Route 66 Marathon puts Tulsa on running map
BY CHRIS LIEBERMAN
Thursday, November 15, 2012
11/15/12 at 4:25 AM
Runners and walkers from across the nation and world will descend on Tulsa Friday through Sunday to participate in the Williams Route 66 Marathon, presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma.
With an expected sell-out of all five races, 10,500 participants from our city, our state and the world will participate in their choice of events, including the marathon, half marathon, marathon relay, 5k or one-mile fun run.
With this many races over two days, marathon weekend offers an event for all abilities and skill levels.
This is the seventh running of the Williams Route 66 Marathon and for the first time in its history, the marathon and the half marathon have sold out weeks before race day. The word has spread that Tulsa serves as an incredible host city for hometown athletes and visitors alike.
Additionally, the races themselves and related events like the post-race party and the Health, Fitness and Sustainability Expo provide world-class experiences to all participants.
Creative features and attention to detail set this endurance event apart from every other race in the nation. For example, our 2011 marathon finishers' medal was named the best finisher medal in North America by Marathon and Beyond magazine and offerings like VIP treatment to marathon and half marathon clubs have elevated our standing in the running community.
Tulsa has an outstanding history of supporting community events of all varieties and this city camaraderie and support of the Williams Route 66 Marathon have put Tulsa on the racing map. Regardless of the economic downturn or who occupies the White House, our race has continued to grow.
Marathons are not just a big business for runners, but the economic impact is huge for the Tulsa area. Our race has funneled $5 million per year into the Tulsa economy in the last two years. With the continued growth of the Williams Route 66 Marathon each year, that number is growing steadily.
Our board of directors made the decision to cap growth at 30 percent per year. This reasonable and planned growth rate allows us to ensure our infrastructure is ready to treat runners and walkers to a top-tier race.
To provide these quality experiences, we need your help. As a board, we hope that you take to the streets in one of our great races as a runner, a walker or a volunteer.
If you aren't running, we ask you to help us welcome the thousands of participants from out of town. Support your friends, family or co-workers who are crossing the finish line in pursuit of their goals. Veteran runners will admit that spectators can make or break a race. Join us on the sidewalks to cheer for your favorite runner/walker. Or, cheer for complete strangers. Everyone wants to feel like a rock star, and as Tulsans, you can make sure every participant has his or her day in the spotlight.
If you're looking for a rowdy good time, come out to the Center of the Universe detour on the Boston overpass in downtown Tulsa to cheer on marathoners experiencing this unique Tulsa landmark. The Williams Route 66 Marathon is the only marathon in the world to offer a detour. Participants who choose to take the detour will tackle an additional 0.3-mile, where they will receive a free beer and commemorative coin before heading back to the marathon course. There will be live music and a tin foil hat contest to entertain the spectators at the Center of the Universe.
We hope you will join us on marathon weekend to celebrate Tulsa, to celebrate runners and to celebrate fitness.
Chris Lieberman is the executive director of Tulsa Route 66 Marathon Inc.
Chris Lieberman: We hope you will join us on marathon weekend to celebrate Tulsa