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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: Boston tragedy has turned marathon running into an act of defiance

by Jenni Carlson Published: April 25, 2013
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photo - RUN / RUNNERS / RUNNING: Runners flow past the  Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum at the beginning of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
RUN / RUNNERS / RUNNING: Runners flow past the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum at the beginning of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

What happened in Boston struck a chord with him.

“I don't know why,” the exec told Bravo, “but the day after Boston, I went to the website to see what the qualifying time was for Boston.”

Distance running went through a huge boom back in the 1970s. When marathoner Frank Shorter won gold at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, he created a craze. He inspired fellow Americans to attempt the 26.2-mile race.

It was the first time many Americans thought about such a thing.

The Boston bombings have brought running back into the public conscience. The impact of that and the growth it might bring might not be known for years.

But the running community has already been changed by what happened last week on Boylston Street. Runners are rallying, and nowhere is that more evident than Oklahoma City. Marathon participants this weekend are being encouraged to wear red socks to honor bombing victims in Boston in addition to green shoelaces to honor bombing victims in Oklahoma City.

Snipes senses an attitude of solidarity among runners. They are mindful of the people who were injured or killed in Boston.

“Everybody wants to do something,” Snipes said, “and runners, this is what we can do.”

Runners run, and now they are out to prove that neither bombs or terrorists nor fears or worries will stop them.

“It's kind of a thumb-in-your-eye kind of deal,” Snipes said.

The spirit of defiance now wears running shoes.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. Like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

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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