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My First Half Marathon

If you’ve noticed those shiny gold “My First
Marathon” medals hanging around at the finish line of our previous races, then
you already know we’ve been making first marathons special for years. This
year, we’re proud to honor first time half marathoners in the same way! For the
first time ever, we will feature a “My First Half Marathon” medal, ribbon, and
bib. Just choose the “My First Half Marathon” option when you register, or go back and edit your registration.
Your first 13.1 is a massive accomplishment - let’s celebrate together at the
2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon!

Room Service at the Route 66 Marathon. 2019 Hotels are now available for reservation!

You’ve secured your spot and we know you’ll
rock the Route! Now, it’s time to find the perfect hotel room to make race
weekend as stress-free as possible so you can snag that PR. Our official host
hotels are officially online and taking reservations! We recommend booking
EARLY to make sure you get exactly what you need at the price point you want.
All participants booking hotels through our website are guaranteed the
following amenities race weekend:

  • Access to Route 66 Marathon rates
    and availability.
  • GUARANTEED automatic 3:00 p.m.
    checkout on Sunday, November 24th.
  • Quick and healthy breakfast
    available starting at 5:30 a.m. on Sunday, November 24th.
  • Runner/Walker friendly food and
    beverage items available in the hotel gift shop.
  • Access to Williams Route 66
    Marathon hotel shuttles on Sunday, November 24th (as applicable).

Click here to reserve your room today!

INTRODUCING OUR 2019 FINISHER’S MEDAL!

We can’t wait to watch you ROCK the Route and make it to the finish line in November! We’ll be waiting for you, but more importantly, so will our 2019 finisher’s medal! Drum roll, please…

The Williams Route 66 Marathon is proud to present the 2019 finisher’s medal! This year’s medal features Art Deco elements in an homage to downtown Tulsa’s incredible architecture and history. The medal is styled after the hood ornament found on an early 1940s Cadillac, which was considered the “finest” car to drive during the heyday of the Route 66 era! As in previous years, we will offer a special golden “My First Marathon” medal for participants completing their first marathon at the Williams Route 66 Marathon, but for the first time ever, we will also now offer a “My First Half Marathon” medal to participants completing their first half marathon. We’re proud to honor the accomplishments of all of our participants, whether you’re  running your first marathon or your fiftieth!

HOW TO SAVE MONEY ON RACE TRAVEL

We’ve all been there: you hear about a race that sounds awesome, but you’d have to travel to get there. When you start adding up the costs, it seems out of reach, so you put it off til next year. With so many fantastic events around the United States and the world, it’s no wonder that runners are increasingly signing up for destination events rather than sticking to just their local races. While a destination event is undoubtedly more expensive than the one ten minutes down the street from your house, it’s possible for just about anyone if you follow our tips. After all, the Williams Route 66 Marathon is proud to welcome participants from all 50 states and more than 10 countries around the world!

  • Save on transportation costs: Save on transportation costs by splitting them with friends or like-minded strangers! Whether you’re driving to a race that’s a few hours away and want to split gas costs or you need to share an Uber or rental car from the airport to your hotel, reach out to other runners and find a buddy! Think about it – if you spend $100 on gas but split it between 4 people, you’re now spending just $25 (and adding carpool karaoke buddies to make the drive more fun)!

  • Share your hotel room: Along the same lines, consider splitting your hotel room with a running buddy! Even if you’re traveling alone, it’s still possible. Running clubs like the Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, or Half Fanatics often have Facebook groups or message boards dedicated to room sharing. Even if you don’t belong to one of these clubs, it’s possible to find like-minded people on the race’s Facebook page. It might seem weird, but hey – a $200 hotel room split 2 ways is now $100! Plus, you’ll have someone who totally gets your pre-race anxiety and all your important pre-race bathroom rituals.
  • Consider different airports: You’d be amazed at how much money you can save by checking around for nearby airports, especially if you have travel buddies to help split the cost of a rental car. For races in remote locations, it might be possible to fly into an airport that is just a few miles away, but you’re likely to pay extra for the convenience, especially in a rural area. Look for nearby large cities like Newark, NJ if you’re headed to New York or Oklahoma City if you’re flying to Oklahoma (even Tulsa!), and you might be surprised by how much you save!
  • Book your flight before you register: Flight prices can vary dramatically, so set price alerts on a website like Skyscanner.com and get ahead of the game! Once you know you’re interested in a race, set those alerts and start paying attention. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to book your flight, as that’s often the most expensive part of a destination race. It’s also best to book your flight before you register instead of waiting til the last minute if there’s any possibility you won’t have the money. Why risk losing out on a whole registration fee?
  • Join a club for traveling runners: As we mentioned earlier, clubs like the Marathon Maniacs, 50 States Marathon Club, and Half Fanatics are great for linking up with other traveling runners! Did you know they often receive discount codes for races, too? Look for a club you qualify for and register. If you race a ton, you’ll save big!

Ok, so now that you’ve got the inside scoop, what are you waiting for? Register today and make Tulsa your next race destination!

Click here to register for the Williams Route 66 Marathon rt66.run/2019RT66Run

The Trick to Acclimating to Heat

Hate running in the heat and humidity every summer? You’re not alone, and it’s not your fault.  While some people love running in the heat (so I’m told), many runners are riding the struggle bus from May through August as they struggle to adjust to the soaring temperatures and stifling dampness in the air. Have you ever wondered why running doesn’t seem like it’s getting easier, even though we’re now well into the summer? If your fall marathon goals feel like an impossible dream, you’re not the only one. 

Route 66 Marathon Training

Before throwing in that sweat-soaked towel entirely, ask yourself this question: how much time do you actually spend outside? If your answer is “the amount of time it takes me to finish my nightmare of a run,” you’ve just solved the mystery of why you’re not acclimating to the heat.  Think about it: if you spend 30-60 minutes outside during your run each day and then spend the other 23-23.5 hours inside in the air conditioning (and who can blame you if you do), it’s going to be a challenge for your body to get used to the heat. Since it’s unlikely that your boss will let you move your desk outside into the direct sunlight, there is a way to speed up your acclimation with a little more exposure.

Increasing your exposure to the heat and humidity is easy if you break it up into small chunks throughout the day.  If you live in an area of high humidity like we do here in Tulsa, you’ve undoubtedly learned that humidity is higher in the mornings, while the temperature is cooler. By contrast, it is less humid, but hotter, later in the day. Getting used to both types of weather can help your body acclimate more quickly and make your runs feel just a little easier! We recommend getting outside for a few minutes three times a day: morning, midday, and evening. A typical day might look like this:

  •         Morning: Early morning run, 30-60 minutes
  •         Lunch: 15-30 minute walk outdoors during lunch break
  •         Evening: 15-30 minute walk after dinner

With just a couple extra short walks, you just doubled the amount of time you are spending outdoors, thereby giving your body double the time to adjust! Amazing, right? If the above schedule doesn’t work for your lifestyle, feel free to move them around - there are no rules here. Worried about getting sweaty and needing to go back to the office? Remember that your walks do not need to be a hard effort or a brisk pace. Your goal is to get your body used to the feeling of the heat and humidity throughout the day. Try it and see what happens to your training!

How to Select the Right Running Shoe

One look at the shoe wall in any sporting goods store will tell you that there are a seemingly endless number of options when it comes to running shoes. Minimalist, maximalist, and everything in between are calling your name! If you’re new to running or looking to change up your footwear, it can be hard to know how to choose the best shoe for you. 

Let’s state the obvious right up front: the best way to select the right pair of running shoes is to head to your local running store and let their professionals guide you through the fitting process. The employees have been trained to analyze your gait and have extensive knowledge of the shoes sold in their store, so they’ll find the pair that’s right for you, and if not, they will help you with your return. With that being said, we understand that not all runners have a local running store near them, so if that applies to you, listen up.  Here are some factors to consider when picking out a new pair of running shoes:

  • Mileage: What is your total mileage each week? The amount of impact to your body over the course of the miles you run must be accounted for in your running shoes. If you’re running high mileage, you may prefer to do your long runs in a highly cushioned shoe, while using lighter shoes for speed workouts and shorter runs.
  • Body Type: Did you know that running causes an impact of 3-5 times your body weight on your bones and muscles each time you take a step? It’s true, and it’s the main reason why heavier runners may feel more comfortable in a shoe with more cushioning, especially if they are new to the sport. Smaller runners may not need as much cushioning but may prefer it regardless.
  • History: Are you new to the sport, or have you been running regularly for years? If your bones and muscles are not acclimated to the impact of running, you may find that you need more cushioning in your shoe as you build up mileage.
  • Pronation: Not sure what pronation is? Don’t worry! We’re just talking about whether your foot rolls to the inside, outside, or stays straight when you run. The best way to find out what you do is to take a video of yourself running and watch it in slow motion. Overpronation (the foot rolling in at the ankles) is extremely common among runners and often calls for a more supportive shoe. Runners with a neutral stride or who underpronate (feet roll to the outside) may prefer a more neutral shoe with less motion control.
  • Arch Type: Do you have flat feet, high arches, or an average arch? It’s easy to find out. Simply place a brown paper bag on the floor, wet your foot, and place it on the bag. The size of the curve on the inside of your foot will give you an idea of your arch height. Feet with low arches typically have little to no curve, while those with high arches will see an exaggerated indentation. People with low arches have more flexibility in their feet than those with high arches and therefore require a more stable shoe, while those with high arches will likely prefer a more neutral, flexible shoe.
  • Foot Size: Who has time for blisters on a long run? No one. Avoid them by buying shoes that are wide enough for your feet, especially in the toe box. Your feet will swell when you run long distances, so it is recommended to purchase your shoes an extra half or full size larger than you normally would to account for swelling!
  • Location: Where do you run? There are different shoes for road running, trails, and track workouts.

