Runners can officially add the Lincoln Marathon to their race calendars.
Registration for the event, which includes a full and a half-marathon, opened Saturday. The Lincoln Marathon, in its 43rd year, is May 3.
The race is capped at 12,000 runners, race director Nancy Sutton said. Last year’s race, which had the same cap, drew about 10,000 runners. In previous years, the race was capped at 13,500 runners and sold out, sometimes within a day.
Sutton attributes the dip in numbers to runners having more race options from which to choose. But organizers are happy with the numbers they’re getting.
“We’d like to draw more, but this is a good number for us,” Sutton said.
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The races start on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus and end on the 50-yard line inside Memorial Stadium. The event is a Boston Marathon qualifier.
The football field finish line is a perk for runners, Sutton said. Runners sometimes toss around footballs after finishing.
“I can only imagine running onto that field after you’ve completed 13.1 or 26.2 miles and feeling that thrill,” she said.
The cost to run the full marathon is $90, while the half-marathon is $70.
Among Nebraska’s other popular endurance races is the Good Life Halfsy, another Lincoln race. It saw 6,500 runners last fall.
The Omaha Marathon drew about 1,500 runners last year, down from about 4,000 runners in 2013, when New York-based HITS Endurance first organized the event. The Nebraska Marathon drew about 1,000 runners, and the Heartland Marathon drew about 700. The Nebraska and Heartland races were impacted by rain and flooding. Those three Omaha events fell on consecutive weekends last year.
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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.
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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.