October 2015 – Oklahoma Area Races

I don’t think God made a more perfect month than October. The cooler temperatures, foliage, and wide variety of race offerings make running outdoors in Oklahoma a delightful experience. Here are a few races that may tickle your October running fancy.

Gotta Have a Beer Run – There is an obligation for runners over the age of 21 to run a beer race in the month of October. If you aren’t of the legal drinking age, at least Red Coyote is providing you with an opportunity to run the Runtoberfest 5K in your lederhosen.

lederhosen costume

Gotta Have Your Own Distance Run – The HITS Running Festival is making its way to Oklahoma City this year and offers a distance for everyone (1 mile all the way to marathon). Each race will FINISH inside Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark while traversing the FLAT & FAST course over soaring Skydance Bridge and manicured River Trails along the Oklahoma River.

Gotta Have a Costume Run – On Halloween day, you can dress up in your costume and get out and participate in the Monster Dash at Reeves Park in Norman. It’s  a great way to burn some calories and earn all that candy you’ll be gobbling up later that night.

monsterdash

JUNE 2015 – OKLAHOMA CITY AREA RACES

June is home to National Running Day. What better month go get out and run in a local race. Better yet, a local race may be a great way to enjoy the cooler temperatures that Oklahoma has been experiencing this year.

Night Time Race – Night races are a great way to beat the heat of those long summer days. This year The Full Moon 5K Run in Tulsa features a Fun Run and 5K Race followed by a glowing party in the park. Folks will be decked in neon, flashing or glowing garb.   Awards go to the male and female “Most Glowing” run costume.

Celebrating Dad Race – Sunday, June 21st is Father’s Day. If you’re not sure what to get that special dad in your life, look no further, Dad’s Day 5K has got you covered.You can honor your Dad by entering his name and email address on the race Registration Form. An email will be delivered to him letting him know that you are running to honor him!

Something a Little Different Race – Are you looking for something a bit more challenging or different than a typical 5K road race? If so, check out the Riversport Challenge – Duathlon. This event is on its 6th year  and a great way to become acquainted with the Oklahoma River. The first leg of this race is 500 meters either in a kayak or on a stand up paddleboard. The second leg is a 5K Run on the Oklahoma River Trails. Don’t worry about bringing your own life jacket or kayak cause they are provided by the race.

For more races around Oklahoma check out the Find a Race page

Miles Agains Melanoma

Skin Cancer Awareness and Race Discount

Running is a great way to better your health by increasing lung capacity and heart strength. However, all of that training and sweating often times takes place out doors and is building damage to the largest organ of your body, your skin. May is National Skin Cancer Awareness Month and with more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer diagnosed and 2.2 million people treated in the U.S. each year, it’s important for the Run Oklahoma community to be aware of prevention and early detection.

Sun Protection Tips for Runners

  • Run during hours when the sun is less intense. Generally it is strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. If you train during those hours, find shady places to run.
  • Put sunscreen on before your running outfit, not at the race site. This will give it time to soak in, and keep you from applying it less thoroughly or forgetting it altogether because of pre-race excitement. Use an SPF 15 or higher sunscreen. Look for stick formulations, sport, or water-resistant versions.
  • Run in a hat and UV-blocking sunglasses. Polarized lenses help beat the glare.
  • Always keep sunscreen in your race bag.
  • Have a friend posted somewhere in the second half of the race to hand you a small, one-use, wipe sunscreen (or keep a small packet in your pocket), so that you can reapply it to your face, neck and arms as you run. You can do that without really breaking stride. Sunscreen starts to lose effectiveness at about the two-hour mark, or even sooner if you are sweating heavily.
  • Before post-race festivities begin, reapply sunscreen, and give yourself a quick massage in the process to help relax your sore muscles.
  • Post-race clothes should include a lightweight but long-sleeve T-shirt and sweats. Darker colors offer ideal sun protection. Or opt for special sun-protective clothing.

Early Detection

The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends that everyone practice monthly head-to-toe self examination of  their skin, so that they can find any new or changing lesions that might be cancerous or precancerous. Skin cancers found and removed early are almost always curable. Learn about the warnings signs of skin cancer and what to look for during a self examination. If you spot anything suspicious, see a doctor.

