Latest reviews by Michael Mason-D'Croz
This race was the worst. Far and away the worst race experience I have ever had. HITs took over the race for this year and changed everything. The old race went through scenic Omaha and had Omaha's characteristic hills. It was tough and rewarding. However, HITs thought: "let's make more money by making it flat and fast".
How did they accomplish this in Omaha? They did so by having you run an out and back toward North Ormaha (crime capital of the state) next to the Missouri River. The scenery included houses surrounded by barbed wire fences and boarded up windows. It was off-putting at the best. The course was boring and no one was out to support the runners.
The aid stations were ok. They had the water and sports drink you'd want. But that was probably the highlight of the course. That's not saying much.
The swag ... terrible. I showed up to the expo at 4 p.m. and they already had given out all the shirts of the size that I ordered ... they DIDN'T HAVE MY SHIRT! I PAID FOR THAT SHIRT! Instead they only had size Small. The shirts ran small to begin with , so for someone who ordered an XL? Come on. It was a plain white long-sleeve shirt with the HITs logo and the dates of all their races on the back. It was terrible.
Oh ... and want more for terrible? The women were given cotton long sleeve shirts and men drifit. Yup ... different materials for the different sexes. Who thought that was a good idea? I gave my shirt to my wife, and she said "thanks but no thanks." To a free shirt. That's how terrible it was.
The only redeeming part of this race is the medal. The traditional Omaha Marathon glass medal is cool. But is it worth the rest of the crap that this race did? No. I will never run this race again, and I will advise anyone thinking of doing it to avoid the race if possible.
Point blank, IT WAS TERRIBLE.
This race was OK. I was injured while running it, however that wasn't the real reason. Instead, the course the year I ran it left to be desired.
The course in the year I ran started in downtown Minneapolis and then went out towards the river and did an out and back south on the river, then when we got back to the start area, we did another out and back towards the north for the next 6 miles. Overall, this got very taxing. I did not enjoy it as much as other races since.
The aid stations were just fine, one every 1.5 miles or so with water and Powerade. And that kept you going.
Where this race shined was in the swag. The shirt was great -- and if you do the full it is a running jacket! -- and the medal is awesome! A piece of pie with stained glass in the middle of it. It connects with other race medals from the year from this series. That is really the coolest part of the race.
SIDE NOTE: I signed up to do this as my first full marathon in 2014. However, on race day a storm came through with dangerous lightning and hail. So we were stranded at the start line and the race was called off. This left a sour taste in my mouth (although not fully their fault) on this course and race.