Regardless of which shoe you choose and where you buy it, make sure to purchase from a merchant with a liberal return policy that will let you test the shoe out and return it if you don’t like it, even if you have already run it. Many running stores guarantee their product and will accept returns even if you have run in the shoe for an extended period of time. Make sure to research the return policies and support your local merchants whenever possible!

RUCK the ROUTE!

Looking for a new way to rock the Route this year? You can officially ruck the Route for the first time ever! The Williams Route 66 Marathon is proud to announce our partnership with GORUCK as an official rucking event for 2019. Just what is rucking? Rucking is walking with a weighted pack on your back. It’s the cornerstone of special forces training in the United States! Rucking burns three times the calories of walking without the impact of running. In fact, GORUCK calls it “cardio for people who think running sucks.” 

GORUCK also distributes patches to finishers of their officially rucking events, and these patches are always earned - never given! To earn yours, you’ll need to complete the Williams Route 66 Marathon within the time limit of 7 hours (approximately 16:30 per mile pace) wearing an official rucksack meeting GORUCK criteria. You’ll earn our finisher’s medal, too! 

Interested? Click here to register and select “rucking” on the “Choose your desired Individual Division” section. You’ll be good to ruck on race day!

What is Rucking?

Keeping Your Running Resolution

If you’ve ever made a New Year's resolution, you know they’re easy to make and hard to keep, especially if you’ve been drinking when that brilliant idea hits you. Resolutions to change don’t only happen at the new year, though. In fact, by committing to training for the 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon, you’ve just made a resolution of sorts yourself! It can be a challenge to stick with your training and create healthy habits when life gets in the way, but it is possible. With the tips below, this might just be the year you achieve your goals!

1. Make your resolution generic: While it might not seem to make sense at first, making a generic resolution, like “get stronger at running hills” or “run a fall marathon,” can help set you up for more success than one that is extremely specific, such as “run six days per week.” If you’ve been running for more than a week, you know that this sport has a lot of ups and downs. Every longtime runner has struggled with injury, burnout, and life getting in the way of training, so by setting generic goals, you give yourself more opportunities to succeed. That way, you’ll stay motivated and prevent that feeling of complete failure if you miss your first goal race or can’t make it out to one of your new 6-times-weekly runs.

2. …but set specific short term goals: With that being said, sometimes we do have specific goals, like PRing a big race. Consider pairing your generic resolution with specific short term goals to achieve success. For example, a resolution to “get stronger at running hills” could be accompanied by the creation of a monthly or weekly training schedule with specific hill workouts, or you could find one hill in your neighborhood that you want to get faster at climbing each week. By keeping your sights set on the next workout, you’ll keep yourself from getting overwhelmed by the amount of work to do. Then, it will feel possible to run just 20 seconds faster than last week or get through one last training run!

3. Learn to differentiate between excuses and reasons: While there are definitely chronic quitters out there who will look for every possible excuse not to finish their workout or run as hard as possible, others never allow themselves to quit, even when continuing is detrimental. The key is to find a balance between those two mentalities. Life happens - sometimes we’re injured, or working crazy hours to meet a work deadline, or our kids need our help with a last-minute homework assignment and we just can’t squeeze in a run that day. When you find yourself considering not doing a scheduled workout, first ask yourself “What would I think if my best friend told me they couldn’t run (or do speedwork or whatever) for this reason?” If you’d think it was a legitimate reason for them, it’s probably a legitimate reason for you, too. If not, get your shoes on and get out the door!

4. Rely on discipline rather than motivation: Many people believe that living an active lifestyle or training for a marathon is something that only happens when you’re motivated, but setting and achieving a long term goal takes more than motivation. Motivation gets you out the door at first, but it won’t help you at 5 am when you’ve been up all night with the baby and are tempted to hit the snooze button. That’s where discipline comes in. Creating strong habits, avoiding excuses (but allowing for legitimate reasons) and using strong time management skills will foster discipline and set you up for success. Eventually, there won’t be any question whether you’re going to do your workout or not. So next time you find yourself thinking “I’m just not motivated enough to work out,” say “I’m just not disciplined enough to work out” and see if that doesn’t inspire you to get moving!

5. Set yourself up for success: It seems like an oversimplification, but much of the important work in running happens before you ever get out the door. To set yourself up for success, plan ahead. If you’re a morning runner, lay your running clothes out the night before, buy an automatic coffee maker, and make your lunch for work the night before. If you take obstacles out of your own way before you’re too tired or stressed out to do so, you have one less hurdle to clear. Run after work? Make sure your bag is already packed and in the car the night before so there’s no chance of forgetting it and you can quickly change at the office and hit the road – no time to get tempted to sit on the couch! It goes without saying, but we’ll say it anyway - take care of your body, too! Eat foods that make you feel strong and powerful, and stay well hydrated. The better you feel, the better you’ll run, and the better you run, the more you’ll want to take great care of yourself. That’s a resolution worth keeping!

Introducing the Voice of America's Marathons, Rudy Novotny!

The Williams Route 66 Marathon is thrilled to announce the addition of Rudy Novotny, the “Voice of America’s Marathons,” to our team! Rudy has signed on as the new race announcer for 2019, working in tandem with Route 66 veteran Mark Bravo. Keep an ear out on race morning, because you might be surprised to find you recognize the voice behind the microphone, even if you don’t recognize the face.

To say Rudy is an experienced race announcer would be the understatement of the year. He isn’t called the “Voice of America’s Marathons” for nothing! A seasoned runner himself (and sub-3-hour marathoner at that), Rudy happened into race announcing by accident. Over 20 years ago, he showed up to run a local race and found the race director running around looking for the race announcer, who hadn’t shown up. Recognizing Rudy as a veteran of many races, the race director asked him if he would mind stepping in as the announcer for the day. When he received his first check in the mail, Rudy knew he was on to something! Word of his professionalism, enthusiasm, and talent quickly spread, and it wasn’t long before he found himself announcing regularly.

Then, Mickey Mouse called. Not literally, of course, but Rudy got a call from Disneyland asking if he would be interested in interviewing to announce the Disneyland Half Marathon. His reputation and resume preceded him, and a phone interview was all it took to secure the job. Rudy then went on to work with the sports host team at DisneyWorld for many years on all the annual runDisney events.

Rudy Novotny Route 66 Race Announcer Rudy in Tulsa

Rudy travels for announcing gigs nearly every weekend of the year across the United States, so he doesn’t get to race himself very often. Still, he remains an avid runner, logging 40-50 miles per week in between race commitments. As a runner and longtime announcer, he knows just what to say to help calm the nerves of anxious novices and to pump up the elite athletes. Still, Rudy insists he has no favorites and views every finisher’s accomplishments as equally important. That’s why it’s so important to him to stay at the finish line until every participant has crossed the line.”There is no way I would ever leave an event before the final runner came in,” he says. “Over 1,200 races to date and I never have and never will leave my perch before the final participant has been honored.”

Rudy can’t wait to honor you when you cross the finish line on race day! Whether you’re hoping to finish in first place or hoping to finish your first race, Rudy will be there with a smile on his face and a smile in his voice to welcome you to the finish line!

REGISTER TODAY

Nurturing a New Running Buddy

If you’ve got a loved one that you’re dying to run with, there’s nothing more exciting than that magical day when they finally decide to lace up their shoes! Whether you’re hoping a friend will start running to improve their health, or you’d just like to find a hobby that you and your significant other can enjoy, you can help set them on the path to success with just a few simple tips.

