OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – This year’s Muscogee Nation Festival 5k run will offer a virtual option for those who cannot appear at the in-person celebration during the weekend of June 23-26.
The Director of Family Violence Prevention Program, Shawn Partridge, assists in coordinating the Festival’s fun run along with Tania Bardin and Anthony Bird.
“We see this as an opportunity to allow citizens that live beyond the reservation and their families and friends to participate and be able to do their walk or run on their own time,” Partridge said.
Limited to 150 spots, virtual participants must register by June 21 with a fee of $20 to receive a commemorative tee and finishers medal by mail.
Clicking the word register above will direct individuals to the website to sign up for the race. There they will enter the necessary information, or they may mail in a registration form with a check or money order payable to Muscogee (Creek) Nation/Muscogee Nation Festival 5k Attention: Shawn Partridge PO Box 580 Okmulgee, OK 74447.
Forms can be requested at 918-732-7992 or online at https://creekfestival.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/5KEntryFormFlyer_MCNFest22.pdf.
The in-person registration deadline is June 21 with a fee of $10, and the cost will go up to $15 on race day, which is Saturday, June 25 at 7:30 a.m.
Once registered, runners can complete the race/run/walk in their own time and location.
Racers will be responsible for turning in the finishing time and 5k-completion status.
“It provides a flexible opportunity for citizens and people to participate when it’s convenient for them to do so,” Partridge said.
Pre-registered participants should pick up their packet on Friday, June 24 at 11-2 east of the Mound building, and those who register the day of should pick up a packet at the same place Saturday morning.
The fun run/walk is free, and participants will register on the race day, beginning immediately after the race.
No tribal membership is needed to participate in the virtual race, in-person race, or fun run/walk.
Partridge said there are about 60 participants registered online as of May 13.
According to Partridge, runners may show up on race day, so the number will fluctuate each day.
Fees go into the Festival 5k fund account, which helps fund next year’s race event.
“It can be pretty expensive to host a 5k,” Partridge said. “We generally spend more than allocated, so the registration fees help cover those expenses.”
As a long-distance runner, Partridge participates in long-distance races such as 5ks as a hobby outside of her director role and claims that virtual racing became popular during the pandemic.
According to Partridge, virtual participants should consider safety measures while out on their course.
Several emergencies can happen while running, including injury, dehydration, accident, getting lost, and in an extremely rare and dangerous case, may result in an abduction or death.
Firstly, drink plenty of water before running or walking in the summer heat.
“It’s good to make sure and carry water with you,” Partridge said. “It is really important to stay hydrated.”
If alone, the individual should have a plan and share location via phone or even notify at least one friend or family member of said plan.
“That way, they will know what to expect on when to hear from them and when they should return.”
She claims that running in the morning or evening can help avoid the sun and heat.
“Try to stay in well-lit and populated areas,” Partridge said.
Even asking a friend to tag along can be a measure of safety in the case of an emergency.
Information can be found at www.mcnnc.com, or if you have questions about the 5K, call 918-752-5431.