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Kjell Tovander Award

 In Memory of Kjell Tovander, an Inspiration to us All.

On Sunday November 16, 2008 Kjell Tovander set out with the thousands of his running brothers and sisters to complete his quest of finishing the Tulsa Route 66 Half Marathon (13.1).    He did not make it back to the finish line.  At least not in Tulsa, but Kjell did finish his race … in the arms of God.   His spirit shall live on as an inspiration to all that the courage to begin a journey and to inspire others, through example and shall never be forgotten.

Kjell Tovander was just 21 and already his life had the stuff of Hollywood movies.  He was valedictorian of his high school. Spent three years studying engineering at M.I.T. and he was all set for a career in the Navy.  He had accomplished so much in his short life through his quiet, yet amazingly talented ways.  He inspired people by the can-do attitude and way he went about making positive things happen.  Kjell was a self-taught piano player and a member of the marching band. But what his Mother Margie says she’ll miss the most is the quiet music of her son’s voice. Kjell was an inspiration and example of goodness to all who knew him.  His spirit will live on as a shining example to others through this award.

The recipient of the annual Kjell Tovander Award will be selected by a committee headed up by the Tovander Family and the Directors of the Route 66 Marathon.

The nomination process is to send a short story about your nominee. The recipient will be an inspiring example of the human spirit and will.  Someone who has overcome adversity and flourished, and is now helping others to do the same through their example.  We need a short story about you or someone you know who, in their own way, inspires and motivates the people around them to become better people.  Nominee submissions will be accepted until the end of October.

The recipient of the Kjell Tovander Award will be notified by November 15th. The presentation of the award will be during a ceremony at the Route 66 Marathon Health and Fitness Expo on Saturday before the marathon. Please fill out the form below to nominate someone to receive the Kjell Tovander Award.


Past Recipients

2017 – Christina Rivera

2016- Tadd Parrett

2015 – Paula Steinbach

2014 – Bobby Ballard

2013 – Ronnie Ashford

2012 – Mason Harvey

2011 – Tom Davis

2010 – Dean Slatev

2009 – Craig Cleveland


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