Tulsa Williams Route 66 Marathon Moves to Virtual Event
August 17, 2020
Marathon to Celebrate
Today, Tulsa’s Williams Route 66 Marathon announced its annual event, scheduled for November 21-22, is moving to a virtual race format for 2020. While the decision was a tough one, organizers felt strongly it was the right one for the city, the volunteers, and the participants.
“We talked with our city and county officials, and the burden we’d place on city resources if we attempted to do an extended-start, in-person race, was simply not feasible,” Destiny Green, Executive Director of Route 66 Marathon, said. “As a 501c3 non-profit, the extraordinary expense our organization would incur to produce an in-person event under COVID conditions would have negatively impacted our charitable mission for the long term.”
Green said the decision to move to a virtual event was made by the Route 66 Marathon board of directors, and it is one she supports. “We take the safety of everyone involved in our race seriously. We want the runners, spectators, volunteers and staff to be safe, so they are able to run with us in the future,” she said.
The event normally draws between 10,000 and 12,000 runners and supporters to Tulsa each November, with race weekend turning the 26+ mile route in Tulsa into Oklahoma’s biggest block party.
While 2020 was slated to be the marathon’s 15th anniversary year, organizers said this year would be the kind of racing event runners look forward to. Newly renamed as the marathon’s 14½ anniversary year, runners who choose to participate virtually will receive the swag the event is famous for, including a unique 14½ year hoodie and 14½ year medal. Runners who choose the virtual option will also receive a $15 registration coupon to use for a future race. Virtual racers can still participate in the Oklahoma Standard challenge by running both the OKC Memorial virtual marathon and the Williams Route 66 virtual marathon. Those who run both virtual races will receive their Oklahoma Standard medal in addition to the individual race medals they earn.
Registered participants can choose to compete in the virtual race, or they can choose to turn their registration into a tax-deductible donation to Kicks for Kids, the Williams Route 66 Marathon official charity.
“Kicks for Kids is working in our community to help teach kids how to run safely, how to set and reach goals, and equip each participating child with new running shoes,” Green said. “We’re continuing that work safely as kids go back to school and we know new shoes are a huge need for many families. When runners donate to Kicks for Kids, they help fill that gap.”
Registered race participants who don’t want to compete virtually or donate to Kicks for Kids have the opportunity to defer their registration to 2021 or 2022.