OKC Police Officer Runs In Memorial Marathon

Sunday, April 24th 2016, 10:49 pm
By: News 9

Among the nearly 25,000 runners Sunday were many public servants including one Oklahoma City police major who was on duty during the aftermath of the bombing.

Sunday morning, Maj. John Gonshor finished his fourth Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. He's run many other marathons, but this annual run is what helped him overcome something he wouldn't confront for years.

"For years and years, I dealt with it by avoiding it,” Gonshor said. "We were assigned to the morgue duty."

And help identify victims as they were brought in

"It was difficult. Some of the people I knew and that made it even more difficult, because you knew people and you knew the pain and suffering that their families were going to suffer, and their families didn't know that yet,” he said. "The sons, the daughters, the wife, the husband. It was bad."

For years, Gonshor couldn't bear having anything to do with April 19, 1995. It's something he hadn't dealt with and didn't really know how until he started training for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and running alongside the very root of his pain.

"It's been very therapeutic,” he said.

And healing.

"What I really like about the marathon is it gets very tough and you have to keep going. That's what everybody, the people who lost family members, the officers, the people who are struggling with this…is it teaches you to find a little bit extra,” he said. "I think a marathon really exemplifies what we've really done in this city is we found a little bit extra and made it through this..."

He made it through tragedy and Sunday, his fourth Oklahoma City marathon along with 18 other members of the Oklahoma City Police Department.

"I've made peace with that ground over the last five years by training from it and meeting people, and I look at it now as a very  ‘We've survived,’” he said.