Miles Against Melanoma – Race Discount

Miles Agains MelanomaIn September,Miles Against Melanoma is hosting a 5K race and will have medical students from Stephenson Cancer Center available at the race to hand out sunscreen samples to all runners. For skin cancer awareness month, Miles Against Melanoma  has offered a generous discount to the Run Oklahoma community. You can receive $10 off race registration now through June 1st with discount code RUNOKC. Sign up today and you have plenty of time to train to run your first or fastest 5K in September.

Miles Against Melanoma 5K
When: September 12th, 8:00 AM
Where: Mitch Park, Edmond

Details: Register now
Contact: info@mamok.org

OKC Marathon Winner: Getting to Know Scott Downard

scottdownardMany people are intimidated of the thought of running 26 consecutive miles. Even more people may be intimidated of running those 26 miles at a 5:47 average pace. But as I walked into OK Runner in Norman on a rainy afternoon I met a man who is not scared of those numbers and performed in such a way to win the 2015 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

Scott Downard was working at OK Runner the day I happened to stop by and he was eager to help me with a question I had about some running apparel. As I paid closer attention I realized he looked familiar from the television coverage of the recent OKC Marathon, so I had to ask. He shyly admitted the he is THE Scott Downard and HAD recently won the OKC Marathon. Being a running fanatic, I must admit, I was a bit star struck. But really the best part of meeting such a notable athlete and runner was that he was extremely humble about his racing victories and seemed very content to just chat with me about running in general.

After our brief chat, Scott was happy to answer some questions for the readers of Run Oklahoma. I’m sure most of you, like me, are curious about what’s it’s like to be such a fast runner.

Q: How long have you been running? Was it a big part of your growing up?

A:  I’ve been running for half of my life, 16 years. It became a big part of my life in high school. Running is one of those pursuits that for some people can become an obsessive type of pastime. The first season I ran cross country, I wasn’t particularly good and my work ethic wasn’t great either. But I buddied up with another guy that was a lot better than me and he kind of helped instill some of the “OCD” runner behavior. I do get a little frustrated because I see a lot of the kids I coach and know they have every bit the capability I had and they just won’t commit to the training. That is the only thing that allowed me to get better and in a relatively brief period I could contribute to my varsity team. I view this sport as a lifestyle and I think it can be pretty cool to catch fire with a pursuit like this.

Q: What inspires you to run?

A:  I’m inspired to run on a variety of levels, I mean I like being fit and healthy and getting outside and exploring. I like the challenge it can offer, I like pushing boundaries and I like that I can figure a bit about my body and tinker with the variables and possibly refine the outcome of my effort. I like being around people that are into it for these reasons. I don’t necessarily like the competitive aspect, it’s more of an innate challenge for me.

Q: How many marathons have you won prior to this one?

A:  I actually own and set a course record at the Eisenhower Marathon 2 weeks prior to OKC. Full disclosure, there was a slight issue with one of my wins which I will attach an interview I did about that and not leave it to some of the less informed articles that later appeared. http://www.runnersworld.com/elite-runners/dqed-marathon-winner-explains I also own and set the course record at the Lake McMurtry 50k trail run.

Q: What did it mean, to you, to be able to win the OKC Memorial marathon?

A:  I was happy to FINALLY win. I’ve given it a go there a few times and was fortunate to get the W. I never take anything for granted in marathons. People ask me about meaning beyond the victory and I obviously understand the significance of the bombing commemoration but this is also THE Oklahoma race that has started to mean a lot for fitness in our community and state. I think that’s the way I view the event, a great event that I hope continues to evolve and grow, there definitely room for that.

Q: What was your plan of attack for the OKC course?

A:  I planned to race whoever showed up, but potentially run a little more conservatively and ramp the pace down the last 10 miles. I wasn’t really able to pull the speed down but you race to the course and your competition.

Q: It was reported that you had an asthma attack during the race. Is that true? How were you able to cope/recover?

