On January 27, 2001, ten members of the Oklahoma State University basketball team perished in a plane crash. It was an tragic event that rocked the small university community as well as the entire state. On April 21st 2007, a race was organized for a community to come together and remember those that were lost.
Over the past nine years the event has grown to a field of over 1,200 participants with proceeds benefiting the OSU Counseling and the RT10 Scholarship Program. Remember the Ten Run is one of the few races in this state that openly benefits mental health services and discusses topics such as loss, sadness, and depression. Even though the overlying topics of the event are serious, the event itself is a great celebration of athletics and community.
In addition to the run, the day is filled with the spring football game and Stillwater Arts Festival. So there are plenty of attractions for the entire family. Besides, you can always stop by Eskimo Joe’s for an order of chili-cheese fries and hang with Joe and Buffy.
The race course winds in and out of Oklahoma State University campus, fraternity/sorority row, and surrounding business and houses. The first mile takes you west on Hall of Fame Ave. Because the 10K and 5K runners all start together it’s a big jumbled mess of different paces, walkers and runners. Once you curve on to Western road, it’s a nice down hill stretch. It’s a great point to pick up the pace because the 5K runners are starting to turn off on to their own course and the road opens up on the 10K course with fewer runners. Mile three takes you through a residential area with sporadic spectators comprised of college students, young families, and retirees out supporting the runners. I happily accepted high-fives and cheers from college students and grade schoolers alike. Mile four drops you through some of the fraternity and sorority houses as well as some of the local bars on the strip. As the course turns north on Knoblock Street it passes three of my most favorite things, Chris’ University Spirit Shop (my favorite spot to buy OSU gear), Hideaway Pizza (I could live on ‘za alone), and my boo thang (a.k.a. husband who was nice enough to hang with me and snap some pics).
Miles five and six wind you back out west of campus then east again to pass through campus as you run past the library and Boone Picken Stadium to cross the finish line just south of Gallagher-Iba Arena. The winner of the race was Normanite, Scott Downard with a 5:15 pace finishing in 32:40. That’s the 10K folks. I still can’t wrap my mind around the fact that people run the same routes as me at twice my speed and don’t immediately die afterwards. It’s crazy. I placed 195th overall, 80th out of all women, and 15th in my age group with an average pace of 10:06 and overall time of 1:02:50. Not too shabby for me. I’m chipping away at pace and distance. Just trying to get faster at those longer distances.
Ultimately, the course was flat with lots of great scenery around OSU’s campus. But what made this course stellar was the numerous amount of volunteers. The friendly folks at the registration table, the pace dividers at the starting line, course managers directing runners and traffic, and the oh-so-wonderfull water station volunteers throughout the course made it a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Also, I didn’t hate the sweet swag that came with the reasonable race entry fee.
It was a great race, for a good cause, on a beautiful Oklahoma spring day. I couldn’t ask for anything more.