#VALLEYSTRONG

Please notice the new  tab up top, 2020 Winter Fitness Series.  Our 501 (c) 3 not for profit Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. has set these events up to help our Valley/Waterloo communities by providing healthy lifestyle opportunities for youth and adults.  And to show how we have recovered from this past March’s devastating flooding.  We are kicking things off on January 4th with the Rust Buster 5K  Then we’ll have a howling good time on January 18th at the  Full Wolf Moon 5K   Our series wraps up with the 8th annual Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K on February 8th, registration opening soon.

The 14th annual Nebraska Trail Run is set for Saturday April 4th.  Some very exciting news coming regarding our return to the storied Platte River State Park course.  Dubbed the “8th Most Challenging Trail  Run in the United States} by Business Insider Magazine.  We listened to our trail running community and are bringing back the pain and suffering that makes this a one of a kind event.  Did I mention the beer garden?

That is just the beginning of our efforts!  The 2019 Valley 7 Lakes Marathon course was wiped out by the floods.  We’ve set the 2020 Valley 7 Lakes Marathon date for Saturday April 25th and  are hitting the ground running!  Douglas County has resurfaced the scenic country roads with a nice soft asphalt finish, perfect for 13.1 or 26.2 miles of running.  Registration is open: https://runsignup.com/Race/NE/Valley/Valley7LakesMarathon

Our recovery winds up with the Valley Days 1500 Meters, Nebraska’s only Metric Mile.  Saturday August 8th.  Proceeds will benefit the Valley Days Foundation established to help further the recovery effort for those that have lost the most.  Registration coming soon.  Thank you for marking your calendars.

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

Good morning United States of America Track & Field fans!  Be sure and check in tomorrow for some exciting news!

The World Championships wrapped up in Doha Quatar.  The men’s marathon a showcase for the Ethiopians, Gold and Silver.  The men’s Steeplechase won by one hundredth of a second, race of the games, Kenyan dominance uninterrupted.

Some fine American performances and American records in the sprints and throws.  Shelby Houlihan ran an American Record 3:54 in the Women’s 1500 meters for fourth overall.

Biggest shocker of the games for your scribe was no false starts and no baton drops.  I’m old enough to remember every single edition of the World Championships, the first in 1983.

The USA 10 Mile National Championships were held in conjunction with Twin Cities Marathon.  31 American men lined up, top 5 shook out like this:
1.  Futsum Zienasellassie                46:55
2. Abbabiya Simbassa                      46:57
3. Connor McMillan                          46:58
4. Marty Hehir                                   46:59
5. Agustus Maiyo                              47:05
Johnny Rutford  (49:07) of Omaha finished 24th and ran the fastest 10 Mile by a Nebraskan since Mike Morgan’s 49:29 in 2005.  Nice work Johnny!

36 Women toed the line and top 5 were led by everyone’s darling Sara Hall
1.  Sara Hall                                       53:11
2. Makena Morley                            53:17
3. Katy Jermann                                53:44
4. Bridget Belyeu                              53:47
5. Annie Frisibie                                54:00

The White Light Mile in Fremont was a barnburner Saturday night, if you haven’t run this gem before be sure and get it on your schedule for 2020.  Nolan Border used a furious kick at the end to nip Will Henry of the Kansas City Smoke  by .25 of a second.  Fourteen year old Britt Prince took the women’s title.  Forty three year old Angee Nott (Run Guru Elite, Inc) used the race as a final tune up before next weekend’s USA Masters National 5K champs in San Diego.
1.  Nolan Border                  4:22
2.  Will Henry                        4:22
3. Kyle Johnson                   4:28
4. Matt Fayers                     4:36
5. Thomas Taylor               4:36

  1. Britt Prince                    5:25
  2.  Angee Nott                   5:51
  3. Kristen Griffen              5:57
  4. Emalie Clement            6:12
  5. Ayva Darmento           6:15

92 SQUARE FEET

Linda and I have passed the 6 week mark living in our rpod.  Sixteen feet long, six feet wide.  Take away the bed and bath and we’re at 10’x6′, 60 square feet of living space.  And Desi makes three.  Its been nothing but lovin, huggin, and squeezin.  A little chilly last night, add snugglin.

How about you and your significant other?  Could you be this close?  Could you stay this close?  This testament to how much we love each other, the ultimate test of respect and even adoration.  Our buddy Ronn Baker joked during the first week that our “life in a box” would close in on us, shrinking digs testing even the most committed.  We giggled then and are giggling this morning.  Me maybe a little more than Linda.  She always races with elbows out after all.

