The idea popped into Ben Cohoon's and Jason Bakewell's heads five years ago. The two friends thought Lincoln needed another half marathon.
Their imagination swirled with possibilities: 13.1 miles in the fall, cheer stations, training plans, yoga classes, donuts and, of course, a downhill route.
Their dream is now a reality.
The Good Life Halfsy is slated for Sunday, Nov. 9. Registration opens Saturday and is capped at 3,000 runners.
The point-to-point route starts at Seacrest Field, near Lincoln East High School, at 70th and A Streets. It heads south for about 2.5 miles before turning west for the remainder of the race.
Runners will pass familiar Lincoln landmarks, including Holmes Lake, Sunken Gardens, Antelope Valley, the State Capitol, Union Plaza and downtown neighborhoods before landing in the Haymarket District.
A big screen television in The Railyard will broadcast the runners live as they race down the new pedestrian bridge to the finish line and head to the after-party. School buses will shuttle runners to the starting area.
Cohoon and Bakewell started formally planning the event last March. They aren't reinventing the wheel, but they are dressing it up.
Runners will have access to free beginning or intermediate training plans and discounted yoga classes at Lotus House of Yoga, which has studios in Lincoln and Omaha.
There will be radio stations along the course and designated cheer stations where spectators can munch on donuts, ring cowbells and grab signs plastered with sayings like “You run better than the government” and “Your pace or mine?”
The new half marathon will come six months after the city's signature race in May, the Lincoln Marathon, which sold out all 12,500 spots in less than 12 hours earlier this month.
Runners said the Halfsy will fill the gap in the fall running calendar.
“It's at the perfect time of the year,” said Jenny Sundberg of Lincoln. The Halfsy will be her fourth half marathon.
The cool weather is an added bonus, said Cohoon, who has competed in nine half marathons since 2006. The average high on Nov. 9 is 55 degrees, with the average low 32 degrees.
Cohoon and Bakewell expect the half marathon to sell out. Several hundred runners have already signed up — a select group received special access codes to use and share with their friends.
Registration opens to the public at 10 a.m. Saturday. It costs $69.
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