|Updated: 8/15 3:03 pm
||Published: 8/15 11:18 am
The Tulsa Sports Commission announced Tulsa Federal Credit Union as the title sponsor for the 36th annual Tulsa Run, one of the most historic runs in Oklahoma, which will take place October 26, 2013.
“We are thrilled to be the title sponsor of such a prestigious event,” Tulsa Federal Credit Union President & CEO Greg Gallant said.
“A primary focus of our overall mission at Tulsa Federal is to be a positive force in the community,” Gallant said. “I can’t think of a better fit than being a part of one of the most iconic events in Tulsa that brings Tulsans together to promote health and philanthropy.”
The Tulsa Federal Credit Union is the first title sponsor of the Tulsa Sports Commission-owned event and will have naming rights for the next three years.
“We’re hopeful this year’s race will be one of the best experiences for local runners and elite athletes traveling to our region,” said Ray Hoyt, senior vice president of the Tulsa Sports Commission and VisitTulsa. “We’re certainly excited to have a community partner in Tulsa Federal Credit Union helping to make this race one for the history books,” Hoyt continued.
Early bird registration for the race continues through the end of August. After September 1 prices will be $50 for the 15k and $40 for the 5k. The registration rate for the 2k fun run is set at $15 for the entire registration period.
“Building on feedback last year from runners and the community at large, we are instituting a number of changes this year that we believe will make this historic race an even greater experience for local runners and elite athletes traveling to our region,” Hoyt said.
Among those changes is a new location and expanded dates for packet pickup and the runner’s expo. The pickup and expo will be moved to the Cox Business Center exhibit halls, allowing for expanded space, and will span two days to give runners more options for packet pickup. Additionally, registration will close two weeks prior to race day to allow adequate time for race preparation.
For the last 12 years, a philanthropic element has been included in the Tulsa Run, with a local nonprofit receiving $25,000 in donations and matching funds from the race. This year’s primary beneficiary of the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run is the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma.
"We're so excited to partner with the Tulsa Run as this year's beneficiary,” said Eileen Bradshaw, executive director of the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma. “The generous support we receive from the community makes our work possible. With this gift, we'll be able to distribute 100,000 meals to those struggling with hunger in eastern Oklahoma, which means people won't have to worry where or how they'll get their next meal. This gift will have a big impact on the lives of those we serve and we're so grateful to be selected,” she added.
Additionally, ten other nonprofit organizations will also receive donations from runners through registration as well as matching funds from the Tulsa Sports Commission. Once chosen, runners may include a donation to one of the ten agencies when registering; the Tulsa Sports Commission will match donations up to $5. Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run charity beneficiaries include the following: Community Action Project – Literacy Program; DVIS – Domestic Violence Intervention Services; Little Lighthouse; Junior Achievement; Broken Arrow Seniors; CASA – Court Appointed Special Advocates; Tulsa Boys Home; Counseling and Recovery Services; The Tulsa Day Center for the Homeless; and The Salvation Army.
Another new element to the race this year is the addition of USA Track and Field’s Masters 15k Championships. The Tulsa Sports Commission has secured a five-year agreement to host the race in conjunction with the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run. USA Track and Field is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States.
“We couldn’t be more excited to welcome USA Track and Field athletes to Tulsa this fall. This race will bring some of the nation’s top runners to the region and boost the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run’s competition set,” Hoyt said.
In addition to Tulsa Federal Credit Union joining the Tulsa Run organization, the Tulsa Sports Commission has officially named this year’s celebrity runners. Dr. Keith Ballard, superintendent of Tulsa Public Schools, and Stacey Butterfield, deputy superintendent of Jenks Public Schools have agreed to champion the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run, both stressing the ability of the run to encourage physical fitness among students.
“Physical health and education is paramount to the success of students in our public schools”, said Dr. Ballard. “I’m honored to serve as a celebrity runner for the Tulsa Federal Credit Union Tulsa Run in the hopes that I may set a positive example for students across our city,” Ballard said.