Story by Camryn Sturgill
The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon is held once a year in honor of those who were affected by the Oklahoma City bombing on April 19, 1995.
This year, Rose State is celebrating its 50th anniversary, is by organizing a team of 50 Rose State full-time employees to participate in the events at the marathon. The marathon is being held in Oklahoma City on April 26, 2020.
Chris Leland, director of health and wellness Rose State, along with Coty Cooper, executive athletic director Rose State, are responsible for organizing the 50th Anniversary team.
Employees who decide to sign up for the marathon will have the option of receiving 50% off whatever event they register for. This offer is valid until all of the sponsorship money is gone. The first 50 employees to sign up will also receive a $100 gift certificate to Red Coyote Running in Oklahoma City or Edmond.
Leland said he was intentional about partnering with Red Coyote Running as an incentive.
“The reason I teamed up with Red Coyote is because they do one thing-running. (I know of the people that run it and their purpose for starting it). A lot of it was because people sometimes go out and start running and don’t put any planning into it. You can actually buy shoes that make your feet, knees, hips and lower back hurt, so they custom fit you to the right shoe for your running pattern.”
Both Leland and Cooper call Oklahoma home. The two are passionate about Oklahoma and all of its history. This is one of the reasons they wanted to get involved in the Memorial Marathon.
“I think you’ll see this in Oklahoma, and this is not just a cliché, that any time there has been a tragedy or anything happens in this state, the people of this state take care of each other. From the tornadoes in Moore, to the bombing, to the wildfires we had a few years ago. Oklahoma is just that way. That’s why I love it here. You know, this is just a way of recognizing what happened that day.”
Leland and Cooper said they are over halfway on their goal of 50 full-time Rose State employees.
“We have 35 people signed up right now. Our goal is to have 50 people for the 50th anniversary,” Leland said.
Although the goal is to get 50 runners to participate, Leland mentioned that they might be able to help sponsor more than that.
“The thing is, even if we get over 50 [people to sign up], we will still be able to help sponsor because the majority of the people who are signing up are signing up for the 5K which is less expensive. We may be able to sponsor 55 or 60 people,” Leland said.
Employees can choose to sign up for any of the four following races, the 5K, the relay, the half-marathon or the full marathon.
Lance Newbold, Vice President for Student Affairs Rose State is already registered to run the 5K.
“The OKC Memorial Marathon is a special event,” Newbold said. I am not much of a runner, but I want to be a part of this city’s annual event so I chose the 5K. This year being the 25th anniversary of the bombing and the 20th year of the marathon make it that much more special to me.”
Those who are interested in participating can sign up by contacting Leland at 733-7500 or firstname.lastname@example.org.