This past Saturday I ran my 21st Tulsa Run 15K in a row. I’m kind of proud of that but I’m also thinking, “What did I get myself into?” Where do I go from here. This year’s race was special also. I’ll tell you about that in a little bit. So, I ‘ll get into the race day.
There is always some joker who thinks that the whole race course situation doesn’t apply to them.
What was special this year was that my sister, Ellen, was in the 5K race of the Tulsa Run. We didn’t make arrangements to meet before the race. I was wandering around but didn’t see here beforehand. She hasn’t been running very long but she is running and racing a lot.
And then the gun went off and off the police motorcycles went.
Followed by the skinny fast people. As you can tell it was unseasonably warm. We runners are never happy with the weather, it is always too hot or too warm on race day.
Anyway there they went, I didn’t see Ellen, Am I a lousy brother or what? Please don’t answer.
There she is headed hard for the finish. Sorry for the blurry pic but she was moving fast.
And here she is! Luckily for her, we don’t look anything alike. Tell you what though, what was going through our parent’s head? Ellen and Alan, you don’t think that caused some confusion later on? As little kids though we were called Susie and Buddy. Why? I never did figure that out. I remember before first grade Mom told me that my name was Alan not Buddy. Talk about disorienting, especially when you have a teacher in the 50th year or so of a teaching career that started before Arizona was a State? I still haven’t recovered. Poor me! You can tell I’m a runner. Runners and Harley Davidson motorcycle riders specialize in self pity. Along with Democrats. Is there anything more pitiful than a Democrat nowdays? Well Republicans, Republicans are more pitiful than Democrats.
And then my race was close to getting started. Lots of people milling around beforehand. About 4500 finished the race.
Orpha’s was open and ready for business. Sometimes there are guys passed out on the sidewalk outside at lunch. I guess it was too early for that. It was also too early for me. I’ve never been in the place. Don’t plan to go either. For those of you who think that the wild west is over, there was gun fight between the Tulsa Police and bank robber in front of Orphas back in the early 90’s. The robber lived in one of the apartments above the bar.
Runner fashion is always interesting. Like the compression socks thing. What is up with that? I do love that one of these ladies is not into sock symmetry. I’ve worn mismatched socks to work occasionally. Usually nobody notices but why do each sock have to be the same? If you figure out let me know because I don’t know the answer to that.
And then the race was off. The Tulsa Run always has lots of bands on the route. I love these guys, and the two little girls.
I wasn’t really trained for this race so I was running and walking at intervals early. Plus it was warm. Notice I’m a true runner, I have loads of excuses why I didn’t win. I should join the Tea Party!!
The new course is a lot hillier than the old course. Lots of people complained about that. I don’t get that. I mean we all run the same course right! So what difference does it make. There is nothing more boring than an out and back race on the same flat street. At least in my opinion.
We turned south and headed down Peoria. I liked this part of the course because you could see the guys and gals running back and every once in a while say Go Steve!! But you know, only if their name is Steve. Otherwise, I call them their name.
What really fascinates me about races is the mess we runners make at the water stops. I mean cmon guys!! What would your mothers think?
Toward the end these guys put in an unofficial beer stop. I never miss beer stops. In fact I grabbed two cups. I could have used Orpha’s at this point. Later on the River Parks guys had a beer stop. Good job guys putting the beer stops toward the end of the race. Notice the girl with the white tutu? What an outfit. My favorite part is the little ribbons on her socks. Its the details that make the difference. Kind of reminds me of a Van Halen song. But I’ll spare you. Really, you’ll thank me for not explaining it to you. Really.. And that kind of reminds me a ZZ Top song but I’m not explaining that either.
Where did this hill come from? You ever hear about Pop Up Stores that go in temporarily? Well this was a pop up hill. I don’t ever remember seeing it before? Of course I’ve never run it before either. I’m proud to say that the last half of the race I walked up all the hills.
Anyway that was it for pictures. I was plum tired. At the end of the race they had a half a banana for us, which was fine. The bagels though, the volunteers were pinching off bite size pieces and handing them to us as we went by. At least they had water. The beer was not that great either. One guy attending the Coors Light truck and the line was way long. My dear sister Ellen waited two long hours for me to finish. Is she great or what. I wanted a beer but not bad enough to take my sister into Orpha’s. I went home and had a cup of coffee. Heather, my great wife had a couple of Snickers bars for me. Heather is awesome.
So, I liked the course. It was tough and I loved it. The difficulty that I had with it was due to my lack of training. But, there were not quite enough water stops on the race and the post race amenities for the runners were not great. More water, more food, and get your act together ont he beer. And hey, the Expo and the packet pickup was nice. Lets work on it guys!! I’m coming back next year for my 22nd year in a row. Hopefully Ellen will be back also.
Here is a readout from my GPS watch on the race. You can tell I was taking lots of walking breaks especially on uphills. Everything is on there, even my heart rate. Go ahead and laugh you fast runners.
Many thanks to the army of volunteers, the bands, the many police who helped patrol the course, the residents who were inconvenienced by the race going by their neighborhoods and everybody else associated with the race.