Jayhawks run to remember in Oklahoma City

Posted on May 21, 2014 in Alumni News and News

The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was scheduled to begin at 6:30 am. Severe thunderstorms raged through the heart of Oklahoma City. Most runners left the start line and corrals to take shelter in parking garages downtown. After multiple delays, runners and walkers remerged and gun fire signaled the start at 8:20 am. It ended up being a warm, sunny day in the heartland.

The Oklahoma City Chapter of the KU Alumni Association participated in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon April 27, 2014. Two relay teams, each with five KU alumni and friends, donned the crimson and blue and completed the 26.2 mile feat. Jeff Smith, Judy Dinkel, Bevan Graybill, Manuel Calvin, and Lynn Gold Smith were on Team 1. Max Weis, Janet Shockley, Robert Rielly, Liz Johnson, and Kyle Cohlmia were on Team 2. Our teams reunited with the team members running the last leg two blocks from the finish so we could cross the finish line together.

On April 19, 1995, at 9:02 am a bomb went off outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. The domestic terrorist attack killed 168 people and injured more than 680 others. I was in third grade in Muskogee, Oklahoma, when it happened. As I think back, I’m not sure how I comprehended such a tragedy at that age, but I did. Images in newspapers and magazines of people alive but pinned under the rubble and of a firefighter carrying an infant corpse never leave you.

The mission of the Memorial Marathon is to celebrate life, reach for the future, honor the memories of those who were killed and unite the world in hope. More than 25,000 runners and walkers from every state and several foreign countries compete in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon each year. Proceeds from the Marathon benefit the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

This was my third year to participate in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. Every year I am overwhelmed with emotion. From the 168 seconds of silence before the race begins to the enormous number of volunteers to being passed by someone wearing a race bib in memory of a loved one killed in the bombing, it is a Run to Remember.

—Bevan Graybill, c’08, Oklahoma City Chapter leader

Oklahoma City Chapter OKC Marathon Team 1

Team 1 (left to right): Manuel Calvin, Jeff Smith, Lynn Gold Smith, Bevan Graybill, Judy Dinkel

Oklahoma City Chapter OKC Marathon Team 2
Team 2 (left to right): Janet Shockley, Robert Rielly, Liz Johnson, Max Weis, Kyle Cohlmia

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