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Sunday, November 25, 2012

#46- The Route 66 Marathon!

I have been wanting to run this race for the last couple of years now, ever since the invention of the "Maniac Corner". The "Maniac Corner" is something the race directors conceived to attract the members of the Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Marathon Club, both clubs of which I belong. Perks of the "Maniac Corner" include:
  • Private VIP Tent and fenced in outdoor area with volunteers to make sure we have a great experience. The location of Maniac Corner is on the course, near the finish line. It is a great place to cheer for everyone as they finish.
  • Professional group photo before the start of the race, made available at no-charge to members.
  • Private Restrooms
  • Private Gear Check
  • Private supply of post-race food, Gatorade, water, soft drinks and lots of beer
  • Recognition of all three clubs prior to the start of the race
  • Complimentary booth at the health and fitness expo where the three clubs can promote their organizations and hand out wrist bands to their members for access to Maniac Corner.
  • Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics or 50-States Marathon Club receive a custom race number and special marathon finisher medal indicating their membership.
I mean really, of you want to attract runners to your race, this is the way to do it! Last year, I just could not make to Tulsa as airfare was pretty high from SLC, so I put it on my bucket list and hoped to one day get there. On August 30th, just two days before the deadline to register for the custom medal, I checked the flights again and noticed that while the price didn't go down much, I did have more than enough Southwest miles to make the trip for free! So I registered and am so glad I did!

Look at all those Marathon Maniacs, Half Fanatics and 50 State Club Members!! (Photo by K.D. Wells Photography)
Since none of my Utah girls were going with me I just booked myself into the Doubletree Hotel (one of the host hotels) which ended up being right across the street from the expo, pretty inexpensive, walking distance from the start, and the location of the 50 States Marathon Club reunion meeting. To make thing even better, a fellow Maniac Lisa Short posted on Facebook that she needed a place to stay, so I offered her the other bed in my room and we split the cost (not to mention she was a really fun roommate)!
I flew into Tulsa Saturday afternoon, picked up my rental car and went straight to the hotel to drop off my bags and went across the street to the expo to pick up my race packet. After I got my packet I went to the Marathon Maniacs booth to say hi to some fellow club members. That booth was packed! Maniacs all around snapping photos and meeting each other (some for the first time)! It was awesome!
Goofing off at the expo with Chris Warren (#2), Tony Phillippi(#3) and Steven Yee (#1) the founders of the Marathon Maniacs!
Anders, Ethan, Sherry, Heather and I at the expo!
I didn't get to spend a lot of time at the expo as I was running a little late for the 50 States Marathon club meeting. Once I got there, I was greeted by Steve Boone (head of the 50 States Marathon Club). He directed me to the free food and beer. I don't drink, but it was pretty funny to see all these runners "liquid carbo loading" the night before the marathon! I just took a seat  and listened as all those that completed their 50 States were brought up to accept their awards.
Anders and Denis at the 50 States Club Meeting
Members of the 50 States Marathon Club

