Ok… so I haven’t been writing hardly at all — so you wonder if this blog is done… or if I’m done running or gave up…? Sometimes when you get out of the habit its hard to get back into it regular. I don’t think I’ve played WoW in days and days!! As long as since I last ran? No…
Anyway… Omaha was pretty good. People said the expo lacked… and while it *was* a little small — I thought it was ok. Nice organization I thought… everything smooth… decent selection of ware peddlers. The building I thought was going to be a bustling “Science City” type of place like the Kansas City Union station… in reality it was an under-construction warehouse named inPlay which may or may not be in the near future set up like Science City… (I think that’s the goal?).
Omaha is a pretty nice town seems like. I was there a couple of years ago but didn’t really pay attention. This time we were right down town… easily accessible… not too congested… very clean… friendly enough people. I booked the race about 1.5 months in advance i think? And at that point most hotels were booked. I did get in the Doubletree on Dodge St. (one of the main streets downtown) which was about 1 mile from the start. Looked to be perfect to walk down to the start on race morning.
Well I came down with some sinus problems on Friday before the race. Ugh… perfect timing. I just hoped it didn’t affect my running… I didn’t really feel 100%. Went to the Zoo on Saturday… was a little better this go-round. Perfect weather compared to the last time I was in the Zoo in February 06… when it was about 17 degrees outside with gale force winds. This time it was almost hot! I’ll take the hot any day. At the Zoo ran into Rick Roeber who as far as I am concerned is a local celebrity. You can read about him here: Barefoot Rick’s Website. I’ve seen him now at a couple races. He was wearing sandals at the Zoo!
Ok… so is that enough set up? Fast forward to race morning. I was up several times during the night blowing nose… fun. Had a dream that I ran the race but forgot the timing chip… so no finishing time. Well… got up… made sure to get my chip — which this is cool — they had a disposable chip. First one I’ve seen like that. I don’t mind either way I guess… I’ve had the ankle strap, the chip that you zip-tie to your laces and now this disposable one. Pretty cool. So… anyway… got everything and out the door.
Ring up the elevator going down (about 5:45am) and it’s full of other runners! Guess I got the day right. Down to the street level the other runners appear to have commandeered a shuttle bus… great! I’m sure I could have made it to the race ok… but being in an unfamiliar town I wasn’t 100% certain how to get down to the start… so the shuttle there was a welcome sight.
Munched a chocolate power bar (old reliable… ok… but wish I had something better… didn’t taste too bad this morning though). Had a water… took two Aleve as a precursor for my potential aching knees at mile 10+… stretched a lot… ran around a bit… it was a fairly warm morning (only slightly cold). Pretty good organization in all directions… lots of porta-potties… water available… bag checkpoint (I stashed my sweatshirt… sorry… bad habit I guess!).
Ok fast forward to about 6:45 race director giving instructions, thanks, encouragement, time updates (her watch is about 1 1/2 minutes fast). Everyone scrunches in the start area (about 2300 runners, not counting spectators and volunteers). We hear the national anthem played on guitar by a 14 year old… did a good job… and then bang! We’re off.
Very scrunched for the first mile… to be expected I guess… doing about a 10:30 pace. By mile two its still very crowded but I’m able to get up to about 9:00ish pace… feeling good! By about mile 3 I am able to realize me being “sick” isn’t going to be a hindrance so I speed up to about a varying 8:25-8:45 pace. Nice run… not many people talking though. Seems like people talked more at the KC runs…? No matter though. Weather perfect… running feels great.
Seems like we’re doing a loop… yep we are… back past the starting area… out to a long out and back which… and I think this is like mile 7.25 — start seeing people on their way back! Pretty cool… these guys are hauling ass. Pretty fun to watch these people coming back the other way and their numbers slowly increasing. First its a young guy (20s) and an older guy (60s) running neck and neck on a killer pace. Then don’t see anyone for at least a minute. Then a single runner. 20 seconds later another runner. No one for a minute… then 2-3 people… then a single runner… then 4 runners… etc… etc… as we get closer and closer to the turnaround point the numbers are increasing to mobs of runners. Fun to look at all the different people out there running!! And wait a second… yeah… all these people are beating me … oh well. Soon as I get to the turn-around at about mile 8.6 — now all the people I’m passing… I’m beating them!! Boy, they look like a rag-tag group compared to all the people that were beating me… hah! Oh well… everyone out here is doing something awesome… no matter if they’re walking… finishing 30 minutes ahead of me or 30 minutes behind me… we’re all having fun!
Oh yeah… there was a drummer (again, a little kid… about 13-15?) playing drums about mile 7. Sounds cool. Then at about mile eight there was a guy playing guitar/singing… he sounded really great!!
Ok… anyway… after the long out and back (which consisted of two, very fun, very large and long hills) its back for another loop of course we’ve already been on and on to the finish. At about mile 12 I started to pick up the pace quite a bit realizing I might have a chance to finish in under 1:50!! Feeling great a really had a solid run in… never sprinting, but definitely running briskly and with a purpose.
Well, didn’t quite finish under 1:50 (and I knew this about .5 mile out… still… ran it in), but I did set myself a new half-marathon PR! Previous PR was 1:51:58 at the Lawrence half-marathon. My chip time here was 1:51:12.
The end expo was ok. Good by any standards really… but for all the hype I heard about it… wasn’t too much to it. Still… I got some water, milk, coffee, fruit, some other stuff… searched in vain for the “free beer” I’d heard so much about but couldn’t find it. Oh well. Got my medal, retrieved my stashed sweatshirt… and … that’s a wrap! Probably won’t go back… but there was nothing wrong with the race at all… I did enjoy it… a fine race! Thanks Omaha.
Here I am at the finish line, (background in red)… I look happy I think!
Omaha 2008 Finish Line
(<- Back to Race Reports)
Be the first to like.