2014 Williams Route 66 Marathon Rolls Through Tulsa
TULSA, Oklahoma - And they're off! The Williams Route 66 Marathon runners and walkers started their trek through Tulsa Sunday morning. Some went for the full 26.2-mile course while others run the half marathon or marathon relay.?
It's the 10th year for the event that is expected to bring more than 11,000 people from all over the United States, six countries and three continents to Tulsa.
"Traveling to Tulsa to get an intimate street-level view of everything we have going on, so were very proud and thankful of that," marathon representative Chris Lieberman said.
The marathon not only has an economic impact on Tulsa, but it also raises more than $60,000 for charities including the United Way and the Tulsa SPCA.
Lieberman came up with the idea of the marathon while enjoying similar events in other cities. He called it a 26.2-mile tailgate party when it began.
A group of relay runners with the U.S. Army Reserve Civil Affairs 486th Battalion, which trains in the area once a month.
"Typically we're out at Sand Springs, sometimes we go to Camp Gruber for training and we'll be out there the entire weekend," Sgt. Christopher Tull said.
Tull said the marathon is a great way to get in some team building and get out into the community that he and the others serve.
And that much like his hometown in Texas -- he said the city of Tulsa -- is doing big things.
"Tulsa is very similar, and it's coming back in a lot of the ways Ft. Worth is, which is great to see,” Tull said. “Makes an environment where you can have better pedestrian traffic, you can have events like this so that people can get out in the community and exercise and be healthier. So I see a lot of great things here, and we'll be interested to see how it grows in the next years."
Capt. Godfrey Chan added, "Tulsa is kind of a growing town, and so it's kind of a happening place and so there's a lot more music going on in Tulsa than Oklahoma City for sure so."
And others with the battalion say it's not just what they've seen in the city so far -- it's the people they've met a long the way.
"Very supportive, a lot of encouragement and strangers are nice to you; that's nice to have," Sergio Vazquez said.
And all the niceties made the Route 66 Marathon a big success for some of the men and women in uniform that get to call Tulsa "home" every now and then.
"It was fantastic, everyone did great,” Tull said.