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The Pendletons’ story hits close to home for NewsOK’s coverage of Memorial Marathon

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The Oklahoman sports reporters have been writing some great stuff this week as they’ve been telling the stories of some of the people who are running in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on Sunday.

The coverage began this past Sunday when Jenni Carlson wrote about the impact of the Oklahoma City Memorial on Thunder player Royal Ivey.

But then the coverage shifted away from professional athletes and to the everyday people with a story to tell.

Ryan Aber wrote a piece about Slayde Meyer, a teenager from Forgan who has lost more than 100 pounds and is running his second marathon. He’s changed his life.

Ed Godfrey told the story of Brendan Brustad, who will be running a half-marathon while carrying a 168-pound pack on his back. Seriously … 168 pounds? I’m not sure I could carry that pack for 13 feet, let alone 13 miles.

Jenni Carlson wrote about the Pendleton family, which participates in the marathon every year as a reminder of survival. Their son was at the YMCA day-care facility and survived the blast in 1995. Todd Pendleton was on the scene moments after the bombing, holding his bloodied son Evan and helping others to safety.

Yes, the Pendletons consider themselves blessed whenever they look at now 19-year-old Evan. He plays football. He throws discus. He will graduate from Washington High School next month. His name is on the Survivor Wall, and as he’s gotten older, it is something he’s taken more and more seriously.

There are more stories to tell this week and on Sunday, but Jenni’s article today strikes quite a nerve with me. I’ve heard this story before, since both of the Pendletons work at OPUBCO.

Todd is the Art Director in the News and Information Center. He also holds the important distinction of being the nicest guy in the building, if not the entire OKC metro area. It really can’t be argued. I should know, since I’ve personally worked with Todd on a variety of projects since I arrived at OPUBCO in 1998. He’s never said a cross word.

Robyn is the wellness trainer here at OPUBCO. She holds the distinction of being in peak physical condition all the time. It’s not a job 99 percent of the world could do.

They could easily trade those distinctions, however. Todd is in as good of shape as possible for someone who’s no longer, uh, 33 years old. And Robyn has never been rude to anyone as far as I can tell.

They’re an All-American family living in Washington, OK. And I’m glad Jenni brought their story to our readers.

But all these stories, whether I know the subjects personally or not, are a nice departure to the everyday sports ‘problems’ of Metta World Peace or quarterback controversies.

They are about real everyday people who make our community better.

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Alan Herzberger

Alan Herzberger is the Vice President of Audience Development at The Oklahoman Media Company. He focuses on digital strategies for The Oklahoman and for He’s been with The Oklahoman since 1997, when he joined the sports department.... Read more ›