43.8 F
Monday, December 4, 2023

Local Resident Runs in Tulsa’s Midnight Madness Marathon

Related Articles

In this article from the Tulsa World, local Kennedale resident, Cruz Pitre, is quoted about his experience running an all night marathon (51 and half miles).?

Tulsa’s Midnight Madness runners race through night into sunlight

By DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer?on Jul 7, 2013, at 2:37 AM??Updated on 7/07/13 at 9:07 AM

More than 130 people were running around all night in Tulsa earlier this weekend, but it isn’t what you think.

TATUR’s Midnight Madness 50 Mile Road Race featured 131 people gathering at the witching hour when Friday turned into Saturday and running along the River Parks trail system until long after the sun had come up on Saturday.

“We don’t want it to be easy,” said race director Brian Hoover of the fourth annual 51-and-a-half-mile event in which runners navigated five 10.3-mile loops that covered both banks of the Arkansas River. {{more}}

If you’ve ever pulled an all-nighter, think back to how tired you were the following day. Now imagine if you had run 51 1/2 miles during that sleepless night.

Running in the middle of the night has its advantages this time of the year, though. Cruz Pitre Jr., 45, of Kennedale, Texas, said there was a point around 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. in which the air was so cool it was giving him goosebumps.

One of the disadvantages involves encountering creatures who are not used to seeing humans at that time of the night (or morning.) Pitre said the sight of a couple of skunks midway through the race inspired him to kick it into another gear.

“As tired as I was, I gunned it,” Pitre said.

Tammy Walther, 42, of Little Rock, Ark., said she saw armadillos and a “bunny rabbit” during her nearly nine-hour run. Jenn Overmeyer, 38, said there were swarming gnats on the course.

However, these runners do not take part in “ultra” events like this to commune with nature. Instead, it’s all about the challenge of pushing themselves.

“That was the hardest race I’ve ever done,” Pitre said just seconds after crossing the finishing line.

Many may think of the 26.2-mile distance that marathoners cover as the ultimate in running endurance. Yet, ultra running exists for those who thirst for something more.

Walther said she has taken part in several 100-mile runs and one in Death Valley that featured a distance of 135 miles.

Overmeyer said that when she ran her first 5k race in 2009, she couldn’t imagine ever running something longer.

“I was convinced it was complete lunacy,” Overmeyer said.

Fast forward four years, and it’s fair to say Overmeyer has changed her mind.

“It’s not the smartest thing people do, but it’s fun,” she said of such endurance events.

Overmeyer and her friend Stormy Phillips, 31, said there’s a community spirit at ultras that one typically doesn’t see at shorter races, where participants are focused on recording the best possible times.

“Ultras are more about finishing,” said Phillips, who said the runners encourage each other to reach the finish line at events like Midnight Madness.

Hoover said there were close to 50 volunteers who worked the all-night race. Runners were able to take advantage of two fully manned aid stations and two unmanned water stops.

He said some runners had eggs thrown at them by teenagers during the 2012 version of Midnight Madness, but generally sleep deprivation is the biggest obstacle for the participants, especially for those who didn’t manage to grab a nap on Friday, he said.

Pitre said he was going to sleep in his vehicle for several hours before heading back to Texas. Walther said she booked a hotel room in Tulsa for Saturday night and would drive back to Arkansas on Sunday.

Overmeyer had her Sunday planned, too.

“I’ll probably run tomorrow,” she said.
David Harper 918-581-8359?
[email protected]?

More on this topic



Popular stories