Barring rain, which was at a 30 percent probability Friday night, approximately 850 runners will take part in the Muskogee Run 15K, 5K or 1-mile fun run, all of which start in front of the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center on North Sixth, northwest of Arrowhead Mall.
About 200 will run in the 15K, the second time the mini-marathon has been conducted. It’s transformed what was the Flower Power 5K into a three-race event, still ˚part of the Azalea Festival.
“We’re going to be close to what we’d hoped,” race co-director Joel Everett said.
The trail begins at the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame at Fourth and Elgin and continues for 7 miles, making a loop about 3/4 mile southwest of Love-Hatbox Sports Complex. It will return to city streets at 40th Street a block south of West Okmulgee Avenue, crossing Okmulgee then east on Broadway back to the trail, where it will remain until reaching Chicago Avenue, then turning south west to Tamara.
There, Everett says the runners will face a steep hill leading to the three-block descent on Altamont Street to the Muskogee Public Schools bus barn and finish line.
“Hopefully we’ll have a name for it soon but for now this is our heartbreak hill,” he said, referring to the Boston Marathon’s hill.
Everett said there will be plenty of places along the trail where people can watch, but suggested the stretch.
“There’s really no better place. Not only are you seeing the finish but with the way the course finishes, it’s no doubt the best view and if it’s close, that’s even better,” he said.
Jason Tilton and Katie Kramer, both of Oklahoma City, are the defending 15K champions.
Tilton ran the course in 1 hour, 1 minute and 14 seconds, leading from start to finish and at the wire by nearly two minutes over runner-up Chad McCarter of Tahlequah.
Kramer finished in 1:04.12 with Muge Park of Tulsa in at 1:09.27.
The 5K men’s winner was Jordan Ware of Tulsa whose 19:22 edged 14-year-old Coleman Crawley of Fort Gibson by 22 seconds. The women’s winner was Marissa McCoy of Hulbert at 22:06, 27 seconds in front of Madison Reed of Tahlequah (23:33).
15K, 5K and 1 mile run fun
8 a.m., starts from Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center
566 North Sixth.
Late registration one hour before race time.