BEST OF THE BEST

There was great response to my call for nominations of your favorites of 2011.  There were certainly a lot more races, awards, performances, etc., if your own favorite didn’t make the list be sure and submit this time next year!  Honorable mentions to All that received a nomination.

BEST RACE-
I couldn’t be prouder that our very own Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run received the most votes for this category.  We’ll not set on our laurels though and promise to make the 2012 edition the Very Best Ever (April 7th).
Honorable mentions:  Omaha Corporate Cup, Sandhills Marathon, Lincoln Marathon, Buffalo Run, Lincoln Mile, Beer & Bagel.

RACE DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR-
Susie Smisek.  Susie oversaw continued growth of the Omaha Marathon and overcame the forces of Mother Nature dealing with the Mighty Missouri’s flooding.  The new start/finish in front of Reliant Stadium proved to be a great move that we hope stays.
Honorable mentions: Nancy Sutton-Moss, Ann Ringlein, Andy Pollock & Scott Schwartz, Jody Green, Ben Cohoon, and yours truly.

BEST T-SHIRT
Market to Market Relay .  Ben always comes up with a sweet technical t, well fitted and great memento of your accomplishment.
Honorable mentions: Beer & Bagel, NE5, Lincoln Marathon.

BEST AWARD
Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run.
The cast iron skillets are a load to carry home but are the most functional award of any race around.
Honorable mentions: The Omaha Marathon’s unique glass finishers medals, the mega-sized mugs at Beer & Bagel.

BEST MOMENT
Only 1 nomination for this category and it didn’t count because it occurred outside of Nebraska.  I’ll mention it though because it will forever be a moment to remember for at least a few of us.  David Adams nominated my shedding tears after watching him chase down a top 10 finish at the Club Cross Country National Championships earlier this month, sniff.

BEST RACE/RUNNING WEBSITE
Simplesoleproject.com
Brian Wandzilak’s website is a breath of fresh air for the Nebraska running community.   His unique perspective on running and life, his contributors, and exclusive interviews make this a must read for serious runners across the state.
Honorable mentions: TeamNebraska.com, Omaha Endurance Group’s facebook page, Omaha Running Club’s facebook page,  flotrack, Lincoln Track club’s newly revamped site, Ni-Bthaska-Ke digital brochure.

BEST PERFORMANCE MALE
Luka Thor.
Luka overcame early year knee surgery to successfully defend his Omaha Half Marathon title.  If you know anything at all about Luka, that victory pales in comparison to the obstacles this fine young man has  surmounted.
Honorable mentions: Cameron Cummings 2:26:47 win at the Lincoln Marathon, Eric Noel’s 2:32:21 debut performance at Lincoln,  David Adams’ Olympic Trials qualifier, Brian Wandzilak in a hot dog suit, John Tully’s lifetime 5K pr at  Ted E. Bear Hollow, Shain Kephart’s overall win at the accompanying 10K.

BEST PERFORMANCE FEMALE
Stacy Shaw.
Stacy turned in an amazing 3:03:18 for second overall at the Omaha Marathon.  What made her performance  remarkable is that she is a young 45 years of age.
Honorable mentions: Kathy Rongner Palmer’s lifetime mile pr, Kaylen Stockton’s 1:25:20 win on the difficult Omaha Half Marathon course, Kaci Lickteig’s 2:58:14 4th place finish at Lincoln.

 

We had 22 adults and 8 kids show up at last night’s bonus track workout at Millard West.  What a great way to wrap up 2011, the Omaha Endurance Group has left its mark on my heart and sole.  We will kick off our 5th year of the program Wednesday, March 28, mark your calendars!

Almost surreal to have temps in the 50s this close to the end of the year.  I’m always amazed that there are people that appreciate my hollering at them 28 weeks of the year.