Claremore runners participate in Route 66 Half-Marathon, 5K
Mark Friedel Staff Writer
Many active Claremore runners participated in the Williams Route 66 Marathon Nov. 22 and 23 in Tulsa. The Williams Marathon events include the marathon (26.2 miles), a half-marathon (13.1 miles), a 5K (3.1 miles), the one-mile fun run, marathon and half-marathon relays and wheel chair events.
The youngest participant from Claremore, 13-year-old Kayla Shisler, placed 11th out of 32 runners in the “under 14” division. There were several family groups that participated in the various events, including the Raslan Ilgushenko family, the Rex Crumpton family and the Ruperto Aquilar family.
Cheryl Coleman, of Claremore, placed second in the 55-59 age group in the 5K.
Ray Latanza, 70, of Claremore, finished first in his age group (70-74) in the 5K in a time of 25 minutes, which calculates to an 8 minute mile.
Latanza is a personal trainer who spends much of his time working with residents at the Claremore Recreation Center. He has worked as a personal trainer for 15 years and has ran competitively for more than 35 years.
“I’ve trained all ages from 12-year-olds to 90-year-olds. No matter how old you are, it’s important to keep moving,” he said.
Other than this year, Latanza has participated in the Tulsa Run every year since it first began in 1978, and has qualified for marathons all over the world, including the Boston Marathon.
Running is something people do to stay healthy, but for those who run for a hobby, it’s that and much more.
Local runner and participant in the recent Williams Marathon, Mack Greever, said the difference between an “occasional runner” and a hobbyist is the commitment to training to improve as a runner. Greever, 70, finished first in the 70-74 age division and placed 1,056 out of 6,000 runners at the Williams half marathon.
He said he was 68-years-old when he ran his first half marathon in Phoenix, Ariz. and has participated in the Tulsa Run (nine miles) several times over the years.
“My wife Paula and I both run half marathons and we select events that allow us to travel. We ran the Phoenix Rock and Roll half marathon with our son who lives there,” said Greever. “We ran the Oklahoma City half marathon and have now ran the Williams half two years in a row. This year, the St. Louis half was three weeks before the Williams half so I ran two half marathons within three weeks.”
Greever finished second in his division of nine runners in the St. Louis half marathon. He said to prepare for a half marathon he searches the web for a 10 or 12 week training program that sets out weekly and daily mileage targets to build endurance and speed work to increase his pace.
“My typical training program requires running at least five days a week with varying mileage and speed requirements. A typical schedule features Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday runs of three to five miles each day with speed work during at least one of the runs,” said Greever. “This is followed with a three or four-mile run on Saturday and a long run on Sunday, varying from six to 12 miles depending on how close the run is to the race date.”
Greever said there are training programs for beginning, intermediate and advanced runners.
“During a race, I think about pace, water and nutrition, and try to maintain my goal pace. I do not focus on other runners during a race,” he said. “Training runs are the most fun. I start out thinking about work, I solve world problems and deal with other life issues. If I have been training hard, at the end of the run all I am thinking about is trying to breathe.”
Greever is currently running about 20-25 miles a week and plans to run at least one half marathon with his wife next spring and two next fall.
“Here’s why we race. It’s thousands of people standing in complete silence at the start of the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in honor of the fallen,” said Greever. “It’s the magic dance of thousands of runners, each an island in a river of common purpose, each seeking self fulfillment, each swept ever forward by the common resolve; It’s an ancient, visceral feeling that rises from your gut and causes your mind and heart to sing I’m alive, I’m alive, I’m alive as we cross the finish line; It’s knowing we will race again — faster.”