It took a pandemic for cyclists to get this race. Now they hope OKC Memorial Marathon keeps it in the future

Ed Godfrey

Published: Sun, October 11, 2020 7:00 AM

Precia and Greg Barrett celebrate after biking more than 26 miles around Lake Hefner for the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon last Sunday. [PHOTO PROVIDED]

Greg and Precia Barrett of Oklahoma City are former runners.

Precia, 49, ran a full marathon in Nashville and Greg, 51, competed in triathlons, both before the age of 40. They both have run the half-marathon in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and participated in the relay portion of the race on multiple occasions, as well, but it had been a decade since they were involved in the event.

“As you get older in life, sometimes your knees can’t keep up with that sort of stuff,” Precia said.

But when the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon added cycling to its virtual race this year, the Barretts saw an opportunity to be part of the Memorial Marathon again.

“Here was our chance to help support the Memorial and it (cycling) is something we have kind of come to love over the last six months,” Precia said.

When COVID-19 hit the Oklahoma City community in March, the Barretts started walking around Lake Hefner for exercise. When it got too hot to walk in the summer, they dusted off their old road bikes and started cycling again.

They would ride once or twice around Lake Hefner each weekend for exercise, and last Sunday added a third loop to ride 26-plus miles to complete the virtual full marathon on the bikes.

Several runners were on the Lake Hefner trail as well last Sunday, the day the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon was originally scheduled before becoming a virtual event because of COVID-19. Runners and cyclists still have through Oct. 18 to finish their virtual race, but many selected Oct. 4 as their day to participate.

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