Planning for next Memorial Marathon underway with only 6 months to go

Local

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It was a big weekend in Oklahoma City, the 21st Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was back on the streets. 

Over 12,000 people registered for the events this weekend, and staff tells us it was close to perfect! 

“It wasn’t perfect but it was pretty darn close,” said Executive Director Kari Watkins. 

However, it’s a quick turnaround for the 22nd annual run. Runners will be back on the starting line in six short months. 

“We hope by April, we’re back at full capacity. We’ll continue to watch the numbers and work through that,” said Watkins. 

Watkins says organizers are already looking at ways to improve. 

“It’d been two and a half years since we’d done this, and we went from being two blocks apart to a mile apart from the start and finish. So there are adjustments that we’ll make to perfect it to the standard we want to run this race,” said Watkins. 

This year, she says the last person to cross the finish line was around 2:19 p.m., something they might have to be stricter about next April. 

“It’s so hard to start tearing stuff down when you know there’s four people left on the course, and that always pulls at your heart strings, but at the same time we have to keep our word to the city and to our vendors,” said Watkins. 

And while we saw many firsts, we also heard stories of those who have been doing this for a long time. 

Like Burrel Gambel, who has been featured on KFOR before, and his friend Irene Park. 

At almost 101-years-old, it was Gambel’s 11th year to participate. 

Both Gambel and Park ended the 5K with a smile on their faces. 

“Just enjoyed it!” he said. 

To train, the pair tries to walk two miles a day. 

“I think it’s probably to prove a point … that we can do it!” said Park. 

They crossed the finish line together.

Here is a link if you would like to register for April’s race

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