 After the meeting I met up with a few other Maniacs and we headed out to Joe Mama's, a fun Italian place for dinner. When we got there there were a few tables of Maniacs all over the restaurant.
Dinner with the Maniacs!
We had a really good dinner (thanks to Joann and Mark Helmus) then headed back to the hotel to get ready for race morning.
Flat Angie ready for the race!
One good thing about this race is that it started at 8:00am, which meant we didn't have to get up super early! Once we got ready we headed down to the lobby, which was packed with runners (a lot of them Maniacs). We wanted to get to the start early to make sure we made it to the group photo. This was one I did not want to miss!
My roomie Lisa and I at the start!
The race had a VIP tent set up for the Maniacs/Fanatics/and 50 Staters. This tent had food, drink and our own private gear check. It was awesome! I knew there were a lot of club members at this race, but you really got it when it came time to take the photo! There were so many of us!! I was sitting near the Steven, Tony and Chris for the photo and when it was done the three of them stood up and looked around in amazement at all the members. It must have been so cool for them to see how far the club has come since its inception.
After the photo we all made our way to the start and before we knew it we were off!
Me waiting for the gun to go off!
My fellow Maniacs, Ruth Ann, Rich and I at the start.
I loved the start! Lots of confetti!
 I spent the first half running with Dave Bell, a fellow Maniac and 50 Stater from Colorado. We had a great time seeing all the Maniacs on the course and I had to play catch up a few times when I stopped to take as many photos of Maniacs on the course as I could.
Dave and I having a great time!
I am taking a break to jam with the band! Hee Hee!
Right around mile 10 we caught up to Kate English. We all stayed together until Kate and I stopped for a potty break around the half and Dave left us in the dust!
Kate had run a marathon in Kansas City the day before, so neither of us was in any real hurry (which means if we were not running fast, we were going to have fun).
At around mile 17 runners have runners have the choice to continue on the race course or take the .3 mile "Center of the Universe" detour. What is the "Center of the Universe"? According to Atlas Obscura (A Compendium of the World's Wonders, Curiosities and Esoterica):
The Tulsa Center of the Universe is a worn concrete circle, approximately thirty inches in diameter, within the middle of another circle made up of thirteen bricks. Overall, the center is a little more than eight feet in diameter.

The center of the universe is an acoustic anomaly; when one stands in the center of the circle and makes a noise, that noise is echoed back several times louder than it was made. Imagine dropping a small pin and expecting to hear a tiny “tink” as it hits the floor. Instead, the sound the pin makes is more like the loud crash of a gong.

While this in itself is amazing, the truly amazing thing is that no one standing outside of the circle can hear a thing. A foghorn could be going off in the center of the circle, and those on the outside wouldn’t hear it.... Or rather, that’s how the legend goes.

In reality, your voice does become extremely distorted when heard from outside the circle. Supposedly, the parabolic reflectivity of the circular planter walls causes the distortion. Many people have spent a lot of time studying how this effect is made, but there has been no consensus on what causes it. Whatever the causes of the distortions are, it is truly an amazing place.

Now if that doesn't sound cool enough, if you choose to take the detour, you receive a cool Center of the Detour coin. Hmmm, an extra .3 miles for extra bling? Heck yeah!!
As we approached the detour, we could hear the music pumping and the dancing began!
Kate and I throwing down the mean dance moves on our way to the "Center of the Universe"!

The Center of the Universe!
Once we got our coins, we headed back to join those on the race course!
Center of the Universe bling!
Once back on the course we finally caught up to Speedy Dave Bell again!

Kate, Dave and I pretending to look speedy!
 We also caught a few more friends that made the last 6 miles a blast!
Angie, Kate and I catch up to the T-Rex Runners!
We got our kicks on Route 66!
I was starting to feel like crap (as one does) the last few miles. With my foot injury, I had only done two short runs since the Marine Corps Marathon. I knew that when my training isn't up to par, neither is my race, but thank goodness for my Maniac friends! Our "No Rules" approach helped me tackle those last few miles and finish with a smile on my face.
Kate, Eddie and I crossing the finish line!
When we finished, we headed over to the Maniac Corner to get our medals. They were so nice! I was shocked to see the amazing set up the RD's had for us. There were tents for both clubs with our gear check and tables. There was hot food served as well as drinks, beer, and fruit. It was so much fun to meet with a lot of the club post race. The Maniac Corner was located right near the finish line which made it fun to cheer in our fellow club members as they came in. 
Maniacs at the Finish!
Kate, Eddie and I with our new bling!
Joann, Patrick, Denis, Michael and I at the finish!
I cannot say enough good thing about this race. The organization was superb and the Maniac and 50 State Club perks were amazing. I think the big 3 should consider this race as the 2013 reunion!

1 comment:

catomeister said...

Great post, it was great meeting you at the expo in Tulsa!