  1.   Set reasonable expectations: Remember the early days of your running career? You probably thought you’d just stride off into the sunset with ease as you set off to run your first mile.  Many new runners believe that they should be looking like a seasoned pro right out of the gate, but this can set them up for disappointment. In reality, everyone starts somewhere, and many people find success with a walk-run interval program. Help your new running buddy by suggesting a program like the Galloway Method or Couch-to-5k to encourage them to start slow. You’ll be doing them a favor by boosting their confidence as they achieve small victories along the way, while also helping prevent overuse injuries that are so common in new runners who do too much too soon.
  2.   Celebrate the small stuff: Speaking of the small stuff, you know that there are good running days and bad running days, but new runners might not. Look for areas of improvement they might not notice, like more strength on a tough hill, better form, or the fact that their first “long-run” distance is now their go-to midweek run. New runners often expect every run to be faster than the last and every race to be a PR, so it’s a good idea to celebrate small victories along the way so they stay encouraged. 
  3.   Let them set the pace: Do you remember your first time running with another person or a group? You were probably pretty nervous, right? If you go for a run with your new running buddy, let them set the pace. They should be able to run at a conversational pace but recognize that you might be doing most of the talking as their lungs adjust. To keep yourself from getting carried away and pushing the pace, stay at their shoulder or just a step behind if possible. Do your best to keep the conversation going by regaling them with stories along the way. They won’t notice the miles are flying by! 
  4.   Practice what you preach: You’ll undoubtedly have lots of great advice for your new running buddy, but make sure you’re following it yourself. If you tell them not to push the pace on every run but then always run the same speed, you’re not sending the right message. Similarly, encourage them to listen to their bodies - and listen to yours! Rather than espousing the “do as I say, not as I do,” philosophy, really commit yourself to the rules of running that we all know and often ignore. They’re looking up to you!
  5.   Help them get geared up - the right way: Running may seem like a simple sport with minimal equipment, but the most important piece of gear is obviously the right running shoes. New runners often believe any old pair they have in their closet will do, but we know that’s not true! Still, new runners who aren’t sure if they will like running may not be interested in making the investment in the right gear. If it’s someone really close to you, consider putting your money where your mouth is and buy them their first pair of shoes. After all, what’s better than the gift of running? Of course, make sure you take them to their local running store, like Fleet Feet Tulsa, to be properly fitted, no matter who’s paying!

At the end of the day, your loved one may not love running as much as you do, and that’s ok! Try not to take it personally. Keep that perspective for a happy home and many memorable miles to come!

How to Set Realistic Running Goals

We’re just a couple of months away from the Williams Route 66 Marathon, which means you might be starting to think about your goals for race day. Most people use goals to help us improve in our everyday lives, and runners are no different. In fact, setting goals as a runner can be overwhelming because there are so many options and metrics! With so many easily recorded measures of speed and endurance, runners have any number of ways to verify the attainment of old goals and determine new ones. You can set goals all day long, but how do you know if your running goals are realistic – that is, challenging, but attainable? Ask yourself these questions:

  • What’s your timeline? Sometimes, a goal might be realistic to attain in a year, but might not be possible to achieve in a month. While it can be challenging to set goals far in the future when it comes to running because abilities, plans, and priorities change, it sometimes works to have one long-term goal that you’re flexible on and then several short term goals that will help you get there. To set the most realistic goal possible, it is recommended to set a goal that can be obtained within one training cycle, such as taking 15 seconds per mile off your 5k time, 10 minutes off your marathon time, or completing your first marathon injury free.
  • How experienced are you? The more experience you have, the more information you have to go on. If you’re a brand new runner looking to set a time goal for your first race, consider focusing on something like finishing the race injury free, or finishing the race feeling strong until you have a better idea about your running ability. Once you’re more experienced and have a few races under your belt, you can use your previous race times and current training cycle to get an idea of a realistic goal pace. For example, if your best marathon time is 5:10 and you trained consistently, it is probably realistic to set a goal to break 5 hours in your next race if you complete an entire training cycle. It is probably not realistic to break 4 hours.
  • What’s your availability? There’s no doubt about it - training for a big race can take up a lot of time and energy. Consider what the rest of your life looks like - work, school, family, and other commitments. If you feel like this is a great time in your life to train hard and dedicate your energy to reaching your goal, it might make sense to set one that is a bit of a stretch to keep you motivated. If you’re in a difficult season of life and are struggling just to make it out the door for a run, keep that in mind. If you’re planning a cross country move, working tons of overtime, or wrangling a nocturnal infant, it may not be the best time to pursue a Boston Qualifier.
  • How do others fare on the same course? While someone else’s ability has nothing to do with yours, you can learn a lot about a race by the results in general. Check results in your age group to discover whether a course is “fast” or “slow,” and consider looking up weather conditions as well. You’re more likely to run a PR on a cold day than a warm one! Read race reviews, too! You might find comments about the elevation changes on the course, tough turns, weather, and more.How have similar races gone for you?: Consider how you’ve fared in events of a similar distance. If you’re already run a half marathon, you should have an idea of what worked and did not work for you during your training, as well as your final pace. Likewise, if you’ve gotten injured every time you’ve tried to train for a marathon, maybe bumping up to an ultra isn’t the best idea. Use previous experiences to your advantage as you consider your next running goal! 

 

The Importance of Incorporating Hills Into Your Training Program

I’ll be the first to admit that I have been known to try and avoid (or at least minimize) the hills in my neighborhood on the occasional training run. Let’s face it, hills kind of suck - especially in the beginning of a training season when you aren’t necessarily in your best shape yet. The reality is that running hills makes us stronger runners overall, and with a hilly goal race like the Williams Route 66 Marathon, you’d be remiss to avoid them in your training. If right now you’re questioning your sanity at choosing a hilly goal race, take comfort in knowing that hills can be your friend. When we run on a flat surface for a long time, we’re engaging the same muscles over and over again, which causes them to fatigue. As a result, your calves, glutes, and quads can get trashed by the end of your race, causing you to slow down and possibly miss your goal. By contrast, hills offer a welcome change for the muscles in your legs and help spread the effort around ­– if you train properly and use them to your advantage! Here’s how to incorporate hills into your training program.

Route 66 Marathon

  1. Start small and build up: When it comes to hills, there’s no such thing as starting too small. If you’re running in an entirely flat area currently, choose small hills to train on at first, limit the number of repeats you’re doing, and keep your overall mileage done on hills low. There’s plenty of time to build up! If you want to start making hill repeats a part of your regular routine, for example, start out by doing 3 on a small and/or short hill. Then add on as you feel the workout getting easier!
  2. Make hills a part of your easy runs: When we think of hill work, we tend to think of hill repeats, but you don’t have to be running your hardest to gain benefit from hills! The simplest way to add hills into your training is to incorporate them into some of your easy runs. Just pick a route that includes a few more hills than you’re used to and run it once a week at an easy pace. Keep your effort level the same up and down the hills, and don’t worry about your pace. This way, you’ll still get a good workout in without the intimidation factor!
  3. Hills are everywhere if you know where to look:  You might not live in a hilly area, but I promise you that there are hills near you! If you’re in a flat part of the country, find a bridge or a low-traffic exit ramp to practice repeats on. It’s not ideal, but any incline is better than none at all! Worst case, jump on the treadmill and bump up the incline.
  4. Forget about your pace: The key to being strong on hills isn’t exhausting yourself by sprinting until your lungs burst and then jogging back down. On race day, your goal on hills should be to keep your effort level the same as it is on flat ground, which likely means going a little slower uphill and a little faster downhill. During your workouts, increase your effort level slightly up a hill (just enough to elevate your heart rate higher than your average) to start building stamina. Then, jog or walk back down for recovery. As you get stronger, you can start working harder, and maybe one day you’ll find yourself sprinting!
  5. Remember, hills are a strength workout: If you find yourself getting frustrated by the perceived loss of speed on hills, remember that hills are like a strength workout for your legs. You should expect to be sore, and you should expect to be slow, at least at first! You’ll get faster as you get stronger. Consider adding some squats (weighted or unweighted) to your routine, as well as some hip and glute strengthening exercises. You’ll be flying up those hills in no time!
Mr. and Ms. Center of the Universe

In case the free beer from Nine Band and extra bling aren’t incentive enough to take the Center of the Universe Detour during the Williams Route 66 Marathon, we’ve brought back another great reason to try the 0.3-mile detour. The first man and first woman to reach the Center of the Universe Detour on race day will receive the title of Mr. and Ms. Center of the Universe! You’ll receive a sash declaring your victory and a new title from none other than Ms. Route 66 herself, like the true king or queen that you are. You’ll also have the added bragging rights of completing the World’s Shortest Ultramarathon when you add the extra 0.3-mile to your marathon. There’s no need to register in advance - just make the decision on race day and take the detour at mile 25.5 if you dare!

