JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE-TULSA OK

THIS IS A RETRO BLOG ABOUT A FABULOUS ROAD TRIP TO TULSA TO EXPERIENCE OKLAHOMA AND PARTY WITH THE MANIACS. 
OUR TRIP WENT THRU ST. LOUIS, WITH A 1 NIGHT VISIT TO BRANSON FOR SOME WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT.  ON THE ROAD WE PASSED THE TORNADO SITE AT JOPLIN MS. IT WAS ALL GONE- WEATHER IS SO POWERFUL. 

WE HAD A VERY NICE HOTEL IN TULSA ACROSS FROM THE CONVENTION CENTER AND REALLY ENJOYED THE GILCREASE ART MUSEUM. A FABULOUS COLLECTION OF NATIVE AMERICAN AND WESTERN ART ON AN NICE ESTATE WITH GREAT GROUNDS WITH NATURAL AREAS AND SCULPTURES OUTSIDE.  THERE WAS ANOTHER MUSEUM IN AN OIL MAN’S MANSION THAT WAS ALSO SUPPOSED TO BE TERRIFIC.  THE MAGIC OF DOING THE STATES IS DISCOVERING THE REALLY INTERESTING SITES IN PLACES ONE WOULD LEAST EXPECT.  IF DEBBIE ATTENDS HER MUST IS A BOTANICAL GARDEN OR A MUSEUM. THEY NEVER EVER DISAPPOINT. 
THE PRE RACE DINNER WAS IN AN OLD HISTORIC DANCE HALL. MICHLEOB WAS A SPONSOR SO ALL THE NEW CITRUS FLAVORS WERE ON THE MENU.  WE ALSO MET A FELLOW THAT LOST HIS HOME IN A FLOOD THIS SPRING IN SOUTH DAKOTA SO HE IS LIVING IN HIS BLAZER SLEEPING IN WALMART LOTS AND GOING FROM RACE TO RACE.

AT THE PACKET PICK UP I GOT TO MEET THE FOUNDERS OF MARATHON MANIACS.  EACH MEMBER HAS A NUMBER – THEY ARE 1-23. I AM 2859 AND NUMBER 5000 WAS JUST ENTERED INTO THE ASYLUM.  LOOK IT UP ON THE WEB IF YOU ARE CURIOUS,  THERE ARE SOME INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENTS TO ASPIRE TO!
THE MANIACS GOT A PRE RACE TENT, SPECIAL GEAR CHECK, SPECIAL PORTA POTS AND A FINISHER MEDAL THAT MATCHES THE CLUB MOTIF AND A FINISHER TENT WITH A SPREAD AT THE END.  WOULDN’T YOU DRIVE TO TULSA FOR THAT ?? 
THE MOST EXCITING PART WAS A DETOUR AT MILE 18  TO A SPOT ON A  BRIDGE WHERE SOUND ECHOS IN AN UNEXPLAINED WAY. IT IS CALLED  THE CENTER OF THE UNIVERSE,  THIS WAS AN EXTRA .3 MILES BUT IF YOU DID IT THERE WAS A SPECIAL COIN THAT WAS LIKE A MEDAL VERIFYING YOUR ARRIVAL, A BAND PLAYING AND FREE ICE COLD  BEER FROM MICH ULTRA.  I WAS ALL IN FOR THAT.
THE TRIP HAD BECOME A CHALLENGE AS MY BACK WAS BARKING FROM TOO MANY CAR RIDES LATELY SO I WAS UNCERTAIN ABOUT EVEN GOING TO THE START LINE BUT I DID AND ONCE THAT GUN WENT OFF I WAS PAIN FREE FEELING BETTER EACH MILE. THE ONLY WAY TO RELAX ABOUT ALL OF  IT WAS TO JOG TO MILE 18 AND HAVE A BEER.

THE DAY BEFORE THE RACE (LATE NOVEMBER) WAS SHIRT SLEEVES AND WARM AND HUMID. RACE MORNING WAS HIGH 30’S WINDY AND RAW. I HAD A MILLION LAYERS ON UNDER MY COAT ALL DAY AND A WARM HAT AND GLOVES.  WALKING MEANT FREEZING.  IT SEEMED LIKE EVERY MILE GOT COLDER.

DEBBIE HAD THE DELIGHT TO RACE AGAIN WITH HER BUDDY MATT FROM NORTH  CAROLINA, -A RETIRED FEDERAL PRISON WARDEN WHO IS WALKING A 26.2 IN ALL 50 STATES AND DOING MOST OF IT IN A YEAR. 
I MEAN WHEN  I SAY THOSE TWO  CAN WALK  FASTER THAN MANY RUNNERS.
SO THEY HAD A GREAT HALF TOGETHER BEFORE MATT DID HIS SECOND HALF.
WE GOT TO WAVE HI AROUND MILE 9 ON AN OUT AND BACK PORTION.

MY DETOUR TO THE CENTER THE UNIVERSE WAS EXCELLENT AND ALL THE HOSPITALITY WAS APPRECIATED.  THE FINISH WAS A GREAT CELEBRATION AND
WE THOROUGHLY ENJOYED TULSA WOULD RETURN IN A HEARTBEAT TO SEE AND EXPLORE MORE.

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