The COVID-19 pandemic has made it difficult for runners to go outside and stay in shape. This year's Route 66 marathon is giving runners the option to not only stay in shape but also cross the finish line both virtually and in person.
Thousands of participants would normally cross the finish line in downtown Tulsa. The marathon’s planning team was forced to improvise, given the pandemic and an uptick in participants.
"We've seen an insurgence of runners because people aren't able to go to their gyms or they don't feel like it's safe," Route 66 Marathon executive director Destiny Green said.
The marathon team spent hours sending over 2,000 marathon boxes around the world. Runners are provided with an app so they can keep up with their time and pace while running their course without the worry of a large crowd.
Others would much rather prefer the grind, the glory, and most importantly, the celebration. Running a marathon is no small task. It can take up to 20 weeks to physically prepare for a full marathon.
Green said that didn't stop people from training, especially the ones who are determined to cross the finish line.
"We have so many first-time marathoners who are doing it virtually, and that is incredibly hard," Green said.