Runners from around the world arrived in downtown Oklahoma City this weekend for the annual Memorial Marathon. In its 16th year, the race honors the 168 victims of the 1995 Murrah building bombing.
Each year, more than 25,000 people train for the Memorial Marathon and Sunday they ran to remember. Representing every state and several foreign countries, many of the runners and walkers stayed on pace.
“I beat my best time by two minutes, so definitely good,” said Jeff Munn, a marathon runner from Houston.
From the marathon to the relay, the course takes participants through downtown and its surrounding neighborhoods.
“I was not prepared for the hills, we don't have a lot of hills in Houston not nearly as much to train on so the hills were a challenge,” said Kristin Munn, also from Houston.
The inaugural race in 2001 hosted nearly 5,000 participants and has grown to what it is today, with more than 25,0000 runners and thousands more lining the streets to support them.
“It's good that everybody is coming out and supporting the cause and everything, the personal achievement is also great as well,” said Jeff Munn.
The mission though, is still the same, to honor the memories of those who were killed in the Murrah bombing and unite the world in hope.
“Not until I got here this morning and I saw the memorial for the first time and I saw the little chairs, I was running for those children, that's what I was running for,” said Kristin Munn. “I'm sad of what happened but I’m happy from how it's turned around and become this.”
Forty-three of the participants Sunday have run in all 16 Memorial Marathons. All proceeds from the event go to support the Oklahoma National Memorial and Museum.