Valley O.NE Marathon kicks off after delays and postponement

Published: Apr. 24, 2021 at 1:39 PM CDT
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VALLEY, Neb. (WOWT) - After two years of delays and postponement, the inaugural Valley O.NE Marathon finally hit the ground running this morning.

The streets of Valley were filled with excited runners and their fans as the flattest closed course marathon in the country kicked off.

”We were over 400 runners this year but the amazing part was our runners came from over 36 states and seven countries,” said Josh Todd, Executive Director of Omaha Sports Commission.

Todd believes the open country road and terrain made the inaugural Valley O.NE Marathon desirable for many runners.

“We have the third flattest course in the world, we’re going to get elite runners from all over the world every single year,” said Todd.

While things went off without a hitch today, the race itself has hit a few speed bumps before the starting gun.

“2019 the flood, canceled the race. 2020 obviously COVID, we couldn’t pull the race off. So now this year to actually have it and caliber of athletes and local athletes come out here and do this has been an amazing feeling,” said Todd.

The race drew quite the crowd, even runners competing in the Tokyo Olympics made their way through the closed course cheered on by the spectators and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.

“The top nine women, all-time half marathon times were today on Nebraska soil. The top finishing male, the fastest time ever in Nebraska. So the times have been amazing. It’s really a testament to all of the dedication with the city of Valley, with run guru, with the Omaha Sports Commission,” said Todd.

While this year’s race was smaller by many standards, Todd hopes to see it grow each year that follows.

There were COVID precautions in place, runners had to put their masks back on when they finished and there was a pre-race temperature check.

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