Ms. Center of the Universe Detour

Announcing Free Race Photos Courtesy of Route 66 Chevrolet of Tulsa!

You’ve trained hard all summer to run or walk your way across that finish line in November, and now, we’ve got an exciting way for you to hold onto your memories of race day! For the first time ever, the Williams Route 66 Marathon will be offering all participants FREE race photos thanks to Route 66 Chevrolet of Tulsa! 

If you’ve ever run a race, you know that traditional race photo companies send proof photos to runners after the race and often charge an arm and a leg for them. Many runners choose not to purchase them, but instead share the watermarked photos - not a great situation for anyone! Thankfully, Route 66 Chevrolet has come up with a win-win solution. Route 66 Chevrolet has long served as our Official Vehicle Sponsor, but this year, they decided to up the ante and become the official Photography Experience Sponsor too! What does that mean for you? Why, free race photos, of course! 

“We recognize what an incredible accomplishment it is to complete a race of any distance,” said Route 66 Chevrolet Executive and General Manager, Chuck Mulkey.“We also recognize how expensive it can be to try to preserve that memory. When looking for ways that we could increase our support for the marathon, we realized that by becoming the official Photographer Experience Sponsor, we’d be able to help runners and photographers alike. Photographers will get paid for their hard work, while runners will receive all the photos from their big day for free!”

 

Whether the 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon is your first marathon or your 100th, you’ll have the good, the bad, and the ugly (hey, we’ve all been there) captured for free thanks to Route 66 Chevrolet of Tulsa! Don’t forget to share your photos on social media using the hashtags #rt66run #route66marathon and #rocktheroute! Who knows - we might just share yours and make you famous!

Thank you to Route 66 Chevrolet for sponsoring our 2019 event photographs and on-course vehicles!

Free photos got you convinced to rock the Route? Click here to register!

Why Running in the Winter is Awesome

You may not know it yet, but running in the winter is awesome! In fact, some runners (myself included) believe that running in the winter is the best part of the year. Sure, it’s cold, icy, dark, and you probably can’t feel at least one part of your body at any given time, and it can be hard to get out the door, but there’s magic in the misery.  It can be tempting to take time off after completing your fall goal race, but if you stick with it, a strong winter training schedule can pay great dividends in spring. If you want to continue running through the winter months, whether simply to stay in shape, to reduce stress, or to train for a spring race, we’ve got a few great reasons to make this winter your favorite running time of year!

  • Timing is more flexible: While many runners are up at the crack of dawn to beat the heat during much of the year, winter offers the chance to run at different times of day without the risk of overheating. Keep your schedule flexible, if you can, and try to run during your lunch hour or in the late afternoons if you haven’t fallen in love with the cold just yet. There’s not many times of year that you can head out for a run at lunch and return to the office not looking like a complete disaster, so take advantage of it!
  • It’s a great excuse for a vacation: There’s nothing quite like a looming race to light a fire under your glutes, and we all need that in the winter! Choose a destination event in the early spring (March or April) that will provide some much-needed motivation. The idea of a vacation give you literal light at the end of the tunnel during the long winter months, and knowing that you’ll have to cover the distance in a few short months will help you get your rear in gear! 
  • There are unexpected health benefits: Winter running isn’t just something you’re suffering through to get to spring - it’s actively making you healthier and stronger! Did you know that you burn more calories working out in the cold than indoors? It’s true! Your body works harder to regulate its temperature, which means you’re getting some extra burn. Your heart also works harder, so regular exercisers with strong hearts will find that they get even stronger in the winter - meaning you’re primed for a PR in the spring!
  • You can reconnect with your warmup: We all know that it stinks to take those first steps out the door and feel like you’ll never warm-up, let alone break a sweat. Winter is a great time to be reminded of the value of a true warmup, and we recommend warming up inside. Rather than waiting to warm up during your run, elevate your heart rate and get a little sweaty with some quick cardio moves like jumping jacks, high knees, or jump rope before you head out the door. You’ll find that the cold air feels a lot more refreshing if you’re already warm, and it’s not nearly as shocking to head out.
  • Improve your mood: It’s tough to deal with the short, dreary days of winter, and many people find that their moods suffer during this season. We know that running increases endorphins and helps put us in a better mood, but during the winter, it also offers a great way to get some much needed vitamin D! There’s no better way to recharge during the day, and the colder temps mean the sweat situation will be a lot more manageable.
  • Build discipline: Even the most dedicated runners struggle with motivation sometimes, and that’s because motivation is a fleeting, temporary feeling that inspires us to make a decision or affect change. Winter running is the perfect time to forget about being “motivated” and work on building your discipline instead. Discipline grows as we make consistent decisions about running, health, and anything else in life, but it’s like a muscle – it has to be worked in order to grow. You can start small with your winter running by simply establishing a plan to get out the door 3 times a week, no matter the pace or distance. As you become more accustomed to the weather, discipline and habit will take over and you might just find yourself heading out the door no matter what the temperature! You can do it!

 

 

We love our volunteers!

It’s almost November, which means race month is nearly here. I bet you know what we’re about to say...it’s time to sign up to volunteer for the Williams Route 66 Marathon again if you haven’t already! The 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma is poised to be our best event yet, but we need your help to make it possible.

Your contributions as a volunteer make a huge difference in the participants’ experience - just ask them! As Scott Brilliant wrote in his Facebook review of last year’s race, “Volunteers were awesome! Thank you to the volunteer at about mile 14 who ran to chase me down to hand me a GU after I dropped it at the aid station. It was so appreciated!” Your support matters and your service is making the difference!

There’s a volunteer position out there to suit everyone’s interests, skills, and availability, whether you’d like to help set up on Thursday or hand out medals on Sunday! We’ve even got plenty of options for people participating in the races. We hope you’ll bring all of your energy and excitement to your position and make race weekend extra special for our participants from near and far! 

Check out all of our volunteer opportunities and find the position and time slot that works for you!   

Click here for volunteer information!

All Volunteers will receive: 

  • 2019 Volunteer Coin
  • 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon Volunteer T-Shirt
  • Goodie Bag
  • Invitation to 2019 Volunteer Thank You Party 

    Thank you in advance for making sure the Route is rockin’ on race day!

Get your party on post-race!

You’ve heard us call the Williams Route 66 Marathon a 26.2-mile party, but it’s actually a little bit more than that! Our epic post-race party, presented by the Tulsa Sports Commission, is the place to be after you cross the finish line.  Lucky for you, you don’t have to go very far to get there! If you ask us, there are five steps to getting the most out of your post-race party experience:

  • Find your fam: Our Family Reunification Area makes it easy for finishers to find their family and friends after the race! Located just outside of the finisher’s area, you won’t have to walk (or hobble) far to find your loved ones.
  • Chow down: You’ll probably be hungry after your race, and there will be plenty of pizza from Mazzio’s for finishers to enjoy. If your friends and family are hungry after cheering for you all morning, don’t worry, we’ve got them covered too! Mazzio’s pizza will be for sale at the post-race party.
  • Grab a cold one: All participants ages 21 and up will receive a free post-race beer from Nine Band Brewing Company, the official beer sponsor of the Williams Route 66 Marathon! 
  • Flaunt your finisher status: You’ll have a pretty sweet finisher medal around your neck after you cross that finish line, but you probably won’t want to wear it on your future runs. Why not stop by the Fleet Feet Logo Gear tent and grab a finisher shirt that proudly proclaims your status as king or queen of the road?
  • Loosen up your legs: What better way to shake out the lactic acid and celebrate than by dancing along with the tunes from our live entertainers all day? Check out our live music lineup:
  • 8 - 10:30 am: Double Treble
  • 11 am - 1 pm: Tulsa House Party
  • 1 - 4 pm: Zodiac

Once the hard part is over, it’s time to party! We can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Race Weekend Information
Williams Route 66 recognized as Best Half Marathon in Oklahoma by RaceRaves

Williams Route 66 recognized as Best Half Marathon in Oklahoma by RaceRaves

TULSA, Okla. Nov. 19, 2019 – The results are in, and Williams Route 66 Half Marathon, taking place later this week, has been recognized by RaceRaves as the top half marathon in Oklahoma. 

RaceRaves, the leading online race finder and reviews community for runners of all levels, has announced the winners of its “Runners Choice: Best Half Marathons in the U.S.” poll. The top race in each state was crowned based on votes from thousands of runners across the country, along with reviews and ratings on RaceRaves.com. More than a laundry list, the handy new guide will help first-timers and seasoned runners alike build their all-star half marathon wish list. 