I grew up dirt poor, decidedly lower class.  Five people in a slightly bigger box in Atwood, Il.  Linda grew up with 4 brothers in modest middle class digs.  We took our turns living in Richerville (West-O is the Best-O).  And chose austerity and happiness instead.  Working the land at the Bar None, the peasant lifestyle.  Turned that sow’s ear into a silk purse.  Wiped away by the Great Flood of 2019, we’re starting over.  Bought an acre, West of the Platte!!  On a hill.  Small charming community.

Linda’s cousin Vince Kunasek is one of the top architects in Nebraska (and a Cross Fit beast of a man!).    He’s designed a Modern Mountain home for us.  Our forever dream home.  New buddy Tim with Quality First Construction also on board.  We pulled the trigger yesterday, hoping to break ground before month’s end.

We looked in Wyoming, we looked in Colorado, we looked in South Dakota, we looked in Iowa.  But our hearts and soles remain in Nebraska.  We’ll spend the next 6 months or so traveling and researching material for “Phineas Taylor and His Dandy Road Show Boys.”  My great novel that will celebrate and lampoon everything.  (Any similarities between the characters and any living people purely intentional).

Don’t cry for me Argentina!

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

A lot to cover this morning!

Berlin Marathon!  Kenenisa Bekele runs the second fastest marathon in history, 2:01:41.  Missed the WR by a slim two seconds.  In the same race 62 year old Joan Benoit Samuelson ran a stunning 3:02.  Lending plenty of credence to the notion that a pancake flat course, designed for lightning fast times, can indeed deliver same.

World Championships Marathon!  The women set off at midnight Doha time with temps hovering around 98 degrees, 109 heat index.  Kenya’s Ruth Chepengetich took the laurels in sweltering conditions in 2:32:43.  Following up her amazing 2:17:08 at the Dubai Standard Charter Marathon in January.  Both the World Champs and Dubai courses renowned as among the flattest courses in the world, designed to attract the world’s best runners.  First American in Doha was 41 year old mother of 3, Roberta Groner, taking an impressive 6th in 2:38:44.  I was contacted by the IAAF to travel to Quatar for a specific assignment but had to decline.  About half of the women on the start line agreed to ingest a pill that will provide important biometric feedback once retrieved.  My long history of dealing with shit making me the perfect candidate to dig through the piles.

More World Championships!  How about the new event, the mixed 4X400 meter relay!  The bros and babes competing together.  Lifeline for our sport that ranks near the bottom of spectator interest.  Look for more mixed events moving forward.

The Nebraska Marathon was held yesterday, kind of.  The marathon was cancelled due to flooding on the course, joining a growing list of 2019 events that had to be scrubbed.  Leaving the Good Life without a decent marathon for the year.     Yesterday’s event shortened and sent off amidst heavy rain, lightning and thunder.  Look, I’m old and set in my ways, but how in the hell do you start a race under such dangerous conditions?  Never run in lightning.

Flat Rock 50K in Independence, KS.  Tragically a runner was struck and killed by lightning as he was about to finish the race.

Local HS thinclads will travel to Kearney today to test themselves on the State XC course.  Linda and I making the trip to see a single runner.   Sam Runde (Jr. Burke) will be making his season debut, his first xc race since setting the freshman school record of 17:01- in the only xc race of his career there.    Here’s hoping the chronic injuries are now in his rear view.

The start under lights in Doha, Quatar.

Yesterday’s storm system, would you have rolled the dice and answered the starter’s pistol?  Or would you have sought shelter?  Safety first, last, and always!

IN THIS TOGETHER

2019, the year of the cancelled race.   It’s been a tough go for runners.  The biblical floods of this past March still vivid in the psyche of our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon committee.  We had to pull the plug on our race 30 days before the starting cannon.   Another local marathon the following week reached out and offered to accommodate our invited elite field only.  We passed on that offer,  all or none.   Further, I hoped other local marathons might extend an offer for our runners, silly Willie!

Monday morning V7LM reached out to the leadership of this past weekend’s Heartland Marathon on behalf of the affected runners.   Crickets but we press on.  Hoping this olive branch will help heal the disappointment of opportunity lost, something we know all too well.  We are working on the details and hope to have our special registration set up the first week of October.  Hey, we’re all in this together.

“The leadership of Valley 7 Lakes Marathon has agreed that we would like to extend a special discount to all 2019 Heartland Marathon and Half Marathon participants. Having gone through the same painful circumstances this past April we know how disappointing cancelling a race is. We would like to offer a special code that will provide a $25 discount for either our half of full marathon. Our race is set for April 25, 2020. We hope that this will help our running community and look forward to hearing back. Thank you.”

