Oh! What a city. The Omaha Marathon Report!

on my way to Omaha...
Dear Friends, Family and Neighbors-

Just back from Omaha (15th state, 10th marathon in 2010 and 24th marathon overall).  Feeling great and looking forward to running in Hartford, CT in two weeks!

Omaha (founded in 1854) is in the heart of the midwest.  Lewis and Clark trekked though there (1804) on their westward quest to the Pacific ocean.  Originally populated by three Indian tribes (Pawnee, Otoe and Sioux), Omaha soon saw Mormons (great Mormon migration) and pioneers, and, later, laborers and meatpackers.  The construction of the transcontinental railroad started (1863) and the mighty Union Pacific Railroad was born.

Omaha is the birthplace of Malcolm X and the home to five Fortune 500 companies (Berkshire Hathaway, Con Agra Foods, Union Pacific Railroad, Peter Kiewit Sons and Mutual of Omaha); it was an interesting place to visit.

And so, without further ado...

The Good

  • Walkability.  A Distinct Downtown District with Sculptures and Parks.

Pedestrian Mall though downtown
one of a series of commemorative wagon train sculptures...
stampeding bronze bison

  • The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge: a cabled bridge spanning the mighty Missouri River that connects Nebraska with Iowa.  Cool!

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

looking back into Nebraska...

State Line

  • Small-town feel.  While there, the River City Rodeo was at the Quest Center, the Cornhuskers were playing Oklahoma State and the Heritage Day Parade marched though the downtown.

some Husker Fans...

Heritage Day horsemen and... 
covered wagons...

and some really adorable kids.

  • Corn-fed Omaha Steak.  I hate to admit, as I am a grass-fed proponent, that this was the BEST steak I have EVER eaten.  Period.

  • Meeting up with Fran and Jerry.  Fran is the mom of a running friend of mine; Fran just completed a marathon in all 50 states.  Congratulations Fran!  And... Jerry and I know each other from the Easter Island, Chile and The Outback, Australia marathons.  He's also running in Hartford, CT in 8 days.  See you there, Jerry!

*Fran and I have been following each others' progress and met for the first time in Omaha at the 50 States Club quarterly reunion.
Race Start

The Bad
*glad to be able to deliver to those waiting for some bad as
I've been getting some questions about the soundness of my reporting :)

  • The Marathon.  I either picked up the cold floating around home, or caught one on the plane, but every step was a uninspiring struggle (along concrete roads and through industrial areas, twice), complete with cold sweat, towards the finish line.  I did get tons of compliments on the run-wear, however.  Glad I had something going for me! Lululemon, of course...

holding up my medal at Lewis and Clark Landing
*individually-crafted glass metal - cool...

The Important (as there was no Ugly, thankfully!)

  • Sometimes I think it  'all gets lost' as to why I'm doing what I'm doing (running a marathon in all the states, in all the continents, all 5 marathon majors -- one marathon a month, and paying my own way -- to raise money for those in Alexandria who need it far more than most of us do) as it becomes something that's considered "oh, that's just what Brooke does..."  It's cool to follow.  It's interesting to read her write-ups (I hope) but (and sorry for the bluntness) maybe you're thinking"why should I care?" or "what difference can I make?"
  • Let me tell you...  The at-risk get lost, overlooked and forgotten.  People or areas that we drive by, think little about, and go on with our day.  These are real people.  People who need assistance (read the Washington Post this week?).  Let me tell you that no donation, or purchase at one of my shop-parties, is too big or too small.  Every bit adds up.  Through my sacrifices, I hope to inspire you to give.  And remember, it's 100% tax-deductible.  ACT for Alexandria -- my 501 (c)(3) umbrella organization -- will send a receipt for your tax purposes.
  • So far this year, I have left my family, or most of my family, once a month (sometimes for 10 days or more).  I have flown over 95,000 miles (thanks United), have bought over 8 pairs of shoes (thanks Mizuno and Pacers), run 10 marathons and eaten marginal, airport-like food on more occasions than I care to remember.  Don't get me wrong,  I'm having a great time.  I feel complete and honored to run and to give back.  But the sacrifices are real.
  • How can you help?  Click here to donate (*remember to put The RunningBrooke Fund in the Comment Box),  attend RunningBrooke events, or become a RunningBrooke Sponsor (Alexandria businesses who have committed to giving 1,000K a year for the next 5 years to the RunningBrooke Fund).  Thanks, it will make a huge difference to the life of a child and family.  
  • Let me do all the running and hard work!

Read this success story from one of my 2010 beneficiaries, Community Lodgings.  It shows what we can do together!

In November 2008, B.T. and his fiancĂ©e L.T. were living in a basement in the city of Alexandria. They had a premature 2 month old infant who required intensive monitoring and were being evicted from their basement housing. They were homeless when they were admitted into Community Lodgings’ transitional housing program. B.T. was working as a custodian in DC Public schools. B.T. and L.T. worked and complied with all aspects of the program. B.T. had a son from a previous relationship for which he sought and received full custody because he had been stabilized through our program. Eventually, L.T. became uncommitted to the program and B.T. was supportive in her decision to take their infant return to her family. In March 2009, B.T. was caught in the DC Public Schools reorganization and lost his job; CLI assisted him in obtaining another custodial job at a local private school. Although he did well there, B.T. had a dream to become a security guard or police officer. In April 2009, Community Lodgings paid for him to enroll in the Alliance Criminal Justice Academy where B.T. took courses to become a licensed armed guard. Upon graduation from the Academy, he moved into a full time security job where he has progressed steadily; increasing his earnings from $1700 to $2300 /month in less than a year. In November 2010 he will graduate from the two year transitional housing program and he and his son will be moving into their own apartment, totally independent and self-sustaining.

these are not actors and this scene is not staged...

    Phew, you made it to the end! Did you see the recent Alexandria Gazette article? It's the write-up about the Inaugural Woodrow Wilson half-marathon. Great race and great pictures (I'm in a few)... Off to Hartford, CT for the October 9th marathon. Cheers, it is a beautiful day for a run!


    Inaugural Race 'Exceeded Expectations'

    A quick hello before heading off to Omaha for the marathon on Sunday. Marathon #10 in 2010 for the kids and homeless in Alexandria!

    Great race, great course. If you didn't run it this year, make sure it is on your list for next!

    Inaugural Race 'Exceeded Expectations'

    RunningBrooke and Kiskadee Boutique


    Just voted one of the best in Del Ray by Washingtonian magazine,Kiskadee Boutique is opening its doors for the RunningBrooke Fund.

    Stop, Shop and Socialize, and 20% of your purchase will go to needy Alexandrians.  

    Women's Apparel and Accessories... Jewelry... Men's shirts, ties and belts... Gifts for all occasions... Home, Garden and Gourmet... Kids and Babies...
    Super cute, Super fun and for a Super good cause...

    (plus some wine and cheese) 

    Kiskadee Boutique in Del Ray
    2205 Mt. Vernon Avenue
    Alexandria, VA 22301

    Tuesday, September 14th, 2010
    5:30 - 7:30 P.M.


    See you there!