Common themes among the winning events include exceptional production and on-course support, strong community involvement, and a course that showcases the beauty and attractions of the local region.

“RaceRaves is based on the reviews of runners, so we’re honored to be chosen as the top half-marathon in Oklahoma by those runners. Participants can feel the difference that our volunteers and community support make in their experience, and we’re excited for this year’s race in just a few days!” said Destiny Green, Executive Director of the Route 66 Marathon.  

According to RaceRaves, anyone who has never used “fun” and “half marathon” in the same sentence has never run the Williams Route 66 event in Tulsa. Known for its confetti cannon start for each runner, and amazing community support for the runners, the Route 66 Marathon is known as “Oklahoma’s biggest block party.” The course showcases Downtown Tulsa’s Art Deco architecture along with the Gathering Place, a world-class riverfront park named the nation’s “Best New Attraction” of 2018 by USA Today. And first-time half-marathoners receive a “My First Half Marathon” finisher medal to commemorate their achievement.

“This initiative exemplifies our passion and commitment to help runners discover the best races across the country.” said RaceRaves Co-founder Mike Sohaskey. “We’re fired up by the enthusiastic response from runners nationwide, and we congratulate the Route 66 Marathon on this well-deserved accolade.”

The complete list of winning half marathons by state is available on RaceRaves.com. 

About the Route 66 Marathon

Since 2006, the Route 66 Marathon has hosted a world-class marathon weekend in the heart of Tulsa. Now in its fourteenth year, the marathon has grown into “Oklahoma’s biggest block party” complete with a Health, Fitness & Sustainability Expo, Fun Run, 5K, Mascot Dash, Marathon, Half-Marathon and Marathon Relay. The 2019 events will be held November 23-24, 2019. With a focus on fun, the event offers participants unparalleled spectator support. It’s not uncommon for neighborhoods along the course to host their own unofficial aid stations and block parties to welcome the runners. The race also offers award-winning finisher medals and race premiums inspired by the classic cars from the Route 66 automobile era. Named a “Must Do Fall Race” by Runner’s World magazine, the Route 66 Marathon is truly a 26.2-mile-long party. The event brings more than 12,000 runners to the Tulsa area from all 50 states and more than 10 countries each year and has an estimated economic impact of more than $8 million dollars. Runners who complete the Center of the Universe Detour, which adds an extra 0.3-mile to the marathon, can also proudly proclaim they’ve completed the World’s Shortest Ultramarathon! And yes, there’s beer at the finish line. To learn more, visit www.Route66marathon.com or contact Mandy Vavrinak at mvavrinak@mac.com or call 918-633-4397. 

About RaceRaves

Founded in 2014, RaceRaves.com is the leading online race finder and reviews community for runners of all levels to share their experiences and find their next challenge. The company’s robust race database, intuitive search tools, finisher reviews from all 50 states and 85+ countries, and compelling editorial content establish RaceRaves as a trusted resource for runners and endurance athletes. With its authentic voice and fast-growing audience, RaceRaves helps brands and events connect with runners in today’s competitive marketplace.

 

For more information about RaceRaves or its list of Best Half Marathons in the U.S., please contact Katie Ho at 650-274-5044 or katie@raceraves.com.

Join Us for the OFFICIAL Pre-Race Pasta Party and “Blessing of the Shoes!”

Looking for a delicious pasta dinner at an affordable price, some pre-race camaraderie, and maybe a little extra help from above? Look no further than the OFFICIAL Williams Route 66 Marathon pasta party, hosted by First United Methodist Church of Tulsa! You’ll enjoy a catered pasta dinner, an engaging guest speaker, and a light-hearted “blessing of the shoes!” That’s right - bring your race-day running shoes and get a special blessing. Hey, who knows what might make the difference for that PR?

Who: All participants of the Williams Route 66 Marathon events and their guests

What: OFFICIAL Williams Route 66 Marathon Pre-Race Pasta Party

When: Saturday, November 23, 2019, from 5:30 - 6:30 pm

Where: Youth and Family Center - YFC, 12 E 11th St, Tulsa, OK 74119

Why: Because there’s no such thing as too many pre-race carbs or too much race day luck!

Cost: $5 per person

We hope you’ll join us for this very special event! For more information and to RSVP (not required, but helpful!), please visit the Facebook event page.

2019 Participant Guide

Your race results and finisher's certificates are ready to view!

WHOA - color us impressed. You did it! You're an official finisher of the 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon, and we've got the results to prove it. Go on - go post about it on social media (you know you want to)! We hope you loved rocking the Route with us this year as much as we loved having you.

Click here to access your race results!

Click here to download your official finisher's certificate!

Pre-registration for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon is now open!

Your legs might still be burning from the 2019 Williams Route 66 Marathon (or your heart might still be aching from missing it), but it's never too early to start thinking about 2020! Pre-registration for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon is NOW OPEN. Our lowest pricing of the entire year is available to just the first 500 registrants in each race, so make sure you sign up now to save major cash. These prices won't last long, so get registered and get ready to join us for the 15th annual Williams Route 66 Marathon!

Click here to register

 

2019 Open Photo Gallery is Live

PHOTO GALLERY is LIVE: Click on the link below to view the full gallery of photos from the 14th annual Williams Route 66 Marathon. Search by bib # or use the dropdown menu to search by date/time/location.

WORLD RANKINGS ALERT FOR QUALIFIERS

In case you haven't heard, the Williams Route 66 Marathon is a qualifying race for the Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Rankings! We're honored to be included as part of this exciting world championship series.

Curious where you stand in your global age group ranking? Now's your chance to find out! Our results are now in the World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group system. To get your ranking, all you need to do is click here and search by name, age group and gender. You can also filter by qualifying race if you just want to see how you performed in your age group within the Williams Route 66 Marathon, or by nationality to compare yourself against other people from your country!

The year-long rankings period offers more than 175 events where you can score points. Click here to view the full list!

Your two highest scores during the Series will count towards your final ranking and determine who gets invited to the 2021 Abbott World Marathon Majors Wanda Age Group World Championships. The site hasn't been decided yet, but we know it will be awesome!  If you're interested in your world ranking, you must build a profile and “claim your result”, otherwise you will not have a chance to be invited to the World Championship or join our community of marathon runners from around the world!

Good luck!

Give a gift registration and get yourself a running partner in the process!

Stumped over what to get that last hard-to-buy-for person on your list? We’ve got an idea! Why not give them the gift of registration to the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon? Think about it - you’re already signed up to rock the Route in 2020, and with a gift registration, you’ll be able to cross another person off your gift list and secure yourself a running buddy for those long months of training. It’s genius! Purchasing a gift registration has never been easier. Just click the link below!

Click here to purchase a gift registration!

 

Top Tips to Tackle Winter Running

It’s almost Super Bowl time, which means the temperatures are downright frigid. You might find your running progress frozen this time of year, and you’re not alone. Although some runners embrace the cooler temperatures, others find the weather downright miserable. Whether you’ve been running for a while but have yet to master winter running or you’re a new runner trying to make it through your first cold season, these tips will help you tackle winter running!

  • Get Used to It (Slowly): Doesn’t seem like a very helpful tip, does it? What we mean is that you need to give your body a chance to acclimate. Although it doesn’t feel like it right now, you will become more accustomed to running in the colder weather. If you find the cold unbearable, try mixing indoor and outdoor running together by starting your workout indoors until you warm-up, and then heading outside to finish off your run. Your legs and lungs need time to adjust to the changing weather, but the only way that will happen is if you run in it!   Your best bet is to get out there a little bit at a time and be consistent.

  • Do Your Warmup Inside: If you don’t have a treadmill at your disposal, try warming up indoors before starting your run to prevent going out too fast and potentially injuring cold muscles. Plyometric exercises, jumping jacks, high knees, and other drills will get the muscles warm and the heart rate up before you head out. You might find that the cold air even feels refreshing rather than painful once you’re warm! Definitely try warming up indoors for pre-dawn runs when you can’t stand the idea of being out for a second longer than you have to.

  • Run Slower to Get Faster: The natural tendency is to head out as fast as you can on winter runs to get warm quickly, but running slower can help make winter running more comfortable as you work to acclimatize. By slowing your stride, you’ll keep your breath steady and prevent sharp inhales and exhales, which will prevent that burning-lungs-feeling. Your stride will naturally lengthen as your body warms up.

  • Mix Up Your Timing: If you’re a strict early morning or late night runner who is struggling in the winter, consider getting your workout in at a different time. We know schedules aren’t always flexible, but if you can run on your lunch break, you might be surprised by how much warmer it is - but it will still be cold enough to keep you from being a sweaty mess in the office! As you get used to the colder weather, you can ease back into your regular schedule.

