Now, in his 13th race, Lambert sits in his own booth to give directions to relay runners who are racing for the first time. He noticed in the first couple years that relay runners didn't always know where to go, running the wrong legs of the course, and knew it was a problem that could immediately be solved.
He also rides in the vehicle that goes ahead of the lead runner. The marathon's course director, John Hulsey, met Lambert for the first time last year when they rode in the lead vehicle together.
“I think it's absolutely incredible,” Hulsey said, who ran eight Memorial marathons before he started volunteering in 2009. “I think it speaks highly of what the Memorial means to him, what it stands for and what we're trying to accomplish there. That's huge.”
Lambert expects this year's race will have some differences. He already is aware of some procedural differences, like runners only being able to drop off and pick up their clothes in a bag given to them by the race, but he believes it remains a special event.
“I really saw the strength of character that this city has,” Lambert said about Oklahoma City after the bombings and then the devastating tornado a few years later. “That's something that's very special. It's something the city can be proud of. We've gone through difficult times. The city has kept its collective head up and kept going and tried to make positive things out of the tragedies that have happened.
“To be a part of something like that, I think it's a special thing. It's an honor to be able to be a part of that.”