Bum knee or not, 35-year-old Tiffany Roberts
wasn't going to be denied the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon finish line Sunday afternoon.
Roberts began her journey at 4:30 a.m. She was the last runner to finish, crossing the line just after 2 p.m. Roberts was able to jog the first 15 miles before walking the final portion of the 26-mile course. As she neared the finish line, volunteers cheered her on.
"I'm tired, but I'm OK,” Roberts said. "I'm glad the people with the marathon stuck around because it's very encouraging.”
Roberts had surgery on her knee last summer and her ankle began to hurt midway through the run. Her pain wasn't about to make her give up, even if she was in agony. Roberts wore the name of Margaret Goodson, who was among those killed in the Alfred P. Murrah Building bombing. Runners have the option of selecting a person to run for. Roberts didn't know Goodson.
"I thought about that a lot,” Roberts said. "I thought about what they went through. How terrifying that day must have been. You see all these nice people volunteering and I think about her and it kept me going. That's why I didn't want to quit. Plus, I'm pretty stubborn, too.”
Roberts trained for the marathon by walking in her neighborhood each night. She said nerves prevented her from getting more than a couple hours sleep Saturday night. Despite all of the pain, she said she'd like to run again.
"I'd love to,” she said. "Next year I may get my nephews involved.”
•Hot in the city:
The heat took its toll on many runners Sunday, particularly those running the full marathon and those finishing in more than four hours. While the temperature was a cool 56 degrees at the start of the half marathon and marathon, it warmed considerably by 9 a.m. and was hot by 10 a.m.
"This may be the hottest one we've had,” said marathon public relations chairman Randy Swanson
. "If not, it's close.”
It was close. Sunday's high topped out at 82 degrees. The record is 86 degrees on April 27, 2003. Temperatures have reached 79 twice (2001, 2006) in the seven-year history of the event. Nonetheless, because of a mere 5-mph wind, no cloud-cover and a searing sun, the heat caused the medical tent to nearly overflow between 10 a.m. and noon. A medical tent worker said it was the most people to ever be treated.
One of the medical tent visitors was Tracy Evans
, the 2004 women's winner of the Memorial Marathon. Evans, who placed fourth Sunday in 3:16:26, collapsed some 25 yards from the finish line, got up, ran another 20 yards and fell once again. She tried to return to her feet to no avail. So, she crawled across the finish line. Evans was immediately taken to the medical tent for treatment.
Her race experience ended pleasantly, though, once she got some fluids and had time to cool down. In fact, Evans left the tent under her own power, needing only ice bags wrapped to her knees.
•No record for Faulkner:
, who won the 2006 Memorial Marathon and placed second in 2005, entered the half marathon this year in hopes of becoming the first person to win both events. Faulkner, 25, also said he would like to set the course record in the half marathon and return in two years to the full marathon for a shot at that record.
As it turned out, Faulkner didn't win Sunday or meet the time he had set as a goal.