OKC Memorial Marathon: Chairs bring meaning to the marathon

Every year, marathon participants leave tributes to those who died in the Oklahoma City bombing on the chairs.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 29, 2012
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Go to the chairs on race day, and you'll see a bit of everything. There are photos being taken, tears being shed and prayers being said.

But there are also smiles.

That was the case at Mickey Maroney's chair. The Secret Service agent's daughter, Alice, was part of a group that stood around her dad's chair talking and laughing.

“He wouldn't want it any other way,” she said.

She wore a gray shirt that matched everyone else's. On the front were the words “PIG SOOIE” and a picture of the Arkansas Razorback, a nod to her dad's football days at Arkansas. He played football on the '64 national championship team.

Team Pig Sooie — Alice's husband, Bob; her sons Zac and Cody; and their friends David Lorenz and Andy North — finished the five-person relay in under 4 hours.

Even though Mickey was always in shape, he was never a runner.

“Heavens no,” Alice said, laughing.

Bob said, “He'd be making fun of us right now. He probably is making fun of us.”

But they left one of the relay medals with the red ribbon tied around one side of his chair.

“I got an extra for him,” Bob said.

It added to the rainbow of medals — green for the full marathon, yellow for the half marathon, blue for the 5K, orange for the kids' marathon.

The Bussey boys left their orange bibs, Jacob's 52985 and Blake's 52986. Both of them had visited the memorial before with their classes from Quail Creek Elementary. But this trip was different.

“This is the first time I've got to walk on the grass,” Jacob said of the area around the chairs.

You did much more than walk, Jacob. You helped make sure that the men, women and children who died in the bombing are never forgotten.


by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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