UPDATE: The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon has started after an almost 2-hour delay.
Download the OKC Marathon App to track runners along the course.
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum Director Kari Watkins said the Memorial Marathon must start by 8 a.m. but they “can fudge on the time” at bit.
Watkins said they may start the race shortly after 8 a.m. because of weather.
They can’t start much later than 8 a.m. because the heat later in the day will cause problems for runners as well.
OKLAHOMA CITY – While runners gear up, organizers with the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon are working to ensure a fun, but safe experience.
“We have more than 200 officers on the course and some in uniform, some not in uniform,” said Kari Watkins, race director and executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. “There’s some running. You’d never know where they are.”
A record number of participants are scheduled to take this course Sunday with almost 26,000 people.
As they make their final preparations, organizers are putting final security measures in place to ensure runners are weather aware.
Watkins said, “Three years ago we experienced wind, hail, rain, I think everything but snow during the race.”
This year could be a similar scenario.
Organizers have an alert system in place, which is visible at all 17 stops along the 26.2 mile run.
White means everything is clear on the course.
Black means critical, and in this situation, the race would be called off due to severe weather or overcrowded medical stations.
Sheila Kidder is with the running group Runhers.
Her main concern is the temperature.
Kidder said, “It’s hot and when you’re running it adds another 10 to 15 degrees so it’s going to feel like it’s 85 out there, and they’re not used to that.”
With the marathon now in its 14th year organizers say they are prepared for anything and everything.
“Calling the black flag is a big deal. We won’t take that lightly,” said one organizer. “It would be very disappointing to call off the race after people of months of training into place but what would be more disappointing is if we put someone on the course and something happened.”
If the rain and weather forces a delay, three shelters have been established for protection.
In the event of severe weather, runners can wait at the DEQ parking garage, Memorial Auto Park and the OCU School of Law covered parking areas.
Runners will find the weather alert system and precautions in their event guide.
For more information visit okcmarathon.com.