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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: Course changes to benefit full marathon runners

Marathon runners will not have to weave through slower traffic to reach waters stops, finish line.
by Ed Godfrey Published: April 26, 2013
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/articleid/3803561/1/pictures/2037301">Photo - RUN / RUNNERS / RUNNING: WINNER: Jake Buhler of Edmond wins the the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman
RUN / RUNNERS / RUNNING: WINNER: Jake Buhler of Edmond wins the the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in Oklahoma City, Sunday, April 29, 2012. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

In past years, the wrong person even has been initially identified as the winner.

“Before it was everybody and their brother coming through there,” said Jon Hulsey, course director. “Now the halves will be on the left side of the roadway and the fulls on the right side. We will be able to spot the winners real easy.”

There are other changes along the course designed to lessen the congestion such as adding more running lanes, moving some relay exchanges and placing water stops on both sides of Classen.

“There have been bottlenecks in the past on different areas of the course,” Hulsey said. “We are trying to eliminate those bottlenecks.”

Hulsey knows firsthand the issues on the course. He ran the marathon for eight years before becoming the course director last year.

The course changes were necessary because the number of participants in the event is getting so large, he said.

Had the cones been in place on the course in 2010, Thompson said there might have been a different winner in the women's marathon.

Jenny Graef of Norman led for most of the race but was caught at the tape by former University of Oklahoma track All-American Catherine Lisle and lost by one-hundredth of a second.

Graef was caught in the traffic and had to waste a lot of energy navigating the crowd down the stretch, Thompson said. She also didn't know Lisle was so close behind her, he said.

“Kat kind of got lost in all the runners,” Thompson said. “Jenny had no idea she was behind her because of all the runners blocking her view.”

by Ed Godfrey
Copy Editor, Outdoors Editor, Rodeo, River Sports Reporter
Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more...
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