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OKC Memorial Marathon: Sunny and 72? Sign me up!

Oklahomans are well aware that forecasting the weather in this state is tricky business.

And when the forecast is more than a few days away? You're almost better off throwing darts.

I say all this as a disclaimer - the extended forecast for Sunday, the day of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, says it is going to be 72 and sunny.

Seems too good to be true.

God only knows what it will really be like, but right now, it sounds like runners may be in for a bit of a cool start. The low Saturday night into Sunday morning is forecast to be 51 degrees.

Now, if you're running, that's perfect. Again, almost seems too good to be true.

But here's the thing - runners will spend the first part of their day just standing around. Even though I've never run the Memorial Marathon - I'll be doing the half this year for the first time - I've covered the race enough to have an idea of how things work. Runners start arriving an hour or more before the race. They warm up. They potty. They go to the starting area. They have a last-minute snack.

And they stand around.

A lot.

So, with the temperatures expected to be a little cool, my running muse Amy Downs had a couple suggestions that I thought seemed perfect to share. She mentioned these a few weeks ago when it was still wintery, but they seem fitting now.

*Cheap $1 gloves come in handy: I don't think Amy meant this as a pun, but hey, if the glove fits ...

Anyway, this is a great idea. My hands are always cold, but after I run a mile or so, they warm up and I don't need my gloves any more. I guess there are those sub-zero days when the gloves stay on the whole time, but otherwise, they come off and I have to carry them the rest of the way.

Doing that while doing a really long run, a half or a full marathon, for example, seems like a huge hassle. So, buy some cheap-o gloves, then when the hands warm up, pitch the gloves.

(Sudden thought: Runners are notorious for shedding layers and just leaving them. Does anyone pick up all the discarded items during the Memorial Marathon? Seems they could be washed and donated to a good cause. Which brings me to another suggestion ... )

*Goodwill sweatshirts are popular: Apparently, lots of runners will buy sweatshirts that they've purchased from a thrift shop, wear them at the start line, then either shed them there or after a mile or so.

A brilliant idea.

*Bag Balm is your friend: Whether the weather is cold or warm, chafing is an issue when you're running for two or three or more hours. There are anti-chafing products designed specifically for runners, but Amy is a big believer in Bag Balm. You can find it at somewhere like Walgreens, and it works great.

So, find those cheap-o gloves and sweatshirts and prepare to grease up, my fellow runners. It's almost race day.


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 ›