Two new long-distance races in the Omaha area may have to reconsider routes after courses were impacted by flooding.
The Bellevue race, which includes a half-marathon and a 5K, is set to start and finish in Haworth Park. It also would take runners through neighboring American Heroes Park.
Both of the Bellevue parks have been impacted by floodwaters.
Water is starting to recede, but officials don’t know when the parks will be accessible, said community relations manager Phil Davidson. It will take time to assess the damage and start cleanup efforts.
Race director Joe Ramos said he has backup plans in case the Bellevue parks are still inaccessible by race day.
Either way, the race will happen, he said.
“We’re trying to press with that (original course). It’s going to ultimately boil down to conditions,” Ramos said.
The original course has runners starting in Haworth Park. From there, they’ll head to American Heroes Park and into Olde Towne Bellevue. Half-marathon runners will head out on the Keystone Trail before finishing in Haworth.
Backup course options include taking runners through Olde Towne or taking runners on the trails around the Twin Creek area in Bellevue. Those plans would need to be approved by the police department, Ramos said.
Organizers wanted the event to highlight the Bellevue community.
The races will be capped at 300 runners total. So far, about 150 have registered. About 40 percent of those participants are signed up for the half-marathon, with the rest registered for the 5K, Ramos said.
Also debuting on April 27 — one week before the Lincoln Marathon — is the Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.
Valley also experienced extensive flood damage. Organizers have yet to make a call on the race status, but people can find updates at valley7lakesmarathon.com or on the event’s Facebook page.
Roads along the course could potentially be cleared in time, but it’s too early to give an answer, said Leia Baez, public information officer for Douglas County. Roads crews are removing debris and are trying to determine if the roads are safe. Baez said they’ll likely know more within a week.
Race director Will Lindgren wants the community to use the marathon as a rally to show they’re not “throwing in the towel.”
“It becomes even more important to us especially, because we’ve lost everything,” Lindgren said.
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The Elkhorn River at the Maple Street bridge is shown under water Monday March 18, 2019.
Floodwaters from the Elkhorn River have gone down and now expose a heavily damaged West Dodge Road.
Floodwaters from the Elkhorn River have started to recede, exposing a heavily damaged West Dodge Road.
The eastbound lanes of West Dodge Road just west of 228th Street show the damage done after floodwaters went down Monday.
A cow makes its way through floodwaters near Columbus, Nebraska, on Friday.
A shell of the Spencer dam is left on the Niobrara River.
Floodwaters engulf a farm near Missouri Valley on Friday.
Floodwaters flow over a railroad bridge near Arlington, Nebraska, on Friday.
Floodwaters make their way into North Bend, Nebraska, on Friday.
The Elkhorn River encroaches on Waterloo on Sunday.
A portion of Highway 92 has been destroyed by floodwaters in western Douglas County.
The Elkhorn River has covered several parts of western Douglas County.
A levee breach is shown on the Platte River near Ashland on Sunday.
Valley is shown inundated by floodwaters on Sunday.
An aerial view of Missouri Valley near the Interstate 29 exit on March 15.
An aerial view of Missouri Valley as floodwaters continue to impact the area on Friday.
A house is surrounded by floodwaters near Waterloo, Nebraska, on Friday.
Floodwaters envelop King Lake, Nebraska, on Friday.
Floodwaters swallow the town of Rogers, Nebraska, on Friday.
Water recedes in the town of Niobrara NE., on Friday March 15, 2019. The highway showing is Hwy 12 and Hwy 14 Junction.
The Morman bridge on Highway 12 between Niobrara and Niobrara State Park was wiped out by a flood.
A train is stopped on flooded tracks next to the Platte River near Cedar Creek, Nebraska, on Friday.
Interstate 29 surrounded by water near exit 56 in Council Bluffs, which is part of a section that is closed due to flooding on Friday.
Highway 75's northbound lane is closed because of flooding near Merritt's Beach RV Park on Friday.
A Nebraska National Guard helicopter flies over areas flooded by the Platte River near Columbus, Nebraska, on Friday.
Highway 81 covered in floodwaters south of Columbus, Nebraska, on Friday.
A Nebraska National Guard helicopter flies over flooded Waterloo on Friday.
Cars drive drive across a flooded Platte River on Highway 50 just north of Louisville on Friday, March 15, 2019. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
Water covers a road near Valley, Nebraska on Friday, March 15, 2019. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
A westward, aerial view of a flooded Tom Hanafan River's Edge Park on Friday.
An aerial view of Missouri Valley, Iowa, as floodwaters continue to impact the area on Friday.
The National Weather Service in Valley, Nebraska was evacuated due to flooding on Friday, March 15, 2019. CHRIS MACHIAN/THE WORLD-HERALD
A truck drives through a flooded road near the Platte River on Friday.