Photo by: Nick Conley
With graduation causing students to race towards the finish line, Oklahoma Christian University provides an annual tradition for them to participate in at the end of the semester.
Oklahoma Christian has joined the OKC Marathon in past years as the largest group registered for the race.
“The numbers have grown quite a bit with the first year having a relatively small team and growing into a team that for the past few years has competed with teams like Chesapeake,” senior and volunteer for TeamOC Ricci Reding said. “This year we are expecting to win yet again in the largest team category.”
Senior Mark Kuneman plans to run in the race and said he is anxious for the marathon to get here.
“A couple of my friends ran it last year, and they really enjoyed it,” Kuneman said. “They talked about how much of an emotional and spiritual high it was and told me I should join them this year, so I did, and I can’t wait for it to be here.”
The registration fee is the same as the official OKC Marathon site, but there is no additional cost to register with TeamOC. Faculty, staff and students, immediate family members included, will receive a discount towards their registration fees.
Kuneman said he is impressed with the encouragement TeamOC provides for those participating in the marathon.
“If there is one thing OC does really well, they do everything as a group,” Kuneman said. “I have received a lot of emails asking if I need partners or training help. They really have your back.”
Alumna India Farr is assisting with the marathon in a different way than running or taking part in TeamOC.
“Sonic partners with the school I teach at,” Farr said. “They come tutor our students, they do a lot of donations for us and campus improvement. They asked the teachers to volunteer handing out water as a way to give back to Sonic because they do so much for us, our students and our school.”
Kuneman said there is more to the Oklahoma City marathon than just running.
“It’s a time where you come together as a community and remember the tragedy that struck us years back,” Kuneman said. “We run and pray to help remind the community that we have not forgotten what happened to it and we will always be there for one another.”
Reding said she has a close connection to this race and is glad that Oklahoma Christian provides an opportunity to participate.
“I love that OC does this,” Reding said. “I have actually run the half marathon with TeamOC in the past and always do the 5K if I am not running something else. It provides a sense of community, and the shirts we wear represent that. On the side of the road are TeamOC cheerleaders rooting on the runners wearing the same shirts, and you may not know them personally, but they are part of your team and that is what matters and they are supporting you.”
Farr said she thinks it is important to participate in things like the marathon.
“I have never participated in the marathon, but I definitely think it’s important,” Farr said. “In a place like OKC, it represents a memorial of something very close to a lot of hearts. It’s great to receive all we can from our community, but we need to give back at some point too. It fosters a sense of community, and without the volunteers it wouldn’t be able to happen.”
Registration to run for the marathon with TeamOC is open until April 19, 2013. For more information about the race, go to http://www.oc.edu/organizations/team-oc/reasons-you-should-participate-with-teamoc.html.