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OKC Memorial Marathon: The reason that we run


Earlier this week, I moved.

Well, not just me. The Oklahoman is in the process of relocating its offices from Britton Road and Broadway Extension to downtown Oklahoma City. We sit on the corner of Sheridan and Robinson, sharing the intersection with the Colcord Hotel, Myriad Gardens and the Cox Convention Center.

It is too cool for school.

We have been talking about the move for more than a year, and I was excited when we first started talking about it. But now that I get to sit downtown and watch Oklahoma City bustle around me? Well, I’m kind of giddy about the whole thing.

I’m also pretty stoked about some new running routes, which is timely as I prepare to run the half marathon at the Memorial Marathon. At the building on Broadway Extension, we had access to an extremely nice outdoor running trail, but it got kind of monotonous running around and around and around. Now, I’ve got all sorts of options with new and different scenery.

So, the other day, I left the office and went out for a three-mile run. I wanted to explore, so I just decided to head north. My reason was simple: I didn’t think there would be too many traffic lights to deal with, so I wouldn’t have to mess with stopping and starting a bunch.

I set off north on Robinson, and as I ran, my pace was a bit faster than normal. I tend to run faster and easier when I’ve got new and different surroundings.

And as I ran, I started to think about where Robinson would lead me. That mental journey nearly stopped me in my tracks when I made a sudden realization.

I was going to run right by the Oklahoma City Memorial.

I hadn’t even thought about that until that very moment. It wasn’t planned or anything, but that afternoon, as I made my first run as a new workplace resident of downtown, I was going to run right by a place that is so central to who we have become as a city. And it is one of the main reasons why I decided to run the half.

Talk about cool.

I ran by the 9:01 gate on the east, then when I turned around and came home, I ran on the west side of the memorial past the 9:03 gate. I actually stopped and snapped a couple photos there. That stretch of street is also where the starting line is for the Memorial Marathon. It’s where I’ll join thousands of others in the early morning dark of April 26 and start our runs.

I can’t wait.

I plan to run north from the new Oklahoman digs a lot in the coming months. It’s a reminder of why I run.

We've put together a calendar with some options. To give it a look, click here.

Red Coyote has a training program for the marathon and half marathon. Contact the store at 405.840.0033 or go to for information about how you might get involved.

Want your training group included on our calendar, please email and we’ll get you added.

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Jenni Carlson

Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football... Read more ›