The annual Run to Remember Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is dedicated to the memory of the 168 people who were killed in the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in downtown Oklahoma City, said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
More than 25,000 participants are expected to join the Memorial Marathon on April 26.
Proceeds from the fundraising event go to support the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum. The memorial does not receive annual funding from local, state or federal governments.
“It’s something extremely powerful to see while you’re running the names of the 168 lives that were lost,” said Edmond Police Officer Torrey Rowe. “You’re running by and it’s something that’s overwhelming to just look up and see the names. So I run for them.”
She has run the full marathon relay two other times. It is especially fun for her to participate as part of a relay team with people she has never met, but will achieve the full marathon together, Rowe said.
The marathon represents Oklahoma City’s struggles following the bombing in April 1995, Watkins said. It took perseverance, strength and courage to get Oklahoma City to the world-class city that it is today, she added.
“The triumph of the human spirit and good over evil are represented in every runner at the start line, their neighbors who cheer them on and the thousands of volunteers who make the marathon possible,” Watkins said.
Registration is open for the 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. All races, except the Kids Marathon, will start at 6:30 a.m. in downtown Oklahoma City at the national memorial.
The 26.2-mile marathon has been voted one of the 12 “must-run” marathons in the world by Runner’s World magazine. It is also a qualifying USA Track & Field sanctioned race.
Memorial Marathon enthusiast Sarah Knief said she will be running the full 26 miles. This will be her first time to run in the Oklahoma City event but she ran in a Dallas marathon in 2012, she said.
“I think the community itself has encouraged me by having other runners who are going through the same journey, having them encourage me to push forward and not give up,” Knief said.
“I think it’s honestly for a great cause, too,” she said.
FOR MORE information about the Oklahoma City Memorial Run to Remember, go to www.okcmarathon.com/.