Jake Buhler of Edmond on Sunday became the second man to win back-to-back Oklahoma City Memorial Marathons.
Buhler, a third-year dental student at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, shaved more than a minute off his winning time from one year ago despite having to take a bathroom break along the course.
“I took a minute pit stop about mile 14,” said Buhler, who jumped into a port-a-potty around the Lake Hefner exchange. “Someone was getting out right when I approached. After that, I felt really good.”
Buhler's winning time on Sunday was 2 hours, 26 minutes and 13 seconds. His winning time last year was 2:27:30.
“I was happy with the time,” said Buhler, a former collegiate distance runner for Utah Valley. “The weather turned out to be all right. I caught a second wind around the 20-mile mark, which usually doesn't happen.”
Buhler's time was the second fastest in the 13-yeear history of the marathon. Conor Holt, a former University of Oklahoma track standout who is now coaching at Oklahoma City University, set the course record in 2004 at 2:22:54.
Holt is the only other man to win back-to-back Memorial Marathons, also winning the race in 2003.
Buhler, 26, easily finished ahead of the pack both years. On Sunday, he didn't see another marathon competitor for the final five miles and finished 10 minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, Daniel Stone.
“I just got in my own zone and stayed relaxed,” he said. “I was pretty hydrated. I had people helping me out along the course (with water) as well as more accessibility to the aid stations this year, which helps a lot.
“Hydration, you got to do through the week. I kind of prepared all week for that.”
Next year, Buhler will have the opportunity to be first man to win three consecutive Memorial Marathons, unless dental school interferes.
“I would love to come back, but we have our licensure board exams always this week, so maybe we will get something worked out,” he said.