Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Omaha Marathon ~ Race Ratings (NE~40)

Tag line: "Don't forget your wings... you'll fly through this course!!!"

Omaha Marathon ~ September 26, 2010
Omaha, NE ~ Downtown/Lewis and Clark Landing
Type: 100% Pavement
Year Running: 35th!
Registration Fee: $70-$80 Early ($90-$100 late)
Charity Race? Yes... Many, linked here
Runners:  608, 208 Females... where all the girls at??
Available Races: Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K
Average Finish Time: 4:22:29 (Note: in prior years the avg time was lower... this was a 50-stater reunion year, so that might be altering the avg time)
BQ %: 14.97

Overall Race Ratings: 4.4/5.0

Average Calculated Rating: 4.3/5.0
~  This is a great race that is easy to get to and has an amazingly fast course! The organization is great with more than enough water stops, a free pasta dinner, and great support along the course. 

Race Director: Let's play race director...
~ This race organization can use just a little help. First the halfies and 10K runners need to wear bibs on their backs indicating what race they're in so we're not racing people running much shorter. If possible add 1 or 2 more GU stops along the course-- or at least have it available for purchase at the expo (possibly even in multiple flavors). Post-race food could use a little help but they have the basics you need and the medals (albeit unique) can use a lot of help! 

Event Organization: 4.5/5.0 (now broken into 2 parts, see below as well) As far as "event organization" we'll include things like Host hotel, website use, ease of travel to the event and to the actual race, etc.
Distance from Airport to Expo/Race: ~ 10miles
Rental Car Required: No... Shuttles are available
~ The website is pretty functional (albeit, you need to click through to find what you're looking for). But no worries... they send you a pre-race packet full of information on the race and Omaha weeks before the race. Travel to this race is a breeze. There is a major airport available and it's less than 10 miles from the start/finish/expo/host hotel. Getting to the race, there is a little traffic congestion with all 3 races going at once, but it moved really quickly. There is lots of parking available. 

There is also a FREE pasta dinner to all runners, at which Jeff Galloway was the guest speaker. The pasta was, well... pretty terrible, but hey! it was free and it was right at the packet pickup, so I can't complain. 

Also, their tracking system displays some pretty swanky results. They use MTec Results, which gives not only your time, but your place at the various points that they have check mats down. I thought that was really cool and different. Here is an example... My Results. It tells you how many runners you passed and that passed you as well. 

Race Organization: 3.8/5.0
Hydration Color/Type: Gatorade/Yellow
~ There were aid stations at LEAST every 2 miles... sometimes more. This was really good b/c race morning I realized that I forgot my water bottle I carry. Woopsie. 
Gel Type/Flavors/Availability:  GU/Various ~ Only available at mile 18!!!! BYOG! Bring your own GU. 
~Post Race Food: .The post race food was pretty basic... bagels, juices, etc. They DID add some chocolate milk as well as soup... which was good for the colder morning we were experiencing. 

~ It would have been nice to have more GU stations. I saw on the map that they only listed the 1 point at mile 18, but I thought "that can't be right... there has to be more." Besides that I was pretty happy. Port-a-johns were available when/wherever you needed them. Also, there were a couple points on the course with bands or a guy with an amp and a guitar. 

Let's talk multiple races! The marathon, half, and 10K all go off at once... this actually turned out to be much less congested than I thought, and it was nice to have their fast paces to push us. However, once again, the other races were not made to wear "Half" or "10K" on their backs, which is nice for racing purposes. I had no idea how I was placing until the marathoners were alone and there was a volunteer who let me know... by then it was too late to make any significant moves. 

I was pretty happy with the mile markers... but the course was definitely LONG so as we went along the mile markers seemed to stretch a 0.01 longer each mile. There are NO clocks available anywhere on the course. 

Course: 5.0/5.0
~MarathonGuide Rating...3.5

Garmin Distance: 26.32
Type: Pavement- City road
~ Elevation Gain/Loss
~ This course is FAST! Everybody I know (as long as they were feeling well) got a PR! Even with the mass of 50-staters running this race, the avg time was still one of the fastest I've seen this year. The course is set up for a perfect race! It starts out flat with a lot of quick turns. Between being caught up with the 10K'ers and all the turns you'll have to keep pulling yourself back. When you're good and warmed up and we've ditched the 10K runners, you start on the hills. From mile 6 to about mile 13 we have a series of LARGE hills, however they run in peaks and valleys. So if you can push yourself up a pretty long steep hill, you can rest as you coast right back down it on the other side. And you will push yourself because the halfies are heading toward their finish and picking up the pace... you're sure to get caught up. The end of the race is flat to a low-grade downhill with more quick turns for great racing. I'm definitely glad they changed the course around because this is an awesomely fast course! 

Scenery? If you're out for the sights you get a very quiet city type of a feel. The beginning is in the outskirts of downtown and the bulk wraps around huge ball fields, arenas, a zoo, etc. 

Spectators: 3.8/5.0
~ I was surprised there were so many spectators out there. At least once a mile you got a good section of people until about the last 3-4 miles. From what I've read that's better than most others. 

 Pace Group: 5.0/5.0
~ There were pace groups from 3:00 to 4:30 every 15 minutes. I had the opportunity to start with the 3:30's but I went ahead and ran a very consistent race so I wasn't able to see too many others. On the small turnarounds I was able to see a few pacers and they seemed pretty well on pace. The 3:30 pace leaders had a lot of information to share at the start which I found really helpful... he let us know that after mile 13 you're done with the big hills... that gave me a lot of confidence in my race. 

Runner/Corrals: 4.8/5.0
MB, Me and Dave Mari (Maniacs!!!)
~ There were no corrals and even with the large number of runners at the start (Full, half, and 10K runners) it never felt overly congested. The runners were VERY nice... esp all the maniacs I found. It was also a 50-state marathoner reunion so there were tons of maniac and 50-staters. I also found it nice to have the halfies run so much of the race with us as it really helped to push the pace! 

Expo: 3.8/5.0
My Omaha Shirt!
~ There was a small expo with just a few tables. I did find it nice that there was so much Omaha Marathon gear available for sale and their stuff was awesome. I even bought the yellow shirt in the picture. They had a few running groups tables (like the 50-staters) as well as a place to pick up discount shoes/clothes/etc. I was a little disappointed that they only had 1 pack of GU left and only in chocolate :(

Swag: 3.6/5.0
~T-Shirts: The T-shirts were very nice long sleeve green tech T's with the Omaha logo on the front and Omaha Marathon on the back. They are super comfortable-- light but still soft. My only issue? The smalls run very large and even though I ordered an XS, they ran out and didn't set them aside for the people that ordered them :( 4.2

Official Shirt Front
Official Shirt Back

~Medals: The medal was very similar to Erie's-- round and made of glass, however they shot various colors into the mold, making each medal unique (cool) but also very hard to read (uncool). The good part was that if you didn't like the medals give to you (by marines by the way) then you could go back and pick out a color you like. 2.8

~ Goodie Bag: The bag came with a packet full of area information and discounts. It also came with samples of Omaha made popcorn as well as some joint juice type stuff. +0.1

Results: Stephanie
Chip Time: 3:24:01
Place: Overall- 68/608, Gender- 6/208, A/G (F25-29)- 1/35


  1. Thanks for all the info you put in your race report, it makes it easy to list to do races.

    I do have a qyestion, what do you do for recovery since you are running so many races? Thanks

  2. You make me want to do (and PR!) at this race. Awesome results, congrats!

  3. sounds like a good race! That's probably the one I'll hit up for my Nebraska race too :D