Previewing Tulsa’s Route 66 Marathon

Runners near the start of the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa. (Tulsa World photo)

The climax of Tulsa’s fall racing season is coming up this Sunday at the Route 66 Marathon. I’d set my eyes on running this race, but backed off after my training took a hit this fall. I know now that I could have run the half marathon, but this sucker filled up quick so I’ll have to wait until next year.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not on my mind, and I know there will be thousands of runners flocking to downtown Tulsa to run and/or compete in this signature event.

If you’re running it, let me give you a few things to know in advance of the starter’s gun.

Weather: Right now, the forecasts look great. Last year, it was cold and drizzly. The most recent forecast I’ve seen shows sunny weather with morning temperatures in the mid-40s. The high for the day will be in the upper 50s to low 60s. I thought the 30- and 40-degree temps for the Tulsa Run were excellent. So it looks like weather conditions will be favorable for Saturday, though I’m not sure how windy it will be.

If you’re running the half marathon: Expect a fast track. It starts downtown, going south to Riverside, then going back north and ending at Veterans Park. This means it starts downhill, then stays level for the rest of the way. There is a good chance for hitting PRs on this one, in my opinion. The course is very similar to October’s Tulsa Run – but without the climb back to downtown – so it will be a good cruiser even for recreational participants.

If you’re running the full marathon: Don’t be fooled by the ease of the half. You’ll follow that track, but then head all the way back to downtown’s north side. That’s pretty much all uphill, baby. I run in those parts of town a lot and have raced up there. Expect long, gradual hills all the way to the north end of downtown, with a few dips that you’ll have to regain. The course then goes east to the University of Tulsa and around the streets east of downtown before heading back toward Veterans Park.  You’ll reach the highest elevations of the course near the end before it finally eases up near the finish.

If you’re running it, best of luck to you. This has all the makings to be a pretty great race.

Bob Doucette

On Twitter @RMHigh7088

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