A:  I was having gradually worsening asthma problems the last 6-8 miles. I have dealt with it before in spring races and so I packed my inhaler. I’ve had some previous races derailed and it can make for a demoralizing and lonely last 10k. The inhaler is as much of a psychological tool as physical. I’m learning to try to breath and run a little differently to try to cope as well. I think it made the pace feel more difficult and thus my stomach was a little more unsettled. These things are all linked so I couldn’t fuel as well as could have been hoped and hydrating was not great because I feared a side ache.

Q: Were you able to take a moment during the race to enjoy the hometown crowd?

A:  I enjoyed the support but I was motivated to win and not entirely confident of my chances, so you try to conserve your energy mostly. I threw out lots of smiles, waves, and a few high fives to some buddies.

Q: How did you celebrate after the win?

A:  I was somewhat dehydrated afterward which upsets my stomach and a lot of the post race options provided don’t do it for me. I finally got my miracle cure, beer, far too much later and things started to improve from there. My family and girlfriend know that I sometimes am in a rough state after and so when we go out if I say that I need to lay down or am feeling nauseous, they know I’m serious, but usually it can pass fairly quickly once I absorb some fluids, but too much sugary sports drink or plain water usually exacerbate the problem. I basically ended up throwing up what I initially tried to get down, laying on the couch at Mcnellies until they finally brought me a beer.

I didn’t do any massive celebrating but I did chat with friends and my buddy, and last years winner, Jason Cook and I usually go get a celebratory drink or 2. I also have to point out that my high school English teacher and her family happened by us and she bought me a pint(so far my most substantive reward, as OKC offers zero prizes for winners) and said she had seen the tv coverage of the race. I’ve also received a ton of congrats from old friends, family, acquaintances, random Facebook friend requests, etc. We also had a get together this past weekend with my coworkers including Scott Smith, who won the 1/2 to celebrate everyone’s OKC experience.

Q: What’s your dream race that you’d want to run?

A: I would like to run a couple of the marathon majors(Berlin, Tokyo), some really cool destination events( Big Sur, Avenue of the Giants,etc), and a few of the big trail ultras. I’m still attempting to get faster and attempt some longer events, I’m 32, but I also like to travel and make the most of my races. I still think it’s important to mix up your race schedule at times and prepare specifically for goal events a few times a year.

Q: What’s the next big race on your calendar?

A: I’m trying to get in some faster 5/10k type training this summer and then be fired up about training for a fast fall marathon(maybe 2) like Chicago, Philly or Cal international marathons. I had interest in competing at the US 50mile(an as yet unattempted distance for me)champs which are taking place in northern Wisconsin, where my girlfriend is from, but the high school coaching season won’t be conducive to that feat.

Many of us dream about just finishing top three in our gender or our age group in a race, and can’t even fathom winning  the whole shebang. Scott has managed to take the title in many races and still has his sites set on further achievements. Good luck to Scott in his future efforts as I’m sure the Run Oklahoma Community will be following and cheering along.

Camille Herron 2015 OKC Marathon Winner

Camille Herron – Third Time OKC Memorial Marathon Winner – Interview

It’s been over a week since more than 25,000 participants toed the starting line, running to remember the 168 people killed in the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is truly a memorable event and runners in this event continue to make history such as female marathon winner, Camille Herron. Camille won in 2012, 2014 and crossed the finish line at 2:54:55 this year becoming the race’s only third time champion.
Camille Herron 2015 OKC Marathon Winner
Camille, 33, is a professional athlete who has won 18 marathons. Two weeks prior to the 2015 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon she was named to the U.S. National Team and won the national title for top marathon runners.
But don’t let the intimidating racing record fool you. Camille is an extremely gracious pro athlete. She has a passion for running and wants to see it expand here in Oklahoma as demonstrated by her willingness to allow RunOklahoma.com interview her. She kindly took time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions about her favorite part of the course and how she celebrated her third victory.
Q: What did it mean, to you, to be able to wind the OKC Memorial Marathon for a third time?
A: I had noticed a few months ago looking at past winners that no one had won the OKC Memorial 3 times. My husband, Conor, has won it twice. To have now won it a 3rd time is making a bit of history! I have plenty of race opportunities that I could pursue around this time (including the 100K US Championship I just did 2 wks before), but I choose to run my “hometown race” because I know how much it means to my friends and family. I want to be an inspiration to them and the greater Oklahoma endurance community. Also, being a native Oklahoman I know how much it means to everyone to continue to “run to remember” the OKC Bombing– I was discovering my talent as a competitive runner 20 yrs ago, so it’s symbolic and coming full circle to still be running competitively and now for a greater cause and purpose.
Q: You mentioned being able to really soak in sites and sounds of the race? Do you have a favorite area/stretch of road on the course?

