Last Saturday and Sunday, over 150 runners participated in 24 The Hard Way, a 24-hour race at Oklahoma City's Bluff Creek Park. Some of the runners shared their stories with The Oklahoman.
The family business
Chisholm Deupree, of Edmond, is a second-generation long distance runner. Deupree is also the co-director of 24 The Hard Way.
Deupree, who was far busier than any other racer, ran 79 laps around the trail for a total distance of 75.97 miles. His time was 23:58:44.
“I think it's just having the opportunity to do something you love,” Deupree said about why he enjoys running such long distances. “You really do have an excuse to tune out some other stuff.”
The 47-year-old coordinated the race that served as USA Track & Field's National Championship for its category.
“It was a goal of mine to bring that championship to Oklahoma City,” Deupree said, a process that took five years to come to fruition. Now, five years into the race, Deupree and his co-director Dave Wood welcomed more than 150 runners to Oklahoma City for the competition.
The competition has grown each years and Deupree said he believes they could host closer to 200 runners next year and they plan on bidding for another national championship in 2015.
Deupree's time earned him a 53rd place finish — a finish he said could be better if he hadn't accepted the responsibilities of being a co-director. Having a full-time job as most of the others in the competition do, Deupree said he runs between 70-75 miles per week, sometimes at Bluff Creek Park and sometimes at Oklahoma Christian University's new two-mile trail.
As for the first-generation runner in the Deupree family, Harry Deupree spent last weekend running right beside his son. Harry Deupree, at 75 years old, ran 55.78 miles. The father-son combo weren't the only family members on the trail either. Terra Deupree, Chisholm's wife, finished her race at 26.93 miles.
John Cash won this year's event with 146 laps in 23:03:36.
“Our champion, John Cash, came in from St. Louis and he was just as gracious from the start to the finish,” Chisholm Deupree said. “There is a lot of runner support out there. There is a lot of shared suffering.”
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