November 17, 2001
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
When Lenore and I attended the Race Directors' Conference associated
with the Marine Corps Marathon at Washington, DC, in late October
2000, we met Bob Lehew, the director of the Oklahoma Marathon.
He invited me to run this event which is held at Tulsa in mid-November.
I told him that we had our marathon schedule set for 2000 but
that we would try to make it in 2001. During the past year our
paths crossed often as we ran the Marine Corps Marathon, the YAKIMA
RIVER CANYON MARATHON in Washington in March, the Coeur d'
Alene Marathon in Idaho in May, and the Park City Marathon in
Utah in June. We visited often, and Lenore and I reaffirmed that
we would be in Tulsa on November 17, 2001. Outside of our own
YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON,
it was the best marathon weekend that we had all year.
Bob is also the president of the 50 States Club, and the first
membership meeting of the club was held as part of the marathon
weekend. The audience for this meeting was composed of 100+ runners
from all over the country (and world).......and many hold joint
membership in the 50 States & DC Group and the 100 Marathon
Club North America.
There was a cap of 100 entrants for the race, but members of
the three running clubs mentioned were exempted. Consequently,
there were 212 starters in the field. It was remarkable that in
this relatively small number of runners there were 48 states represented
(all but Delaware and South Dakota.) The first person to register
from a state received a special T-shirt and a singlet. On the
front of each shirt was the name of the race plus the name of
the state the runner came from. Since I was the only one from
Washington state, I proudly wore my "Respresenting WASHINGTON"
shirt. At the starting area on Saturday, November 17, 2001, those
of us who wore these coveted shirts or singlets gathered for group
Amenities for the participants were many......a pre-race social
hour and pasta meal at the race headquarters hotel (Hilton Inn
Southern Hills), finishing medals, numbered finishing plaques
for the first 50 runners to finish, a post race meal and get-together
at the Lehew home, race results posted on-line and a race T-shirt
to be mailed soon after the race. This unique shirt will have
the names of all of the finishers and their states printed on
The marathon was run under ideal conditions. The weather was
in the high 50's at the start and the low 60's at the finish.
We ran under overcast cloud cover with minimal sunshine.....and
air movement from calm to 5 mph. The course was run on a paved
hike/bike trail in a narrow park by the Arkansas River. It was
an almost flat double out-and-back that had pleasant views of
the river and the woodland along the shore. Just before the turn-around
we crossed the river on a highway bridge. At the far side, our
bib numbers were recorded. We had some refreshments and then reversed
course. The nice thing about this layout is that you see so many
runners so often. I enjoyed this because I have never been so
far from home and have known so many people in the marathon. The
majority of these were 50 Staters whom I am getting to know.
My race went fairly well although slower than I would have preferred.
I managed a 9 minute pace for a few of the early miles, but then
progressively slowed until I was running 12 minute miles near
the finish. A brief stop at each mile marker for a quick massage
of hamstring muscles or stretching helped considerably as did
increasing my fluid intake at aid stations. I finished in 4:45:10,
130th of 204 finishers.
Peter Graham, secretary of the 100 Marathon Club UK, ran with
me for 11 miles and provided moral support. It was good to see
him again. He had been at the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON
MARATHON and at the 2001 Marine Corps Marathon also. Peter
had three fellow British runners with him, two of whom are 100
Marathon Club members.
At the pre-race dinner, the emcee acknowledged the top megamarathoners
and the foreign visitors...........Norm Frank, 70, is one of the
world leaders with 760 marathons/ultras. Wally Herman, 76, from
Ottawa was the first person to complete the 50 state and DC cycle
and has run 590 marathons. Don McNelly, 81, has run 590 marathons.
KG Nystrom of Sweden has run 553. Rick Worley ran 200 marathons
in 156 consecutive weekends. During that time span he ran three
50 States and DC cycles including one with the 13 Canadian provinces.
Big Dave Carter from England, a 50 Stater and member of the100
Marathon Club (UK and North America) has run 482 marathons. Roger
Biggs of England ran his 200th 26.2 marathon at the Oklahoma Marathon.
He has run 13 ultras also. Peter Graham from London has a total
of 128 marathons. Jack Brooks from St. Albans, England has run
40+ marathons. Edwin Roth of Germany has a total of 62 marathons.
Ed Burnham, 82, of Kansas City, MO, has run over 110 marathons
since he started running at the the age of 70. Brenton Floyd,
16, is the youngest runner to finish a marathon in all 50 states.
He has run 123 marathons and plans to join the 100 Marathon Club
The runners contributed over $4,000.00 to Rick Worley's scholarship
fund for Cal Farley's Boys Ranch in Amarillo, TX.
Bob Lehew has not only reactivated and improved the discontinued
marathon in Tulsa, he also has run 100+ marathons himself. This
includes two successful completions of the Western States 100
Mile Endurance Run in California.
As we ran outward, we saw the pack of four front runners coming
back. On the second run going out, the pack had strung out, and
the leader (who was the eventual winner) ran by. He was Chris
Lipscomb, 43, of Temple, OK, and he finished in 2:47:45. In second
place was Ryan Claborn, 22, from Oklahoma in a time of 2:53:52.
Bill Gilmore, 41, of Janesville, WI, was third with a time of
2:56:36. The winner of the women's race was Pamela Brust, 40,
from California (3:36:13). Next was Dawn Murphy, 36, from Texas
(3:37:35). In third place was Stephanie Sharp, 18, from Texas
There are several observations of runners and walkers that I
want to share..........Big Dave Carter ran with a large flag that
read "Big Dave's World Marathon Tour." He dressed in
a jester costume that had the British flag design incorporated
into the garment. Don McNelly and Wally Herman took an early start
and walked together, pleased that they finished in 8:09:35 and
8:09:36. Betty Mae Burrell, 57, grandmother of Brenton Floyd from
Tennessee, has physical problems yet she walked the course in
9:06:21 to complete her 121st marathon. She has participated in
all of these marathons with her grandson.
Ed Burnham, 82, ran a 7:31:25 at Tulsa. He ran the inaugural
YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON this year and said that he'll
be back to run the next one on April 6, 2002. Tom (HiGuy) Matti,
44, from Illinois (3:52:53) had a propellor on the top of his
hat, so he stood out. His goal is to be the first marathoner in
history to run over 100 marathons/ultras in his first two years
of marathoning. The Oklahoma Marathon was #97 since his first
one on April 23, 2000. He expects to reach #100 on Dec. 8, 2001,
at the Rocket City Marathon at Huntsville, AL. It looks like he
will exceed his goal.
KG Nystrom, 63, from Sweden (4:57:02) is a 50 Stater whom I have
seen at races for three years. I couldn't believe it when I saw
him on the course moving along on elbow crutches!! He has a congenital
problem that affects one of his legs. This was his third time
marathoning on crutches.
Bob Lehew and his wife Kathy are a marathon team. Bob had the
directorship responsibilities while Kathy was in charge of registration
and packets. She also cooked and baked for the post-race meal.
There were many volunteers at the course aid stations, finish
area firstaid station, and behind the scenes. They all contributed
to making it a well-organized race. Bob had the course well-marked
in miles and kilometers which was useful for all the runners irregardless
of which system they prefer.
The Oklahoma Marathon was exceptional, and this was a very memorable
weekend for Lenore and me.
Written by Bob Dolphin