OKLAHOMA CITY - The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is now just days away.
Sunday, April 30, more than 20,000 runners will pack city streets for the "Run to Remember."
It's an event that not only helps us overcome tragedy but also shines a spotlight on our city - one famous for the "Oklahoma standard."
"The marathon in many ways, is the perfect metaphor for the resilience that has been shown since the bombing. The rebirth, the sustainability and overcoming adversity," said Dave Hager, President and CEO of Devon Energy. "It`s important for us to have a positive image because we are recruiting people to come, to work, and live here in Oklahoma City. The marathon really embodies that core value of being a good neighbor. It`s a natural marriage that we should be involved in this."
Many run to remember the lives lost back on April 19, 1995.
"We have learned to run in spirit and in memory and in joy instead of running for pain and wondering if our loved ones are still there," said LaDonna Battle-Leverett, whose parents were killed in the bombing.
Those who sign up to participate are not only running to remember, but are also making a generous donation when they sign up.
"The 24,000 plus runners who have signed up to run, thank you very much for doing that. This memorial and this museum would look very different without your gift. You are funding education, outreach, maintenance, beautification. You help make this place the special place that it is," said Kari Watkins, Executive Director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial Museum.
"Nothing changes or fuels a city like optimism. The memorial marathon reminds us we will never forget our past but we always look with anticipation to the future," said Oklahoma City's Mayor Mick Cornett. "Of course the memorial marathon is a big boost to our economy, about $8.2 million. That`s a large impact for a weekend event."
But the impact is not only seen in dollar value.
"The impact is not just in dollars and cents. The impact is the PR. People come and they see how great Oklahoma City is. Running events are decreasing in numbers. One of the things that I think is special about this event is that this event has not decreased in its number. It`s stayed very steady," said Sue Hollenbeck with the Oklahoma City Convention and Visitors Bureau.
And with just days away, excitement is starting to settle in for all who plan to attend.
"It just gives that excitement, excitement I don`t think other cities necessarily have. I've never been in or to a city that has pride like we have here in Oklahoma City. And the memorial, the race, the weekend is really a big part of that," said Hollenbeck.
"We are surrounded by great corporate citizens and we are so appreciative of those who continue to give and give when they are pulled in so many different directions. And their gifts make this race possible," said Watkins.
And if you're not taking part in the race or cheering from the sideline, you can join NewsChannel 4 Sunday, April 30 at 6 a.m. for live team coverage of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.