WE ARE PROUD

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Angee Henry  winning the 40+ 400 meter at this weekend’s USA  Outdoor National Champs.  So proud of her taking our NRGE kit to the top of  podiums across the US.

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Jackie and Jeremy, proud of them and their far fetched feats!

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Road to Omaha 5K.  Jay Welp (1st o/a 15:09) is flanked by Colin Morrissey (3rd, 15:37) of Team Nebraska and Tristan Nelson (NRGE, 11th 17:46) on the right and Milo Greder (2nd, 15:13) on the left.  Sam Runde (12th, 17:57) on the far left.  We also had Jackson Runde (21:31) and Roxi Erickson (23:07, 1st 40+) in uniform.  Top 3 women under 19:00, top 5 under 20:00, fast field!

We are proud of our athletes that represent Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc!

 

 

 

HOWDY MATES!

Drew Prescott
Jay Willis Welp
Grant Wintheiser
Sean Skillern
Mark Abrams
Brandon  Wissing
Jeremy Morris
Jeff Gregg
Tristan Nelson
Mike Bergen
Tin Nguyen
Sam Runde
Jackson Runde
Cameron Cummings
David Frost
Kray Zeller
Jimmie Doherty
Michael Reilly
Walter Key
Agustin Delgado
Bree Adams
Jackie Freeman
Nicole Norris
Michel Davy
Angee Nott
Ashley Schurman
Coralie Eihlers
Amber Sargent
Stacy Shaw
John Tully
Bill Weeks (Medical Director, Board of Directors)
Linda Kunasek (President, Board of Directors)
Will Lindgren (Executive Director, Board of Directors)

ATOMIC DOG

With thanks to George Clinton.

Leader of the pack
Wild dog

Why must I feel like that?
Why must I chase the cat?
Just the dog in me
Nothin’ but the dog in me

Why must I feel like that?
Why must I chase the cat?
Just the dog in me
Nothin’ but the dog in me

STICKER SHOCK

16,000 + runners in Duluth this past weekend.  7337 (2630 men, 4707 women) in the half marathon.  6441 (3509 men, 2932 women) in the full.  54% in the half, 46% in the full.  Not quite an even split, but remarkably close to it.  William A. Irvin 5K with 1849 (711 men, 1138 women).  Our trip from Minneapolis to Duluth, short 132 miles, took us over 4 hours due to road construction, I was trained up for the 5K but saw the medals already  swinging by the time we pulled into the Radisson.

Thousands and thousands and even more  thousands lining the race course, human density increasing directly proportionate to proximity to the finish line.  It was packed folks.

What we saw was runners, runners everywhere.  Every shape, every size, every ability.  You couldn’t tell the half runners from the full.  Fans and families of runners, many thousands more.

Two things.

Thing one-  Why not Omaha?  What differentiates our country cousin up north?  Duluth’s population is a pittance, 86,000, compared to Omaha’s 443,000.    Go ahead, ask yourself, you already know the answer.

Thing two- We didn’t see a single 13.1, 26.2, 50K, 100K, Angry Beaver, or any other type of cock-a-doodle-decal adorning these athlete’s windows.  We didn’t see a single pair of headphones, not one!  We didn’t see fanny packs.

What we saw was Real Runners.  We saw their expectations of a fast, beautiful course with support from top to bottom.  We saw runners that had no worries about  running on a sidewalk.  We saw runners that didn’t have to jump curbs or run on grass or deal with community bikers insisting the road was theirs.  We saw Real Competition.

We saw a Real Race.

THE FAT RADISH

The Nebraska Association Junior Olympics were Saturday.  Happy to report that my boys Sam and Jackson both advanced and will be making the trip to the Region 8 Champs.  Happier to report the competition has never been more fierce in the 14/15 year old 1500 and 3000.  In 2001 the Cornhusker Flyers owned the world.  The Nebraska Track Club out of Malcom, Club 402 from Omaha, and Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. out of little old Waterloo, now battling it out for the top spot.

