Sunday, June 25, 2006

Tulsa Tough

Another excerpt from today's Tulsa World. The operative word would seem to be 'cool':

Readers Forum: Tulsa sports event won't be secret long

Sport is a wildly strange business most of the time and a significant passion for many people. There's the part about the money and the attendant bad choices often made for the sake of winning at any cost; the part about overcoming obstacles and personal tragedies to achieve success; the part about providing life lessons and character development for our youth; the part about hard work to make oneself better, not only on the field, but off of it.

Then there's the part about sport being healthy, fun and satisfying. I'm here to write about that -- a "healthy, fun and satisfying" sports event that some of you may have missed. But this won't be the case for long because there are more than a few people passionate about this event and sport.

Tulsa Tough Ride and Race was held June 2 and 4 in Tulsa, and that's important to emphasize. It may have set a new standard for sports events in our community. Here are what a few visitors and participants had to say, and took time to share, from California to Florida (over 20 states), Switzerland, Germany, New Zealand and why I feel optimistic about Tulsa and our opportunities to make an impact for the good of the community:

* "Extremely cool races, and a very cool city. I never gave much of a thought about Tulsa, Okla., but after this weekend, it's definitely one of the coolest cities around here."

* "I can assure you that I still have a vivid memory of that last hill on the outskirts of Tulsa. That was a first class ride and race and I hope you do it again in 2007!"

* "And I'd like to say that the city of Tulsa gave us all a very good impression. In a word, Tulsa Tough was a fantastic event. I have raced bikes for almost 20 years and I've never seen a first-time event done so well. Your event rivaled any in the country, be it The International Cycling Classic (Super week), The Redlands Bicycle Classic or Downers Grove (U.S. National Criterium Championship)."

* "Tulsa Tough's well-chosen venues were ringed with cool restaurants and bars and big crowds of spectators. And talk about accommodation, just for this race the city of Tulsa completely paved about eight blocks of streets. That's what you call service. From the prize list to the atmosphere, the Tulsa Tough organizers put a lot of thought and energy into what many race organizers ignore -- having a good time. And really giving me a great first impression of Tulsa!"

The Tulsa Sports Commission, now in its 13th year, has had a lead role in many sports events and championships as host. Tulsa is a better place with greater than $235 million in economic impact from such efforts. Yet, I have not seen a better and more satisfying sports event than Tulsa Tough Ride and Race and the promise that it holds for the community. It is an event that delivers "quality of life" in big doses.

...As a first time event, Tulsa Tough Ride and Race has the opportunity to grow to more than 10,000 participants and earn a date on the sport of cycling's national racing calendar.

...Tulsa Tough Ride and Race is a cycling competition for pro racers (criteria) and a recreational activity for riders with five challenging venues from downtown, the river and north and west through Tulsa County. It also includes a Kid's Rodeo, festival entertainment, exhibits and promotes local hotels, restaurants and merchants. It is free to the public, spectator and family friendly. The event showcased Tulsa's virtues, spirit, core values, downtown, the river and scenic outdoors.

...Mark your calendar for the 2007 Tulsa Tough Ride and Race now and experience this event and your city as these visitors and participants have described it -- "Cool!"

Mike Dodson is executive director of the Tulsa Sports Commission.


<< Home