Race: Williams Route 66 Marathon
Location: Starts and ends in downtown Tulsa, Oklahoma
Time of Year: Sunday the weekend before Thanksgiving
Size: 3,000 marathon runners, and 15,000 total runners in the marathon, half, and 5K
Weather: Cold! High of about 35, breezy at times, tiny bit of spitting rain at one point
Logistics and Getting There: Tulsa is a 10 hour drive from where I live in Colorado, so I decided to fly to this race. I flew there on Saturday morning to have plenty of time to explore and pick up my packet before the race on Sunday. I flew home Sunday evening, which worked out fine.
Expo and Swag: The expo was moderate size and not chaotic. All marathoners got a pretty sweet windbreaker and size swapping was super easy. In addition, I got some free gloves and a buff — sweet! Oh, and a V8. Overall I was really pleased with the goodie bag. As a 50-stater, I also got access to “Maniac Corner” before and after the race, including exclusive gear check and tents and a big photo before the start.
The Course: The course is a loop course with just a few repeated sections, starting and ending in downtown Tulsa. All roads, but moderately hilly (about 1000 ft of gain for the full marathon). Full and half runners do the first 13-ish miles together, and then the half people finish while marathoners go on by their lonesome. There was a noticeable difference in energy once they split, as is often the case with races with this format. On course, there was good support, with ample aid stations and porta potties. Oh, and alcohol! This race had numerous opportunities for Jello shots along course, in addition to beer, mimosas, and other goodies. I nearly drank a mimosa at one point thinking it was OJ! There were also informal aid stations set up in various themes, such as a tiki bar. Other than the aid stations, there wasn’t a ton of entertainment on course, and the scenery was nice in some spots (some nice neighborhoods, a park, etc.) and meh in others (strip malls).
How It Went: I signed up for this race knowing that I would likely slow jog or even walk the whole race. And that’s what I did. Spoiler alert: I was 12 weeks pregnant with Ath-Sprout during this race. I hadn’t run more than a handful of times after becoming pregnant because I was completely exhausted and gross feeling for the first trimester. Luckily the fatigue and nausea started to let up just in time for this race, but I felt super out of shape, peed approximately 9 times, and overall did not want to push it. I jogged most-ish of this race and tried to keep a good clip walking the rest, between pee breaks. I thought this race would be a nice back of the pack race, given the generous time limit, that it caters to Maniacs, and that it bills itself as a bit of a party. I’m not sure if it was the weather or what though — I felt like I was coming pretty late to the party… and by the end I was just ready to be done, get warm, and go home. At the end of the race, thoroughly chilled despite all my layers, I went through the chute to grab a few pieces of the (cold, picked over) pizza and made my way to the 50-stater tent. I was hoping for special hot food in the 50-stater tent but all there was was some chicken (booo!) and you guessed it, more Jello shots. And it wasn’t heated. Crabby tired pregnant lady was unimpressed and made the chilly walk back to the hotel.
Overall Impression: People really rave about this race, and it is probably a different experience for people who do the half or who have a good pack to run with for the full. Or that can partake in Jello shots and enjoy that kind of thing. For an Oklahoma race, I don’t regret doing it, but based on my experience, this one didn’t rise to the top as a particular favorite. I’m going to give this one a Like It because it was well organized, well stocked with toilets, had pretty good crowd support, and had some perks for 50 staters.
What to See and Do in Tulsa:
Surprise! Tulsa, OK is way cooler than you think. Here are some of the highlights:
- Walking around Blue Dome, Brady Arts, and Downtown Districts for restaurants, shops, and cool murals
- Cool Art Deco architecture downtown (largest collection outside of Miami!)
- Hurts Donuts in Blue Dome for all kinds of strange donut creations
- Jinya Ramen Bar for SPECTACULAR vegan ramen (mmmm… want some right now…)
- Elote Restaurant for veggie-friendly Mexican in a laid back atmosphere
- Glacier Confections for some fancy chocolates to take home
- Woody Guthrie Center, which I almost didn’t go to because you have to pay an admission fee and I was considering being cheap, but which ended up being very fascinating and well-done; do not skip the virtual reality dust storm!