A: I like running through all the historical neighborhoods– the first 10 miles and then the last 6-8 miles. I’m probably not alone in having a love-hate relationship with Lake Hefner!

Q: How did you celebrate your third win? A fancy dinner or a long nap?
A: A post-race nap and then the annual party at Mark Bravo’s house, although we came a little later than everyone cause of our nap!

Q: Your win came two weeks after a 100K run, what is your plan for recovering?
A: This was my first time running an ultra in the US, so I really didn’t know what to expect bouncing back from the 100K. I took more days off and less running than expected between the two races, mainly because I was sleepy and had the appetite of a 14 year old boy! My muscles weren’t that sore after the 100K. It was mainly metabolic/endocrine fatigue I felt going into OKC Memorial– I didn’t have the “umph” to push myself hard and felt flat. Since OKC Memorial, I took several more days completely off from running, eating like a horse, sleeping a whole bunch, and then did some “vacation running” up in Oregon. Now I’m feeling ready to build back into regular training.
Q: What’s the next big race on your calendar?
A: I haven’t planned any immediate races yet– I actually decided not to do Comrades at the end of May, so it’s opened up a huge window to train and/or do domestic races the next two months. Then, my next major race to build towards will be the World 100K Championship in The Netherlands in September. I’m currently #1 in the World for 100K, so I want to be healthy, rested, and fit for this race. There’s several possibilities to pursue American/World Records next fall from 50K and up, so I’d like to get myself into prime marathon fitness. Finally, I’ll carry the fitness into training for the 2016 Olympic Marathon Trials next February in LA.

May 2015 – Oklahoma City Area Races

superfanfinish2It’s hard to believe that May is already upon us and spring is in full swing. May can be a pretty intense month here in Oklahoma. Think hail storms, thunder storms, and tornados. Perhaps to counter balance the severe weather Oklahoma receives, the month of May seems to be chockablock full of party and/or good food racing events . We’ve gathered a list of local races that are sure to be a blast. For a more extensive list of races check out the Find a Race page.

The Drunkest Run  – Yes, you read that correctly. The McNellie’s Pub 4 Mile Run on Saturday, May 2nd in Oklahoma City is certain to get you tipsy; especially if you take the Guinness Challenge. The challenge encourages participants  to FINISH three 12 ounce Guinness pints during the 4 mile run; one at each water stop (at about mile marker 1.5 and 3) and one at the finish line.

Let Your Sports Freak Flag Fly Run – You live in Oklahoma, so it’s likely you enjoy sports of some sort. Whether you’re a die hard Sooner, Cowboy, or Thunder fan the Old Hat Super Fan 5K in Norman is your chance to get dressed up in your best sports gear and have the crowd cheering you on for a change. Besides, Barry Switzer, Rumble the Bison, and notable Oklahoma City Thunder super fans will be present. It’s sure to be a good time. The race is Saturday, May 16th so get cracking on your sports fan attire.

The Tastiest 5KFat Guy’s Burger Bar is hosting a Burgers and Baseball 5K race in Tulsa that benefits the Pet Adoption League. The race starts at 7:30 on Saturday, May 30th. After the race participants are treated to complimentary burgers and beverages.

