Share “Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: Learning...”

Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon: Learning what people love about running

WHY I RUN — Oklahoman writer Jason Kersey made a pact with a fellow writer to run the 2014 race, and he hopes his efforts will encourage others.
by Jason Kersey Modified: April 26, 2014 at 5:14 pm •  Published: April 26, 2014

Like many people who love sports, I was never particularly good at them.

I also hated running. Hated it. The extent of my running came when high school football coaches made me run. Until, that is, about 15 months ago.

I forced myself to start working out in January 2013, and ran a couple miles about three times a week. My fiance Annie talked me into signing up for the Color Me Rad 5K a few months later, and I ran another 5K that summer.

Around that time, I made a pact with Ryan Aber, my good friend and partner on the OU beat, that we’d each run the Oklahoma City half marathon in 2014.

Even after running those 5Ks, the sport didn't really hook me until I started training for the half marathon. I never understood the concept of a “runner’s high” — How could anyone feel good doing something so miserable and strenuous? — but I get it now. I've found over the past several weeks that nothing relieves my stress or makes a bad day better than a long run around town.

I've covered several marathons since joining The Oklahoman staff in 2006, and have always been impressed by the thousands of folks who run each year. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine being one of them.

My family and friends couldn't have fathomed it either, but when I cross that finish line Sunday morning and complete what is — without question — the greatest athletic achievement of my life, I hope it will encourage others to give the sport a chance.

Because I’m telling you, if I can do it, anyone can.