Runners pound the pavement for historic movie house
By Ken Childers
Over 85 runners took to the downtown Streets of Okemah Saturday morning for the 11th Annual Crystal 5K Run, a benefit for the historic Crystal Theatre. The event also included an untimed “fun run.”
Cole Beets placed first overall and also claimed the top male finisher title with a time of 20:08. Phoenix Deshazo finished in second place, and also captured second in the top male finisher category, clocking in at 21:57. Keelan Berry, who had a chip time of 22:58, was the third place top male finisher.
Kellie Speir, who finished with a time of 22:20, came in third place and was also the first place winner in the female finisher category, followed by Ana Berry (25:51) and Courtney Hare, who clocked in at 27:04.
Participants included Peggy Airheart, J. Airheart-Jones, Glenda Alls, Jennifer Arnold, Meggin Bean, Cole Beets, Ana Berry, Keelan Berry, Larry Biddle, Anthony Blalock, Taylor Bruce, Brandon Burnett, Shawna Burnett, Adam Cooper, P. Cooper, Rachael Cooper, Memphis Deshazo, Phoenix Deshazo, Chris Dixon, Madison Francis, Detlef Galbreath, Heather Griffiths, Marissa Griffiths, X. Griffiths, Summer Groves, Virginia Groves, Relena Haddox, Courtney Hare, Keith Hare, John Hays, Valerie Hays, Carol Heard, Kelly Herndon, Skeeter Hogue, Kimberly Holland, Carmen Johnson, Heather Jones, Paige Kornelsen, Betty Lam, Carolyn Langenwalter, Robert Maddy, Leslie Martin, Shelly Maslonka, Karen Mayorga, Diana McKinley, John McKinley, Nancy McWherter, Clay Meeks, Kevin Meeks, A. Murray, Jamie Nichols, Danielle O’Daniel, T. Parker, Linda Peeler, Pamela Pettyjohn, Linda Rasure, Rhonda Robertson, Brittany Royal, Keith Russell, Sean Satterfield, Terry Scott, Alvin Sims, Kacey Smith, I. Speir, Keelie Speir, Amanda Stone, Robin Stone, Carolyn Strickland, Kerri Taylor, Robert Thomas, Ronnie Titsworth, Sally Turek, Melissa Turner, Brian Vanzant, W. Vanzant, Joseph Walker, Karen Walker, Rachel Walker, Dawson West, Kelly West, Angie Whisnant, Diann White, G. Williams, J. Williams, Tucker Williams and Dana Wilson.
The race has been organized for the past several years by Tessa Russell, but she recently announced she was stepping down from her post.
“Saturday will mark my last day as the director of Okemah’s Crystal Run. What started as a whim turned into one of the most challenging and rewarding tasks of a lifetime,” Russell stated in a social media post. “I would like to thank the participants, sponsors, and the volunteers who have given their steadfast support over these past 10 years. The Crystal Theatre is a true gem in our community and to have the privilege of being a small part of its continued success has been a great honor. I trust that the Crystal Run will fall into worthy hands and its neon marquee will shine into the future.”
Built in 1921, the Crystal Theatre was originally a Vaudeville theatre. It was remodeled in 1931,
and now hosts a variety of events, including first run movies and live musical performances.