Mr. Wilson’s Half Marathon

April 27, 2010 at 8:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

In a comment, Fletch mentioned that rather than running in the Lincoln Half Marathon—which he missed signing up for because registration filled up so quickly—he might just hit the trails and run 13.1 miles on his own. That made me think to myself, “I wonder if I can put together a nice half marathon course that mostly sticks to the trails?”. And so I did. On my first try I put together what I think is a pretty decent course that measures in at 13.5 miles. I know, I know, that’s 0.4 miles too long. I have two responses to that: suck it up; or find a place to chop off that extra 0.4 (see below for one possibility).

Here is a link to a map of the route, and a quick overview:


An overview:

  • The route starts and ends in the parking lot at the end of South Shore Drive at Holmes Lake.
  • Begin by following the shoreline trail along the south shore, across the bridge, and along the north shore.
  • The first uphill begins after the 1.5 mile mark as you climb up to the end of the dam. It’s followed by a nice decline on the other side of the dam to the 2 mile mark.
  • Follow the bike trail along Antelope Creek. Mile 3 comes just before 48th Street; mile 4 is near Elks Field.
  • Continue until you reach what we used to call the OK Corral on the north side of the zoo. Then hop onto the Rock Island Trail and head south. You’re five miles in.
  • Continue south until Highway 2. Mile six is around Lake Street and mile seven is just past Rousseau Elementary. Turn left onto the Helen Boosalis Trail.
  • Proceed east along Highway 2. The eighth mile is right near the green bench past Runza. Mile nine comes right before you dive under 48th Street.
  • Turn left at 56th Street. This is the only off-trail portion of the course, and it’s also by far the hilliest (but it’s not awful, I promise). Mile 10 comes right at Elkcrest Drive, right before you head uphill toward Pioneers Boulevard. Continue past Pioneers to Prescott Avenue.
  • At some point along 56th Street cross to the east side of the street. You should be able to find a large enough break in traffic that you won’t have to break stride. Turn right at Prescott and go into the neighborhood.
  • Turn left at 58th Street. You’ll see the start of the Holmes Lake dam on your right. Get onto the dam. Mile 11 comes a couple hundred yards onto the dam.
  • Turn right off the dam, but instead of going back down the hill you came up, stay on the trail that roughly follows Normal Boulevard. Mile 12 comes just before you cross North Shore Drive. Stay on the sidewalk until 70th Street.
  • Now turn right onto the trail along 70th Street. Turn right again at North Shore Drive and run on the road until you can get on the trail that takes you across the bridge. Just beyond the bridge lies mile 13.
  • Instead of staying on the trail, get onto South Shore Drive and follow it until you arrive back at the parking lot where you began.

About that extra 0.4 mile. You could just stop running 0.4 mile early. Or you can lop off pretty close to 0.4 mile by turning left at A Street rather than following the bike trail around the zoo.

So what do you think, runners of Lincoln? Any thoughts on this course?

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The Comments

Fletch April 27, 2010 at 9:06pm

Wow! Nicely done. I was thinking I would just strap on my Garmin and run 6.55 miles, then turn around and run back home. But what fun would that be?

jake rhymes with cake April 28, 2010 at 12:08am

i HATE running on pavement, this course would make me miserable. i just recently ran 4.1 miles down the MoPac and i hated my life for all 29 mins of it! LOL! i’ll just run my Pioneers Park training trail twice and that’ll give me 12.4 miles, or 20K. YIPPEE!

Fletch April 28, 2010 at 3:55am

Last year, I had figured out how to run a half by staying on the limestone trail at Holmes. I’d have to double check my Garmin, but I think if you take 4 laps around the lake, and on 3 laps you take the extra half mile path at the south end of the damn back and forth to where it splits from the trail, that should pretty much do it. That would be 3 miles on that part, and 10.1 on the laps around. You might have to run a few yards of a 5th lap to get to exactly 13.1, depending on if you run the inside lane or the outside lane, etc.

Of course, anyone watching may think you’re odd for running laps, but it would work and there would be no pavement.

Mr. T April 28, 2010 at 1:20pm

Fletch which model do you have? And how do you like it? I’ve been looking at the forerunner 205.

Fletch April 28, 2010 at 2:01pm

Mr. T,

I have the 305. I think it’s the same as the 205, but adds the heart rate monitor. Ironically, I don’t use it because it tends to cut my chest for some reason. I have scars from running with it last summer that won’t go away. I need to figure out something I can wrap around it so that doesn’t happen.

I love the Garmin. It really freed up my running routes.

Mr. T April 29, 2010 at 12:53am

Um, that doesn’t sound very pleasant. But I assume you don’t have to wear the heart monitor.

Fletch April 29, 2010 at 12:42pm

No, you don’t have to wear the monitor. I think if you planned to never want to wear one, you’d be fine with the 205.

I bought my 305 at Best Buy last year. Once in a while, they go on sale for $50 off.

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