Disclaimer: I received entry into the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run 15k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!
I took off early Friday morning, after a short run with Josh… The GPS said it was an 8 hour 21 minute drive, and I thought I selected the route with no tolls. ROAD TRIP…cuz why not?
I listened to an audiobook and made decent time considering I had to stop to use the bathroom a bajillion times. As I mentioned, I thought I picked the route with no tolls, but I was using my phone and switching between my audiobook and the GPS must have changed the route…. I ended up on some toll road in MO…it cost me $4.85….and it would have only been $4, but some how I missed some random turn…ugh, luckily I had some change in the cup holder.
I made it to our hotel around 5:30-6ish. It was in downtown Tulsa, and all but one lane of the road was closed, because the entrance to the hotel was the finish line of the race course. AWESOME!!!
I rolled up and the friendly valet, let me check in and park my car myself, on the street, for FREE. Tulsa is one of those big cities, where the downtown is less active after hours and on weekends.
Now starts more of the race information, if you want race only specifics, head over to my Tulsa Bibrave Review
The expo was about a half mile walk from the hotel, however searching for the exact direction to go on my phone didn’t go so well, it wanted me to go to Springfield, MO. I was moving in the right direction, but I just asked some natives to make sure.
I arrived at the Cox Business Center, it was HUGE. It’s an exhibition hall, and you wouldn’t even know there was a race expo happening. Signs inside, directed me to the right hall. It was about 6:30ish on Friday night, the expo had been open all day, and it was very quiet. In fact on my walk to the expo, I didn’t see much traffic.
The bib pick up was simple, I just showed them my ID, and Erica’s ID, and I got our reusable bags and was on my way to check out the vendors. I made sure to grab a bingo card. If you visited enough vendors, you got the card stamped and were entered to win prizes. This was a good way for the vendors to have traffic, but some vendors I didn’t have any interest in, but I checked em out anyway.
There were your typical running stores and chiropractic care, local gyms, and then local sports teams and Scentsy. A variety of businesses. I signed up to guess how many calories were in the M & M jar, while I didn’t win the grand prize, I did win a week of bootcamp, at a Tulsa gym…so this is great if you are from the area only.
I left the expo with only a photo booth picture and a salad bowl because I listened to a schpiel about life insurance. If anything I felt it was lacking in the typical expo freebies. However, I really don’t need any more Chapstick, pens, or Biofreeze.
Erica arrived, WAHOO!!! It was time to meet up with another pro, Sarah, and grab some dinner.
Sarah is local to the area and took us to Albert G’s for some Tulsa BBQ. YUM!! We had a great dinner, chatting and laughing, especially at the option to order tabbouleh at a BBQ restaurant.
When we were done, Sarah took us on a small tour of Tulsa. The highlights included: the Center of the Universe, the Driller, the race course, and some history of the area buildings (lots of great architecture). Tulsa is also on Route 66 so there is a lot to see and do.
We needed to get back to the hotel, as Erica and I needed to get to work on our costume for the race. It involved some work, but we prepared to work on it together. However, an error in communication and we were short a razor knife…we didn’t let this hamper our creativity and we completed the costume, in time to see the Cubs lose Game 3 of the World Series. 😦
Gear: Orange Mud Endurace Pack, Sparkle Athletic Gunmetal skirt, Procompression socks, Bibrave tank, Sparkle Headsweats visor, Adidas boyshort, Garmin Fenix 3, Aftershokz Trekz Titanium, XX2i USA Sunglasses.
Erica and I were both running the 15k. The race didn’t start until 9 am. While this is great if the weather is cooler, it seems late. Speaking of the weather, it was sunny with a high near 80 degrees.
Before the 15k started, there were other events, including the 5k…which we realized we both could have ran, and still made it in time for the 15k start. Next time…ALL THE MEDALS!!
As I mentioned before the hotel we were staying at was right at the finish line. I went down to the lobby and checked things out. I was able to see the winner of the 5k break the tape. It was a cool vantage point.
Erica and I left the hotel to meet Sarah and her husband, right outside the door with a dozen of donuts!! We walked the couple of blocks to the starting area. We had debuted our costume, the Bibrave Instagram account. It was a hit and we took some photos with a random guy dressed in a clown costume, my pack was filled with candy and Koozies, which I passed out as a thanks for the picture.
In the starting corral, where we lined up near the 12 minute pace sign, we found Richard. Who? This is the guy who was the leader of my route on the United Relay. He was with his wife. We chatted and took even more photos, and then out of no where the National Anthem was playing, and the race started.
The first few miles went by quickly as we left the downtown area, lots of tall buildings and churches. The course never felt crowded, even though there were a lot of runners. We really weren’t having much issue running with the costume, until the wind would blow, then it was slightly bending, and we thought it might break.
