RUNNER REPRESENTS MOORE
As of Friday, University of Central Oklahoma graduate Maurice Lee III was the only listed Boston Marathon runner from Moore, another city that knows a thing or two about recovering from adversity.
On May 20, 2013, a tornado touched down at 2:56 p.m. on the west side of Newcastle and tracked across Moore. The EF-5 twister killed 24, injured scores of others and caused billions in damage.
Lee, CEO of Smokarama Inc., located in Boley, has always liked to run. He started running in his 50s as a way to maintain his weight and won his division. In 2006, he ran his first marathon, an event in Tulsa. Monday’s Boston event will be his 30th marathon.
Lee lives about a mile from Moore’s tornado-ravaged area, close enough to have had tornado debris fall in his yard. Two of his running friends were near the Boston Marathon finish line when the bombs exploded.
“I feel like it is important for us to do it and to remember what happened here last year,” Lee said Friday afternoon from Boston.
He said he’ll take time to personally reflect about what transpired. He said he also will be aware of his surroundings while he’s in the city.
“I don’t have any fear of being here and I don’t have any fear of running in the race,” he said.
Monday’s National Weather Service forecast for Boston calls for mostly sunny skies and a high in the 60s, meaning it will be cooler than that at race time. Lee said it will be ideal weather as far as he’s concerned.
SECURITY REASSURES RUNNER
Like the others, Leslie Buford, a periodic voice in The Edmond Sun in her role as spokeswoman for OU Medical Center-Edmond, said she is not outwardly concerned about her personal safety.
“The Boston Athletic Association has been phenomenal in letting us know the changes to security of this year’s race,” Buford said. “They have assured us that over 3,500 law enforcement officers will be on the course on Monday to make sure runners and spectators are safe. I am far more concerned about conquering the infamous Heartbreak Hill than any sort of terrorist incident.”
Earlier this week, race organizers released information about public safety measures.
They include an increased Boston Police Department presence along the course route, more than 100 security cameras and nearly 50 observation points.
Buford said for a marathon runner, Boston is the penultimate race for an amateur. Buford said it’s history and having to qualify make it mean more. Then there’s the crowds — more spectators than ever are expected to line the 26.2-mile course on Patriots’ Day.
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