OKC MARATHON ‘IMPORTANT' AFTER BOSTON
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.”
‘DISPLACED OKIE' RUNS FOR HEALTH
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.
HUKILL RUNS FOR MOM
Jessica Hukill will run her second full marathon Sunday morning.
Her first came last November, when she completed Tulsa's Williams Route 66 Marathon. That race was particularly emotional; it was her final race in the year 2012, completing a goal of running 18 events to honor her mother's 18 weeks of chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer.
“She's amazing,” Hukill said of her mother, Becky Faaborg. “She's amazing. She's a rock.”
Faaborg was diagnosed with cancer in 2011, but still finished the 2011 Prairie Fire half-marathon, which was only 10 days before her surgery.
“It was wonderful,” Faaborg said. “I had no issues at all. When I crossed the finished line, I was pumping my fists saying, ‘I beat you, cancer. I beat you.' I had two very emotional thoughts: First, I ran my first half marathon. Second, I'm beating cancer.”
Faaborg ran the same half-marathon a year later, cancer-free. She isn't running in Oklahoma City on Sunday while recovering from another surgery, but plans to compete in the 2014 event.
“When she got sick, that's when I really stepped it up and started increasing and getting into racing,” Hukill said.
GREER RUNS FOR COMPETITION
Bill Greer, who moved to Oklahoma from San Diego a couple years ago, will run his 10th full marathon — and second in Oklahoma City — Sunday.
Greer, 62, runs one marathon a year, and said the reason he took up running is simple.
“I run because I want to compete,” Greer said. “I want to beat somebody.”
His last 13 years in California, Greer lived on a boat in the San Diego Bay. He said when he decided to move, he picked Oklahoma because it's “so polar opposite” from what he was used to.