I’ve felt “off” on my schedule all week thanks to the holiday weekend, so of course we’re doing Tuesdays on the Run on Thursday, right? Right. We’re all flexible here. 🙂 This week, everyone has been discussing favorite races close to home and the Boys Town Memorial Run definitely fits that for my family. I highly recommend it if you’re in Omaha for Memorial Day weekend!
This was Oliver’s very first race a few years ago (race report here) and he and I have both run this weekend together for the last 3 years. It’s a great family event, so there’s always a lot for Darrell and Oliver to do (face painting, balloon animals, snacks, dancers, meeting Batman!) while I do my run and while we’re waiting between races. The morning starts with a 400 meter kids race, which O rocked this year! He ran the whole thing and ran it hard! There were places he was moving so fast between people that it was hard for me to keep up. This kids race is absolutely my favorite part of this event. The crowds are so supportive, packing the finishing area to cheer the kids along. I love how much fun Oliver has and how proud he is of himself. 🙂 The kids get a ribbon and a bottle of water at the end, both of which make O feel like such a big kid.
Wow he’s gotten so much bigger than he was the first we did this!
After the 400 meter, there is a 1 mile run. We haven’t done this yet, but next year O is going to step up to this event so I’ll be sure to update you then. The 400 meter is a flat little course through campus, but I suspect the mile will be hillier.
Speaking of hills, there’s the 5 mile race. Holy cow is it hilly! You’re almost constantly going up or down hill – there’s very little flat land. There are always big stretches without shade, which can be brutal at the end of May.
Despite that, I always enjoy this run. There are water stations staffed by lots of kids. There are people cheering in several places through the course, but especially along the finish (even at later times in the race when I finish!). There are lots of families out together running, walking and strollering on the course, as well as on the sidelines. The participants range from speedy types to walkers, so you don’t feel out of place no matter where you are. This year, I had a great time cheering and coaxing a couple of pre-teens along with me in the last mile (which includes a nasty subtle uphill stretch). It’s worth it for the finish line and all of the people waiting for you there.
My houseguests for the weekend all ran the races with us and can attest to a) the difficulties of the hills but b) how much the fun of the whole event makes it all worth it. Definitely check it out (and look me up!) if you’re in Omaha on Memorial Day weekend!
What’s your favorite local race?
PS #2: My time this year was 62 minutes, which was faster than I was expecting given how much slower my Papillion Half Marathon was than I was expecting! It was a little slower than last year, but not the 65-70 minutes I was expecting with the hills and heat.