In basketball it is the style that favors speed and pace over size and strength. Valley 7 Lakes Marathon’s cap of 500 runners lets me draw parallels. No designs on becoming a mega event. Quality over quantity. An event for dreamers, those that dare accept the challenge of “Running To Your Potential.” Personal bests. Boston qualifiers. Olympic Trials qualifiers.
Our course, “Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World.” The Douglas County Sherriff’s Dept. closing down those roads. In 2002 I sidled up to Ronn Baker, Ron Olsen, Stan Shirk, and Gary Julin, some of Nebraska’s most seasoned runners, at their weekly Panera roundtable. I asked them to describe the “perfect” closed road marathon course in the Omaha Metro . Greeted with guffaws, “What you need is permits!” “It can’t be done!” They need have only lifted their eyes 10 minutes westward. Work on this race has been in earnest for the last 14 months, but it has been 17 years in the making.
The buzz at last night’s Valley/Waterloo Business Association meeting palpable. This community opening its arms, offering its small town charms. No less so the West Omaha Chamber of Commerce. And the Omaha Sports Commission. Bolstering the confidence and energy of our race committee.
Just a little over 60 days until the cannon fires. We still haven’t printed a flyer, haven’t succumbed to the ubiquitous facebook ads. What we do have is word of mouth between serious marathoners and half marathoners across the Midwest and the United States. Anticipating the opportunity to run a Real Road Race.
Look, this sport is for everyone and there is a race for everyone. We are committed to our own niche, content with playing Small Ball Y’all.