We came to one of the first hills and walked up it. Taking in all the costumed runners. We then ran through the Cherry Street neighborhood, getting us to the 4k marker. We kept and eye out for Sarah, and then we saw her, she made signs just for us!!! We said a quick hello and she said she would see us around the 9k marker. We ditched our costume, the wind was too much for it….even though it felt good as it was sunny and warm. (I think Sarah still has our costume board, lol)
We came upon the second hydration station, and there was purple Gatorade too, but it was after the water. Which is a pet peeve if you want to wash the Gatorade flavor from your mouth.
I think at this time we were running and walking, and this group dressed as an 80’s workout crew, complete with Richard Simmons kept passing us. They would stop and do a workout routine.
We turned the corner and were headed back, and saw a group of 3 running in those inflatable T-Rex costumes, which had to be a pain. Then we saw the complete cast of Alice in Wonderland, in legit costumes and full makeup.
We saw Sarah at the 9k ish area, and I finished the second half of the donut I ate earlier. It was nice to have support on the course. We took some pictures and ran, slapped some high fives and then came to the Route 66 tribute statue. Up until this area, there really wasn’t much to see as part of Route 66.
There was a beer stop here, and people in costumes, even Eleven from “Stranger Things.” I made sure to stop for the beer, it was nice and cold!!! Then just up ahead was a candy stop with Jell-o shots and Erica grabbed one of them. This was the extra umph we needed to make it up Boston hill.
We could feel the heat starting to wear on us, but we were almost done. One last slight uphill to the finish. Richard was done and cheering on the side lines, and apparently we missed Sarah on the other side.
As many photographers as I saw on course, the finish line was the first time I saw an official Marathonfoto guy. (Side note, I just got my race photos, and there is only one of me, not paying $59.95 for that)
Erica and I were done!!! An enthusiastic volunteer handed me a medal, and another a cold bottle of water and a wet towel. Then the finish continued on forever. The next stop was the full size candy bars, where they gave you a plastic bag to put everything in. Then a local restaurant, McCalister’s had a boxed lunch (sandwich, pretzels, teddy grahms. There was a table with bananas too. Then as you exited the finisher area only, you could score a reusable ice pack and another reusable cloth bag. This race had all the things!
Once we were out of the chute, we reunited with Richard, his wife, Sarah, and her husband. We had to take some more pictures, of course. Then we passed the free coffee stand and saw you could get a free beer, but it was Bud light or something similar…so we took a pass.
We noticed the “free dessert” tab on our bibs, and thought maybe that was the candy, but then we noticed on the map we were standing near, there was actually a dessert stop. We marched over and it was the cutest little trailer handing out 2 little mini donuts!!!
There were more trailers and tents set up in a block radius. Medal engraving, a DJ, results tent, massage. There was a lot going on. However, we made a decision to all meet in an hour at a nearby Mexican restaurant.
We were all on time, and seated at Elote. A Mexican establishment with a wrestling ring, that hosts Luchador matches. They also are known for their puffy tacos. We enjoyed the food and each other’s company…but Erica had to jump into the wrestling ring…so I followed. There is never a dull moment.
Once we were done with this course, we had to have dessert. Ever since we met with Sarah on Friday, Erica had her mind on cupcakes. We walked the few blocks to Pinkitzel. OMG, all the sugar. Not only did they have cupcakes, but it was a giant candy store. I opted for the chocolate cake with peanut butter/Nutella frosting.
When we woke, it was of course time for dinner. Erica had her sight on pizza. We went back to the Cherry St. neighborhood, and tried to get into a local pizza place, but it was packed, so we ended up at another pizza place, the Hideaway. All the food!
After dinner, we checked out a couple more Route 66 attractions. We saw the Meadow Gold Ice Cream sign. Then saw the Blue dome, which is an old gas station with a blue dome. I am sure we missed a lot of the sights in Tulsa, but we didn’t want to over do it, lol.
The next day, we fueled our cars and ourselves for our rides home. We dined at Tally’s, a diner on route 66. I got an omelet with hashbrowns inside and it came with hashbrowns or home fries as a side!! (shout out to Laura!) This was my kind of place. However, I could not eat it all.
On the drive home, I only stopped half a bajillion times to use the bathroom. I even got my GPS to route the non toll roads. It was nice to drive a different way too, passing different scenery. I finished my audiobook and caught up on all the Bibrave podcasts, so I played catch up with the RunIowa Podcast.
I made my last stop at Smokey Row in Des Moines. They have great food and treats, but we like to buy their coffee too. I got some chocolate raspberry to brew at home. The rest of the way I jammed out on some old school country tunes, and was home by 6:30-7:00pm.
Tulsa, OK – a place I would have never considered visiting. However, I am glad I did! As I mentioned there are many things I still have yet to see. I also want to run the 5k in addition to that 15k. So I will be back! (but first I need a food detox)