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2013 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: Why they run

Several people who will run in Sunday's events share their reasons for running.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 27, 2013


Scott Kurzer and his wife, Shu Wang, want to run a marathon in all 50 states.

Oklahoma becomes No. 27 on their list Sunday, when the couple and their friends — Budi Januar and Fan Ny — complete the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. All four live in Columbus, Ohio.

Saturday, Kurzer and Wang wore T-shirts that read, “Boston stands as one.” They ran the Boston Marathon in 2009 and 2010, and said the bombing there a few short weeks ago makes Oklahoma City's race special to them.

“This being so close after that makes this one more important to us,” Kurzer said. “This is a run to remember people who were innocent victims in a bombing, and the same in Boston. They were just there to support the runners, friends and families.”

Wang said it will be impossible to run future marathons without thinking about the attack.

“I think it's taken the innocence out of running,” Wang said. “We used to just do it for fun, but I think now it's going to be very different.

“I think we'll be inspired, and appreciate the fact that we can run, and run for others who can't.”


Keith Willis calls himself a “displaced Okie.”

The 58-year-old Amarillo, Texas, resident grew up in Hobart and lived in Edmond before moving out west 20 years ago, but still returns home often to visit family.

He's also come back the past five Aprils to participate in the half-marathon.

“It's a health thing,” Willis said. “Middle-aged, overweight, family history. The whole thing. Just looking for something that was healthy, something that I could do.”

Willis walked his first half-marathon five years ago, finishing in 3 hours and 21 minutes.

“Walking was a good thing to start out with,” he said. “It was easy, something I could do. Then, it was pretty easy to up my time each time from 3 hours and 21 minutes.”

Saturday, Willis wore a T-shirt that read, “Runners for Boston.” He said his running group in Amarillo — the Lone Star Runners Club — sold the shirts to raise money to help in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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