With the threat of flooding looming, runners should prepare for an alternate race course at this Sunday’s Heartland Marathon.
The race was initially set to start at Lewis & Clark Landing, taking runners past the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium, across Veterans Memorial Bridge and into Iowa. Trails would take them along the riverfront trail to return to the finish line.
But the portion of trails runners would use are expected to be underwater.
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Now runners will start at Lewis & Clark Landing, heading north toward the River City Star. Then they’ll turn back south, cross the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge and head north before returning to the start. The new route does not take runners by the zoo or over the Veterans Memorial Bridge. 10K runners will tackle the loop once. Half-marathoners will run the course twice, and full marathoners will run it four times.
“Under the circumstances, we think it’s a good option,” said race director Tom Whitaker. “Four loops is not necessarily ideal, but four trips across the Bob isn’t all that bad.”
The race, in its fifth year, is expected to draw about 700 runners.
Organizers ran into a course snag in the race’s first year, too. That year, the course was denied weeks before the race because police didn’t have the manpower to staff the route. Instead of taking runners from Aksarben Village to downtown, the inaugural event was hosted on the Keystone Trail.
Organizers of the Nebraska Marathon, which is Sept. 29, are also preparing alternate routes, but changes have not been finalized.
The routes take runners along a riverfront trail on the Iowa side of the Missouri River. Organizers are looking at options on both sides of the river and communicating with city officials.
“We are in back-up plan mode right now,” said race co-director Joe Sutter. “We’ll be out there looking at other options to get the mileage in.”
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Float spas, where users are suspended in a salty bath, started popping up in Omaha in 2016. Spa-goers enter a private float tank nearly double the size of a bathtub. Hundreds of pounds of Epsom salt have been dissolved in the shallow pool of water so people float on top. Proponents say floating reduces muscle and joint pain, shortens recovery time from athletic training or injuries, relieves stress and increases creativity. Click here to read a World-Herald story on float spas.
If you've been dreaming of dribbling a soccer ball while encased in a plastic bubble, you're in luck. That trend made its way to Omaha in 2015. The game can be tough — experienced players tumble right alongside first-timers. Click here to read a World-Herald story on bubble soccer.
Local yogis can find their flow among a tribe of baby goats. Two dairies in Honey Creek, Iowa, started offering the classes in 2018. The goat yoga trend started in Oregon in 2016 and has since swept most of the country. The wandering goats add some levity to yoga, known for improving flexibility and decreasing stress. Click here to read a previous World-Herald story on goat yoga.
Kickball isn't just for kids. Adult kickball leagues have joined the mix of recreational sports in Omaha, much like sand volleyball and softball. The sport gets players moving, but it doesn't feel like a grueling workout. Some kickballers called it "exercise in disguise." Click here to read a World-Herald story on kickball.
Ballet-inspired workouts made their way to the Omaha area back in 2014. The city is home to handful of studios purely devoted to the workouts, which combine yoga, Pilates and ballet movements performed on a dance barre. Some local gyms and fitness studios offer the classes, too. Instructors said the classes are fun and motivating. Click here to read a World-Herald story on barre.
Rowing isn't new, but it's made a splash on the local fitness scene. The exercise machines had fallen out of favor thanks to treadmills, weight rooms and group exercise classes. But they've been reintroduced through fitness trends like CrossFit and Orangetheory. At least two local studios have debuted classes built around the machines. Click here to read a World-Herald story on rowing.
Participants — wearing minimal clothing — stand in a chamber that looks like an aluminum can and grows colder over two to three minutes using liquid nitrogen. The temperature drops to between negative 200 and 240 degrees. Proponents say the high-tech ice baths reduce inflammation, relieve pain, prevent injury, increase energy and speed healing. The practice also has been credited for cosmetic benefits. But some medical professionals are skeptical. Click here to read a World-Herald story on cryotherapy.
Exercisers bask in glowing orange lights and blaring upbeat music at Orangetheory Fitness. The metro area now is home to a handful of the studios, which got their start in Florida in 2009. During the classes, a trainer leads people through a circuit-style workout that rotates between treadmills, rowing machines and a strength area with free weights. Members wear heart rate monitors to track their efforts during a workout. Click here to read a World-Herald story on Orangetheory Fitness.
Pound classes debuted in Omaha in 2015. The classes are a full-body strength and cardio workout that simulates drumming. Exercisers pound the drumsticks in the air, against each other and on the ground while performing strength exercises like squats and lunges. Click here to read a World-Herald story on Pound.
Aerial yoga blends yoga poses with acrobatics. Yogis practice in hammocks, flipping upside-down. It incorporates stretching and strength exercises, cardio and meditation. Instructors say the class is good for the spine, alleviating pressure — although there are some risks, and the class isn't for everyone. Click here to read a World-Herald story on aerial yoga.
Heart rate monitors are a standard part of curriculum for some metro high school students. They've also made an appearance in several boutique gyms. Teachers at Mercy High School said wearing the monitors prep students for a lifetime of fitness. Click here to read a World-Herald story on the monitors.