The last Sunday in April finds Oklahoma City at its best – with 24,818 runners competing in the 16th Annual Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon.

The beautiful weather brought out thousands of spectators who cheered Patrick Gomez to the first place men’s #OKCMarathon Finish Line. Gomez, 25, of Norman, is an assistant volunteer running coach at the University of Oklahoma. This was Gomez’ first marathon, “The crowd support was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. One runner even stopped his race to work out the cramping in my legs.”

It was a photo finish with less than a second separating first place women’s finisher, Catherine “Cat” Lisle and second place winner, Danielle Hodge. She talked about the battle with Danielle over the last 50 meters, “My mind felt good but my legs were very tired.” This is Cat’s second Memorial Marathon win. Her 2010 Marathon win was also a photo finish when only one second separated her from the second place winner.

Brian Gohlke, of Spring, Texas, won the men’s Half Marathon. His unofficial time was 1:09:53. And Oklahoma City resident, Ashley Miller crossed the Finish Line with an unofficial time of 1:23:17. This is Ashley’s second Memorial Marathon win in a row!

This run is different than any other and it’s much more than running 26.2 or 13.1 miles; it is a Run to Remember, celebrating life and hope and bringing the community together. This race celebrates the lives of the 168 persons killed, hundreds of survivors and those changed forever by the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995.