I had a great chat with Joe Kenney yesterday.  We were discussing his upcoming event The Dash For Diamonds (March 10th).  He is Old School too.  Well traveled and has seen races/runs from coast to coast, our expectations and definitions of what makes a good or great race are remarkably similar.

Joe is the Director of Angel Guardians, “The mission of Angel Guardians, Inc. is to improve the quality of life for special-needs teens and adults in the areas of housing, employment, fitness, socialization and recreation. We are a Nebraska 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.”  Another Great Cause that Team Nebraska will support.

What I liked about his philosophy is that you can give something back to the runners far in excess of what an entry fee might suggest.  In this case, and here the Dash For Diamonds really sets itself apart, the Overall Male & Female will win a Diamond, retail valued at $750.  These stones have been DONATED to the event because someone else believes in bigger causes.  That is what separates these good and charitable events from your for profit models.  It is much easier to get the philanthropic side of Nebraskans involved when the cause is right.

And as Joe and I agree, we are using Our Sport of running to help with these fundraising efforts, so why not give a little something back.  I like the cut of Joe’s jib.

We’ll load up some Team Nebraska studs and studettes for the Dash For Diamonds.  There are already athletes entered from several states, I say the stones must remain in Nebraska!  Already 250+ entered, you too can come out and support this wonderful charity, race information below:

Date: March 10th, 2012
Time: 8:00 a.m.
Race Distance: 5k Run & 1 mile walk
Prizes: Diamond for the overall top male and top female runners of the 5k
Atmosphere: Fun, festive, St.Patrick’s Day theme around the event
Registration: www.active.com
All proceeds go to help improve the quality of lives for developmentally disabled young adults in Omaha.

Dash for Diamonds!
Yes, this is correct.  The overall TOP MALE and TOP FEMALE runners will win a pair of real diamonds valued at nearly $750.00!  The top runners will have a little extra push to finish strong … who will have the Irish Luck?  There will be no pot of gold … just Diamonds!

Course Description
This scenic course runs through historic downtown Omaha and is an out-and-back style race.
It starts in front of The Dubliner Pub (12th & Harney) and from there the race heads East to 10th Street. Racers will then turn left and head North towards the Heartland of America Park trailhead. Then towards the “Lucky Bridge” at the Northeastern edge of the park. Racers will enjoy this flat and fast course as it ventures North towards the Pedestrian Bridge. Runners will cross the bridge leading towards Iowa. Racers will turn around and Dash home for the Diamonds!
The Dubliner Pub (www.dublinerpubomaha.com)
The run will start and finish at the classic Dubliner Pub.  They will be open for “unlimited fun” for thirsty runners.

Irish Day Parade
After the awards ceremony that won’t disappoint, stay and enjoy the Irish Day Parade that passes through Downtown.
Additional Information:
We will start promptly at 8:00 at The Dubliner Pub at 1205 Harney Street.
Refund Policy:
No refund or transfers are given for any reason.  Considerable effort goes into producing such an event and funds are expended early in the process to create this race.  Thank you for understanding this policy.
Who we areThe mission of Angel Guardians, Inc. is to improve the quality of life for special-needs teens and adults in the areas of housing, employment, fitness, socialization and recreation. We are a Nebraska 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.

Additional Information:
Goody bag:
* special gift for anyone with a dog (yes we asked on the registration)* our special needs adults have been working on hand braided bracelets  that are green and black for every runner. This is very difficult task  for many of them. They are hoping each runner wear them proudly.* free pack of superberries in every goody bag* free packet of hydrate formula for endurance athletes* (still trying to provide granola in every race bag)* free coupons for coffee at scooters* discounts on countless items* long sleeve black or green performance shirt

7:00 Dubliner Pub opens (next to the start / finish line)     (we are working on a local distributor to provide a free keg of Guiness)
7:30 Irish Dance Troupe will be performing for any race participants     interested in watching
8:00 Start of race
8:00 Roja Mexican Grille opens their fire pits outside as well as the bar. Free chips and salsa to participants.
8:30 Irish band starts playing at the Dubliner for race participants.

After the race:
* Brueggers will be providing free bagels / spreads* Hy-vee is providing free fruit* Scooters is providing free coffee* Massage tables availalbe (I know …only a 5k)* Superberries will be providing smoothies and juice for participants* Psychic will be reading palms for donations only
Awards ceremony is still to be determined.
10:00 Parade starts10:00 Tip Top building opens for any race participant that is interested      $5.00 to get in to the party (proceeds go to Irish Hibernians)      Drinks, food, live music, etc. Party goes most of the day!