Ardmore to host area's first marathon

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ARDMORE, OK - The Arbuckles to Ardmore Race for Mercy, or A2A, is a two day event that will include a full marathon, a half marathon, and a 5K. It's the first time Ardmore has hosted a full marathon, and organizers say the response has been overwhelming.

When race director Allison Smalley first considered hosting a full marathon to benefit the Mercy Memorial Cancer Center, she realized it wouldn't be an easy road.

"I got to thinking one day that Ardmore should host an event, should host a marathon, and no small towns do this, only large towns because of the volunteers that it takes and the money that it takes," Smalley says.

Smalley says she and the race board have been planning for almost a year and have 400 people already signed up for the March 28th race. She says it was important to her that 100% of donor money go to the new cancer center.

"Everybody is touched by cancer in one way or another. You either get it yourself, or you have a family member or friend, and so I think that's why Ardmore has really jumped on board with this."

YMCA fitness instructor Sandra Wells is the director of the "Couch Potato to Hot Potato" program aimed at getting ordinary people from the community to participate in the 5K event.

Wells says anyone who registers for the A2A can train at the YMCA in a free six-week program.

"Because anybody can walk, and that's what we really do. We show you lets start out walking, we'll increase your pace walking, then you can jog a little bit then, you can stop and walk, so anybody can do that," Wells says.

Wells says with the recent push to make the community healthier. This program allows people to do something about their health, while also giving back.

"It's a commitment not only in your own health but by registering to run the A2A, which benefits Mercy Cancer Center. It is an investment in your community."

Wells says the Hot Potato to Couch Potato program is in its first week, but anyone who's interested is still welcome to train. You can sign up for any three of the running events on the A2A website at the link below the story.

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