Jeff Greenlee doesn't know whether anyone cheered as he crossed the finish line on Sunday at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
Greenlee said he blacked out after mile 20 of the 26.2-mile race and doesn't remember reaching the end along Broadway Avenue.
Thankfully, he somehow ended up at the post-race medical tent, being treated for heat exhaustion.
“My temperature had risen to 107,” he said. “They threw me in an ice bath to cool me down and try to get that under control — I don't remember any of that.”
Greenlee, 50, returned home to Altus on Monday after a trip to OU Medical Center after he finished the marathon.
At least four people were taken to a hospital during the races. An estimated 25,000 runners participated in this year's event.
A runner in his 30s was taken in serious condition to St. Anthony Hospital on Sunday, but because of federal privacy laws, the hospital could not release any information about his condition. Three others were taken in good condition.
Twenty-seven people at the marathon needed medical assistance, including 14 who needed to be treated by emergency medical crews, officials with the Emergency Management Services Authority said.
This was Greenlee's third time to run the Oklahoma City marathon. It also marked his seventh marathon, including the Boston Marathon in 2012.
This was the first time Greenlee has experienced any health issue during a marathon, he said. He attributes his blackout to the heat. Sunday, the temperature reached 73 degrees by 1 p.m., although Greenlee finished earlier in the day.
“My mistake is coming out the first half and running the first half at a seven minute and 15 second pace,” Greenlee said. “That was just too fast for me. I would have been on pace for a three-hour and 10-minute marathon, and I knew I couldn't do that. I was kind of shooting through Mile 19 before I blacked out.”
Greenlee wears a device to track his steps while he runs. It creates a map that he can view after the race of what his path looks like. His route from Sunday gets interesting toward the finish line, he said.
“It looks like a kindergartner got a hold of a Crayola and just squiggled lines everywhere,” he said. “I don't know what I was thinking or what was going on through there, but I was everywhere.”
This won't be Greenlee's last marathon, though. He finished Sunday with a time of 3:27:57 and said he hopes to be able to run in the Boston Marathon in 2014.
“I like the challenge of seeing what I can improve on with the time, and I feel fortunate that I have the good knees and joints to do that, and that's the reason I push myself,” he said.
Contributing: Leighanne Manwarren, Staff Writer