A local runner finished the Oklahoma City memorial half marathon in his longest pace to date. But even though it wasn't his personal best, it hasn't broken his stride.
“I've never not finished a run,” said runner Marvin Quinn.
A Sunday morning run with his training group isn't anything new Quinn, but on this Sunday he set out to continue a journey that he began on April 24.
“I think that's all in runner's and walker's mind set, you know, you want to finish what you started,” he said.
He was among the more than 25,000 runners to participate in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon this year. He was running the half marathon - his 5th - but this time his course took an unexpected turn.
“Started getting a lightness here in my chest,” he remembers. “I wasn't really out of breath, it was a real light feeling in my chest and it got to the point where I could hardly run.”
Quinn was about half way through his half marathon when his running partner forced him to stop near NW 50 Street and Shartel.
“I saw him struggling as we were coming up gorilla hill,” said Wanda Ross, Quinn’s friend and running partner. “The look on his face and everything, I could tell he was really in pain or distress.”
He was suffering from atrial fibrillation, a quivering or irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. It got to the point where he couldn’t run or even talk. Luckily, he got help in time but never finished the race - until now. Seven weeks after he started, he hit the pavement Sunday morning, right where he left off. Trekking through those last six miles, he finally crossed the finish line to the cheers and support of his fellow runners.
“It really breaks you up, it makes you really appreciate things,” he said. “I look at this like anything else I’ve done in my life you want to finish what you started.”
Quinn is back to training and plans to run a full marathon in Chicago this fall.