Center of the Universe Detour
As if running 26.2 miles weren’t enough! For those of you who want a little more, the Center of the Universe Detour will be back again in 2012. This free and optional detour will add .3 miles to your run and is only for participants in the full marathon. You do not have to pre-register for the detour. You just decide when you get there. Participants who take the detour will receive a very nice color inlaid coin when they get to the Center of the Universe. The coin features the same 3-D effect as the medals with three bonus star-shaped cutouts.
The Center of the Universe detour offers runners a unique opportunity to run an extra .3 miles to visit Tulsa’s historic Center of the Universe. The distinctive quality of the landmark is an eerie echo that is heard by someone standing in the center of the circle. Participants who stand at the center of the brick circle and talk will hear themselves echo, but others outside the circle can hear no such echo.
Karen Nienhaus, a runner on the Michelob Ultra team from St. Louis, wasn’t originally going to take the detour. Her coach then talked her into it.
“He told me ‘we live life to the ultra – why not take the detour?’” she Nienhaus said. “So I took it and it was really cool. The music was nice, the people were nice, and the coin was really cool.”
Rebecca Hicks from Del City, Okla., also enjoyed the detour. “I felt it towards the end, but it made me realize I could run farther than I thought I could,” she said.
Bands from Riverfield Country Day School and Undercroft Montessori School played at the Center of the Universe. Spectators applauded and shouted encouragement to the runners who voluntarily took the 0.3 mile detour. Approximately a third of the marathon participants took the detour during its first year in 2010, and even more people participated in 2011.