TULSA, Okla. — The Saint Francis Tulsa Tough returns every year to the city's neighborhoods along Riverside Drive — including a stretch along the iconic Cry Baby Hill.
The steep incline in a normally-quiet neighborhood near Riverside and Lawton takes riders through a blitzkrieg of shouting, drinking and sweating fans huddled together on the hill.
"Hills are where races are determined," says Andy Wheeler, an expert and longtime Cry Baby Hill organizer. "It's going to be hot and it's going to be loud. While we have barriers up and we do our best to guarantee a safe passage, we can't say it's going to be 100%."
Wheeler says he has been a mainstay at Cry Baby Hill since its beginnings when a racer came to stay with one of the hill's originators and brought a baby doll that inspired the name.
For fans who haven't been, Wheeler says there are a handful of rules to follow:
"No babies, no dogs, no glass, no coolers and definitely no whining," he says. "If you're new, just try to follow everyone's lead."
The heat will be on for this weekend as usual, with highs climbing into the 90s. Hydration will be key in surviving Cry Baby Hill.
"It's just a wall of heat once you hit that hill," Wheeler says.
"As hot as it's going to be Sunday, it's going to be 20 degrees hotter up there. It's impossible to drink enough water."
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