you are, that doesn’t change. But just about everything else is different.”

She’s a full two hundred pounds lighter now than she was five years ago. The 2012 Memorial Marathon will be her first. Her goal, the latest in a long line of them, just to finish. “In want to run in honor of my co-workers. I want to run in their memory. Of course that was before I knew what was involved in the training,” she laughs.

Her route in the marathon will take her from the very beginning of her April 19th ordeal, past her old hospital window, and through a mob of friends and family who will cheer her on. Her journey will be difficult but e very stride will take her further toward the light. “That which does not kill you makes you stronger. That’s so true,” she says.