It Really is a good time to JOIN!!!Join ORC Today!



    Tom Whitaker


    Lorraine and I are long-time runners and have done many races, from 5Ks to marathons, where we have lived in New York, Pennsylvania, Dallas and Omaha. We have also ventured afield as well, completing the Big Sur, Disney World and Taos, New Mexico marathons and the Bloomsday race in Spokane, Washington, among others. My favorite race continues to be the Presidio 10 in San Francisco that runs across the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Our current goal is to obtain a race number from every state. I have been active in running clubs and race management in Pennsylvania, Dallas and now in Omaha, as well as currently serving as the RRCA state representative for Nebraska and South Dakota. I retired as Senior Assistant Corporate Secretary at Union Pacific Corporation in 2010 and am devoting more time to ORC activities and learning electronic race timing. We are the parents of two grown daughters and have lived in Omaha since 1999.


        Daren Konda

        Vice-President and Marketing Director

        I grew up in rural northeastern South Dakota and moved to Omaha four years ago for a career opportunity doing civil engineering work, and yes, the warmer weather and lack of snow is a lot nicer for outdoor training. I am employed by Thompson, Dreessen & Dorner, Inc. I have volunteered to be on the board to help increase the number of events that welcome the new and non-completive runner to participate. My favorite thing about running events is meeting new people. I participated in track and cross county in High School and have since completed a number of marathons over the past few years. This year my goal is to break the 3 hour mark.

            Mandy Kennedy


            I grew up in southeast Kansas and moved to Nebraska in 1998 to attend college. After loving the city life, I decided to make Omaha my home. In 2004, I volunteered for the Omaha Marathon for what I thought was just one time. My one-time event turned into joining the Omaha Marathon race committee the next year doing whatever I could to help. After several years, I finally became actively involved with more ORC events. Although I am not a runner, I volunteered to be a part of the board because I wanted to be even more involved with the club. My favorite part about the Omaha Running Club is all the friends I have made. When I''m not working at my daytime job or helping at an event, you can find me nannying for a family with four (soon to be five!) children, spending time with friends or traveling to Kansas to see my family.

                Kim Kanellis

                Treasurer and NE5 Coordinator

                My husband Robert and I are both military transplants who landed in Omaha in the early 1980's. We have 4 sons and 1 grandson who have all grown up and attended school in Millard. I began running just one short year ago and have completely and totally become addicted to the sport, and OK, yes, the shoes! I joined the Omaha Running Club to meet other like-minded people and to form new friendships and relationships. I have accomplished many 5Ks, a few 10Ks, fun trail runs and have signed up for two half marathons so far in 2015. I am so excited to be the Run The Magnet Coordinator and am even more excited to be out there running the magnet with all of you.



                    John Hall

                    Volunteer Coordinator

                    John Hall has been with the Omaha Running Club for many years. He has held the position of Volunteer Coordinator for 10 years. "Running is my passion and I enjoy helping others getting involved with the sport so they can enjoy it as much as I do," said John. His running career ignited in San Francisco during the 1970''s. And his first road race was the San Francisco Examiner Bay to Breakers-12K (Wild and Krazy) in 1979. He ran numerous other races (5k and up) including 8 marathons since then. He enjoys early morning runs around Lake Zorinsky especially during the snow season. John is originally from Portland, OR and retired from the Union Pacific RR in 2003. His railroad career has given his family the opportunity to live in San Francisco, Houston, Los Angeles and Omaha. He's married with 3 grown children and 4 grand children. John is looking forward to continuing his post as volunteer coordinator for the ORC during 2016.

                    • Hobbies: Running, Road Racing and Running
                    • Interests: Swimming, Biking, Travel
                    • Favorite Road Race: San Francisco Examiner Bay to Breakers
                    • Most Challenging: Omaha Marathon-2004

                    Goal for 2016: Run some great races!

                        Vanessa Urbach

                        Volunteer Dinner, Trail Clean-Up Coordinator

                        I'm Vanessa Urbach, 27 years old and born and raised in Omaha. I found running in 2011 with a push from my sister; and because of it my life has changed for the better in so many ways. I'm excited to be on the ORC Board because I want to share my passion and show others what the wonderful tight-knit running Omaha running community is all about!

