November 20, 2011
16th Marathon Completed
My Overall Experience ... 3 out of 5
- Well organized race, but few volunteers
- Very sparse local crowd support & turnout
- Maybe the best law enforcement support I've experienced
- Cool & breezy ... 39-40 degrees/10-15mph North wind
- 2nd coldest marathon I've ever ran
- Not nearly as flat as expected, but not extremely hilly
- Nice marathon shirt, finisher shirt, and awesome medal
- Cool "Center of the Universe" Detour, but I opted not to run it
- Ran through beautiful University of Tulsa campus
- Grew "THE PR BEARD" for a month before the race ... it worked!!!
- Finished with a "disappointing" PR - 3:20:03, 7:38/pace (Disappointing because I thought I'd be much faster)
- Overall finish of 64th out of 1,438 runners - not bad, all things considered
Finisher Medal ...
|Route 66 Tulsa Marathon Finisher Medal ... one of my favorites so far!|
Replica of the 1941 Cadillac hood ornament, "Flying Goddess"
I'm always hesitant to disrespect a city after visiting for a marathon. When you're only there for a short time, it seems really unfair to judge it based on what you experience in a 24 hour period. However, I've been to Tulsa, Oklahoma many times over the years and unfortunately, it's just not one of my favorite places. The people have always been very friendly, but there's just not a lot that makes me want to make it a destination. However, I'm sure there are several wonderful things about the town that I am simply unaware of.
One of the national landmarks that Tulsa claims is Route 66. It was one of the original, and probably most famous U.S. Highways. It gained several nicknames over the years including "Main Street of America", "Will Rogers Highway", and most notably in the John Steinbeck novel "Grapes of Wrath" it was called "The Mother Road". In 1985 the highway was officially removed from the U.S. Highway System, but its long history is alive and well in Tulsa.
One of my favorite things about Tulsa, is the Tulsa Drillers - the Colorado Rockies Double-A Minor League baseball team. I've seen a lot really good future stars play there including Troy Tulowitzki a few years ago. And in this trip to Tulsa, I finally got to see their brand new stadium, ONEOK Field.
|University of Tulsa Campus|
It cost $5 to park at the Tulsa Convention Center. This is another thing that bothers me a little with some race packet pick-ups. In the $100 I paid to run the race, they couldn't break me off some free parking? I'm sure there were free parking opportunities available in the area, but as an out-of-towner, I typically park at the event center due to ease and unfamiliarity with the surroundings.
All runners received a blue Route 66 Marathon short-sleeve cotton t-shirt with the "Flying Goddess" logo. I like blue so I thought it was pretty cool. Also, marathon finishers received a nice lite gray short-sleeve technical t-shirt with the same logo. I thought the shirts were nice looking and I'll wear them both. Other than that, there were the typical upcoming race fliers and a couple of free samples including GU Strawberry Chomps (which I enjoyed before the race) in the race bag. All-in-all it was a pretty seamless packet-pickup. There were only a few small hiccups and the organizers did a great job.
Lodging & Meals
There's not much to report on the pre-race "meal front". Just the standard Jason's Deli salad and a couple of stops at Subway for my turkey on wheat. On Friday night I had chicken and pepperoni pizza from Papa Johns. Why mess with what works!
"THE PR BEARD"
|Me & THE PR BEARD hangin' out!|
Race & Course
The forecast had varied all week from 54-58 degrees with 6-8mph winds ... which would have been perfect! Unfortunately, as I sat in my car waiting for the race to start, I watched as the temperature consistently dropped from the mid 40's to about 38 degrees with a 10-15mph wind to start the race. Also, it was really damp, almost misting - but not raining. The "feels like" temperature on my phone showed 31 degrees. Not really Arctic conditions, but it ended up being the 2nd coldest marathon I've ever ran. (Mississippi Blues was 17 degrees, with an 8 degree windchill last year) The cooler temps ended up having a pretty negative effect on my race - probably mentally more than anything.
|Route 66 Tulsa Marathon Elevation ... a little hillier than I thought it would be|
The course took runners through most of downtown Tulsa, and then through an upscale shopping area before a 8 mile out-and-back along the Arkansas River. After that we headed back into town, ran by the Tulsa Drillers Stadium, through the University of Tulsa campus, and then back to the finish line. At about mile 16.5, the Route 66 Marathon features The Center of the Universe Detour. It's a .3 mile detour off of the course where supposedly you can stand in one spot and hear your voice echo. But those who are only a few feet away cannot hear it. It would have been cool to experience, but I was pretty dead by then and just wanted to get done.
... be great today!