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Runners gearing up for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

OKLAHOMA CITY - We are just a few months away from the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and participants are getting excited!

"A lot of first-time half marathoners...Being a marathon, it’s actually exciting. It gets people moving. Each individual person comes to it for a different reason," said Willie Wilcoxen, a nine-time memorial marathoner.

And everyone has their own reason for running the marathon.

"I’ve sort of been on a fitness journey. I lost over 100 pounds. Running has kind of become part of my life as a way to stay healthy," said Rebekah Berry, a first-time half marathoner.

"Life got really stressful. My mom passed away and I needed a release so I just started running here and there and it’s progressed now to about 40 miles a week," said Alex Dzierewienko, a first-time marathoner.

" said first-time marathoner John Bobb-Semple.

And veteran marathoners say once you finish, it will be worth it.

"When you’re done, you’re just like, I just did this. I mean, I just completed something that I didn’t think in the beginning, when it’s cold like this, I could finish it and you have," said Vincent Hodge, a five-time marathoner.

"It’s hard sometimes to be motivated on your own and that’s why I think a group is important because sometimes people won’t take that risk. It gives you a little more confidence knowing you’ve gone the distance with other people. Running is something anyone can do. It’s really a mindset thing. It’s about mentally telling yourself 'You can do it,'" said Mary Hammer, a 12-time marathoner.

Running coaches say, it doesn't matter if you run or walk, and that's it's important to go at your own pace for the powerful event.

"Just start. Don’t be afraid to make a change in yourself. It’s that easy. Just get out the door and go. Even if you are walking. We believe it’s essential to get some form of cross training in there that helps increase that stride length and it helps to push you just a little bit more that you might not do on your own," said Zach Morton.

"The spirit and the energy that surrounds the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, I don’t think anyone could have predicted. This is such a powerful event because whether you are a runner or walker or it’s the thing that gets you to be, there’s a place for you at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, the best day in Oklahoma every year," said Mark Bravo.

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