Linda and I took a day trip from Duluth to The Apostle Islands on the upper tip of Wisconsin.  Lunch at The Fat Radish.  Local gardeners bring their fare to the front door in the morning, and its featured on the menu that day.  That’s what I’m talking about!  Beautiful country all around the state’s Lake Superior North Shore.

Cut our trip short due to the storms.  No power, freezers full of food, generator in the garage, trees down.  Phone calls and texts inquiring as to our safety.  9 hours on the chainsaw yesterday and another 3 carrying the pine and cottonwood to the burn pile, flowering pear to the hardwood pile to be split for winter, 2019.

You really find out who your friends are when you are potentially down.  Thank you Jimmie and Mandy Sue Doherty.  We love you like our own kids.  Thanks neighbor Dave for the constant contact.  And neighbor Josh for the same.  And to old Carl for the use of his wagon, cutting my hauling chores by 75%.  And to Bill Weeks for making a couple trips just to keep an eye on things.  And to those that reached out personally.

Thanks friends.

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The Sea Caves at The Apostle Islands.  You can either hike or kayak, amazing views.  Spiritual, the perfect place to contemplate compassion and your fellow man.

 

 

HIGHEST FRUIT

So very much to cover it will take a couple days.  So very easy to pick a starting point.

Grant Wintheiser, made me and all of Nebraska proud Saturday.  Personal best 1:06:15 to finish 11th overall.  Youngest athlete in the top 40.  5th American.  Fastest half marathon by a Nebraska runner since Mike Morgan in 2004.  Real Deal.  Real Racing.  Peter Falcon, Team Nebraska (33rd, 1:10:19), Nolan Border, LRC Racing, (36th, 1:11:30), and Cory Logsdon, Team Nebraska, (44th, 1:13:28) also making it a nice Nebraska contingent.

Nicole Norris (Lincoln, NE)  made her marathon debut on her 36th birthday.  Nicole reported in to Linda every day since January.  Every day.  Workouts designed specifically based on feedback.  Nicole now holds  the distinction of the fastest marathon debut of any female athlete I’ve ever coached.  3:13:52!

These two fine athletes represent the very essence of Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc.  As this old guru sees it.  Going after that highest fruit, potential realized.

19145916_10212941448348040_815335137837287464_n It was our privilege to make the trip to Duluth, thank you Sarah for the opportunity to witness one of the best performances by a Nebraskan that I can remember.

 

 

GO AHEAD

I like to add the caveat, with a twinkle in my eye, “Don’t try this at home folks!” when describing particularly tough workouts.   Two of my mates play nothing close to the vest.

Grant Wintheiser’s final tough workout leading into this weekend’s race.  2 mile warm up, 4 miles at 5:00 pace, directly into 10 miles at 5:30 pace, directly into another 4 miles at 5:00 pace.  Too bad it was the same weekend as Boys Town.  Would have loved to see him on the line with Seth, everybody else’s favorite.

Jay Welp, no shrinking violet, has thrown down a gauntlet that speaks volumes as to why he  runs for me.  He’s training up to take on the wunderkind at Road to Omaha.  Whom in Nebraska over the last few years has had the balls to  stake such a claim?  Only Jay.   Competition at its finest.  His 8 x 700 w/:60 recovery shows he’s ready.  2:05, 2:03, 2:02, 1:59, 1:58, 1:58, 1:56, 1:48!

Try this  at home folks.  Go ahead.

TWO HARBORS

Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half, this Saturday.  The full starts at 7:45 in the scenic burg of Two Harbors on the North Shore of Minnesota.  The half starts at 6:15 at the halfway point of the marathon.

Sarah Culver, Race Director.  Scott Keenan’s Right Hand for the many years he hosted our USA Half Champs.  She is still dedicated to developing American athletes.  Towards that end kind enough to treat our Grant Wintheiser to the full Elite Package.  Grant’s NRGE mate Nicole Norris will be making her marathon debut.

LRC Racing will have a much, much bigger representation.

I’m amending my prediction for Grant, still sub 1:05, Top  5 overall.

My last Real Marathon was Grandma’s 2012.  In the “age-graded” shape of my life, dnf’d due to hypothermia, dropped at 18, Linda suffered the same fate only 3 miles from the finish.  We will be Sarah’s guests this weekend,  happily returning to one of the  Great American Road Races.

