Marathon director returns to the start line after recovering from brain injury

Posted at 5:53 PM, Nov 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-19 20:17:31-05

This Route 66 Marathon weekend is special for the team that puts on the annual race.

The marathon's founder and director is recovering from a brain injury.

Chris Lieberman has one mission, put Tulsa on the world stage.

“It's a big part of the race it's the reason why I wanted to start it. you know, I’m from Tulsa, I love the city and I love marathoning. So, it all starts when we're doing the courses and we pick where's a good place to go what do we want people to see in Tulsa? What's the impression we want to give?" said Lieberman.

12-years-ago is when Lieberman organized the first Route 66 Marathon.

The race weekend has grown since then with runners coming as far as Asia, Europe and Africa to compete.

The 2016 marathon was very different, Lieberman wasn't there at the start line.

He suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in March 2016 from a fall.

On race day, he could only watch from his hospital room, but friends made sure Lieberman was in the loop.

 “Well you know I don't really remember the hospital bed, so that's good I don't want to remember nine surgeries and everything else I had to do, but it's just great to be back," said Lieberman.
This year Lieberman isn't as mobile, but his family and friends are making sure he gets around to all the races.

“It was great you know to see people running and going through our equipment and seeing the timing clock going and everything it was really nice to see everybody," said Lieberman.

Kimi Hann, Lieberman’s co-director and life partner, is happy to see him back by her side.

“Last year we were told we was never going to be able to speak again, he would never be able to walk again, I mean he's done all of that," said Hann.

“I love having his spirit around it just didn't feel right without him here last year, and now that he's here it just feels good," said Destiny Green, Route 66 Marathon Hospitality Director.

Lieberman said he hopes to be walking by October 2018.

“That's the big thing I can do is finish the race," said Lieberman.

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