Thousands participate in 36th Redbud Classic
To the crack of a shotgun, thousands of runners took off under gray skies for the 36th Redbud Classic.
The races, which started at 2 p.m. Sunday, were under the constant threat of rain, though none materialized during the duration of the race.
The 10k runners took off from the starting line at 2 p.m. sharp, followed seven minutes later by 5k runners, and then five minutes later by the 2-mile participants. A 5k wheelchair event and a baby stroller derby also took place Sunday.
Inclement weather prompted the cancellation Saturday of the 10-mile, 33-mile and 45-mile cycling events and 1-mile kids fun run, but organizers pledged that the run Sunday would continue as planned, rain or shine.
It didn't pour down on runners, but it wasn't exactly spring weather either. Some dressed for the temperatures — which hovered in the mid 40s during race time — while others dressed for the weather they wish they'd had. Everyone from seniors to high schoolers to children in strollers participated. A banana was even sighted trotting down Pennsylvania Avenue toward NW 63.
The runners winded their ways on separate routes through Nichols Hills, all eventually converging on Nichols Hills Plaza.
The 10k finishers were wearing medals around their necks as they were joined shortly after by the 5k crowd and the two-milers.
Mouths and hands were full in the packed plaza. Some were downing sports drinks and eating bananas. Others went for milk and doughnuts. Through the center of the crowd, a long line of participants waited to get their hands on a promised free beer.
The Ricketts family, of Oklahoma City, participated in their first Red Bud Classic and their first family 5k. Parents Ryan Rickett, 33, and Chelsea Rickett, 31, were joined by their two sons.
Cole, 6, did the entire event on foot. Bradley, 3, had it easy, catching a ride in a stroller.
"We stayed together the whole time," Chelsea Rickett said. "We live in Belle Isle. We just had to walk over."
"I'm just glad a lot of people came out, despite the weather," Ryan Rickett said.
"I was preparing to wear shorts," Chelsea Rickett said.
Cole shrugged when asked if he wants to do it again next year.
"I got really tired," he said.
It was the first 10k for Tracy McBroom, 57. His wife, Carol, participated in the 5k event. The McBrooms are from Richardson, Texas.
"Our daughter goes to OCU (Oklahoma City University) and so I ran it with her last year. And he came to watch us, and he thought it was so fun and cool that he decided to start running it as well," Carol McBroom said.
Carol McBroom started running about three years ago, but recently walked the San Francisco Marathon.
Tracy McBroom cut his teeth with a 5k in Texas, then stepped it up with the full 10k on Sunday.
"It's on to the half-marathon next," Tracy McBroom said.
To see more photos from the Red Bud Classic, go online to Oklahoman.com.