OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s one of the longest running road races in the state.
Over its 37 years, the Redbud Classic has donated more than half a million dollars to charity, including this year to Teach For America. But this year, some special competitors are making their way through the pink blossoms, running for inclusion.
“This year, the Redbuds are in bloom which is perfect, so the timing couldn’t have been better for our runners to enjoy a nice afternoon running through beautiful streets,” said Patty Anthony, Redbud Classic Race Director.
Most of the 3,200 competitors finish the 5K or the 10K run.
Runner of all ages take part in the fun.
“51 and kickin’ and my first 5K in 2 years. I love the Redbud. I’ve been doing it since the 90’s with my family and friends. It’s great, it kicks off the spring, love it,” said Susan Planter Phillips.
Some of the most interesting finishers – a father and son combo from Oklahoma City.
“This is Steven’s favorite thing to do. This is what he has decided he wants to do and I want to do it with him as often as I can,” said Erik Heine.
Erik has been pushing his son with special needs, Steven, in races since 2014. The Heine family is involved with Team Hoyt Oklahoma; it’s the local chapter of a nationwide organization committed to inclusion.
“We allow children, and hopefully eventually adults, to be able to experience a race, something they might not otherwise be able to do,” said Patty Heine.
“I can do things with him that I simply can’t do on my own. I find myself running faster in races than I can just in training by myself,” said Erik Heine.