April 2015 – Oklahoma City Area Races

April is just around the corner and as many of you are aware April is the busiest running month in the Oklahoma City area. The Memorial Marathon and Redbud Classic are two HUGE racing events that can really over shadow some of the smaller, local events. So Run Oklahoma has decided to spot light some of the lesser known races happening around this state in the month of April. Check out a more expansive list on our Find a Race page.

Lowest Registration FeeThe Chickasaw Nation Rabbit Run 5K will be held on Saturday, April 11th at 8:30 AM CDT in Purcell, Oklahoma. This race will be timed. But best of all, registration is FREE!  Paying $25 here and $30 there to race in 5K runs throughout the year can really start to take a toll on your wallet. So take advantage of the lowest registration we could find! Also, you can snag a FREE race t-shirt with online registration prior to Friday, March 27. That’s tomorrow, so act fast. Free fitness and clothes! What more could you ask for?

Most Overlooked– Stillwater is a great, small town with plenty of family entertainment to offer. However, it is a bit of a jaunt from the Oklahoma City area. So it’s no surprise that a 5K and 10K race through the Oklahoma State University campus may be overlooked with the many other events going on this month. If you’re looking for a middle distance run with smaller crowds and beautiful scenery than the Remember the Ten is the one for you.

Family Friendliest – If you have kids, you may find it difficult to get them excited about coming along with you on yet another race. Well the Super Heroes Foster Run at Stars and Stripes Park has you both covered. Everyone is encouraged to dress in super hero inspired costumes and there will be inflatable bouncy houses, face painting, and food trucks to keep the whole family happy.

Get out this month and enjoy some local races and the beautiful spring weather!

Oklahoma Ranked Lowest Five in Physical Well-Being

The Gallup-Healthways recently released an annual well-being index. Well-Being Index includes more than 2.1 million surveys and captures how people feel about and experience their daily lives. The well-being index data provides a comprehensive view of well-being across five elements. One element is labeled ‘physical’ and described as “having good health and enough energy to get things done daily”.

Oklahoma was ranked 39th for overall well-being and a disappointing 46th for the specific element of physical well being.

The top ranked ten states in overall well-being were:

  1. Alaska
  2. Hawaii
  3. South Dakota
  4. Wyoming
  5. Montana
  6. Colorado
  7. Nebraska
  8. Utah
  9. New Mexico
  10. Texas

Some of the top ranked states are in relative close proximity to Oklahoma such as Colorado, New Mexico, Texas and Nebraska.  Therefore, it appears geography isn’t the sole reason for ranking higher. Oklahoma did rank well in social, community, and purpose elements of the index. This type of report will hopefully aid lawmakers and communities of Oklahoma in identifying areas of improvement and encourage continued efforts of making Oklahoma a happier and healthier state.

March 2015 – Oklahoma City Area Races

The cold and snowy weather that Oklahoma has been experiencing this week makes the spring and summer weather arriving soon that much more appealing. March is a great month for races in Oklahoma. The lingering chill in the air, budding trees, and occasional rain showers make these early spring races a nice warm up for the sweltering heat that summer races will be waged. Here at OK Run we have put together a list spotlighting a few March racing events. A more comprehensive list of events can be found on the events page.

Trail RacesThe Trail Madness race at Turkey Mountain in Tulsa, Oklahoma has a distance for just about anyone. The race is entirely on the Turkey Mountain trail system so it will offer a technical course that will require you to maneuver sticks, rocks, and mud. Also, the area is beautiful and offers a nice overlooking view of the river. Sunday, March 1st at 1PM CST.

St. Patrick’s Race – March 14th is the 13th Annual O’Connell’s St. Patrick Day 8K in Norman, OK. Proceeds benefit Special Olympics Oklahoma. In addition to the 8K, they are also having a one-mile fun run, prizes for runners, door prizes for the event, and prize money for participating schools. With all of the prizes it’s sure to be a great party. Besides is there any better way to celebrate St. Paddy’s Day than relaxing with a beer after a run?

Long Distance – The 5th annual running of the A2A Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy is a two-day community wide event offering opportunities for Oklahomans personally involved in fighting cancer right here at home. The race is being held in a lovely part of the state and offers distances of 5K, Half Marathon, and Marathon.