I’m pretty happy with the 150 or so entries for tomorrow’s Vala’s Monster Dash & Little Goblins Runs.  With four other runs on Saturday and 6 other runs on Sunday its hard to be disappointed.

What I really like is the number of Little Goblins we’ve got signed up.   Linda and I have been committed to the youth of the Omaha Metro for over 8 years now, both in our programs and our events.  Providing either free or low cost opportunities to get the kiddos out from in front of (insert their favorite screen).  At $15 the LGR includes a medal, pumpkin, day pass into the patch and refreshments.

My Good Buddy Tom Whitaker sat with me for 5 hours last night at Peak Performance (Thanks Mike!).  We distributed packets, signed up a few stragglers, and had a jolly good conversation.  He’s always given good counsel (not that I’ve always taken it).  Something of a 180 pound Jiminy Cricket if you will.

Back to the Dash.  I didn’t do a whole lot of advertising or promotion this year.  No flyers at Zorinsky, didn’t stuff a single windshield.   Hoping that the event’s reputation has established itself, and it has.  A Family, Fun, Fitness event.

And we are the USATF Nebraska Assoc. 5K XC Champs.  I had to work hard for that designation believe it or not.  Since founding the LDR program in Nebraska in 2002 I have hosted dozens of assoc. champs.  Dozens.  Building the LDR program one race and one year at a time.  There is a fee for sanctioning ($65), the USATF medals were another $150.  Not that big of a deal but still shows support for OUR program.

For four card carrying USATF members.  Three from Team Nebraska (Doherty, Cross, Stack) , and just this morning I signed up our women’s winner, she runs for NRGE (Heil).  As I told Andrew Jacob of the Lincoln Running Co. Racing team this morning if I thought doing a tap dance would help boost USATF registrations I’d have my shoes on right now.

It is critical to the USATF Nebraska Association that we hold Championship events across as many distances and disciplines as possible.  Roads, Track, Mountain, Ultra, Trails, and Racewalking.  If we do not host a minimum number then we are at risk of losing our accreditation with the National Office. I take this very seriously.   This will be the first year since 2002 that we will not meet the minimum and I’m betting it will be the last.  I have that much confidence in a young man I’ve never met, Michael Rathje.  I believe he will continue to educate himself, listen to the right people, and do the right thing.  The PERFECT place to accomplish this will be Dec. 4-8 in Indianapolis at the USATF Annual Meeting.

What else?  I actually lowered the entry fee.  Last year the entry was $40 early and $45 race day.  This year I kept it at a clean $35 no matter when you enter.  Why would I do that?  Because the arena is getting more competitive.  And because I have always been about showing the runners the Very Best time and the Very Best value for their entry dollars.  Its more about the runners with me, making sure they are shown a good time, that is why no promotion was necessary this year, word is out.  And it doesn’t hurt to have the Omaha Metro’s premier fall attraction as a sponsor.

And all the Good Clean Living I did this year is being rewarded with the Perfect Morning.