The OmaHalf is a unique concept that stays true to its tagline: 13.1 Simplified. By keeping things simple, fun, and the price low, the OmaHalf offers an affordable and fun race experience: sign up. show up. run. The route starts inside Stinson Park, heads south for an out and back …
The OmaHalf is a unique concept that stays true to its tagline: 13.1 Simplified. By keeping things simple, fun, and the price low, the OmaHalf offers an affordable and fun race experience: sign up. show up. run.
The route starts inside Stinson Park, heads south for an out and back on the paved Keystone Trail system.
Per race director Ryan Sutter: ““The #OmaHalf has been a fixture in the running community for 6 years now. We continue to be blown away by the support and enthusiasm the running community has for this race. The name comes from blending Omaha with Half. This event has become Omaha’s Favorite Half Marathon.
We picked Stinson Park at Aksarben Village as the Start/Finish Location. Easy access to the flat and fast West Papio trail system along with the 2,000 parking spots, hotels, restaurants and shops make it the perfect location. Whether you’re a first time runner, or trying to set a new personal best.”
No frills run!
So this is marketed as a no frills run, you get a medal and a shirt, really what else do you need! The run was an out and back along … MORE
So this is marketed as a no frills run, you get a medal and a shirt, really what else do you need! The run was an out and back along their river trail, it was a fairly easy course and the scenery was beautiful.
Bitterly cold and windy!
This race took place on April 16, 2022, and the Omahalf was celebrating its 5th year. I decided I could easily knock out Nebraska this year on my 50 states … MORE
This race took place on April 16, 2022, and the Omahalf was celebrating its 5th year. I decided I could easily knock out Nebraska this year on my 50 states quest, since it was just a three hour drive from me. This particular race, at the time of this writing, is considered a small business, and if you prefer the smaller races to the races that have a more big-city feel with tens of thousands of runners, this might be one to consider.
There were only approximately 800 runners that registered. I am sure as the years continue on and the race gets better and better, it will continue to grow and attract more runners. I did appreciate this being a smaller race, and I was super excited to connect with so many other out of state runners who were also running the 50 states.
The start/finish and venue for packet pick-up were all located in Aksarben Village, and I later learned the fun fact that “Aksarben” is Nebraska spelled backwards. The race organizers included this fun fact in their last email to us that included the race day logistics. Aksarben Village is home to many shops, restaurants, hotels, and of course Stinson Park, where the race started and finished. My favorite thing about this race was that everything was super convenient, in keeping with the race’s motto of “Run simple.”
The temperature that morning was a balmy 28° F with 15 MPH wind, and it was not forecasted to get above 35° F by the time we would be finished with the race. None of us felt prepared, and I myself had been debating shorts or leggings nearly all night long the night before. I was so thankful I decided at the last minute to wear leggings instead of shorts, and even more thankful I also opted for gloves and a fleece ear warming headband.
The race started and finished in Stinson Park at Aksarben Village. This provided easy access to the West Papio trail system, and the course itself was out and back on the Keystone Trail. The course was fairly flat, though my only complaint is that on portions of the trail the sidewalk sloped slightly at a sideways angle for several miles. The slight angle of the sidewalk became more noticeable as I felt a slight pain in my left hip around mile 5, and this may not have been noticeable or bothersome at all to others, however I definitely felt the difference when the sidewalk flattened out and I got relief.
There wasn’t much as far as scenery, it was all unplanted corn fields to one side, and Papio Creek on the other. I could see some industrial development occasionally peeking out on either side, and at one point there was even a glimpse of a neighborhood in the distance. The biggest concern I had was that this course was bitterly cold and windy, and the cross winds on the trail were absolutely brutal after reaching the turnaround point and then running against the wind direction. Although I was wearing a long-sleeve shirt, and high-waisted leggings, I still somehow ended up with gnarly wind burn on my abdomen, and of course my face was red and splotchy from wind burn like I had spent a day at the beach. Wearing sunscreen moisturizer really didn’t do my skin any favors that morning… I would have been better off wearing a balaclava.
Due to the relentless wind (and I do mean it didn’t stop, not even for a second), my time slowed considerably after the turnaround point. Prior to the turnaround, I was set to finish in what I thought would be a PR, but that all went out the window as I fought the arctic blast.
I have to give every single volunteer a lot of credit, since they were out there freezing with us. Whenever we passed an aid station, volunteers were bundled in blankets and fleeces, and they might have even been colder than we were, since we were constantly moving and they were stationary in one spot. So thank you to the volunteers for braving the arctic weather with us.
Overall, this was a good race to check off Nebraska on my list in that everyone was super accommodating and kind, and the race was pretty well organized. I just hated the fact that Mother Nature wasn’t very accommodating. I’d like to do another Nebraska race again at some point… but if you’ve spent any time in the Midwest at all, you’d know the good weather is really the 15 minutes between winter and summer, and you never know what you’re going to get.
Small, well run event
Smaller event, I didn't have a problem finding parking but I got there early. The course is an out and back type so even though the course isn't super exciting … MORE
Smaller event, I didn’t have a problem finding parking but I got there early. The course is an out and back type so even though the course isn’t super exciting you see enough other runners.