Better late than never…here are our photos and recap of the Golden Driller Marathon!
The Golden Driller Marathon took place April 25th on a beautiful, cool morning in Tulsa. The course took place entirely on the River Parks trail system, which runs along the banks of the Arkansas River, and made for a really scenic couple hours of running.
This, my second half marathon, turned out to be a lot tougher than my first because I bonked at mile nine. I hit the wall and there was nothing I could do to pick up my pace for the rest of the race. I remember my brain trying to force my body to stop and walk each time I passed a mile marker, but somehow (the reason being explained in the paragraph below) I was able to force myself to keep going and was able to run the whole thing until the end. The result of my bonk meant that I finished the race 15 minutes slower than my first half marathon. It happens to everyone at some point or other though. It was still an unforgettable experience. Peter, on the other hand, had an AMAZING race. This was his first half marathon and he finished in 2:00.57—less than a minute away from breaking two hours! Not only that, he had been slowly recovering from a knee injury over the past five months and this was the first time he had run anything longer than six miles since last fall. It was an incredible experience to witness.
Why it mattered:
Four days before our race, we received the news that our family friend, Kirsten Baugher, had passed away from an epileptic seizure. She was a beautiful soul with a full heart open to everyone she encountered, which made her loss all the more difficult to cope with. It was sudden, shocking, devastating news that made it difficult to leave the house and go to work, much less think about running. However, that evening we decided to go down to the river to try and process our grief in the only way that made any sense: by running. The beauty and stillness of the evening washed over our tired hearts and minds and became a place of solitude where we could find a brief moment of release. The feeling of running—of hearts pumping, blood rushing, muscles straining—was the feeling of being alive. It gave us a moment to transform our mourning into a celebration of Kirsten’s life by immersing ourselves in the heart wrenching beauty of the world surrounding our living, breathing bodies. It was a moment I’ll not soon forget. It was also the moment when I think we both knew that we would run on Saturday. Kirsten was fearless—she loved life, the beauty of nature, and her place in it. What better way to honor that life than by celebrating life itself? With this in mind the morning of the race, we wrote her name, with love, on our arms so that she would be with us out on that trail. This way, no matter how hard it was or how much we wanted to stop, we would remember that we were here—we were living—and we were running for something far greater than ourselves.