Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon goes virtual for 20th year as COVID-19 continues

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon as its been known for 20 years has been cancelled this year in favor of a virtual race as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

β€œIt’s not that we are not running, we are just not running together,” said Kari Watkins of the OKC Memorial Marathon.

Race officials made the announcement online on Wednesday that the traditional scene of tens of thousands of runners and fans in downtown OKC will not happen.

The race, usually run in April, had been pushed back to October in the hopes that COVID-19 cases would subside.

β€œWe did not want to be a super spreader event. We just cannot responsibly organize a race of 25k runners on the streets of OKC,” said Watkins.

So now runners will have other options in October.

If they chose the virtual route, registered runners will need to complete their chosen distance in one try while timing with a running app between Oct 4-18th. They would then submit that info to marathon. Full race swag will go to those who complete the virtual race.

If runners want to decline the virtual race, there is no full money back option. They can chose to donate their registration money to the Memorial or they can choose to have their fees go toward participating in 2021 or 2022.

β€œFor runners out there you are disappointed, we are too. This is not what we wanted, certainly not how we envisioned our 20th year,” said Watkins

So what do OKC runners think about the shift to a picking their own starting and finish line?

Kevin Lyens of OKC Landrunners said, β€œI guess I never really thought about it going virtual as much as I thought it might just be canceled. Runners want to run. We want to be out there and we want to participate and we want to be involved in this marathon, it’s our marathon.”

β€œThis is the very best option, nobody wanted to need to resort to this but they are going to give us quite an event and quite a build up leading to it. It’s still going to be the best day of my year,” said Mark Bravo of OK Runners.

If runners want to have their money go to registration in 2021 or 2022, they need to let Marathon officials know by Aug 12th.

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