We’ve come a long way to get nowhere. Omaha, the least runner friendly city I’ve ever lived in. Maybe Brian Erb was right all along. The lack of civic support has dulled local expectations beyond the point of apathy. What could and should have become a showcase for the City of Omaha, by the City of Omaha, instead shows the rest of the country what an afterthought our city officials find the sport of running to be. 575 runners registered for the Heartland Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K. Sad.
Pick any city in the U.S. with similar metro statistical data and I’ll show you partnerships between civic leaders and the local running community. And many cities much smaller than Omaha. Why then is it so difficult?
It used to be Permits. Road closures. And yes, those are critical. But the biggest hurdle Omaha faces is a mind set. Another hurdle is how the city defines a successful event. How much money is being raised for which charity is near or at the top of every official’s list. Too many “race directors” that have never run a step in their life is another problem. If the Corporate Cup gave a crap about the runners they would have come up with a suitable course to replace the former, which was the only popular 10K in the Omaha Metro.
How many more “races” will Omaha city officials force onto the Keystone Sidewalk? Again, how sad.