  • Dress for the Second Mile: You’ll warm up quickly on the run, so dress for your second mile rather than the first. If you wear layers, you’ll be able to shed some of your outerwear as you get too warm. A good rule of thumb is to dress for your run like it is 20 degrees warmer than the outside air temperature to account for the heat you’ll produce while running. We all have different body parts that are more sensitive to cold than others and those that tend to overheat more quickly, so experiment and find what works for you. If you can’t get rid of that burning-lungs-feeling after trying the other tips, consider wearing a balaclava, which covers the nose and mouth and helps warm the air entering the lungs.

How to Run With Your Significant Other (Without Breaking Up)

What could be better than sharing the sport you love with the one you love? That’s the thought running through the minds of many a wistful avid runner who wishes their partner would join them on the roads. Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who has a significant other that shares your love of the road or trails, but if you’re not, running with your partner can be easier said than done. If you’re convinced that 2020 is the year you and your significant other will finally pound the pavement together, you might want to consider incorporating these tips.

  1. Set a Good Example: Running with your partner, especially if they are a brand new runner, cannot be a “do as I say, not as I do” situation. It’s your job to make sure the newbie covers all the basics of becoming a new runner and doesn’t just immediately try to copy you. You should take your significant other to get fitted for shoes at a running store and run at a conversational pace with plenty of walk breaks and rest days built-in. It’s important to know when to keep your mouth shut, though - some lessons have to be learned the hard way, and you don’t want to argue about running.
  2. They Make the Rules: Do you remember how intimidating it was to start running? If you’re like many of us, the idea of running with another person was probably terrifying. What if you’re too slow and can’t keep up? Your partner probably feels the same way about running with you. Make sure to tell them that they will set the pace and make the rules, and stick to it - no judgment about walk breaks and rest periods. This should be fun, which means keeping the pressure off.
  3. Go it Alone (Sometimes): Regardless of whether you’re training for a specific race or just getting out the door to stay in shape, it’s impractical to do every single run with your spouse or partner. Set aside a few days a week to run at your own pace or distance. This will help prevent injury for the new runner (who likely cannot handle the same mileage you can) and allow both of you to relax and settle into the pace that feels natural for you individually.
  4. Prepare to Be Surprised: One of the toughest pills I’ve ever had to swallow was realizing how “easy” running seemed for my spouse, who’s nearly a foot taller than me and built like a gazelle. It seemed so unfair that I’d been running for years and still huffed and puffed my way through workouts while he seemed to move with ease. Remember: everyone’s body is different, and our abilities are not the same. Don’t feel discouraged if you find that running seems especially easy for your spouse, and if the situation is reversed, remind them that you’ve been at this a long time. Encourage each other!
  5. Make it a Date: To celebrate the commitment that your significant other is making by running with you, plan something fun as a reward after those first few runs.  Whether you’re running to breakfast, planning to visit a local park, or plan to get some frozen yogurt after your workout, make the experience feel like a fun date and it will probably go over a lot more smoothly than running on its own.

 

 

 

 

A Love Letter to Stephanie Andre

Dear Stephanie,

What can we say about our female course record holder that hasn’t already been said? As you prepare to run in the U.S. Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials tomorrow, we just wanted to take a second to tell you how insanely proud we are of you and wish you good luck. After all, it’s not every day that a girl from Bixby makes it to such an elite level. It’s not just your blazing fast times that are so impressive. I mean, don’t get us wrong - a 2:41:50 marathon is certainly nothing to sneeze at. What we think is the most amazing thing about you is your story.

When most people think about an elite runner who’s competing for a spot on the Olympic team, they probably think of someone who’s been an athlete and a runner since Day 1, but that’s not  you. Like so many of us, you were an “adult-onset athlete” who didn’t start running until 2012. As if juggling a career as a freelance writer and being a mom to a three-year old boy wasn’t enough, you decided to take on the task of training for a marathon after your sister decided to register for one. The only problem? Not only were you not a runner, you were a smoker, too. Talk about doing things the hard way!

As it turns out, you ran a few minutes under four hours for that very first marathon and never looked back. Eventually, you decided to double down on running and gave up smoking in an effort to qualify for Boston. You did just that, and you’ve been chipping away at your times ever since, until qualifying for the 2020 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials while running your personal best time at the 2017 Chicago Marathon, finishing in 2:41:50. Along the way, you’ve crushed course records at both the Williams Route 66 Marathon and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, showing the world that you truly are an Oklahoma girl at heart.

We can’t wait to see what you can do on Saturday, but we hope you know that either way, all of Tulsa and Oklahoma is rooting for you. We love you, Stephanie!

Love,

The Williams Route 66 Marathon

 

Official COVID-19 Update From the Williams Route 66 Marathon
A message from our Executive Director, Destiny Green
We are all facing uncertainty and challenge as the ongoing COVID-19 situation evolves. You, the runners and volunteers, are why we do what we do here in Tulsa every year. Now, more than ever, our running communities need to pull together to help each other, and to help keep each other safe.
The Williams Route 66 Marathon is scheduled for November 21-22, 2020 in Tulsa. We continue to monitor the situation, but have no plans at this time to change the scheduled race or race activities.  That said, we always take the health and wellbeing of our volunteers, runners, and team members seriously; this year will be no different. Should the situation as we move through the next few months require changes, we will communicate them promptly and thoroughly, and we look forward to seeing you in November here in Tulsa.
In the meantime, please follow the guidance from the CDC:
  • Practice frequent and thorough hand washing
  • Practice social distancing, including staying home if you’re exhibiting any flu-like symptoms
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
Stay safe and healthy!
Destiny Green
Running in the Time of Coronavirus

With the whole world seemingly paused for a moment in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, feelings of anxiety and depression are at an all-time high for many people as we learn how to cope with our new normal and the changing reality that seems to evolve each day. Self-care has never been more important as we all struggle to adapt to changing routines, cancelled plans, and more. Fortunately, runners have a pretty good tool at their disposal: their favorite form of exercise. Phrases like “running is my therapy” or “running is cheaper than therapy” are pretty common, and with good reason: many people get out the door with the aim of boosting their mental health and keeping anxiety at bay. Numerous studies have shown that aerobic exercise, like running, is as effective at treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety as anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications. We’ve long attributed running’s mood-boosting properties to the power of endorphins, but researchers are now understanding that running and other forms of aerobic exercise can cause long-term structural changes in the brain that can further help to improve your mood.

What is it exactly about running that helps diminish symptoms of depression and anxiety? The endorphins certainly help, of course, but there’s also something to be said for the separation from our everyday lives that we feel while running. There’s something about changing up your environment and getting out on the roads or trails that lets you see problems in a different light and work through them objectively. We also have the opportunity to break down big problems into smaller ones and focus on just taking the next step. While you might be struggling with how on earth you can possibly stay home with your kids for another month or two and feel overwhelmed by the prospect, when you’re running, you’re just focused on making it to the next mile. The sense of accomplishment that accompanies a finished run helps you feel that it is possible to tackle the other big issues you’re struggling with, and it boosts your confidence. An added bonus of being a runner? It’s easier for you to access the mood-boosting effects that come from running because your fitness level allows you to maintain an aerobic pace for longer than someone who is sedentary. The longer you can run, the better you’ll feel. How’s that for a reason to start marathon training?

Of course, no one would ever suggest that runners are immune to suffering depression; after all, Olympians like Adam Goucher have spoken out about their struggles with clinical depression.
When people suffer from clinical depression or anxiety, they experience significant long term changes in mood, behavior, emotions, and psychological functioning that may last for weeks, months, or longer. We all feel sad, worried, and stressed at times, but when these feelings become disruptive, frequent, and long-lasting, a clinical issue may be at work. While exercise is a powerful tool in the fight against depression and anxiety, it’s not a cure-all, so if you struggle with persistent feelings of worry or sadness, it might be time to speak with a doctor. While self-quarantine hasn’t been an easy time for anyone, we will get through this together - one step at a time!

Doing Our Part in the Fight Against Coronavirus

We can all agree that things are pretty scary in the world right now. Whether you’re worried about yourself or a loved one contracting coronavirus, your income has been reduced or eliminated due to business closures, or you’re just not sure how you can endure another week of homeschooling all your kids, coronavirus has definitely changed the way we live our lives these days. While none of us can rid the world of coronavirus on our own, we can all do something to help, and the Williams Route 66 Marathon has been looking for a way to do just that during these uncertain times.

