March 28, 2001

While the early entry deadline has passed, organizers of the seventh annual Arts Classic Run are encouraging people to get registered prior to Saturday, March 31, the day of the annual event.

Entries may be faxed to (405) 325-7408 until noon Friday, March 30. Entry forms are available at Sonic Drive-Ins, the Runner in Oklahoma City, selected Campus Corner merchants and from the Arts Classic web site which is www.ou.edu/artsclassicrun. Additionally, forms are available at the OU Athletic Department and the OU College of Fine Arts, 540 Parrington Oval, Room 122. Registration information and forms may also be obtained at (405) 325-5173.

Additionally, registrations can be done in person on Friday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the ticket windows located at Gate 17 of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium (the northwest corner). While registration will be accepted on Saturday morning from 6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. on the west side of the stadium, race organizers emphasize that registration will close promptly at 9 a.m. to allow the events to begin on time. It is important for in-line skaters to note that their event will begin at 8:30 a.m. which would require entering before the cutoff time on Saturday.

Through noon Wednesday, more than 1300 entries had been received. That puts the entries for the seventh annual race ahead of the pace set last year when the event drew nearly 3,000 entries.

Registration costs are $21 for adults and $15 for students. Registration for the race only (without a t-shirt) is $15. Registration may be paid for by check (made payable to the OU Arts Classic Run), cash or by Visa or MasterCard.

The first gun will sound at 8:30 a.m. with all of the participants starting from the west side of Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The in-line skaters will start at 8:30 a.m. Bike tours begin at 9:45 a.m. and wheelchair events begin at 9:55 a.m. with the runners and walkers hitting the course at 10 a.m. The finish line once again will be the 50-yard line of Owen Field. The event is presented by KOCO-TV 5 and Sonic, America's Drive-In.

For the third year, the Arts Classic Run and the Redbud Classic will team together to form "The Classics." A runner who competes in the same race at both events will have the times combined to determine overall and age group champions. The Classic Champions (overall and age group) will receive special prizes. There is no extra fee to be considered for The Classic Champion prizes. A separate entry form and fee are required for the Redbud Classic to be run on April 8.

Once again, this year's race is billed as an opportunity to "run, ride and roll" for the Arts and Athletics. The Classic features a half marathon, a 10-kilometer race, a two-mile run/walk, a 10k volksmarch, a wheelchair event and two-mile and 10k in-line skating events. For the third year, there will be bike tours of 7, 30 and 43 miles. The runners and skaters will follow courses that include the Norman campus as well as the historic neighborhoods around campus. Runners and walkers will finish on the 50-yard line while skaters and riders will complete their course on paved areas around the stadium.

Organizers emphasize that the bike tour, in its third year as part of the Classic, is just that - a tour and not a race. The 7-mile Fun Town Tour will be conducted as a group with police escort. The 30- and 43-mile tours are road tours over hilly terrain. Rest stops will be provided for the tour participants as well as SAG support. All riders will be required to wear an ANSI or Snell approved helmet. Riders are required to obey all traffic laws. Riders will receive participant ribbons, finish bags and will be entered in drawings for other prizes.

Prizes to be given include first-, second- and third-place awards for male and female in the wheel chair, two mile, 10 kilometer and half marathon events. In addition, the overall male and female winners in the 10 kilometer and half marathon will be given round trip American Airlines tickets to Boston, San Francisco or New York, subject to certain restrictions. Also to be given are overall awards for male and female masters runners and special commemorative medals to the first three male and female runners in race-specific age groups. The two-mile and 10k in-line skating events are non competitive and finishers will receive ribbons. The volksmarch, which is AVA sanctioned, also is non competitive.

For the fifth year, the half marathon is dedicated to the memory of Juli Busken, a graduate of the College of Fine Arts. All proceeds from the entry fee for runners in the half marathon will be used to support the Juli Busken Scholarship Fund.

The finish line will close at 1 p.m. and there will be no traffic control after 1 p.m.

"In the first year, we had about 900 runners. Last year, that number was just over 3,000, and we expect to have between 3,500-4,000 run or ride in 2001," said Dudley Hyde, race director and brainchild of the Arts Classic Run at its inception. Hyde said runners in the 2000 edition represented 26 states and countries.

OU fine arts students will provide entertainment at the stadium and along the course.

For more information on the Classic, call (405) 325-5173. For accommodations on the basis of disability, call (405) 325-7372.