OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – There are big changes coming to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon next year. 2020 will be the 20th year for the marathon, marking 25 years since the Murrah bombing in downtown, where 168 lives were tragically taken.
But a heads up for runners, the biggest change coming is where the races are now set to finish.
“At the end of 2018, we realized we had outgrown our finish line in Automobile Alley,” said marathon operations director Jordan Ward.
It was this realization that caused marathon organizers to hit the drawing board.
In 2019, they changed the course of OKC by testing out the finish line at the Myriad Gardens.
But for 2020, only one finish spot made sense.
Now, the finish line will be at Walker Avenue and Oklahoma City Boulevard, leading straight into Scissortail Park.
“I don’t anticipate us changing from Scissortail Park anytime soon,” Ward said.
And there are a few more changes for those running races other than the marathon.
“The 5K is going to be running south this year, around the new Scissortail Park and into the South OKC community. We`re also going to have the kids’ marathon finish at Scissortail Park with all of the other races as well,” Ward said.
Half marathoners will see the biggest changes. They’ll no longer make a straight shot running down Shartel.
But Ward said even with the recent changes, one thing will never change.
“The start line will always remain the same, outside of the 9:03 gate. We will always do our 168 seconds of silence to remember those who were killed and those who survived, and those changed forever,” Ward said.
Those in attendance of the new course unveiling recalled the real reason they run this race.
“I actually remember when I was a kid when it happened. So, just to be able to do something, something that I loved, I don’t think there’s anything like it. Just the community comes out to support. It’s a special race. I’ve run some other things but nothing compares,” said Julie Martin, who attended the event.
Pushing on with hope, strength, and perseverance – but never forgetting.
“I think it’s a big statement of our survival and our community,” said Jackie Slater, who attended the event.
You can register for the marathon between now and January 1st before prices are set to increase.