TULSA - For me, it was a no-brainer.
I was planning to participate in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. The only problem was, which race? The half or the full?
I've trained since 2009 to run a marathon. A dislocated knee cap due to an IT Band issue, two surgeries to relieve compartment syndrome in both legs and a torn ACL last summer have kept me from reaching my goal. It's been a painful four years.
But now, my legs are strong. I don't have any pain at all. My knee is stable even after I opted for physical therapy instead of surgery. It was a gamble, but I was, and am, tired of going under the knife.
So there I was Sunday night, April 14, trying to decide which race to register for. The cocky, aggressive side of me was telling me to go big. The responsible side of me was saying, have fun enjoy the half - you need more training. I couldn't make up my mind so I went to bed to sleep on it.
And then Boston happened. And then a call from my ex-wife.
"Are you still running OKC?," she asked. "ABSOLUTELY," I said.
And without batting an eye, I told her I wasn't about to let what happened in Boston keep me from running. I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to allow the cowardly actions of two brothers keep me from doing what I want to do. What I LOVE to do. I'm running.
I can understand why some people would choose not to participate now. I certainly don't pass judgement on them.
The OKC marathon is the Run to Remember, in honor of the 168 lives lost in the federal building bombing April 19, 1995. If that's not enough motivation to begin with, there are three more lives now, and many more injured to honor.
As the father of an 8-year-old it hit me hard when I heard that Martin Richard, also 8, was one of the dead in Boston. To be blunt, it sucks. He was simply having fun while taking in a family tradition of watching the race.
Some run to stay in shape. Some run to relieve stress. Some run for the pure sport of it. Some run because they're addicted to it. I'm all of the above.
But this weekend I'm running for Martin Richard. And nothing is going to stop me. He deserves to be remembered. All 171 deserve to be remembered.
Now's not the time for cocky. It's time to be responsible and do the right thing.
See you 13.1 miles later at the finish line.
For more on the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon go to www.kjrh.com/okcmarathon. There you will find a schedule of events, spots to watch the race in OKC, photo galleries and we'll also live stream our broadcast from downtown Oklahoma City beginning at 7 a.m. Sunday.