Oklahoma Turkey Trots

turkey-trotAre you looking for a way to burn off all that food you will be eating on Thanksgiving Day or just looking for an excuse to wear  a turkey costume? Either way, a Turkey Trot is for you! Check out the list of Turkey Trots happening around the state of Oklahoma this year. Do you have any other Turkey Trots to add to this list?

OKC Turkey Tracks 5K

WHEN: Thursday, November 24th @ 8:30AM
WHERE: Oklahoma City National Memorial in downtown OKC
WHAT: 1 mile fun run starts at 8:30am
5k starts at 9:00am

Turkey Day 5K

WHEN: Thursday, November 24th @ 8:30AM
WHERE: Pickard Ave. – East of the Norman High School Football Stadium Norman, OK
WHAT: 5km starts at 8:30am
Fun run & walk starts at 9:30am
Strollers and leashed animals are welcome.

Edmond Turkey Trot

WHEN: Thursday, November 24th @ 8:00AM
WHERE: Edmond Downtown Community Center Edmond, OK
WHAT: 1 mile fun run starts at 8:30am

Fleet Feet Tulsa Turkey Trot

WHEN: Friday, November 25th @ 8:30AM
WHERE: BOK CENTER, Downtown Tulsa
WHAT: 5km starts at 8:30am
Fun run & walk starts at 9:30am
All finishers receive a finisher medal!
Race Day Registration opens at 7:30am

Join an Oklahoma Running Group

Running with a club, group, or just your best friend can have immeasurable benefits like keeping you motivated, providing accountability, help improve speed and keep you safe. Or if you’re just looking for a way to get started a club can be a great way to demystify running, training, and racing. Whatever your reason, check out a local running club near you.

Clubs:

Alva Running Club
Enid Running Club
OKC Landrunners
RunHers
RunLawton
Tonkawa Running Club
Tulsa Running Club

Often times running stores will host training groups or just weekly fun runs and those can be a great way to meet new running friends. Check out the websites for these Oklahoma running stores to more information about specific training groups.

Running Stores:

Ada

The Runner
100 S. Mississippi Ave.
Ada, OK 74820 Map
580-436-2828

Edmond

OK Runner
3209 S. Broadway
Edmond, OK 73013 Map
405-285-1455

Norman

OK Runner
3720 W. Robinson St.
Norman, OK 73072 Map
405-447-8445

Oklahoma City

Red Coyote Running and Fitness
5720 N. Classen Blvd
Oklahoma City, OK 73118 Map
405-840-0033

 

Tulsa

Fleet Feet Sports
6022 S. Yale Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74135 Map
918-492-3338

Tulsa Runner
9708 S. Riverside Pkwy
Tulsa, OK 74137 Map
918-494-8800

Runner’s World Tulsa
4329 S. Peoria St.
Tulsa, OK 74103 Map
918-749-7557

November 2015 – Oklahoma Area Races

turkey-runningOkay, guys. So if you don’t know, November is like THE month for marathons. Like every state has a marathon this month and it’s awesome. But rather than focusing on all of those big name, hugely famous, amazing marathons, we here at Run Oklahoma are going to mix it up and stick with all things Turkey Trot. “What’s a Turkey Trot”, you ask. Well, only the most wondrous thing to happen to Thanksgiving since pumpkin pie! It’s a 5K road race that is run as a way to burn calories prior to an indulgent Thanksgiving dinner. We’ve gathered a list of the Turkey Trots scheduled around Oklahoma and encourage you to check one out. Consider making them a party of your family’s tradition.

November 14th, 2015

Lindsay Turkey Trot – Lindsay, OK

Turkey Trot 5K and Fun Run – Salisaw, OK

Thursday, November 26th 2015

Turkey Day 5K & 1 Mile Fun Run – Norman, OK

Finer Physiques Turkey Trot – Enid, OK

Edmond Turkey Trot 5k – Edmond, OK

Oklahoma City Turkey Trot – OKC, OK

Turkey Day Wobble Gobble 5K – Lawton, OK

Friday, November 27th, 2015

2015 Turkey Trot – Tulsa, OK

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

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.

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.

oklahoma running groups

Running Groups in Oklahoma

Yesterday morning the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was being broadcast on local news station KFOR as many folks woke for their Sunday morning paper and coffee. The Memorial Marathon has taken a tragic incident that took the lives of 168 people and created a beautiful event that celebrates the lives of those lost and the vibrant, resilient community of Oklahoma City.  Seeing on the screen thousands of determined runners and walkers taking part in the what is truly a run to remember,  mostly likely inspired many others to participate in the event next year. If you are feeling motivated to run or walk in the Memorial Marathon next year, a running group may be the best way to help you maintain that momentum and help keep you accountable to your goal. There are various running groups that meet up around the state and a few are listed below. It’s never to early to begin training.

