Anyone looking closely at the field of 25,000 participants in the 2019 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon might have seen runner 18386.
Natalie Kelch Kerby made the trip back to the streets of OKC this past weekend as she ran the half marathon.nat running
Even though she didn’t make it across the finish line in first, she was still pleased with her effort. The run was not new to her.
She ran track in high school then joined the cross country team and even set a record for the two-mile run.
Since then she has been running for enjoyment and competing in some organized events. In 2007 the former HHS cross country runner participated in the full marathon.
Running part of the way with her longtime friend and classmate Whitney McCullough Beeler. “She gave me encouragement and ran with me until the full and half marathon courses split up. Beeler was running in her third full OKC marathon.
“I know I had not trained as much as I had in the past but I still finished,” Kerby said.
She said she started feeling the effects of the run around the fourth mile then a band was on the sidelines and started playing, “Boomer Sooner.” For an OU grad that was all she needed. “I heard that and got back into the rhythmn of the run.”
nat whitneyThe run started at 6:30 so she had to be up and into the starting area well before daylight. Participants were grouped into “corrals” designed by the letters of the alphabet. The HHS grad was in corral D. That put her near the back of the pack which meant it was nearly a half-hour before her group would cross the starting line.
It would be two hours, 21 minutes by the time she completed her part of the run.
Around that same time, she saw a group of firemen who were walking but, while the runners were wearing their lightweight outfits, the firemen wore their heavy firefighting gear.
As for the future, she said she is already looking ahead to more races and didn’t rule out a return to Oklahoma City.