Tulsa Man Runs For The Memory Of His Son
Saturday, May 20th 2006, 4:24 PM CDT
Hundreds of runners took to the streets of downtown Tulsa Saturday. The Youth Services of Tulsa race was a benefit for the "Safe Place" program.
As News on 6 reporter Ashli Sims explains, the race was also in memory of a Tulsa teenager.
Gary Betow runs this 5-K race just about every year. But this time, it's going to be a little tougher. He's missing his running buddy, his son, Bart.
Gary Betow: "He and I did it last year. We agreed afterwards that we would do it every year. So I guess I felt like I was honoring my end of the commitment."
Bart Betow was killed in car accident last fall, driving back from Tulsa to Norman. He was just 18 years old.
"We actually were both at OU so I was at the hospital the whole day, it was a pretty tough experience." Dewey Bartlett Junior wanted to honor his friend so he got some of the gang together to run in Bart's place.
Spencer Kinzie: "basically the reason I'm running is because Bart was an awesome person and anything to help him be remembered I'd love to be a part of."
When the Betow's arrived they were surrounded by dozens of Bart's friends and teachers, some came from as far away as Philadelphia. It was enough to bring tears to this father's eyes and all he could do was grab hold of his wife. "I was pretty overwhelmed by it. I'm still pretty emotional about the whole thing."
Jessica May: "just wanted to do something nice for his dad. His Dad was a little bit afraid that people were kind of forgetting about Bart and everyone wanted to make sure he knew that wasn't the case."
When the race got started Gary Betow was surrounded by Bart's runners, all wearing gray t-shirts with the words "We live in a beautiful world" printed on the back. It's a line from one of Bart's favorite Coldplay songs, it ends with "everybody here's got someone to lean on."
And thanks to Barts friends the Betow's know that's absolutely true.