Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tulsa Run 2011

Today was the 34th running of the Tulsa Run--Tulsa's premiere race. The 15K showcases a revitalized downtown Tulsa, Trendy Cherry Street, a glimpse of Woodward Park and some of the beautiful homes in the Mapleridge area, a tour of Riverside Drive alongside the lazy Arkansas River before turning up Denver Avenue and the testy hill, and finally finishes in front of the BOK Center. Over 6,000 runners do this 15K along with the 5K making it Tulsa's largest race and possibly the second largest run in the state. Some come to run hard--there are not many 15Ks around, but this course is a good one for a PR. Some treat it as a milestone endeavor--a goal race--something to cap a season of running. Some treat it as a social event--everyone is doing it, you know! And some take the opportunity to dress up as it is always on Halloween weekend.Laurie just got out of cheer leading practice and came straight to the run.

Get a good look now, cuz when the starting gun goes off, you'll have a hard time finding Waldo. Those two characters on the ends--well, more on them later.

The Count was with us. One might wonder how he fared with a bright sun coming up. I suspect he also might have melted in these clothes, running 9.3 miles and all.

We were safe on this run, having super-heroes Robin and Batman to keep an eye on things. (A funny side-note--in the caped crusader's run today, a little boy commented to his dad as they were watching the runners go by, "Hey Dad--I didn't know Robin was a girl?!?!?"

Mr. Incredible just after saving a damsel in distress.

Anything the dynamic Duo could not handle, Wonder Woman was there to save the day.

Tom and Venus came dressed up as senior citizen runners. Venus needs to work on her masquerade skills, but Tom won first prize for most authentic looking costume.

Finally, it's the Scooby Doo gang!! Fred, Velma, Daphne, and Shaggy. But where's Scooby?? Scooby Doo--Where Are You? Well, let's just say he was dog-napped by an evil goblin.

The crowd gathered for a group pic, and I know a LOT of peeps (myself included) did not make the pic. Rather than try to stitch some photos together, I just videoed a pan shot. It's a 21 second film clip--not really Oscar material, but give it a look.

Soon enough at 9:00 sharp, the gun was fired signalling the start of the 15K. It was heel to toe, elbow to elbow for the first mile or so, but such a thrill none-the-less. Seeing blocks ahead at a sea of bobbing heads and feeling the energy of thousands of runners thrilled about running on a cool crisp autumn morning is like no other experience on Earth. The runner's buzz starts early, and hours after the race, I am still all grins.

I was running for time, not expecting a PR or anything, but wanted to blow out the cobwebs, so to speak. I did take a second or two here and there for a quick pic. Hayley, home from college for the first time since August, was running with her mom Meg. Hayley would have been a contender to win the women's 15K, but was doing the pacer thing. Today was RARE time when I actually passed her.

Making the turn on 15th Street, and the downhill continues--until the little hill up to Cherry Street.

A nifty part of the race, the ramp onto Riverside. This is so cool--it's over the river, and it's banked. You can really lean into the turn and pick up speed. I heard a couple of different people who were new to the area comment on how cool it was.

I took a pic of the dudes taking the race pics. I told him I'd swap out with him, but I don't think he saw what a bargain I was offering him. From here, it was about 2 miles, and I put the camera away and focused on not fading/blowing up before the finish line. From talking to folks after the race, it was agreed that it was a great year, spectacular weather, and most everyone was happy with their times.