I’m going to start featuring times and stories from our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon/Half Marathon virtual runners.  Using a slightly different paradigm than the big box events.  Runners are emailing their results, stories, photos and strava thingys directly to me.  This has created a real connection between us.  I get to learn about what inspires them, what makes them run, what drives them to be their best.  In return I craft personal replies that I hope motivates them to our start line in Valley next April 24th.

We had 375 entrants from 29 states.  Here are a couple stories.

Jane Lanford is shooting for the Sub 4 Hour club in all 50 states (needs just 7 more!).  V7LM was to be her ticket punch for Nebraska.  She wanted to do her virtual race on April 25th, our original date, but had to postpone due to nasty  weather.  Not many windows of opportunity in her home of North Pole, Alaska.  Picked a very windy day with temps in the 40s to run 4:15:58 around Chena Lake Recreation Area.  She reports it was hard to run solo but she will be in Valley next April 24th to notch her belt.  I should have mentioned up front that Jane is 64 years old!  There’s your story!

Darin Smith also had a very inspiring story.  His dream of a Boston qualifier lay before him on 264th St in western Douglas County.  Darin was in frequent contact with the race and asking all the right questions.  He was training hard and knew it would take a personal best sub 3 hours to make Boylston Street.  Had his special fluids planned out, mapped out the course for his support crew, was as ready as he could be.  Undaunted Darin went out and blew his previous 3:10 personal  best by the by.  His shiny new pr is 2:57:40.

These two runners epitomize the dreamers that signed up for Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.  Perfectly illustrate the runners we are trying to reach.  Those that are concerned with performance.  Lifetime and age graded personal bests.  Boston qualifiers.  Serious runners.  The opportunity to “Run To Your Potential!”

I’ll feature more stories as they come in.  And will start compiling the results on the above Valley 7 Lakes Marathon tab.  Thanks for checking in and not for the last time, Giddyup!

Big tip of the sombrero to our Gold Level Sponsor the Omaha Sports Commission.  We’ll have miles 1 through 26 decked out in these sweet flags.  Cannon fires at 6:20 a.m. on April 24th, 2021.