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University of Oklahoma All-American Stann Vernon provided an exciting race and finish as he and Frank Shorter dueled to the wire with Vernon edging him out by one second in 45:43. Ron Tabb was third in 46:44, followed by Tulsa’s Mike Hairston – 46:58, and defending champ Mike Clark in 47:05. Karen (Bridges) Cramond once again had no trouble in dispensing with the women’s field as she won in 55:47, with Deb Strehl – 1:01:00, Carol Vanos – 1:03:07, Donna Wright – 1:05:17, and Kim Neall – 1:06:02 taking 2nd through 6th. Kent Metcalf of Stillwater topped the men’s masters field with a 54:38, as Donna Wright once again prevailed on the women’s side. There were 1,000 additional runners as the field soared to almost 2,300.
1978 — The First Tulsa Run
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Frank Shorter had never even run in Oklahoma, but as he toed the line with 1,300 runners (there was 1,900 in the fun run) he was made to feel right at home. University of Arkansas runner Mike Clark was first to the tape in a new state record time of 46:01, with Jeff Wells (Dallas) 46:10; Rick Musgrave (Norman) 46:26; Shorter, 46:26; and Tulsa’s Mike Hairston (46:57). Karen (Bridges) Cramond was the first women’s winner in 54:39, nine minutes ahead of Tulsa’s Janet Henke. Before the race, Shorter had predicted that 46:30 would win , he didn’t miss it far. Mustang’s Bill Erickson captured the master’s crown in 55:10, with Donna Wright taking the women’s honors in 1:05:35 (also 5th overall woman).