A typo in the original article was corrected.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After two years of changes due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers say they were excited for a bit of normalcy to come back to the 22nd Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

However, Mother Nature had to have one final say before the race could take off as planned.

As severe storms moved through Oklahoma on Saturday evening, race officials decided to delay the marathon’s start time by one hour.

Beginning at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, runners from 47 states and 11 countries took off from the starting line.

The runners range in age from 17-year-olds to one 79-year-old marathoner. Organizers say an 85-year-old is also participating in the half-marathon.

Daniel Murphy, from Norman, was the early leader in the men’s full-marathon race. Within the first six miles of the race, he was on pace for a 5:32 mile.

As the race wound through Crown Heights and approached Bishop McGuinness High School, Murphy continued on record pace.

Race expert Mark Bravo says Murphy competed in Iowa, but has lately been training in Oklahoma.

At mile 11, Murphy continued strong but his pace slowed just slightly to 5:42 a mile. However, he continued to have a steady lead over the other runners.

Shortly before 9 a.m., Daniel Murphy crossed the 16-mile mark and actually increased his lead over the other runners. At that point in the race, Murphy was on pace for a 5:29 mile.

At the 19 1/2-mile mark, the men’s race began to get interesting.

Daniel Murphy was still in the lead but there had been a change in the second place runner.

Bryant Keirns took over the second spot and was only a few seconds behind Murphy.

Just moments later, Keirns took over the top spot from Daniel Murphy.

Keirns ran at Oklahoma Christian University. Keirns’ lead continued to grow as he was on pace for a 5:24 mile.

With less than three miles left, Bryant Keirns was crossing through Mesta Park and was still strong.

His pace increased to 4:56 a mile.

With just one mile left, Keirns continued to lead the race. Daniel Murphy, who led much of the race, fell to third place behind James Martinez.

Race expert Mark Bravo says Keirns may be a student of the women’s marathon leader, McKale Montgomery, at OSU.

Keirns was able to cross the finish line at 9:54 a.m. with a final time of 2:24:51.

Bryant Keirns said that he was happy but a little tired after completing the race.

He confirmed that the leader of the women’s marathon, McKale Montgomery, is actually his teacher and his training partner at OSU.

Keirns said he may reward himself with a Little Caesar’s pizza after he leaves the race.