Preparations Made For Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Sunday, April 27th 2014, 2:31 am
By: News 9

Possible storms in the metro Saturday night and Sunday have some people planning for a wet run in the morning.

More than 26,000 people are expected at The Memorial Marathon. Marathon workers say delaying or even canceling the race is not a decision they take lightly. But whatever the weather brings, crews say they are ready.

"We're not going to put anyone at risk for a race," said race director, Kari Watkins.

Down to the final hours before the 14th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon run, crews fastened signs, set up speakers and made all the preparations for possible storms.

"Lightning is a big concern. Runners will run in rain and hail, but lightning we won't let them run in," said Watkins

But some runners say they won't mind the weather.

"It's going to rain and it's okay. Rain is alright. I can run in the rain. I've done it before," said Montana Deal from Choctaw, Okla. 

"You know we're in Oklahoma. It's April. It's pretty expected. So it's not like we haven't run in wind before," said Kelli Benton from Tulsa.

First-time runner TJ Welter has his waterproof shoes ready for the half-marathon.

"I want to finish in anywhere from 2 to 2 and a half hours, depending on weather and everything like that," said Welter from Chandler, Okla.

Welter thinks the rain will put a damper on his pace.

"It will definitely slow my time down a lot for sure," said Welter.

The marathon has a Race Day Event Alert System, where throughout the 26 mile-course there will be colored flags up to indicate race conditions. There are also several rain and hail shelters along the race from downtown all the way to Lake Hefner.

"It's not a decision we take lightly. People have come here to run this race. They've trained to run this race, but number one we have to make sure people are safe," said Watkins.

The marathon has been delayed before. It started three times three years ago due to the weather. But the race has to start by 8 o clock, since the city streets are only blocked off for five and a half hours.

The race director says to check their site in the morning for any cancelations or delays. The Race starts at 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning.