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Thousands to come together in downtown Saturday for 40th anniversary of Tulsa Run

By Kyle Hinchey Tulsa World

Race officials expect an estimated 10,000 people will converge on downtown Saturday to watch and take part in the hotly anticipated Tulsa Run.

About 7,000 runners are expected to participate in Saturday’s races, and about 3,000 people will line the city streets to cheer them on, race director Heath Aucoin said.

This latest installment of the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run is especially momentous because it is the 40th anniversary of the acclaimed race, which started in 1978.

“Not a lot of races are of this size and age,” said Aucoin, who also is the vice president of operations for the Tulsa Sports Commission and VisitTulsa. “It’s a celebration of running in Tulsa. We’ve done this for a long time, and it’s a way for us to celebrate all the things we’ve done and the hours people have put in to make this race what it is regionally and nationwide.”

Temperatures are expected to be in the low 30s at the start of the festivities but will climb into the mid to lower 50s as the day continues. The morning chill could intimidate some, but Aucoin said it’ll be much more preferable to runners compared to last year’s sweltering event.

In the marquee 15-kilometer race at 9 a.m., runners will start the lengthy course at Sixth Street and Boulder Avenue and head all the way to 31st Street and Peoria Avenue before moving into west Tulsa and returning to downtown, where they will cross the finish line on Boston Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets. The 2k and 5k races start and end at the same locations.

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There are also wheelchair-specific 5k and 15k races, as well as a USA Track & Field Masters race.

The races are spread out through the morning, with the first beginning at 7:40 a.m. People start trickling in about 7 a.m., and the crowd typically grows until the final runner of the day makes it across the finish line.

Aucoin encourages people to find a good spot to watch the races and enjoy one of Tulsa’s most cherished events.

“Our goal is to put on a good race,” Aucoin said. “We want everyone to have a really good time. We want to make it a nice memory. So many people say they remember running the Tulsa Run when they were young, and now they’re bringing their kids to participate. That’s what’s special and what we love to hear — that people have such a fond memory of the run that they want to bring that to their kids.”

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