Midwest fall marathons by the numbers. The 2 biggies, Twin Cities Marathon this coming Sunday and Chicago Marathon Oct. 8th.  The others, all regionally local and hosted by similar size cities.  Numbers range from the burgeoning to the anemic.  How do these Midwest cities manage to host higher participation?  How do these cities create and manage Signature Events that become part of the fabric and attract runners?  First and foremost it is strong leadership within their running communities.  People in positions of power that are able to interact and influence civic leadership, those in their communities that make Real decisions.  Usually starts with the Governor and or Mayor.   What is their vision for their community?  Most of these leaders are dynamic and open to new ideas.    To grow their events.  To showcase and highlight their cities.  What do they do that we don’t?   For starters they are more inclusive.  Supporting USATF as  well as RRCA.  Understanding the importance of including the Front of the pack as well as the middle and rear.   Has to be both, has to be all.

Ask yourself.  Why is the Omaha marathon market so fractured to begin with.  You know my answer.

Moline Illinois, population 42,250- Quad Cities total 383,681 (September 24, 2017)
Quad Cities Marathon.  399 finishers.  163 females, 236 males.  Avg time 4:53:45
Half Marathon.  1770 finishers.  1076 females, 694 males.  Avg time 2:28:22
5K.  1097 finishers.  705 females, 392 males.  Avg time  40:09

Des Moines Iowa, population 215, 472 (Des Moines Marathon, October 15, 2017)
2016 Des Moines Marathon.  1373 finishers.  566 females.  807 males.  Avg time 4:10:13
Half Marathon.  4360 finishers.  2727 females, 1633 males.  Avg time 2:21:22
5 Mile.  530 finishers.  335 females, 195 males.  Avg time 53:01
5K.  829 finishers.  514 females, 315 males.  Avg time 35:52

Kansas City Missouri, population 481,420 (October 21, 2017)
2016 Kansas City Waddell & Reed Marathon.  1249 finishers, 477 females, 772 males.  Avg time 4:37:56
Half Marathon.  4170 finishers.  2429 females, 1741 males.  Avg time 2:42:42
5K.  937 finishers.  554 females, 383 males.  Avg time 35:48

Omaha Nebraska, population 446,970
2017 HITS Omaha Marathon, September 17
Full- 275 finishers
Half Marathon.  704 finishers
10K.  121 finishers
5K.  236 finishers

2017 Heartland Marathon, September 24
98 finishers.  35 females, 63 males.  Avg time 4:48:20
Half Marathon.  262 finishers.  146 females.  116 males.  Avg time 2:20:52
10K.  103 finishers. 59 females, 44 males.  Avg time  1:07:18

Nebraska Marathon, (October 15, 2017)
2016 Full.  113 finishers.
Half Marathon.  570
5K.  179