                            Tim Lens

                            Lake Wehrspann 10K Director

                            I grew up in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota area and came to Nebraska to attend Midland University in 2000. While at Midland I ran cross country and track competing in distance events (5k thru Marathon). In 2004 I moved to Omaha to pursue a career as a CPA and am currently employed at HSMC Orizon. I became involved in the Omaha Running Club to meet great people and to give back to the running community by volunteering at area races. I currently serve as the race director of the Lake Wehrspann Run, held the first Sunday of August. This event includes a 10K picturesque route on the paved trail around the lake, a 2 Mile moderately hilly out-and-back course across the dam and a 1K relatively flat route along the trail for kids 12 and under.

                                Dan Allen

                                Beat the Heat 10K Director

                                Dan and his wife Brenda have 3 grown children. Dan grew up on a farm west of David City, NE and moved to Omaha in 2001. Dan began running in his early 40’s as a means to stay fit and active. It started with the whole family doing the Corporate Cup 2 mile event and over the years, his mileage picked up to where half marathons and even full marathons were a part of his schedule. Despite some injury setbacks which included a total hip replacement, he still continues running (much to the amazement of his orthopedic surgeon). “I enjoy the camaraderie of fellow runners. The whole aspect of choosing to be a fit and active person transforms one’s outlook on life. Runners seem to be more enthusiastic and outgoing than most folk. I also think it’s great that most half marathons are also walker friendly.”

                                Running has also allowed Dan and Brenda to travel with less quilt about the expense because part of the trip is justified by a running event. Miami, Phoenix, Austin, TX, Washington, DC and Las Cruces, NM are a few of the wonderful places to where they’ve competed and then enjoyed the local hospitality as tourists. Whether competing or volunteering at a running event, the fellowship is just as precious as the health benefits gained by staying fit and active. The wonderful friends gained through the running community are truly a blessing.

                                    Derek Fey

                                    Marathon Training Program

                                    I have been running since my freshman year at Westside High School (1994). After running track and cross country at Dana College, I continued to run competitively. I have been fortunate to run half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons. I am a teacher at Westside High School as well as the distance coach for girl's track. I also am the head cross country coach at College of Saint Mary. I also volunteer as a track official for the Husker Officials Association in Lincoln. I will be taking over the marathon training clinic and am excited for the new opportunity with the Omaha Running Club!

                                        Jeremy Kaliff

                                        Step Into Running Coordinator and Go Girl Run Director

                                        Jeremy is from central Nebraska but her career brought her to Omaha in 2005.  Although she has been active all her life she ran her first half marathon with a friend in 2001 and was hooked.  She has continued to challenge herself running several 5k's, 10k's, half marathons & the M2M relay.   She has served as co-director for the Step into running program and Go Girl Run the past 3 years and is excited to serve as Director of these events in 2018.  The ORC is a group of amazing people who enjoy running and she looks forward to helping implement changes to the club that increase membership and continue to make it a success.

                                            Kelly Tanzer

                                            Run the Magnet Coordinator

                                            Bio sketch to come.

                                              Board Advisors


                                                Kelli Sweet


                                                This is where all kinds of wonderful things will be said about Kelli. Things like how she is so dedicated to promoting the Omaha Running Club and how she took it upon herself to set up the ORC Facebook group which has become so very popular with our members... things like how enthusiastic she is about the Boxer500™ and what a successful race it has become because of her outstanding direction. Really, there is not enough room on this page to talk about how wonderful Kelli is, so you will just have to use your imagination. Think about the most cheerful, friendly person you will ever meet and multiply that feeling by a hundred billion. That''s Kelli Sweet!

                                                    Webmaster – Vacant


                                                        Gary Meyer

                                                        Equipment Manager

                                                        I have been actively involved with the Omaha Running Club since 1985, and board member for over 10 years, serving as Chair of Membership and also managed club Clothing, and Past President. I was assistant Director of the Omaha Marathon for 2 years and Director for 8 years. I currently am Director of the Omaha Corporate Cup Run and YMCA Masters Classic as well as serving on the committee of the Heartland Marathon. I am the acting Liason for Omaha Running Club equipment rentals, and help events with planning and organization of events by proving advice and resource materials necessary for event planning. I also measure and certify events using the protocol of The USATF, and have measured/certified courses since “85”. My wife Judy as well as my children Lindsay and Greg are supportive of my activities, and Greg can occasionally be found timing events when I am unavailable or timing another event at the same time.

