Mr. Wilson’s Half Marathon
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:
- 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?