Route 66 Marathon: Around the Races
BY ZAC PATTERSON World Sports Writer
Monday, November 19, 2012
11/19/12 at 6:55 AM
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Dustin Damery, a Spanish teacher at Enid High School, came armed to the Route 66 Marathon with a makeshift sword, face-paint and a kilt.
"I don't have a legitimate kilt because they cost about $1,000, but I picked this up at a party store," Damery said.
Damery's goals in the race were less serious than others.
"I just painted my face to have fun because I'm not very fast," he said.
"I just wanted to come out and prove to myself that I could do it and hopefully entertain some people at the same time. It's a great atmosphere and a great race."
Frank Muller, a Tulsan, was one of many Marathon Maniacs from across the country who ran the Route 66 Marathon. The Maniacs are a club of more than 5,000 whose members run in various marathons across the country and awards its members for their accomplishments.
"You get to know folks from all around the country being in the Maniacs," Muller said.
"This is my second favorite marathon besides New York because it celebrates its runner," Muller said. "It focuses on the Maniacs and where they're from and it's just a great event because it's a celebration from start to finish." This was Muller's 48th marathon.
Israeli amputee runner Eitan Hermon lost his right leg serving his country in the second Lebanese war, but that has not stopped him from pursuing his goals. Running in his seventh marathon since he lost his leg, and first in the United States, Hermon blazed to the finish line.
While he was unable to set the world record for running a marathon as an amputee, Hermon has bigger goals in mind. "My goal is to get to the Paralympics in Rio in 2016, but I really enjoyed the race," he said.
In their "Team Andrew" T-shirt, Kevin Andew, his wife, Melissa Andrew, and sister Kati Najera ran for more than self-fulfillment.
"My wife and I celebrated our five-year anniversary for running in October and around that same time my dad got diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had it removed, and he's always been an inspiration for me," Andrew said.
"So I thought in honor of him I'd put his name on the shirt and run for him."
Andrew's father, Bill, is a born-and-raised Tulsan. The back of the shirt donned the words, "If I rest, I rust."
"That quote is from a picture that has been above my dad's workbench since I was a kid. His relentless drive has been a motivation, and whether it's in business, sports or life, you just can't quit."
In her full-body Spider-Man get-up, Camille Herron broke the women's Guinness Book of World Record time for running in a superhero costume by finishing at 2:48:51.
Herron, who was the first-place finisher among women, has run in two Olympic trials and saw her time cut a bit by the costume.
"It was pretty tough, I was about 10 minutes slower than what I'm used to. The restriction of movement and overheating made it tougher," she said.
But Herron might go back to costumes in future marathons to break more records.
"There are several other Guinness World Record's that I want to go for: dressing like a cartoon character and dressing in a wedding dress," Herron said.
"It would be fun to get as many of those records that I can."
Richard Vaughn participated in his 24th marathon in his wheelchair, in a shirt that said "Crap." With the help of his wife, Vaughn made the shirt.
"It's a protest for people who park illegally in handicapped parking spaces," Vaughn joked.
Vaughn's wheelchair has 15,000 street miles on it, not just from marathons, but also from training, which for him is typically 500 to 750 miles. Vaughn is from Little Rock, Ark., and has run in all but one Route 66 Marathon.
Richard Vaughn, of Little Rock, participated in his 24th marathon in his wheelchair Sunday at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Tulsan Frank Muller runs with the Marathon Maniacs, a club of more than 5,000 who run in various marathons across the country. This was Muller's 48th marathon. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Kevin Andrew, from Austin, ran the Route 66 Marathon in honor of his father, Bill Andrew. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Dustin Damery nears the end of the half marathon at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa on Sunday. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Eitan Hermon, an amputee runner from Israel, ran the Route 66 Marathon on Sunday. ZAC PATTERSON / Tulsa World