We hope you have checked the tab up top for our 2018 Winter Fitness Series. Amazingly this is my 15th year of putting on races in the Omaha Metro. My how things have changed. My how things have remained the same.
It all started with the 2003 Swamp Stomp at Lake Zorinsky and then the Monster Dash in 2004 and Ni-Bthaska-Ke in 2005. Those ran for years. All early events fundraisers for Team Nebraska.
The Omaha Mile in 2007 and 2008. Linda and I enjoying brief stints as Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben Trail Bosses.
Eight years of Wednesday Night Track Work and Kids Fit Program at Millard West. From March through October. The numbers sometimes reaching 50 and more. Writing and recording workouts. Linda and I donating our time and efforts for 8 months every year.
Sprinkled in the middle were other fundraising events. The Open Door Mission (Jingle Bell Run), Food Bank of the Heartland (Hair of the Dog Run), Ovarian Cancer (Whisper Run), Prostate Cancer (Big Blue Run), Race Against Autism, and more that have slipped into distant memory. Giving time freely for good causes.
Sat at a table for hours on end at multiple Lincoln Marathon Expos introducing Nebraska to USATF and Team Nebraska.
Did righteous battles with the Omaha Corporate Cup to recognize and ultimately reward our state’s top runners. For you.
Designed and certified the Blair Elite Downtown Mile. Always lobbying on behalf of those that would Race.
Directed my very first track meets, The TNB Twilight Classic (2009, 2010). And one of my favorite memories, the USA Club National Championships at Burke in 2012.
Organized Christy Nielsen’s fundraiser for her trip to the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.
And the same for Kaci Lickteig and Bridget Easley in 2012. And for David Adams at Burke HS the same year.
Met with Camp Carol Joy Holling admins, consulting on the launch of the Emperyan Ales 5K. Yes, it really was that way.
The Fourth of July Kids Runs.
Made multiple trips to Grand Island meeting with their YMCA leadership helping to establish that now popular half and full. Explaining the benefits of course certification and helping design a legitimate course.
Some never panned out, The Linoma Beach Half Marathon comes to mind. Dozens of hours given before the rug was pulled.
This year’s Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Run. Many donated hours spent working with the city to help launch. My old buddy Brian Mastel out of Minneapolis, couldn’t refuse his request for assistance.
Back to our Winter Series and the new Nebraska Trail Run. Mom and Pop efforts. For the love of the sport. Hopeful to attract maybe a hundred runners. Catering to Elite, middle and back of the pack runners. That is the thing hasn’t changed.
I now see these vividly festooned local mega events, how the organizers and admins have crafted and capitalized on marketing, and tip my hat to them. That is the change I do see.
As I pour over my photo archives from the last 15 years I see that Linda more than any other played the most critical role in supporting my vision for Nebraska running. She alone spent countless hours in meetings, listening and learning, soliciting support, tilting at windmills, and deserves as much credit as I do for everything. Here’s hoping we are still able to offer what we do for many more years! For you.