 

Last week, the Williams Route 66 Marathon was honored to donate eight pallets of non-perishable food and beverages from the 2019 race weekend to the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which has served as one of our partners in our Charity Challenge in previous years. If you’ve ever run the Williams Route 66 Marathon, you know that there are tons of Pepsi products at the finish line, including sodas and Muscle Milk, and like any race, we have tons of Gatorade for our participants. Finish line snacks also include Cheez-its and multigrain crackers. When we realized we had several pallets leftover we immediately thought of the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma, which is working even harder than ever during these challenging times to make sure Oklahomans have food on the table.

rt66run donates

The donated food and drinks will be used to create "disaster packs" for the Hunger-Free Oklahoma initiative, which is dedicated to ending food insecurity in Oklahoma. With many Oklahomans laid off and unsure of where their next meal is coming from, these disaster packs will help ease their burden. We are grateful to Jeff Marlowe of the Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma for giving us the opportunity to help!

Stronger Together: Oklahoma’s Major Marathons Team Up

In conjunction with the relaunched Oklahoma Standard, the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and the Williams Route 66 Marathon are excited to announce we will be teaming up this fall! 

On April 19, 1995, Oklahomans united in the face of the devastating Oklahoma City bombing, helping care for one another and providing strength during a period of uncertainty and fear. That spirit of generosity still lives in Oklahomans today and we call it the Oklahoma Standard. You can learn more at OklahomaStandard.com. The COVID-19 pandemic certainly has caused uncertainty for many Oklahomans. It has also caused an unprecedented postponement and cancellation of events across the country, including the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

We know Oklahomans love a challenge, so the Williams Route 66 Marathon and the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon are teaming up to offer you the special chance to hold yourself to a higher “standard” – the Oklahoma Standard! Run the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon or Half Marathon on October 4 and then participate in the Williams Route 66 Marathon (Marathon or Half Marathon) on November 22, and you’ll receive a special finisher’s medal! 

It's time once again for us to Show Up to Serve, Rise Up to Honor, and Step Up to be Kind. Let’s Marathon!

Register for the OKC Marathon                                         Register for the Williams Route 66 Marathon

 

The 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon Finisher Medal is HERE!

By now, you probably already know that the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon marks our 15th anniversary! We’re so excited to celebrate this milestone with you that we decided to do something big to mark the occasion. We’ve put together a medal series that will start this year and lead up to the 20th-anniversary event in 2025, featuring your favorite “larger than life” symbols from across Route 66 in Tulsa. Any guesses on what our 2020 inspiration is?

Ok, we won’t make you wait to find out! This year’s medal features Buck Atom - yes, that Buck Atom, the roadside cowboy inexplicably holding a rocket ship, known as Route 66’s muffler man space cowboy. Buck is the first in our special five-medal series leading up to our 20th anniversary, so you’re definitely going to want to add him to your collection! We’ve never done a medal like this before, so make sure you snag this piece of Route 66 history (the race and the road) while you can!

Click here to register now and reserve your medal!

Scheduled Price Increase Suspended: You now have until June 1 to register at our current prices.

At the Williams Route 66 Marathon, we know that right now is a scary and uncertain time for many people, and we wanted to do our part to help ease your anxiety. If you’ve been planning on signing up for the Williams Route 66 Marathon but are worried about spending extra cash during this uncertain time, take comfort in knowing that our scheduled price increase for April 30 has been extended. Prices will not increase again til June 1 in order to give everyone time to get back on their feet and back to normal. We want to see you cross the finish line in November, and we’re doing our best to help you make that happen. 

Worrying about registration due to COVID-19? We hear you

Register before midnight on June 1 to save big on your registration for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon. Why wait? You’ll secure your very own spectacular race premium (to be unveiled very soon) and the first in our new finisher medal series, Route 66 icon Buck Atom! This is our 15th anniversary and we’re planning on making sure Tulsa’s biggest block party is even bigger and better than ever before, so make sure you don’t miss it. The clock is ticking!

Worried about registering due to all of the COVID-19 uncertainty? We hear you. Oklahoma is moving into Phase 3 on June 1 and we’re continuing to prepare for race day! We’re counting ourselves fortunate that the Williams Route 66 Marathon is scheduled to take place so late in the fall, so we have plenty of time. We want you to know that the safety of our participants, volunteers, staff, and spectators is our highest priority. Right now, we are closely monitoring information and guidance from local, state, and national officials and organizations regarding COVID-19 in Oklahoma. We continue to move forward with preparations for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon based on the information we have at this time, and we will continue to provide updates along the way. We hope to see you at the finish line!


Click here to register!

Introducing the Virtual First Mile Event!

You know how we’ve said we’re pulling out all the stops to make our 15th-anniversary celebration our biggest and best Williams Route 66 Marathon yet? We weren’t kidding! Our Tulsa runners know that we kick off the start of the official training season each year with our annual First Mile event, but this year, we wanted to find a way to include more of our participants than ever before, no matter where they live. Enter the Virtual First Mile! The Virtual First Mile event, sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa, will officially kick off the training season for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon. Between July 6 - 11, participants will run, walk or ruck their first official training miles of the season no matter where they live. Your FREE registration includes a printable bib, printable finisher’s certificate, and access to our official Route 66 Marathon playlist that will make you feel like you’re pounding the pavement in Tulsa along with us. 

Registration for the 2020 Virtual First Mile event opens on July 1, and your first official training miles can be completed any time between July 6 and July 11. It’s free to register, and once you’ve completed your miles, share a photo on social media using the hashtags #RT66FirstMile #RT66Run and tell us how your run or walk went. Join us as we run our first mile together in July and finish our last mile together in November!

Register today!

Training for the Williams Route 66 Marathon Starts TODAY!

Today’s the day! Training for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon officially starts today with the beginning of our Virtual First Mile event, sponsored by Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa. Run, walk, or ruck your first training miles anytime between now and July 11 and submit your time and you’ll be able to print out your very own finisher’s certificate. To make things a little more official, we’ve even provided a printable bib that you can wear while you complete your first miles. 

How to Download Your Virtual Bib:

  • Log into your participant account
  • Click “Your Registration”
  • Click “Edit Registration” on your First Mile registration
  • Click “Get Your Virtual Bib”

You can complete your first mile (or miles!) anywhere that you normally run or walk, including the road, trails, or treadmill. Use an app, GPS watch, treadmill timer, or other timing device to record your distance and time, and then submit your results online to get your finisher’s certificate.

How to Submit Your Virtual Results and Download Your Finisher Certificate

  • Log into your participant account
  • Click “Your Registration”
  • Click “Edit Registration” on your First Mile registration
  • Click “Submit Virtual Results” to enter your finisher information
  • Enter your total time and your proof via link or photo
  • Click “Save” and then open your registration again to download your finisher certificate and go to the results page

We’re so excited to finally be kicking off the official training season for the 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon, and we can’t wait to hear how your miles go! Once you’ve completed your miles, share a photo on social media using the hashtags #RT66FirstMile #RT66Run and tell us how your run or walk went. Join us as we run our first mile together in July and finish our last mile together in November!

Click here to Register!

The 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon is Going Virtual

The Williams Route 66 Marathon is going virtual! While we know it’s not quite the same as an in-person race, we believe that the best way to keep everyone safe and still experience some of that Route 66 magic is to move to a virtual event. This isn’t just going to be any old virtual race, though - your race packet will come packed with surprises, as well as a specially designed hoodie and medal! 

This was supposed to be our 15th-anniversary event, so it’s especially hard to let go. With that in mind, we’re calling this our 14 ½ - year anniversary and celebrating the main event next year! We have three options for registered participants:

  • Participate in our virtual event, to be held the weekend of November 21-22, 2020.
  • Donate the value of your registration to Kicks for Kids, the official charity of the Williams Route 66 Marathon.
  • Defer your registration to 2021 or 2022.

Registered participants have one week to select their preferred option. If an option is not selected during the 7-day window, the registration will automatically be donated to Kicks for Kids. 

Virtual Event

Registered participants who choose to participate in our virtual event will complete their race distance during this year’s race weekend, November 21-22, 2020, and will receive a $15 discount off of the registration fee for next year’s race. Virtual participants will receive a special 14 ½ - year anniversary medal and a hoodie to commemorate this unique year, and you know we take our medals and swag very seriously, so it’s going to be good! The Oklahoma Standard challenge will still be in effect, so once all of the virtual race times are uploaded, you’ll receive your Oklahoma Standard medal in the mail. You will have until December 1 to submit the results of your virtual race.

Donation

Registered participants Kicks for Kids is the official charity of the Williams Route 66 Marathon. Our innovative program pairs Williams Route 66 Marathon race directors with local Title I Elementary Schools not served by the YMCA to help kids complete their first 5k at the Williams Route 66 Marathon race weekend. Donating your registration to Kicks for Kids could help an underserved child discover a lifelong love of running, and what could be more rewarding than giving the gift of running to someone else?

