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Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon requiring vaccination or negative tests for participants

Camille Herron, Kari Watkins
Posted at 3:50 PM, Sep 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-08 16:50:38-04

OKLAHOMA CITY — Organizers for the 2021 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon are beefing up the protocols for the return of their in-person race.

Participants will be required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of their race.

This includes participants in the Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, 5K and anyone over 12 years of age participating in the Kids Marathon.

“After the bombing in 1995, so many people said OKC couldn’t recover and move forward,” said Kari Watkins, executive director of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum.

“We showed the world a new standard of working together and this Marathon stands for the same resilience of our community we saw then, and we can see now. e believe we can honor those who were killed, those who survived and those changed forever by running this race and honoring so many who have bravely battled this world-wide pandemic including some of the same medical professionals who were the first to rush to the scene. This is our opportunity to show a new generation the Oklahoma Standard first-hand," Watkins said.

Organizers are only allowing 12,000 runners, about half the amount that participated in 2019.

Here are the safety policies for the race which is scheduled for Oct. 2-3:

  • If an individual tests positive or has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the event, they are asked not to participate in any of the Marathon events.
  • Anyone over the age of 12 running the Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon, Relay, 5K or Kids Marathon must bring to the Health & Fitness Expo personal identification (e.g., driver’s license, passport) along with a completed vaccination card of being fully vaccinated prior to 14 days of race day OR a negative test taken within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run.
  • Proof of vaccination can be the original paper copy, legible photocopy or digital copy of official COVID-19 Vaccination Card and must be shown with a personal photo ID.
  • Individuals unable to provide proof of full vaccination prior to 14 days of race day or a negative test within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run will not be allowed to enter the Health & Fitness Expo on October 1-2 and will be unable to pick up their race bib and other necessary materials that allow for participation in the event.
  • The OKC Memorial Marathon policy recognizes COVID-19 vaccines authorized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Federal Drug Administration and the World Health Organization. Accepted COVID-19 tests are those that have received FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) and include RT-PCR, RE-LAMP, lateral flow, and rapid antigen tests.
  • The OKC Memorial Marathon will work with a third-party testing provider for COVID test administration and results tracking. Free, on-site testing will begin on Thursday morning, September 30 at 7:00 a.m. Exact hours, locations, and additional details will be communicated directly to all participants. Tested participants will not receive immediate access to enter the Health & Fitness Expo on October 1-2 for bib number pick-up and will be required to wait for confirmation of test results.
  • Every participant must provide proof of either full vaccination prior to 14 days of race day or a negative test within 72 hours of the race (October 2-3) they are registered to run and pick up bibs personally. Participants must show their personal photo ID with such proof. Upon successful verification of a vaccination record or a negative COVID-19 test, registered runners will receive a bracelet which must be worn at all times in order to access the Health & Fitness Expo, the runner corral, medical aid stations, the medal and food area following completion of the race and to ride an official Marathon hotel shuttle.
  • The quickest way to enter the Memorial’s Health & Fitness Expo and receive race day materials is to be fully vaccinated and have an original, legible copy, photocopy or digital copy of your vaccination card.
  • Masks will be expected to be worn in the Health & Fitness Expo, on bus shuttles, at the Start Line corrals and after crossing the Finish Line. Masks will not be required while running the course.
  • Masks will be required to enter the medical tents and will be available near the entrance of each tent. All medical volunteers along the race course will be vaccinated.
  • Water stops will practice social distancing and have food items individually portioned for runners to pick up. Sanitization stations will be located near all water stops along the course.
  • Marathon volunteers will also be wearing PPE for everyone’s safety and protection.
  • Participants and spectators are expected to follow best practices on personal hygiene, covering your mouth when coughing or sneezing, handwashing and social distancing.
  • The Race start will happen in waves allowing for distance between runners.


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