Edmond Running  Club (Edmond) -The Edmond Running Club (ERC) is a non-profit organization promoting healthy lifestyles, social interaction, structured training, and races. Walkers, joggers, runners and their families are all welcome. ERC post group run information and locations on their Facebook page.

Red Coyote (OKC) – Red Coyote is a running store located in Oklahoma City. They currently are hosting a Newbie Running program that provides a structured introduction for folks new to running.

OK Landrunners (OKC) -Landrunners is a running club located in Oklahoma City. They currently have an 8 week 5K training program for folks just starting to run, Walker to Landrunner. This group meets every Saturday at Lake Hefner East Warf.

OK Runner (Norman) – OK Runner is a speciality running, walking, and lifestyle store located in Norman.  OK Runner hosts a morning group run Saturdays at 7:30am. It’s a 10 mile run with two water stops throughout the course. You are welcome to run as long or short as you’d like. Even better, you can join the group after the run for breakfast at Cool Greens just a few doors down from OK Runner’s brick and mortar store.  

RunHers (OKC & Norman) – RunHers is a women’s running community that offers running and walking training groups. Groups meet on various days in a few different locations in OKC and Norman.

Fleet Feet (Tulsa) – Fleet Feet is a running store with two locations in Tulsa. Fleet Feet organizes various group training programs  that range from fist time 5K to more experienced runners. Check out their training page for more information.

 

Surprises at O’Connell’s St. Paddy’s Day 8K Run

Today I ran in O’Connell’s 16th Annual St. Paddy’s Day 8K Run in Norman, OK. The run benefitted the Special Olympics of Oklahoma. Thanks to events like this over 10,500 Special Olympic athletes participate in more than 140 competitions and training events annually. It’s been almost five years since my last real race and I figured a fun race benefiting a great organization was a great way to start. I spent those years on the sideline with injuries and workout restrictions due to pregnancies. This is the first race I’ve been able to run that I’ve been able to train for. It’s almost easier to run a race that I haven’t trained for. My expectations are set so low that I really am just concerned with finishing the race rather than pace and stride.

Nervously prepping the night before.
Nervously prepping the night before.

This race had all the makings to be a personal disaster. My worrisome mind was beginning to get the best of me and I had a giant stomachache. My IT band was tight and my knee was aching for the past few days. The weather was overcast, cold, and windy. Not the sunny, temperate day I was expecting.

As I did a quick warm up jog and stretched out near the starting line, the bag pipers started playing and my mood brightened a little. The runners lined up at the starting light and a few of the Special Olympic athletes recited their mantra:

“Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”

It was a keen reminder of the purpose for the race and for runners to give their best regardless of the circumstance.

At the sound of the shotgun the race started and it was a sea of green runners headed down the streets of Norman. The first mile was uncomfortable because my muscles took their time to warm up in the cool early spring breeze. Around mile two I was surprised to find my own personal cheering crew. My husband and two young daughters decided to brave the chilly day and cheer for me along the road. I nearly broke out in tears to see my four-year-old daughter jumping up and down, waving me on. The joy I felt from getting high fives from my family was short lived because as I turned the corner for miles three and four I started getting passed by other runners and the enemy within was repeating “you’re so slow”, “your legs are concrete”. My training was seemingly failing me.

But my little cheering section popped back up again at mile five. My husband’s smiling face saying “you’re freaking awesome” was all I needed. I reminded myself the reason I run is not because I’m some star athlete hitting world records. I run to be healthy for my family and to be an example for my kids. I want them to understand that fitness is a lifelong effort. And that they can do anything they set their minds to. After seeing them again I decided the only repeating words in my mind would be “you got this” and “run with joy”. So that’s what I did. I waved at spectators, I focused on relaxing my face and smiling, and huffed out a couple of breathy thank you’s to the cops directing traffic along the race route. I turned the corner to the final leg of the race and saw the beautiful, inflatable finish line. My cement legs were aching and I didn’t have much gas left in the tank. I couldn’t make out the numbers on the clock until I was steps from crossing the finish line. As I crossed the finish I saw 4X:XX. It didn’t matter what the rest of the numbers were because that ‘4’ told me all I cared about. I just ran an average pace of sub 10/mile. The race had been full of pleasant surprises so it was only fitting that it finished with one as well.

I finished 100th overall, 39th out of all females, and 10th in my age range. The winner, Matthew Brafford, finished in under 25 minutes with a 5/mile pace. My sub 10/mile seems mediocre at best compared to that. But it’s my personal race and my results have encouraged to keep running and continue to improve.

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Even better, there was beer, a bouncy house, music, and face painting after the race. Despite the chill in the air, my cheering squad and I were able to enjoy the festivities and have a great Saturday morning.

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