Saturday, June 19, 2021 • Norfolk, NE • Course Map
For a small city out on the flatland plains of northeast Nebraska, Norfolk boasts more than a few names who’ve gone on to do some pretty big things, from major league baseball players Jim Buchanan and Scott Munter to Thurl Ravenscroft, who grew up to become the voice of “Tony the Tiger” and who performed the vocals for “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”
Of course, there was no Norfolk native who went on to achieve more fame and fortune than the city’s most famous resident, and that would of course be Johnny Carson, the legendary host of “The Tonight Show,” who spent his middle and high school years in Norfolk and graduated from the Norfolk High School.
It’s largely the inspiration of Carson that sparked the idea for the all-new Laugh and a Half Marathon, which marks its 9th annual running in 2019 with a 13.1-mile race for both individual runners and team relay participants as well as a 10K, 5K and kids’ fun run as spring is giving way to summer here in this corner of Nebraska.
The creation of the Laugh-and-a-Half-Marathon started as a way to promote wellness, as well as honor the comedy legend. However, it became apparent that it could help foster a connection to something more, race organizers say.
The course for the races takes runners entirely on virtually flat, paved surfaces through city streets and areas surrounding Norfolk, which sits in the heart of the Elkhorn Valley, with the Sand Hills lying to the west and farmland to the east, offering scenic views of rural countryside as well as Norfolk’s newly renovated downtown area known as Riverpoint.
That half marathon, like the other races, follows an out-and-back course that starts and finishes at Ta-Ha-Zouka Park, which lies along the banks of the Elkhorn River. Runners in the individual half marathon will make an out-and-back around the course.
Race Weather & Climate
Located in Nebraska’s northeastern corner, roughly 110 miles northwest of Omaha, Norfolk typically sees mild to moderately warm and occasionally hot weather in June, which brings this city’s rainiest month of the year. Record temperatures here during the month have fallen as low as 34ºF (in 1935) and risen as high as 109ºF (in 1933).
On race day (June 19), the average low is 59°F and the average high is 83°F.
- 2019 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2018 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2017 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2016 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2015 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2014 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2013 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2012 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 2011 Laugh and a Half Marathon Results
- 7:00 AM – half marathon
- 7:10 AM – 10K
- 7:15 AM – 5K
- $48 and up for the half marathon
- $38 and up for the 10K
- $32 and up for the 5K
- $12 for the kids fun run
To reserve your spot in the late spring/early summer 2021 running of Norfolk’s Laugh and a Half Marathon, Half Marathon Relay, 10K, 5K or fun run, register online at RunSignUp.com here.
Official Race Website
Ever run in the Laugh and a Half Marathon? Share your impressions here, or post your review in the Comments below.