Deferral

Participants who choose to defer their registration may defer to 2021 or 2022. We want you to have options, and we’d love to have you join us and ROCK the Route in the future!

This decision was not made lightly, and we are deeply saddened that we won’t get to welcome you across the finish line in-person in November. Unfortunately, the burden on our healthcare system meant that we would not be able to properly staff our medical team with volunteers. As a result, we could not guarantee the health and safety of our participants at the event, which is our highest priority. Additionally, as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the extremely high cost that would be incurred in order to produce an in-person event would also have negatively impacted the ability of our organization to carry out our charitable mission in the future.  

We know that you are just as sad as we are about the cancellation of this year’s event. We promise to make 2021 even better than ever to celebrate! In the meantime, let’s stay in touch on social media as we continue to use running as a way to stay healthy and reduce stress during this time. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to get connected and stay connected. 

FAQs:

What will come in my race packet?

Your race packet will arrive right before race weekend with everything you need to ROCK the Route virtually! You’ll receive a hoodie as your participant swag, plus a special 14 ½ medal commemorating the 2020 race, which we’re calling our 14 ½ -year anniversary! This is one unique medal that you don’t want to miss out on. We’ll also include some special surprises that will bring some of that special Tulsa block-party magic to your virtual race day.

 

How/when do I submit my results?  

You will submit your results through your participant account between November 22 - December 1, 2020 dates. We will send out a comprehensive email with instructions on how to do so closer to November. You are able to submit your results via a link, a photo, or supported wearable devices. If you are completing your run or walk outdoors, many types of apps and watches/devices will record your distance and time. If you are using a treadmill, a photo of the display will be accepted. You can enter a link to a public page from an app, take a screenshot from your phone, or take a photo of your watch or your treadmill. Please be sure to record both your distance and time. 

Can I receive a refund instead? 

We’re not able to offer refunds for this year’s event, but we do offer the option to defer your entry to our 2021 or 2022 races. Additionally, those who choose to participate in our virtual race will receive a $15 discount off of next year’s registration fee. We appreciate your understanding, as the vast majority of our costs are incurred long before race day in the form of permits and other expenses.

Will I still be eligible for the Oklahoma Standard medal? //How do I receive the Oklahoma Standard medal? 

Yes! In-person races might be canceled for the fall, but that doesn’t make your accomplishment any less impressive. Runners and walkers who participate in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon virtual event and the Route 66 Marathon virtual events will need to submit evidence of their completion time for each race, and the Oklahoma Standard medal will be mailed to all participants completing the challenge. 

How long do I have to decide on virtual? 

All registered participants have 7 days from the date of the cancellation email to choose whether to participate in the virtual event, defer their registration to 2021 or 2022, or donate their registration to Kicks for Kids. Selections must be made by August 12, 2020.

How long do I have to submit my times? 

Participants will have 10 days to submit their event times. All times must be submitted between November 21-December 1.

Double Down on Race Weekend Fun

Want to make sure your race weekend shines just a little bit brighter? Double down on race weekend fun by adding the Williams Route 66 Marathon Double to your registration. With the Route 66 Marathon going virtual for 2020, there’s never been a better time to challenge yourself to go the extra mile - literally! The Williams Route 66 Marathon Double consists of participating in the 5k run and walk and completing the marathon or half marathon anytime between November 22 and December 1. Because the events are virtual for 2020, you can complete your race distances anywhere you see fit, whether it’s Oklahoma City, Okeechobee, or on your treadmill. You have until midnight on December 1, 2020, to submit your times!

All participants in the Williams Route 66 Marathon Double will receive our premium hoodie celebrating our 14 ½ anniversary, as well as a finisher medal and our special Double finisher’s coin. The Double finisher’s coin is only available to participants who register specifically for the Double, so make sure you snag your spot before we sell out. Just a few more spots remain! Don’t miss your chance to bring the Tulsa block party atmosphere to your hometown for two days in a row. Get signed up today!

Click here to register for the Double! 

You read that correctly - for the first time ever, we’re offering a premium hoodie to every race participant! This super-soft, comfortable sweatshirt is perfect for cozying up as you relax after your virtual race. In order to make sure you receive the right size when you register, please check the size chart below. Already registered and chose the wrong size? No worries! Click here to update your registration.

 

Here are the instructions on how to switch your hoodie size:

1.) Login to your participant account https://manage.hakuapp.com/login/route-66-marathon 

2.) Once logged in, click on “Your Registrations” on the top of the page

3.) On the right side of the tile for your registration, click on “Edit Registration”

4.) Scroll down to "Hoodie for Virtual Run" to change your shirt size

5.) After selecting your shirt size click on the "save" blue button at the bottom of the page. 

 

 

Oklahoma Marathon Series - The Oklahoma Standard

Two cities. Two events. One awesome finishers medal! The Williams Route 66 Marathon and OKC Memorial Marathon are teaming up to offer the Oklahoma Standard Challenge to all of our participants. Complete the virtual OKC Memorial Marathon or half marathon in October and the virtual Williams Route 66 Marathon or half marathon in November and you’ll receive a shiny new piece of hardware to add to your collection! The Oklahoma Standard Challenge is all about coming together as Oklahomans and showing the world how strong we are in the face of adversity, just like we did after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. 

Register For the Virtual Route 66 Marathon

Register for the virtual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon

Less than 100 spots remain in our virtual races!

The Williams Route 66 Marathon virtual races are almost sold out! Less than 100 spots remain in our virtual races, which means those coveted hoodies and finisher medals are going fast. In case you need the reminder, you can run your virtual race miles anywhere in the world anytime between November 21 and December 1. Around your neighborhood? Sure! On the treadmill? Absolutely. Through the streets of Tokyo? Of course! The world is your oyster, and your race packet will include all of the swag and fun surprises you need to make anywhere in the world feel like you’re rocking the Route in Tulsa!

Click here to register today before we sell out!

The Williams Route 66 Marathon is a Virtual Sell Out!

It’s official - the virtual 2020 Williams Route 66 Marathon events are sold out! We know that you have plenty of virtual options when it comes to racing this fall, so we want to thank all of the participants who chose to Rock the (virtual) Route. As much as we hate to miss out on celebrating Tulsa’s biggest block party together, we can’t wait to deliver some of our signature Tulsa race day magic straight to the doorsteps of our participants in just a few short weeks. During race week, all registered participants will receive their race packets, which include this year’s race swag (a hooded sweatshirt!), your finisher medal, and a few surprises to make your race day experience feel like you’re pounding the pavement here on the famous Route 66. We hope you’ll share your pictures of your race day shenanigans with us on social media using #RT66RUN!

As much fun as this year’s virtual event is sure to be, we can’t wait to have everyone back together in 2021. We’ll be pulling out all the stops for our 15th-anniversary party, and you’re invited! Registration for 2021 will open soon, so don’t miss your chance to snag your spot at our early bird registration prices. Click here to sign up and be the first to know when registration opens for 2021!

Welcome to Race Week!

Race week is finally here! In just a few short days, on Saturday, November 21, the Williams Route 66 Marathon virtual events will officially be underway! You’ll have until Tuesday, December 1 to complete your registered event and submit your time for inclusion in this year’s finisher results. A few things to remember:

  • You can run any route of your choosing or on the treadmill, as long as you complete the distance of your virtual race in one continuous effort.
  • You can run (or walk!) your race anytime between November 21 and December 1.
  • Make sure to submit your finisher time by December 1!

To download your virtual bib and upload your results, log into your participant account, and complete the following steps: 

  1. Click on the 'Your Registrations' tab and click 'Edit Registration'
  2. On the right-hand side, click 'Get Your Virtual Bib,' print the file, and cut out your bib to wear for your race
  3. Click on 'Submit Activity' and choose either manual activity or wearable activity (connect your wearable device in the "Your Devices" tab; select wearables supported)
  4. Enter your total finish time and other information and click "Submit Results"

 

Be sure to download your finisher certificate, check out the results page, and share your results on social media! 

Click here to log in to your participant account. 

Save Big on 2021 Registration - OPEN NOW!

We might not have been able to party in person in 2020, but we're ready to welcome our runners and walkers back to the Williams Route 66 Marathon in 2021! Special discounted registration is now open, and we hope you'll join us for our official 15th-anniversary celebration!

2021 Route 66 Marathon

We're pulling out all the stops for our 15th anniversary, and after a year apart, we can't wait to welcome you across the finish line here in Tulsa. Register today - this special discounted price won't stick around for long!