Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test for October’s race

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will require participants in the 21st Annual Memorial Marathon set for October 2-3, 2021, to either provide proof of vaccination or produce a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their race in order to participate in the Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay and 5K. Anyone over 12 years of age participating in the Kids Marathon must also provide the same proof.

“After the bombing in 1995, so many people said OKC couldn’t recover and move forward,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. “We showed the world a new standard of working together and this Marathon stands for the same resilience of our community we saw then, and we can see now. We believe we can honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by running this race and honoring so many who have bravely battled this world-wide pandemic including some of the same medical professionals who were the first to rush to the scene. This is our opportunity to show a new generation the Oklahoma Standard first-hand.”

In an effort to create the safest environment possible, Marathon race officials have set a race cap at 12,000 which is 50 percent of the runners that participated in 2019 and adopted enhanced health and safety policies.

“OU Health has been the proud presenting sponsor of the OKC Memorial Marathon Health & Fitness Expo for 21 years. Many of our physicians were there in 1995, both in person helping with rescue efforts and in our hospitals caring for the injured. The Marathon holds a special place in our hearts for that reason, but also because it encourages health and fitness in a state that desperately needs that focus. We are extremely pleased that Memorial leadership and the Oklahoma City Marathon planning committee have assessed the COVID-19 risks and are providing a new level of safety to this year’s participants by requiring vaccination or a negative COVID test. Vaccines have proven to be extremely safe, and we encourage all participants to get theirs if they haven’t already. We look forward to a safe and healthy 2021 Oklahoma City Marathon.”

Dr. Dale Bratzler, DO, MPH, MACOI, FIDSA, University of Oklahoma Chief COVID Officer

Marathon officials say these emulate best practices being used in major marathons and public events across the country and throughout the State of Oklahoma.

“INTEGRIS Health is honored to be a sponsor of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and to support this event once again this year. We whole-heartedly support the safety precautions enacted by the planning committee and Oklahoma City National Memorial Leadership, to require proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours. The marathon is a critical part of Oklahoma City’s past and ongoing commitment to resiliency and health. The additional safety measures put in place, similar to other major marathons and public events, allow us to navigate the pandemic while still honoring those we lost and the rescue workers who did not give up, despite dark days. We appreciate all of the participants who embrace these efforts, who won’t give up, and who are going the distance to keep each other safe.”

Julie Watson, MD MPH, INTEGRIS Health Chief Medical Officer

The changes to the participant policies include:

  • If an individual tests positive or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the event, they are asked not to participate in any of the Marathon events.
  • Anyone over the age of 12 running the Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, 5K or Kids Marathon must bring to the Health & Fitness Expo personal identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport) along with a completed vaccination card of being fully vaccinated prior to 14 days of race day OR a negative test taken within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run.
  • Proof of vaccination can be the original paper copy, legible photocopy or digital copy of official COVID-19 Vaccination Card and must be shown with a personal photo ID.
  • Individuals unable to provide proof of full vaccination prior to 14 days of race day or a negative test within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run will not be allowed to enter the Health & Fitness Expo on October 1-2 and will be unable to pick up their race bib and other necessary materials that allow for participation in the event.
  • The OKC Memorial Marathon policy recognizes COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. Accepted COVID-19 tests are those that have received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) and include RT-PCR, RE-LAMP, lateral flow, and rapid antigen tests.
  • The OKC Memorial Marathon will work with a third-party testing provider for COVID test administration and results tracking. Free, on-site testing will begin on Thursday morning, September 30 at 7:00 a.m. Exact hours, locations, and additional details will be communicated directly to all participants. Tested participants will not receive immediate access to enter the Health & Fitness Expo on October 1-2 for bib number pick-up and will be required to wait for confirmation of test results. 
  • Every participant must provide proof of either full vaccination prior to 14 days of race day or a negative test within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run and pick up bibs personally. Participants must show their personal photo ID with such proof. Upon successful verification of a vaccination record or a negative COVID-19 test, registered runners will receive a bracelet which must be worn at all times in order to access the Health & Fitness Expo, the runner corral, medical aid stations, the medal and food area following completion of the race and to ride an official Marathon hotel shuttle.
  • The quickest way to enter the Memorial’s Health & Fitness Expo and receive race day materials is to be fully vaccinated and have an original, legible copy, photocopy or digital copy of your vaccination card.
  • Masks will be expected to be worn in the Health & Fitness Expo, on bus shuttles, at the Start Line corrals and after crossing the Finish Line. Masks will not be required while running the course.
  • Masks will be required to enter the medical tents and will be available near the entrance of each tent. All medical volunteers along the race course will be vaccinated.
  • Water stops will practice social distancing and have food items individually portioned for runners to pick up. Sanitization stations will be located near all water stops along the course.
  • Marathon volunteers will also be wearing PPE for everyone’s safety and protection.
  • Participants and spectators are expected to follow best practices on personal hygiene, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, handwashing and social distancing.
  • The Race start will happen in waves allowing for distance between runners.

“The Memorial Marathon has evolved into one of Oklahoma City’s most vital traditions and one of the most impactful legacies of our community’s response to the Bombing. I know I speak for the entire city when I express our excitement for its return to our streets this year.”

Mayor David Holt, Oklahoma City

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