                                                            John Fey

                                                            Newsletter Editor

                                                            I enjoy working with the Omaha Running Club to promote and support events for all ages and abilities. I value the people I’ve met through the club, and appreciate the many friends I’ve made through the club’s social and athletic opportunities.I''m in my second tour of duty as editor of the ORC newsletter. It truly is a labor of love. My other love - running - dates to the fall of 1979, but I didn''t get serious about racing until late 1982, when I trained for my first marathon, the 1983 Lincoln Marathon. I ran Lincoln again in 1984, followed that fall by the Omaha Marathon, where I set my PR of 3:18. I waited 18 years for my fourth and final marathon in 2002 - the Baltimore Marathon with my oldest son Gerry - before knee surgery ended my running days. But I''m an avid walker these days and plan to speed walk the 2012 Baltimore half. After I was let go by the World-Herald in 2008, I''ve been working as a super sales associate at Peak Performance. Come see me when you''re ready for new shoes!

                                                                Alan Higley

                                                                Race Timing and Management

                                                                Alan ran middle distance and XC in High School and College. He started running again in 1993 after his father lost his leg to diabetes. He has run over 22,000 miles since, including 10,489 miles in a string of 1,234 straight days! His running tapered when he switched careers and moved to Omaha in mid 2002. He has run less than 1000 miles since injuring his back and neck in an automobile accident in 2004. Alan spent 9 years on the Omaha Running Club board of Directors as an at-large member, Director-elect and Director and Marketing Director. He has served as the Membership Coordinator for the ORC since 2004 and assists Stan Shirk with the scoring of Omaha Running Club events. He was a Lincoln Track Club Board Member for 5 years and served as the Computer/Results Coordinator for the Lincoln Track Club Board from 1998 to 2004. He still assists in the scoring of Lincoln Track Club events. He also times events for ChampionChip Minnesota ( He is a member of the Planning Committee for the Lincoln Marathon and served as the volunteer Cross Country Coach for College View Academy High School in Lincoln from 1998 through 2003. He also coached Lincoln Youth Track and Cross Country from 1994 through 1997. He has met many lifelong friends through running.

                                                                    Lou Soukup

                                                                    Hall of Fame

                                                                    Lou has been an active member of the ORC for nearly 30 years. Over that time, he has run over 1,500 road races. Lou was on the Plains Track Club Board of Directors in the mid-1980''s and was part of the transition from the Plains Track Club to the Omaha Running Club. Lou compiled a series of articles entitled the History of Running in Omaha - which can be found on the ORC website. Lou recently retired and spends the winters in a retirement community in Central Florida called The Villages.

                                                                        Joe Drugmand


                                                                        I have had an interest in running for most of my life. In high school, I ran on the Mesa High School (Mesa, AZ) cross country and track teams. More recently, I have run in the Boys Town Memorial Day Run, Omaha Corporate Cup, Omaha Marathon, Lincoln Marathon and Illinois Marathon. Additionally, I have run in many fun runs in the Omaha metropolitan area.

                                                                        My running plans are to run in marathons and half marathons in a variety of locations in the United States and foreign countries. Running in races at a variety of locations will involve some interesting travel and excellent exercise. I joined the ORC in May 2005 and participated in the Distance Training Clinic in 2005. In subsequent years, I have continued to train with them occasionally. I enjoy training with the group. They provide training challenges for me and they are interesting people. Photography is a hobby of mine. Taking photos for the club is a way for me to practice my hobby.

                                                                            Bea Sides

                                                                            Step Into Running

                                                                            Bea Sides has been, and continues to be, the personification of women’s running in Omaha. She has conducted the Step into Running women’s training program on Wednesday nights for many years that is open to all women from the slowest walkers to elite runners and which has trained and encouraged many, many women to adopt a healthier lifestyle and appreciate that exercising and taking care of yourself are an important part of a fulfilling life. Bea’s low key support has been an integral part of the success and attraction of the program and has been a key element in the development and fulfillment of participants. Bea was the recipient in the photo to the left of the Road Runners Clubs of America National Beginning Women's Running Program award in 2011.