Happy Camper Run and Cornhole to Cornhole on the local calendar, muy, muy popular events that should be ripe for the picking.

 

THE GIFT

I’m at the point in my life where I appreciate things a whole lot differently.  Old soldiers recognize blessings that a younger man, full of piss and vinegar, is simply too self absorbed to count.  I’ll be 60 on November 28, veteran of the  US Navy.  My hardest battles occurred right here in the Good Life.  And my greatest victories.  And personal growth, thanks mostly to my dearest, sweetest Linda.

Put a bow on it!  At this morning’s track session I had  the pleasure of seeing fruits of labor.

Sam Runde.  2 x 100, 2 x 200, 1 x 400, 2 x 200, 2 x 100.  14.01, 15.15, 32.06, 31.99, 65.7, 31.14, 13.41, 15.31, 12.88 (!).  Not your typical 14 year old.

Jackson Runde. 2 x 100, 2 x 200, 1 x 400.    20.25, 20.58, 38.87, 38.43, 79.67 (!).  Not your typical 11 year old.

Caitlyn.  Flying 50s like nobody’s business.

Their gift to me.

Caitlyn and Jackson getting ready to enter 7th and 6th grade.

Sam, entering Burke as a freshman.  My gift to Coach Mike Mingo.

I’m more confident than ever that Sam will re-write the distance record books.

 

 

 

UPPER LEVEL LOW

Starting at the very top.  Nebraska, so many talented athletes in this state, so deserving.   I’ve dedicated the last 16 years advocating for you.  Pitting you against the rest of the best in the U.S.  For development, pathway to potential realized, excellence.  I sent you everywhere.  Coast to coast.  Sometimes pleading with event directors to just please give this fine young athlete a chance.  Built Team Nebraska while a small group of us from around the U.S. worked hard to create a legitimate USATF Club National Championships program.

I’m still able to do this, Buddha willing and  the creek don’t rise.

LOWER LEVEL  HIGH
The KC Smoke took the Big Apple by storm this weekend, carrying the passed torch.   But there were some heated USATF competitions on the track right here in Omaha.  One a youth competition at Bryan High, the other the first sanctioned adult meet that I  can remember since the 2012 USATF Club National Champs at Burke, I hope a few of you greybeards remember that.  The Jim McMahon Invitational good work  by Derek Fey, perhaps the only person in Omaha that could enlist the support of the Omaha Running Club for a USATF event.

One thing hasn’t changed, and that is the expectations of the athletes that run for me. That is why they are drawn to Nebraska Run Guru  Elite, Inc.  after all.

Saturday’s meets were hot and windy.  At Bryan, Sam Runde continued to show he is the class of his class (14-15 years old).  Swept the 1500/3000 (4:39, 9:59), big nod to his main competitor Zack Jones of Club 402 for pushing.  Both Sam and brother Jackson are entered into this Thursday’s  USATF Junior Olympics qualifier.

At Jim McMahon, Jay Welp (4:24.10, 16:12.8) cemented his spring with more victory, besting Team Nebraska’s Colin Morrissey (4:29.32, 16:21.98) in both the mile and 5000.  Jay is undefeated at less than half marathon distance.  Fearless, has faced the very best of all the rest, proving his mettle.  The only cat (scalp) not on his belt is his mate Grant Wintheiser.  Grant is Olympic Development caliber, he’ll be racing Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon this Saturday, sub 1:05 baby.   Grant nor I would suggest that will be good enough for the “W”, I’m hoping for a top 10 American in the most competitive half marathon of the spring/summer.  NRGE’s Nicole Norris will be making her marathon debut in the Grandma’s Full (please, please, please, don’t call it Grandmothers!)

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June 8th All Comers meet at Houston’s Rice University.  Weekly competitions aimed at developing talent, both national class as well as everyone else.  My old buddy and curmudgeon Bill Shaw (President For Life, West End Closet Runners and Walkers League-WECRAWL) setting 70+ personal bests in the 400 and 800, proving you’re never too old or too slow to enjoy the oval.

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I split my time in Texas between cowboy and runner.