The Oklahoma Christian University community runs toward a healthier lifestyle as TeamOC hosts events such as the Choose Your K and Iron Baby Triathlon and creates a team for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.
Last year was the inaugural year for Choose Your K, a race with six different distance options around the Eagle Trail. Those running were able to choose from a 30K, 25K, 20K, 15K, 10K or 5K (18.6 miles, 15.5 miles, 12.4 miles, 9.3 miles, 6.2 miles or 3.1 miles, respectively). Overall, approximately 160 people participated.
Choose Your K is intended to help those training for the OKC Memorial Marathon, specifically those running with Oklahoma Christian and TeamOC, according to Director of Wellness Darci Thompson.
“We just knew that there was a need for people who were training for the marathon and we thought, well let’s do it,” Darci said. “We had a course and people were already using our trail, so let’s support them and also try to support TeamOC by hopefully bringing a little bit of fun through the event.”
Darci and her husband, Mark Thompson, adjunct professor of physics, helped coordinate the race with TeamOC.
“It’s totally unique, I have not seen one that really says, ‘where are you at with your fitness and how would you like to challenge yourself’ and offer six different distances,” Mark said. “I hope the idea continues to catch on; the people who’ve done it really seem to like it.”
According to Mark, Oklahoma Christian first created a team for the marathon in 2006 when his wife started a relay group from the Admission’s Office consisting of about 10 people. Now, over 500 people run with TeamOC.
“It just kind of happened,” Mark said. “It was not really ever a planned thing – now it’s planned obviously – but in terms of the idea, it came out of ‘Hey, we should go run this.’”
Junior Necole Rose ran in the 5K this year, she also participated in Choose Your K last year and has been in several other races held by Oklahoma Christian. Rose said she is running with the hopes of racing in the half Memorial Marathon in 2017.
“I think it really helps me because I’ve been doing the 5K and then by next year I’ll want to do the 10K or 15K before I actually go on to doing the half marathon,” Rose said.
Senior Adam Giles ran in the 30K in preparation for the full marathon this year. According to Giles, the race helped him see how he might perform in the long run, but he said his training is not exactly where it should be.
“Honestly with things like Spring Sing and everything that’s going on, I haven’t been able to stick to that very well,” Giles said. “The past month or two has been very sporadic.”
Senior Marina Pendleton has begun a new event dubbed “Iron Baby,” a mini triathlon, one-tenth of the length of the full Iron Man. The race differs from a regular run, as it includes a .24-mile swim, 2.62-mile run and an 11.2-mile bike ride.
“I did the half Iron Man last semester, so hopefully this is easier,” Giles said. “I’m excited because it will be a little more fast-paced. I’m looking forward to it, I think it will be a fun event.”
Rose said she is volunteering to help with the event, but will not be participating otherwise.
“I would if I could swim, but I am a very weak swimmer, so maybe if they continue to do it in the next couple years, I can get up to that level, but it’d be really cool to do,” Rose said.
Though the triathlon has been primarily student-led, Darci meets with the students once a week to help organize the event.
“We’re just excited to see how it goes and would love to do more events like that in the future if it goes well,” Darci said.
To sign up for the marathon or the Iron Baby Triathlon, visit TeamOC’s website. The Iron Baby Triathlon is on April 9 at 11 a.m. The Memorial Marathon is on April 24.
Visit Choose Your K online to view 2015’s and 2016’s results.