Several dedicated groups of volunteers and spectators lined the route the A2A marathon runners took from the starting line near Turner Falls to their destination in Noble Stadium.

 


Several dedicated groups of volunteers and spectators lined the route the A2A marathon runners took from the starting line near Turner Falls to their destination in Noble Stadium.


Clad in sweatshirts and often clinging to thick blankets, many braved the morning cold and 27 miles-an-hour winds to cheer on the runners.


Kelly Miller and Karla Bell were two of the volunteers at a water station at the corner of U.S. Highway 77 and Veterans Boulevard near Skateland.


Miller said her group had handed water, Gatorade and lip ointment to countless runners as they rounded the corner towards Noble Stadium.


“We’re here to support the runners,” she said.


Glen Rayburn stood across the highway from Miller and her volunteers, hoping to catch a glimpse of his wife Shelba as she ran by. His two granddaughters huddled under a blanket on the grass, cheering for the runners.


“My wife is a 70-year-old cancer survivor,” Rayburn said. “She wants to run in the three-day marathon in Dallas after this.”


Most of the spectators who weren’t also volunteering with the race were like Rayburn; rooting for friends and family members who were running.


Closer to the finish line, Mike Nicholson of Tulsa waited with his wife to cheer on four friends running the half-marathon.


“We started out at mile marker 8 to meet our friend,” Nicholson said.


“Actually that’s her coming now,” he said, pointing to an approaching runner. His wife ran up to meet the runner, following beside her toward the stadium.


“They’ve all been really appreciative of us being here, clapping and cheering them on” he said. “Any little bit of support just pushes them further.”


Angie Morrison, a runner from Chickasha, agreed with Nicholson.


“It was really encouraging,” Morrison said. “It was great having them all the way down, random people just cheering ‘yay!’”


Phil Banker 221-6542