Omaha 1/2 Marathon Race Recap

Half Marathon #35
State #25

When I had a half marathon tune up on my schedule, I knew I had to find a new state. It worked out perfectly because I had 2 free nights to use from Marriott that were going to expire at the end of October and the flights weren’t too expensive. Done.

Pre-Race

Rich and I flew in Friday evening and had time to grab a late dinner at Blatt Beer and Table. Saturday morning I got up for a easy 4 mile run and went exploring in the downtown area.IMG_8840We went to the expo right when it opened but there wasn’t too much to it so it didn’t take long. My plan was to do a little touristy stuff but be back at the hotel to have afternoon to rest. We walked around Old Town, stocked up on a few local items, had lunch at Upstream Brewing, found my Nebraska ornament, and headed to the Iowa/Nebraska line on the pedestrian bridge.

IMG_8841omaha IMG_8864I chilled for a few hours and then headed to an early dinner at Twisted Fork.

Race Day

I woke up and ate the usual, toast with almond butter and cherry limeade Nuun Energy. My stomach was off a bit more than usual. I wasn’t really nervous, so I’m not sure what it was. I needed to run my warmup, so I headed out with enough time and got 2.5 miles in and met Rich at the start.

I also ran into Kathleen, who is racing the states, too. A few minutes later and it was time to start. I told Rich I thought I needed a bathroom again, but I didn’t really have time and assumed it would pass. So, I lined up right behind the 1:45 pace group with a plan to start around an 8:10 pace and then at the half way mark run at a 7:50 pace.IMG_8869IMG_8149Miles 1-8

The first few miles ran through the downtown area. I was really focused on not running too fast and focusing on form and I didn’t really pay attention to much around me. I really wanted to stay at an 8:10 average, but apparently I was a bit faster than that.IMG_8156I must say, the course was a bit uneventful. There weren’t a ton of spectators and the roads were pretty rough (needed to look at the ground more than I wanted to). The course ran through some nice neighborhoods, a golf course/park, and then hit the turn around. I literally spent the first half of the race hoping to find a bathroom and had no luck. PLENTY of water stations (they use Heed as electrolyte replacement and I’m not a fan) but no bathrooms.IMG_8875Since the course was an out and back, that obviously meant I was never going to the bathroom. I had no choice but to focus on something else, and that was dropping my pace closer to the 7:50 range. I had my eye on the 1:45 pace group and the goal was to slowly get in front of them.Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 1.08.52 PM

Miles 9-13.1

I slowly picked off runners around me and caught up and then passed the 1:45 pace group. I felt good. Again, it was pretty uneventful scenery wise until we got back to the downtown area and we had a few turns to the finish.

Right before the stadium, I saw Rich cheering and he told me what to expect. We looped the entire outfield to the finish line. Definitely an adrenaline rush to run on the field and I picked up the pace with the excitement.IMG_8170 IMG_8173 Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 1.09.17 PM Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 1.09.07 PMScreen shot 2014-09-25 at 1.09.26 PM Screen shot 2014-09-25 at 1.09.43 PMIMG_8878 IMG_8876 IMG_8890

Official Results:Screen shot 2014-09-22 at 6.11.19 PMGarmin Results:Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 9.50.00 PMScreen shot 2014-09-24 at 9.48.44 PM Screen shot 2014-09-24 at 9.48.32 PM

Post Race:

First stop, bathroom! Somehow, I made it the entire race. I wasn’t really hungry after the race, which is unusual for me, but I grabbed 1/2 a banana and a chocolate milk and found Rich (other options were bagels and orange slices).IMG_8887We had already picked out our breakfast spot at the Diner, so we walked up from the finish to the Old Market and had breakfast. We went back to the hotel to shower and were able to leave our bags to go enjoy the city a bit more before our flight. We had local beers at Borgata Brewery, lunch at Stokes, browsed the shops a bit, and my favorite that I had been waiting for all weekend, ice cream at Ted & Wally’s!racedayomahaIMG_8906We walked back to the hotel and had the shuttle take us to the airport.

Overall:

Favs:

  • Volunteers- all of the aid stations were well manned and all super nice
  • Having a race sherpa (thank you, Rich)
  • Lots of water stations
  • Plenty of race photos (but won’t purchase at $60 for all of them)
  • Hotel within walking distance of race and downtown and hotel that had free shuttle
  • Flat and fast course

Not So Much:

  • Lack of bathrooms on the course
  • Lack of spectators

Bling:

This is my second medal to light up! It’s a pretty good one, but apparently years past they were glass. The shirt is women’s cut long sleeve. IMG_8891IMG_8893

Final Thoughts:

I was pleasantly surprised by our weekend in Omaha. If you are a 50 stater, this is a good race to do. It’s an easy flight in, don’t have to get a rental car, it’s flat and fast course and a no frills race. That’s really all I can say about the race, it’s good. There wasn’t anything over the top great or terrible about it, but a few changes would make it even better. Perhaps more at the post race or even cheer stations? Yes, there was a band or two and a few pockets of people cheering but other than that I really felt like I was on a long run at home.

I’m really happy with how I ran the race, even though it was a bit faster than I had expected. It was the perfect tune up before NYC in November and a great way to hit my half way point on my racing the states adventure!

Do you care about the race frills? When you travel to a new city/state, are there things you must do or get (I get an ornament and I love trying great restaurants and local spots)? Any questions on my 50 states journey so far? 

 

About the author

Elizabeth

View all posts

12 Comments

  • I don’t care too much about race frills, but my first half marathon was the Chicago Half Marathon (in 2013). It was a hot and muggy day, and the out-and-back course on Lake Shore Drive really sucked. I heard the race was much better this year thanks to better weather and some organizational changes, but overall not a fan. However, the tech tee I got was great (orange and navy) and fits well.

    My next half is actually one that you’ve already done – Run the Bluegrass. Fingers crossed for better weather this year though. I like the idea of a small race and it’s only ~3 hour drive from Columbus, where I live.

    As for running in new cities/states, I try to crowdsource some recommendations. I was just in Atlanta over the weekend and my fiance (who went to Georgia Tech) suggested Piedmont Park. It was nice to get my bearings for where things were, especially before gorging on some awesome brunch.

    I really love the idea of racing the states (especially since I travel a lot to the NE and the South), and I think I may start chipping away!

    Anyway, didn’t mean for this comment to be so long, so props if you made it this far 😉 If you’re looking for a good Ohio race, Cap City Half (which is in early May) or Columbus Marathon 1/2 (in mid-October) are both excellent with tons of crowd support and a scenic tour of Ohio’s capital city. They’re also less hilly than Cincinnati’s Flying Pig and culturally Columbus is very different.

  • Eh. I don’t care necessarily about spectators, although I think it does amp up the energy a bit. Cheap=Best for me, so I guess that means no frills. There should always be at least one bathroom on the course.

  • Well done! Oh wow and light up medal? I may have a new goal in life!
    I’m on the Starbucks city mug collecting kick.
    I appreciate when races can be unique and give extra thought to their shirt/medal/food/awards, but it’s not necessary.

  • I totally meant to comment last week! What a bad blogger I am :(

    I’m glad you pointed out about the water at the stops… I thought it was weird tasting! All I wanted was plain water too!!

    The post race goodies look much calmer than when I finished!

    I totally wanted to do the ornament thing too… I may have to get them online :)

    Great to meet you!! I hope we can cross paths again on our ways to the best blinged out races :)

  • I don’t care too much about the race frills. I just want the basics and to run my race. Spectators or no spectators don’t really matter but it does help a little. But I am not upset if there are none.

    Your shirt and medal is so much nicer than last year’s.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *