"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the Route 66 Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"
I chose the Rt. 66 Marathon because over the last few years, I had so much FOMO, seeing everyone’s pictures from the race. It looked like SUCH a big, fun event. It would be the perfect race for me to check off Oklahoma for my 50 state quest.
In the months leading up to the race, the Route 66 race management kept us well updated on the event itself. I joined the facebook group for the race for even more updates and conversation.
This would be a “racecation” for me, I planned a girls weekend with one of my running besties who flew in from the east coast for this event. She was coming off of an injury, so she was planning on doing the 5k on Saturday, and I signed up for the double – the 5k on Saturday and the half on Sunday.
I arrived on Friday afternoon after seeing my fellow BibRave Pro Amy in Denver during our layovers.
I met up with my girlfriend and after a quick checkin at the hotel, we headed over to the expo, just a few blocks away. To be honest, the streets of downtown Tulsa seemed a bit deserted for having a major marathon event in town. The expo wasn't that busy. We picked up our packets and some essentials and headed out in search of lunch.
Wandering around on Friday we also found the Center of the Universe, a unique tourist spot where you hear an echo inside this small circle, but step outside of it and you don’t hear it.
Saturday morning we headed over to the 5k. Around 2,500 people participated in the 5k, and it was pretty crowded! Everyone was very lively, the weather was a little brisk (40’s) but totally not bad at all.
Julie and I had a great 5k chatting away, and were surprised by several hills throughout the race! At the finish, there were cute medals, water, bananas, etc…and beer! I assumed it would be just regular beer, but was delighted, as a craft beer afficianado, that it was local beer from Nine Band Brewing! And we had our choice of 4 kinds! Also a local band, Tulsa House Party was playing a wide variety of hits from 80s/90s and beyond. It was fun! Found Amy again at the finish, which was great. It was a super festive environment.
After the 5k we grabbed lunch and got ready for my next task – serving on the social media team! I volunteered to help out and be a part of their run influencer panel. I was a bit nervous since I don’t normally do this, but it ended up being a great experience. I was paired up with Jim Davis, an amazing 50-stater who was running his 50th marathon in his 50th state and also singing the national anthem at his 50th state! Plus I got to meet Bart Yasso too finally! I also earned a volunteer coin for this, kinda cool.
We did some more exploring around town before grabbing dinner and a good night’s sleep. Race weather was going to be CHILLY, but luckily the start line was literally next door to my hotel! I didn’t have to brave the cold until 30 minutes before start time. Everything was very well organized with the corrals.
It was not too crowded, thankfully. We had Jim sing the national anthem, then they sent us off with confetti cannons, which was really unique.
The entire first half was nonstop hills. We were up and down constantly through many beautiful neighborhoods and parks. It definitely wasn’t boring! Within 2 miles we were seeing stations with beer and jello shots! There was no shortage of temptation. I warmed up a bit during this stretch since there was so much going on. The second half started out along the Arkansas river, and that’s when the windchill really became an issue for me. I dropped a glove at some point, and now I really needed it. My face was numb and at times my legs felt like they weren’t connected. The “feels like” temp was 26. As I reminder, I live in the desert where today it will be 75 degrees. I passed a station with Fireball and seriously considered taking one in hopes that it would warm me up.
Finally, we approached Rt 66. For the half, we really aren’t running on it for more than a half mile, so it is a bit of a misnomer. As I turned onto rt 66 I grabbed a mimosa which was refreshing. Then of course stopped to take a pic of rt 66.
The second half was much flatter and I just couldn’t wait to get to the finish. My friend made the frigid trek from the hotel ¾ mile to the finish and was able to snap a pic as I approached the finish.
I was able to get a Half Fanatic specific finishers medal, which is so cool! Then there was water, muscle milk, fruit and PIZZA! That hot pizza hit the spot!
A few quick frozen finish pics were taken, I picked up my doubler coin and results and headed out. I couldn’t feel my fingers. It’s a shame that it was so cold, no one was sticking around to enjoy the post-race goodies.
I have been a Half Fanatic member for several years now, but have never attended a race with an official meetup. Holy cow, between the HF , the Marathon Maniacs and the 50 States Club, so much work goes into this event. There were club specific medals for Half Fanatics, Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Club, and Black Girls Run. There was a big VIP pre-race area with heaters and bathrooms, which you needed a wristband to get into. I stopped to get the wristband but didn’t need the VIP start area because my hotel was so close to the start. Then there was a huge afterparty hosted by all 3 clubs that sounded awesome. Unfortunately I had an early flight back and had to miss it. I also missed a special bonus medal by the 3 clubs. I didn’t realize I needed to stop by the tent to get it.
All in all, I’m blown away by the amount of support this race offers! From first timers to seasoned veterans, they really try to give an amazing experience to everyone. I’m grateful for this incredible experience for my 55th half marathon and 14th state. Just look at this haul from the race!
I finished in 2:13, and I’m ok with that, considering these are almost the worst race conditions possible for me. I finished in the top 12% of my age group, which is also pretty cool!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!