Score one for the over-40 crowd.
Jason Butler, 44, of Oklahoma City not only set a state record for 40-and-older runners in a marathon, but he won the 11th annual Route 66 Marathon outright Sunday in 2 hours, 35 minutes and 45 seconds — beating the runner-up by six minutes, reported the Tulsa World.
Butler, a first-time winner of the 26.2-mile event, led early and never relinquished it. He’s been an annual competitor in the race, finishing as high as fifth in 2013.
Butler, who placed second at the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on April 26 in 2:41:31, won his first marathon, feeling proud that the effort he’s put into training paid off.
“It’s kind of nice to see the progress you’ve made in your running,” Butler said. “In running, you get what you put in it, and I run a lot. I work hard, I’m not going to lie — a lot of running, I run 100-mile weeks, it takes a lot of dedication.”
Kayla Brown, 28, from the Route 66 town of Edwardsville, Illinois, was the top woman finisher in 2:53:43. She’s a track and cross-country coach at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, but competed in only her fourth marathon.
By my count from the data, more than 8,300 people finished the variety of races Sunday, which included a half-marathon and marathon relay races. That doesn’t factor in the short races held Saturday.
A report by the Tulsa World before the race said an estimated 13,000 runners from 50 states and 13 countries would participate.
The Route 66 Marathon included short sections of the Route 66 alignments of Southeast Boulevard and Second Street. It also crossed the 11th Street alignment several times during the race.
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature during the race start at 8 a.m. was 32 degrees and warmed to the mid-50s by late morning. That sounds chilly for most people, but it’s good running weather for marathoners.
(Image of marathon winner Jason Butler by TulsaWxChaser via Flickr)