Today I had planned on publishing a totally different blog but something came up that simply can't wait another day. 
There's something I need to bring awareness to and I need to ask for your help! Here in Tulsa we have a wonderful Urban Wilderness Area called Turkey Mountain. It's a wonderful park/dirt trail system in Tulsa where there are miles and miles of trails for running, hiking, taking the kids for a picnic, riding your horse, mountain biking, taking amazing photographs of the skyline of Tulsa and so much more. This amazing little gem is in jeopardy. Last week it was announced that some private property adjacent to Turkey Mountain was sold to a development company, which plans to place a large high-end outlet mall in the area that will close some of the trails.
I know what you are probably thinking, "It was private property, what's the big deal?". The big deal is that the area they bought has miles of trails on it that the previous land owner had been wonderfully gracious enough to let the patrons of Turkey Mountain use even though they weren't in the care of the Tulsa River Parks Authority. And in return, the patrons of Turkey Mountain would care for and maintain the trails. The last volunteer day was in mid July and hundreds of people showed up to maintain the land and trails. It was truly a win-win situation for everyone. 

Here is a map of the area affected. The red box is where the new outlet mall will go. You can see that there are trails leading right into that area and that's the problem. 
Let's be clear, I'm not opposed to the outlet mall at all. I'm opposed to the location of the proposed outlet mall, especially when there is plenty of land nearby that isn't part of Turkey Mountain. 
I'm opposed to the increased traffic hazards that may come when runners/bikers mix with cars. We all know who wins and who loses in the scenario. 
I'm opposed to the domino effect that may take place which could lead to the entire area around Turkey Mountain being developed and reducing the amount of space we have left to enjoy. Here's what I mean by that...

According to a local news reporter, HALF of the Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness Area is actually private property and could be sold! 
This map shows you the land that could be sold if further development of the area were to take place. It would clearly reduce the land dedicated to trails significantly, meaning the current 45 miles of trails could be reduced to just 15 miles! 

Here is where you come in. A petition has been started. I signed it already and I'm asking all of my running buddies to sign it. I know you may not live in the Tulsa area or you may have never stepped foot on Turkey Mountain, but there will come a day when this could happen to an area you love and you will want all the support you can get. Please sign the petition by clicking here.
The Hubbo and I have spent a lot of time up there on those trails and would hate to see it change to a parking lot for an outlet mall. Let's move the mall further south and leave Turkey Mountain alone. 
I think Country Crows says it best with this song...

Question! Has this ever happened to your favorite park? What did your city do?

Photo from Little Rock Marathon's FB Page.
I like socks. I like monkeys. I really like sock monkeys. But I'm even more excited about this huge medal we will be racing for on March 3, 2013 at the Little Rock Marathon! The picture doesn't do the size of the medal justice. This thing is huge!
At the Route 66 Marathon expo, I had the opportunity to meet one of the CICs (Chicks in Charge) from the Little Rock Marathon and we talked about the medal for a bit. 

Fun facts about the Little Rock Marathon:
  • There is no time limit. They have the clock on for everyone.
  • Every finisher gets a medal. Even the 5K & 10K participants.
  • I hear they have an awesome after party later that night. 
  • The medal is bigger every year.
  • The Little Rock Half Marathon medal is bigger than the Boston Marathon Finisher Medal! 
Now if that doesn't make you add this race to your bucket list, I don't know what will!

There is not much that can beat having a huge medal for a race. Unless a race offers 2 medals! In December the Hubbo and I finished our second marathon, the Double Half Marathon aka the Half & Half Marathon here in Tulsa. A lot of times people ask why we run. Well let's be honest, medals are cool! We enjoy the running, and training for the races, we enjoy the races themselves, but we really like collecting something that we feel we really earned every step of the way. Today our second medal finally came in from the marathon we did in December. See the picture below. If you want to read more about how the race went click HERE

The Hubbo has done a great job of finding cool ways to display our medals. This is what he did for our first marathon. 
And here is what he did for our first three half marathons.
What do you do with your medals after a race?
I hate trail running. There I said it! Not only did I discover my hatred of trail running this weekend, I also found a whole new respect for the people who love running them. Trail running is real hard! It's hard on your body, it's hard on your mind, it's just hard. This weekend the Hubbo and I finished our second marathon. It was a difficult race and it took us a long time but we finished and that is all that matters to me. 

The Double Half Marathon was unlike any other race I've heard of. Half of the marathon was on a trail here in Tulsa known as Turkey Mountain, while the other half of the marathon was on pavement. This race might have been so difficult because the Hubbo and I don't run on trails. In fact, it's been over a year and a half since I was even on Turkey Mountain.

So you might be asking why we signed up to run a marathon where half of it was on an unfamiliar terrain. Well, that is a good question. Why did we do that? I even asked myself that question at about mile 8 on the trail. Here is the long, not so direct, kind of, sort of answer.

Who doesn't want to say they ran 2 marathons in a month?
The race was here in our hometown. No travel costs.
The race was cheap. $75
The medals were cool. Yes I said medals. As in plural. 
We got two medals when we finished. 
We could get closer to becoming a Marathon Maniac.
And it just seemed like a good idea at the time. It really wasn'

The picture above is what my feet looked like after I took off my socks and shoes. How in the world did my feet get so dirty? The world may never know. But I do know this. I hate trail running.