This is part two of a five series where I decided to dig a little deeper into what really makes this race a “whale of a time” and one of Nebraska favorite races annually and why Runner’s World named it one of the eight “Stellar St. Patrick’s Day Runs”
The Surprising PR-able 10K Course
This unique course features a variety of terrain and unique landmarks along roads, bike trails, and even a cross country course section.
The reason why so many people PR on this unique course is three fold.
- Overall, the downhills hit you at the right time to run fast
- You’re always getting chased or chasing someone, which keeps you motivated to run as fast as you can.
- The early March weather usually leads to a cool but not cold running day, perfect for racing.
The Course | Mile by Mile
Start to Mile 1: As soon as runners leave the start line, they are greeted by airplanes and hundred foot rockets parked along the course. Mile 1 also includes the famous cross country section connecting Mahoney State Park and the Museum.
Mile 1 to Mile 2: The chaser lane is set up for the first 2 miles to separate the lads from the lasses. Mile 2 features a gradual climb through the park on the main road past the ice rink, horse stables, windmill and theater. Prior to mile 2 runners hit water station number one.
Mile 2 to Mile 3: This mile is all downhill and switches from road to bike trail and portions of pavement turn into wooden bridges. This will likely be your fastest mile of the day.
Mile 3 to Mile 4: Just after mile 3, runners reach water station number two. Overall Mile 4 is a mix of flats and climbs passing more wooden bridges and the mini golf course. Of course this is where the bag pipers from Omaha Pipes & Drums give you that extra motivation.
Mile 4 to Mile 5: Runners will find themselves running more cross country sections and saying “hi” to a giant lion head fountain at the playground. Here, runners hit water station number three and then will be directed back onto the pavement to start the next section. During mile five, the elevation quickly falls making the last .80 miles nearly all downhill.
Mile 5 to Mile 6: Finishing in the last mile is invigorating because of the cross country style terrain. Runners will curve towards a paved straightaway parallel to the museum parking lot ending with a favorite part for most runners, circling around the rocket outside of the museum.
Mile 6 to Finish: As runners get closer to the finish line, behind the museum, they will hear the music and cheers of spectators. Finishing under a green arch is the ultimate ticket to fun at the after party. Hopefully your gender crossed the line first, so you can score a free beer!