November 23, 2002
Race Report by Bob Dolphin
The Oklahoma Marathon was held on Saturday, November 23, 2002, at Tulsa. This was the fifth running of this well-organized event which also serves as the annual meeting of the 50 States Marathon Club and as a fund raiser for Cal Farley's Ranch for Boys and Girls in Texas and, for the first time,
the Tulsa Boys Home.
Bob Lehew, a 50 States finisher, is the president of the club and the marathon race director. He does a great job in both capacities. Rick Worley of Kingwood, Texas, (near Houston) initiated the educational foundation of the Ranch and is the club's vice president.
At the club meeting the day before the race, about 20 personalized awards were presented to members who were 50 State Finishers for one or more complete cycles within the previous year. Congratulation to our friends Gina Moore of Dallas, TX, and Lois Berkowitz of Riverview, MI, for their finishi
ng accomplishments. Ray Scharenbrock of South Milwaukee, WI, received special recognition for completing SEVEN CYCLES of the 50 states.
Announcements were made that club member Norm Frank of Rochester, NY, was running marathon #799 and Don McNelly (also from Rochester) and Wally Herman of Ottawa, Canada, have both passed the 600 mark. Ed Burnham, 83, of Kansas City , MO, would run his 133rd marathon in Tulsa and is still running
the marathon distance often. Rick Worley's major accomplishment of running 200 marathons in 159 consecutive weekends (3 years and 3 weeks) has been included in the 2003 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. Bob Lehew's 60th birthday was acknowledged with applause.
To learn more about the 50 States Marathon Club and accomplishments of its 442 members, check the website
The race headquarters at the Hilton Tulsa Southern Hills was an excellent site for packet pickup, a small expo, meetings, and a pre-race dinner. As a sponsor, the hotel provided the runners with an economical rate during the race weekend. Lenore and I were able to distribute registration forms
and information about the YAKIMA RIVER CANYON MARATHON and the 100 Marathon Club North America from a table in the lobby.
At the dinner many introductions and reports were made. Of considerable interest was the group of eleven young men and one woman from the Ranch who planned to run the marathon the next day. Their representative expressed appreciation for the scholarship fund and the support of the marathoners.
At 6:00 a.m. on race day Lenore and I caught the first hotel shuttle van to the race start/finish by the Arkansas River a few miles away. It was dark with the temperature in the 40's, but pre-race hot coffee and donuts helped raise our spirits. When the field of runners had gathered, all who we
re the first to register from their respective states posed for group pictures. Many wore their singlets provided at packet pickup that identified their state and the Oklahoma Marathon. Our good friend, Bruce Katter from Edmonds, was in the picture for "Washington" this year.
I wore my state singlet from the 2001 marathon during the race, and some spectators called out the name of the state to encourage me as I passed by. Only one person asked me, "which Washington?"
Just before the 7:30 a.m. start, we gathered for a prayer, the singing of the national anthem and the releasing of blue balloons as the gun went off. One young woman, however, pinned her balloon to the back of her shorts, and it flew three feet above her head as she ran the marathon.
The race was won by Adam Cohen of Norman, Oklahoma, with a time of 2:42:18. In second place was Matt Colberg of Oklahoma City in 2:45:53. Randy Cudney of Columbus, KS, was third with a 2:49:35. The women's race was won by Renee Idone of Roxbury, CT, finishing in 3:27:16. The second and third
place women finishers were Suzy Seely of Spring, TX (3:32:30) just nipping Tina King of Edmond, OK, by ten seconds (3:32:40).
Gary Julin, of Omaha, Nebraska, a new member of the 100 Marathon Club NA, had run 105 marathons under three hours. After one and a half years of running over three hours, he was really happy to run a 2:57:33 at Tulsa where he finished 7th overall and moved his "under three hour" total to 106!
Bruce Katter, 68, a Marathon Achiever and member of the 50 States Marathon Club, was happy with his time of 3:44:20 and his race award. This marathon has no age class awards, but the first 100 finishers received an award engraved with their overall position. Bruce came in 84th (of over 300 fini
shers), and his award reflected this accomplishment.
I enjoyed this double out-and-back course along the side of the Arkansas River. It had considerable variety of terrain changes with some large trees to shade the runners. The foot injury that I had three weeks earlier at the City of Trees Marathon was not a prolblem, and I ran naturally....but
slowed considerably from start to finish. The three week rest period without any training while I healed was a factor in my finishing time of 4:50:16. I enjoyed the run and seeing all of the runners several times on the course; however, the last three miles were a struggle due to the heat and t
he leg cramps it caused.
Nelsen Peterson was there from Lincoln, Nebraska, to make a video of the race. We have his tapes from the YRCM and the Bend Marathon 2002 and will surely purchase the Oklahoma Marathon video when it becomes available. These are excellent records of the marathon experience.
Our thanks go to Lois Berkowitz for transporting Lenore, Bruce and me to the
hotel after the race and then to and from the post race party at the Lehew home.
The food and drinks there were great as was the socializing. A good time was
had by all. Later at dinner at the hotel, Ed Burnham, Lois Berkowitz, Bruce
Katter, Andrea Anase of Lafayette, CA, Cyd Antang of Concord, CA, Lenore and
I had an enjoyable time talking about marathoning. Eventually, we realized that
everyone in this group had been participants in the 2001 and/or the 2002 Y AKIMA
RIVER CANYON MARATHON. It's a small world!
Congratulations and thanks to Bob Lehew, his wife Kathy, the race committee and the volunteers who made the fifth annual Oklahoma Marathon a very special event.
Written by Bob Dolphin