Monday, September 20, 2010


The pre-race ritual of two shots of espresso had to be altered. Though I arrived at the downtown Starbucks 20 minutes before gun time, and the line was only two deep, the customer at the counter was a quarter of the way through the list of 17 drinks for the Omaha Fashion Show's hair & makeup crew. Yes, 17 drinks, each with their own requirements. Her bill was $74.45 and she was put off because she hadn't collected enough money from the hair divas. She reached into her purse and produced $75. She kept the change. I'm sorry to rant, but that's just wrong. Get a couple travelers and be on your way. Geez!!!

As time was short, I took a small cup of bold roast and dashed to the starting area to complete warmup.

It was about 50F when the gun went off. The streets were still wet from the previous night's cold front that blew through, the remnants of which greeted us with a slight headwind as we race towards north Omaha. After the initial surge of the first mile's mostly downhill grade, I settled into race pace. Mile two breezed by before the cardio started feeling the shock of running right below anaerobic threshold. That's when I saw it: there was a wad of cash submerged in a puddle on the street. Cash?!? A double take. Yes, there was green, cold hard cash, some with zeros on them, ripe for the taking beneath a couple inches of standing water.

But there was the problem, you see, as I was currently sharing the lead with another runner.

Relax, this wasn't yesterday's Omaha Corporate cup. The race I'm talking about was the 2006 Run With A Heart 10k that shares much of the same course as the Corporate Cup.

Anyway about this cash. Had runner next to me seen it? It didn't appear so. So I called it out to his attention. He thought I was bluffing, like "Hey McFly -- your shoe's untied."

He wasn't having any of me 'gettin' in his grill'.

Thus a moral dilemma unfolded before me: go for the ego or the quick money? Having never won a race before, I was highly motivated for the win. But then again, I could sellout for the easy cash...

Ego or Mammon. What would you do?

The cash option felt dirty, so I went for the win and pressed on. Ultimately, I overcame the other runner in the final quarter mile to win the race. For my efforts, I was awarded a small trophy and two Qdoba burrito coupons.

Looking back, I feel like Monty Hall had revealed a donkey behind curtain number two. Bwaa wahn wahn wahn...

Anyway, I thought of this yesterday as I passed the exact spot where I saw that wad of cash years ago. Not that there wasn't a cash prize in yesterday's Omaha Corporate Cup 10K race.

The big deal about the 2010 Omaha Corporate Cup was that for the first time in its 30 year history, there was a cash purse that paid three deep ($500,$300,$200) for the top males and females. A local race promoter, Speedy Mart/Shell, had put up $2000 in cash prizes with the hopes of making it Omaha's most competitive 10K.

It worked. Eric Rasmussen of Omaha's Team Nebraska Brooks won the race in 30:42, only 21 seconds off of Tim Dooling's 1988 course-record and nearly a minute and a half faster than the winning time of last year's race. Melissa Todd of Kansas City Smoke claimed the women's victory nearly two minutes faster than the previous year's top female.

Congratulations to the victors, to the American Lung Association and to the race organizers & volunteers for putting together a very competitive race. Yesterday's race was the most competitive 10K I've ever competed in.

Elite race results


  1. Brady, I am impressed that your mild esurience was the trophy and not the tempting stash of cold (and wet)cash. I had to google mammon for the definition and guess what - the reference to your email came up quoting your use of the word. Good job! 0l' Dad

  2. Mammon...... What a great name for your (next) boat.

  3. I would have gone for the cash, what's wrong with you? There will be other races, but how often do you stubble on to a wad of cash on the street? What would it have cost you 10 seconds?

  4. Thanks Dad. I'm not sure what you mean by esurience, but I'm glad that I'm not that greedy. You raised your son right.

    Murphini: boat? what boat? I have thought about naming my Madone mammon.

    Shim: I've got an extra Bible to lend you. In fact, keep it.