Joe Jacobi never had any desire to run a marathon.
Canoeing and kayaking are his sport — he won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in white-water canoeing, and is now CEO of USA Canoe/Kayak, which relocated to Oklahoma City in December.
“As I learned more about the memorial and what the marathon means to this community, that was the push for me,” Jacobi said. “That's why I'm here.
“Everything I love about this town all connects back to the memorial. We came here because of all the activity on the river, but we really learned that it has an incredible connection to the memorial.”
Jacobi said the “new sports of Oklahoma City” — the Thunder, the marathon and the river sports — all connect to the memorial.
“Just a few short years ago, these are things that no one ever could have imagined here,” Jacobi said. “To have a team contending for the NBA title, to have one of the most special and unique marathons anywhere in the country, and to be the center of the canoe/kayak world. All three of those things have connections to the memorial. That's why I run.”
Jacobi ran the half-marathon last year, but decided to take the leap and run the full 26.2 miles this year.