About three years ago, a group of mountain bikers put on a race on Turkey Mountain and wanted to include a trail run as part of the event. Who better to contact than TATUR, and I got the privilege of designing the course. What was wanted was a loop course that could be run once for a 5K, twice for a 10K, and 4 times for a Half Marathon. The math did not work out quite right, and the 5K and 10K got a little bit of extra mileage, which is usually just fine with trail runners. I included lots of hills--I like that.
The race was called Turkey Mountain--Keep It Wild. The draw to the race was helped by the joker who wanted to build an amusement park where our parking lot was, and it would have wiped out the Red Trail, and would have stretched upward and would have also wiped out part of the yellow Trail. The race was successful, and a donation was made to RiverParks.
I somehow was made an admin to the Facebook page for this race, and the page had seen a huge increase in hits in the months following the Simon Mall debacle. I decided to see if we could bring this race back, and make it a fund raiser to Keep Turkey Wild, and raise funds for the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition who fought the mall development non stop, and in a professional and diligent manner. Accounts have been established to collect donations to purchase the adjoining land and save our wilderness area from ever being developed commercially.
Some came to race it hard, while others were in for a hike. We had a great day for it, with temperatures hovering in the low 80s for most of the race.
A trip up Lipbuster was the first task at hand. The 10K got a double dose, and the 13.1-ers got a quad helping of this gem of a trail.
I'm not gonna use the "relatively flat" words in describing this course for fear of having my house egged, but there were a few smooth run-able sections.
This short rocky climb led to the M&M Aid Station, which did indeed serve M&Ms, and lots of other aid station treats including Mimosas and Margaritas.
Mike Rives, William Barnes, and Michelle Bates manned this oasis, and later had help from Jeremy Wiley and Lisa McManus after they finished the 5K.
Jeremy and his daughter Gracie are cruising through a downhill stretch about half way through the race.
Nobody really complained much about this hell, but it has about an 80 foot climb.
This section--the Pipeline Trail is very close to the parcel of land that was slated for the outlet mall. And even though Simon Malls has decided to build elsewhere, the land is STILL very much for sale and is not safe from future commercial development. That's why it is so important to raise the funds to take it off the real estate market.
Jenny Bailey took the lead in the ladies Half Marathon, and held on through four laps for the win.
Bryan Carpenter was running with the fast guys early on.
We like having cheerleaders at our aid stations. John Nobles sports his new TATUR sports bra while providing encouragement to the runners.
Don't know if they're going up or coming down, but these ladies are in good spirits.
Mopping up on age group awards. Full RESULTS can be found HERE.
Thanks goes to my aid station workers, which includes Shannon Jennings, my sweetheart Dana Childress, and a host of Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition members Laurie Biby, Tyler Hanes, Eric Doswell, Ryan Howell, and Cleo Berninger.
Keep Turkey Wild raised just over $1500.00 which will go towards the land purchase. It is good to dream big--and I would like to see not only the 60 acres saved, but also other properties adjoining Turkey Mountain acquired and saved for park land. This is a shared vision with a lot of fellow mountain bikers and trail runners. It just makes Tulsa a better place to live.