Sunday's weather didn't dampen the spirits of more than 26,000 runners who came to the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon to celebrate life and the lives of the 168 persons killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
After four weather delays, the marathon started just short of two hours late.
The decision to start the marathon was extremely difficult for Kari Watkins, Memorial Marathon Race Director and Executive Director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.
"This is not a decision we'll ever take lightly. We know all the hard work and training the runners have put into this day but the safety of lives is always our first priority," Watkins said.
Sunday's male and female marathon winners are Oklahoma runners. This is the eighth marathon for first time winner 33-year-old Jason Cook of Norman.
"The win is wonderful," said Cook. "The weather delay was hard on my nerves but it's something you have to deal with."
Cook's winning time was 2:42:29. Just a few minutes later, the Female marathon winner, Camille Herron crossed the Finish Line at 2:51:20. Herron said the heat and sun made the circumstances rough.
"You learn how tough you are when you're not feeling good but have to hang in there," Herron said at the Finish Line.
Herron is a two-time Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon winner also coming in first in the 2012 Memorial Marathon.
Many runners visited the Oklahoma City National Memorial following the run. Bib numbers and finisher medals decorated many of the chairs in the Field of Empty Chairs.
For Pam Denny, it was an honor to run for a stranger, a woman killed in the bombing. It kept her feet moving and gave her the courage and strength to finish.
"I kept thinking about her and just that she didn't choose to die that day but I choose to run when she didn't have the opportunity," said Denny.