Having a race in November in Nebraska can be a real crap shoot. But this year, there was some spectacular weather. Sunny, no wind and temps in the high 40s or low 50s. A Top 20 day for running this year. This race is one of my favorite races offered in the area. It's a good one, and well worth a look.
They offer two races, the Saturday Half Marathon and the Sunday 4(ish) miler. Both are run on the same course. The Half Marathon is three loops around the 4-plus-mile loop. The Sunday race is just one loop on it.
Price. If you sign up early it's $45 for the 4M, $55 for the HM, and the prices go up to $60 (4M) or $70 (HM) in late registration. There is also a challenge available called the Squatchy where you run the HM on Saturday and the 4M on Sunday.
The Course. The loop is located at the Quarry Oaks Golf Course just south of Ashland, Nebraska. This course is built next to the Platte River and includes the steep and long hills of the bluffs next to the river. Running on some fairways, some woods and a stream crossing as to boot. However, this year there was almost no water in the stream.
Overall, there was about 575 feet of vertical gain in the 4 miles. That can add up quickly if you're not used to trails like that.
The aid station. There was one aid station available, about 2 miles into the loop. This station only had water, but it was only a 4-mile loop. So, that isn't too bad.
The swag. A nice long-sleeve Brooks running shirt -- which runs small -- and a bottle opener medal at the end. Overall, the swag is appropriate for the type of race you're running.
The expo/party. The packet pick up was just a quick one at a grocery store, no big deal. However, the after party is great. There was chili and bagels for all runners -- and you can buy a guest pass for the food. But the highlight is beer. There is a beer truck and they just keep pouring. If you want to hang out, there is beer to drink, chili to eat and a dance party after the awards. The atmosphere is fun and people are playing games and hanging out. It is a good time.
Overall. It's definitely worth a look.