Competition is good for our sport.  I was giddy reading last Friday’s Omaha World Herald touting Lincoln’s 40 Elites!

As is common with most races, a little pre race hype.  As it turned out it was 3 African athletes.

Winners Dominic Korir (1:03:45) and Iveen Chepkemoi (1:11:41) were brought in to reclaim the Nebraska state soil records lost to Valley O.NE Half just a week before.  My old buddy and 4 time Olympic Marathon Trials qualifier Patrick Rizzo was even brought in to pace Iveen’s effort to take down Stephanie Bruce‘s 1:09:55 from 8 days previous.   Pasca Myers (1:14:38), Grace Njeri (1:15:53), Erin Edminister (1:20:27) and Megan Smith (1:21:45) rounding out the top 5.    Chepkemoi’s time would have placed her a very solid 4th at Valley O.NE. 

Dominic needed no company.  His solo effort yielding the “W” by almost 4 minutes.  Bake Whalen (1:07:12), John Cleary (1st Nebraskan, 1:08:09), Brian Kemei (1:08:26), and Mason Frank (1:08:40) rounded out the top 5.  Korir’s time moves to the top of the Nebraska soil records list.  The remainder of the Lincoln Men’s half time’s just outside the top 10 at Valley O.NE.

I immediately reached out to HOKA NAZ Elite’s Ben Rosario and Rory Linkletter to let them know what went down.  Linkletter congratulated Korir and is looking foward to lowering the mark April 30, 2022.  Maybe even a little head to head to make things interesting?

In the Full, it was heads or tails!  The mirror opposite of Valley O.NE’s wind conditions the athletes enjoyed a 20+ mph tailwind on their way back to the finish.  If you don’t like the wind in Nebraska, wait a minute and it will change.

The Men’s full was won by Kenyan Alex Ekesa (2:28:16).  Former Omahan Peter Falcon (2:29:07) and Omahan Brett Rosauer (2:29:39) rounding out the top 3.

In the women’s full there were no finishers under 3 hours.  Amy Delong (3:01:36), Kristyn Roth (3:05:12), Brett Nickisch (3:07:30).

In the full there were 725 finishers with 482 men making up 66% of the field.  *70% at Valley O.NE    Average finish time in the full was 4:13:04.  **Avg time 3:37 at Valley O.NE.  In the half, there was a nearly 50/50 split (1403 men, 1407 women).  Average time in the half was 2:21:07.  **Avg time 1:54:57 at Valley O.NE.  

I touted Valley O.NE’s  male/female participation ratios  as being absolutely unique, but this is the tip of something much bigger in our sport.  More men are marathoning and more women are dropping down.  A very curious trend that I’ll be keeping an eye on.

Bottom line.  I’m glad Lincoln made a strong effort to be competitive with Valley O.NE, if only in the half marathon this time.

Not for the last time, Giddyup!