The Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma is felt like a nonstop, 26.2 mile party; it is the first marathon that I have run where I really wished I wasn’t trying to hit a time goal. (I’m fairly sure that only about 10- 15% of us were actually “trying” out there.) Route 66 is the annual Marathon Maniac reunion race, so part of festive vibe was due to the fact that so many of the participants knew each other or had something in common; I’ll attribute the rest of the fun to the town of Tulsa rolling out the red carpet and the awesome volunteers.
I’ve never spent time in Tulsa, but it’s a very nice city. The start and finish for this race are about a half mile apart (why, Tulsa??), so I chose to stay at the Fairfield Inn which was near the finish line. It’s a great hotel with some good restaurant choices within walking distance. The forecast predicted temperatures in the upper 30’s- low 40’s for race day, but it felt pretty warm when I stepped outside, so I chose to run in shorts and a tank top. (This was a good decision, future Sadie.) The walk to the start line wasn’t terrible, and there was a whole fenced off section of the starting area for Marathon Maniacs. (This is where the party was.)
I joke that if a city contains an art museum, it features it in the marathon. And said art museum is always sitting on a large hill. This was, of course, true of Tulsa. However, the museum barely registered because the ENTIRE CITY is one big series of uphills. (I’m not kidding. There seems to be no downhill streets in all of Tulsa. They all go up.)
On a more serious note, the hills on this course felt relentless, but they weren’t large and were more annoying than problematic. Fortunately, they were offset by some of the best race support I’ve ever seen in a midsize city. There were aid stations roughly every two miles; all which put their water before their Gatorade. (I dislike this setup, but that’s a nitpicky point.) There were also more unofficial liquor stops than official aid stations By FAR. And it was every kind of booze: beer, mimosas, whisky, Jello shots… Once again, it was a bummer that I was trying to run fast…
With all the hills to contend with, I hadn’t expected to log a particularly quick time. The cool temperatures and fun atmosphere must have been exceptionally motivating, because I ended up finishing in 3 hours and 26 minutes. I was also the overall female master’s winner. (I once again attribute this to the fact that more people were out to have a good time than to run.)
In summary, this was an incredibly enjoyable race that I hope to run again someday. But the next time I’ll be throwing back some shots and completing the world’s shortest ultra marathon—made possible by running an additional .3 miles through the Center of the Universe detour at mile 26.
Sub 4 State: 48, BQ State: 48, Sub 3:30 State #25
Finish Time: 3:26:30
Place Within My Gender: 6/ 625 (overall master’s)
Favorite Race Day Song: “Shake it Off” (The version from The Magicians)
Total Training Miles: 9,460
Shoe Total: 28