Tulsa's Route 66 Marathon runners love course, race
BY JOHN D. FERGUSON World Correspondent
Monday, November 19, 2012
11/19/12 at 5:47 AM
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A South Dakota school teacher who hopes to eventually run a marathon in all 50 states and Spider-Woman won the seventh Route 66 Marathon men's and women's division titles, respectively, at Veteran's Park Sunday.
Curtis Huffman won his fourth overall marathon as he sped home over the cool 26.2-mile course in a time of 2:39.24. Huffman had won marathons in Nebraska, Hawaii and Iowa before taking the Route 66.
The Wessington Springs, S.D., resident plans to run in all 50 states. The Route 66 event is Huffman's 11 th state marathon run.
Spiderwoman, also known as Camille Herron, not only won the women's division in 2:48.50, but also earned a place in the Guinness Book of Records. Herron, who lives in Warr Acres, Okla., needed to break 3:05 wearing a head-to-toe costume to set the new Guinness record.
Herron is already a world-class marathoner, but decided to do something different by running wearing a costume.
"This was great," Huffman said of the race. "The weather was perfect. The course was a lot hillier (than I expected)."
Huffman comes from a small town, but had no trouble adapting to Tulsa's hills since there are training hills in South Dakota.
Second place finisher, Adam Cohen of Norman, caught up to Huffman after the race.
"You were strong in the last few miles," Cohen said to Huffman. "You ran a nice solid race."
Huffman finished none the worse for wear. He needed no special attention or time to rest before taking questions.
Running long distances on a barren stretch of road with his dog in South Dakota or a race teaming with 20,000 runners like in the Boston Marathon made little difference to Huffman.
Huffman finished 116th in the 2011 Boston Marathon in a time of 2:31.59.
The only thing that went wrong for Herron was the celebration silly string failed to shoot out of the can after she finished. The 30-year-old University of Tulsa graduate understood running a marathon is tough even without a full body costume.
"The costume made it tougher than expected," said Herron, who is a volunteer cross country and track coach at Oklahoma City University. "The course was challenging. It's not the hilliest, but still tough."
Herron, who finished fifth among men and women, gets little rest before tackling her next marathon in three weeks. She will run in the Dallas Marathon this time without a costume.
"I asked a friend who ran in a costume and he said it made his time 12 minutes slower (than normal)," Herron added. "I tried to be focused and (it helped) everyone was cheering for me. I wanted to run between 2:45 and 2:50."
Cohen, 44, was pleased with his second-place finish behind Huffman. The general counsel for the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon will have little time to celebrate his 2:40.27 clocking.
"My 11-year-old son is starring in the production of 'The Music Man' and I've got to do a quick turnaround (to see him perform)," Cohen said. "This is my fourth Route 66, but the course has been different each time I run. I like this one the best!"
The highest overall Tulsa finisher was Alex Jones. Jones managed 25th in a time of 3:02.59. Other high Tulsa runners were: Tom Dorothy (29th) in 3:04.21, Craig Jones (32nd) in 3:06.18 and Chris Rice (36th) in 3:08.25.
Rice enjoyed the atmosphere all over the course.
"Everybody's been great," said Rice, who is a purchasing agent for a commercial roofing company, "It was a great day to run."
Rice liked the course, but felt one area of the course demanding.
"It's a great course, but the back half was definitely harder," Rice added.
Stillwater resident, Jenny Graef, was the second place woman finisher behind Herron in a time of 2:55.33.
"It was about six minutes off my personal record," said Graef, who is attending OSU graduate school. "I wanted to get a good strong marathon under my belt."
Was there any chance to catch Herron?
"I saw her on the turnaround and she was quite a ways ahead," Graef added. "She's so fast."
This was Graef's second marathon since May when she tried the Green Bay, Wis., event. Nothing went right, however, in Wisconsin.
"They had to stop the marathon because of the 90-degree heat," Graef said. "And, I had a sinus infection, too."
Like Herron, this was Graef's first Route 66 race. Graef had run the OKC Memorial Marathon three times and a few others around the country.
Tulsa women who finished high in their division were: Melissa Truitt (7th) in 3:20.43, Elizabeth Forbes (15th) in 3:33.38, Lori Davis (20th) in 3:35.04 and Jeanne Bennett (21st) in 3:35.39.
Curtis Huffman wins the men's and overall full marathon at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, on Sunday. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World
Camille 'Spiderwoman' Herron wins the women's full marathon Saturday at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World