OKC Memorial Marathon: Scar is a reminder to Pendletons

Todd, Robyn and Evan Pendleton will participate in Sunday's Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, remembering how close they were to the blast that day.
by Jenni Carlson Published: April 24, 2012
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Todd eventually took both of the boys to St. Anthony's Hospital.

That's where Robyn ultimately met up with them.

Then working at the Earlywine Park YMCA, now a wellness trainer at The Oklahoman, she was relieved to find Evan and yet horrified by what he'd endured. She took him home and had to pick glass out of his little body.

“He had it in his socks and his diaper,” she said. “The explosion just made it like sand.”

Robyn saw the devastation inside the day care firsthand a week or so later. As a YMCA worker, she was among the employees who went inside to help recover as much as possible. Massive shards of glass had embedded in the weight equipment. Cinder block walls around the pool area had fallen, exposing second- and third-floor rooms. Glass windows and doors where Todd and Evan had passed through only minutes earlier had become a shower of deadly projectiles.

For the next year or so, Evan slept in his parents' bedroom. He never liked thunder or sirens after that day either.

Still ...

“You think of those kids at the other day care,” Todd said of the 15 children who died inside America's Kids.

“And their parents,” Robyn said softly.

Yes, the Pendletons consider themselves blessed whenever they look at now 19-year-old Evan. He plays football. He throws discus. He will graduate from Washington High School next month.

His name is on the Survivor Wall, and as he's gotten older, it is something he's taken more and more seriously.

That's the main reason why he'll run Sunday in a five-person relay with four of his football buddies. It's the second year he's participated in the Memorial Marathon.

Evan and his scar remind the Pendletons of the bombing, their blessings and their thanksgiving.

So does the marathon.

“When you go, they have that opening ceremony,” Todd said of the 168 seconds of silent before the race, a tribute to the 168 people who died as a result of the bombing.

“It's a long 168 seconds,” Robyn said.

Todd nodded.

“It refocuses you on it every time.”


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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