Smiths hope running OKC Memorial Marathon will help healing

BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, skuzydym@opubco.com Published: April 23, 2013
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Friends in Chau and Michael Smith's Kansas City running circle asked the couple why they are running the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

The Smiths chose the Memorial Marathon for many reasons, but one of them is that they hope the strength and resiliency of Oklahoma will help them heal.

“They've been through a terrible situation,” Michael Smith said of the Murrah Building Bombing in 1995. “The Boston thing was terrible but it doesn't even compare to what Oklahoma City has been through.”

After the Boston bombings, the Memorial Marathon extended an offer to those runners unable to complete the Boston Marathon to run in Oklahoma City for free.

It's only been a week and a half since Michael Smith stood a block away from the Boston Marathon finish line on Boylston Street, watching police officers attend to the wounded and wondering if his wife could possibly have run faster than he calculated.

Thankfully, Chau Smith was stopped .7 miles from the finish line.

“I heard all the fire trucks and police cars and ambulances head that way,” Chau Smith said about her experience after she was told by police that the race was closed. “It finally hit me hard. I was born and raised in Vietnam, and I'd gone through the war. To know what was going on, it was just like a war was going on. I started to cry, and I was shaking.”

“I think it's a good thing for Chau to go through,” Michael Smith said of the Oklahoma City marathon. “Part of her healing, I think might be to see some other people who have been through trauma and how they've gotten through it.”

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