Yours in sport,

Will Lindgren
Executive Director, V7LM
402-917-7818

HEY GENIUS!

A friend of ours runs a company that is putting on a contest where students form teams and can win cash and meet key government and industry leaders from across the state.  The challenge starts this week and runs for 7 days, only the first 500 kids get in.

For more details check out www.findyourgenius.org

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

Biggest and saddest news is the Heartland Marathon cancellation due to flooding on the course.  All of us at Valley 7 Lakes feel your pain.

The Quad Cities Marathon in Moline captured the non-American “C” level road performances of the weekend with the top 5 fellas going 2:17, 2:18, 2:19, 2:20, and 2:21.  Top 5 females all under 2:58:02, and hey now a couple of Americans sprinkled in!

Another Heartland Half Marathon in Jasper, Indiana, no significant results.

Jared Basset won the Prefontaine Memorial 10K (Coos Bay, OR) in 32:41, first female Heather Johnson in 37:21.

Laurels at the Bismark Marathon went to Cesar Mireles (2:32:50) and Jaidan Schuette (3:17:51).  Rob McLeod (1:28:41) finished 10th in the half marathon, not bad for being 60 years old!  In the accompanying 5K Jackson Runde (20:30) took third overall.  Not bad for 13 years old.   Using a few road races to sharpen up for All City XC coming up shortly.

First day of fall.   The seasons are changing.  Apropos of marathoning in Nebraska.  Expectations starting to shift.  The idea of a completely closed road marathon starting to set in.  Runners now asking, “why not?”  Catching up with the rest of the United States and the world.  Valley 7 Lakes Marathon leading the way here in the Good Life.  Saturday April 25, 2020.  With all the courtesy and respect due.  #ValleyStrong  #NebraskaStrong  Registration is open. https://runsignup.com/Race/Register/?raceId=76588

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT DRIVES YOU?

Runners!  We’re a motivated group by almost any standard.  Each of us puts one foot in front of the other for our own deeply personal reasons.  Running for health.  Running for camaraderie.  Running from demons, legions of them.

I’ve spent the last forty years running.  When queried about my motivations, “Its the one thing no one can tell me when to do, where to do, how to do, whom to do it with.”  Running for me is the ultimate expression of personal freedom.

And Racing!  Part of what moves my feet is the chance to test myself.  Against myself.  Against you.  Conquering demons of inadequacy.  Measuring my self worth by the amount of suffering I can endure.  Yeah, it runs that deep.  What about you?

Who is driving you is another question all together.  And the crux of today’s column.  Linda and I took a ride with Dr. Weeks last week.  His invitation to “Let Elon drive us” a chance to take a stride into the 21st century.  We hopped in his shiny new Tesla.  Acceleration incredible.  But it was on Hwy 92 that my few remaining hairs turned a lighter shade.  The self-driving mode engaged,  white knuckles the rest of the trip for your scribe.  I resisted the urge to reach over and grab the wheel, trying to have faith in technology.  A complete loss of control the worst part of the experience.  I felt like an Amish in New York City.

That might be the future but I don’t like it at all.  Driving is second to running as an expression of personal freedom.  At least it used to be.  Linda and I travel with a paper map, our comfort zone.  Not trusting or believing that a signal from the sky can deliver us.

I’ll keep driving myself.  On foot and wheels.

I know what drives Jack Runde.  Shown here at yesterday’s xc meet at Northwest HS.  He would dispatch his challenger on the second loop on the way to yet another victory.  Perfect running form.  And In It To Win It!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LONG DISTANCE RUNNING?

The USA Track & Field Nebraska Association had its annual meeting last Sunday.  Did anyone at all from our Long Distance Running community attend?  My guess is Mike Hajek-Jones was the sole person at the table.  Our LDR Chair wasn’t there, traveling back from a triathlon.  Linda and I didn’t go, my boxing gloves retired to a hook in the closet.

I did however receive a phone call prior to the meeting from Scott Rainbolt, our Association President.  Boy did he get an earful.  I’m quite upset that not a single penny from our Nebraska memberships and road and cross sanctions has been returned to LDR in over three years.  Where the hell has all that money gone?  Why hasn’t our LDR Chair been reimbursed for his travel to the 2018 annual meetings?  How can we expect him to commit the time and effort to attend Reno this coming December 5?

But my main message to Scott was if he wants anything at all done on behalf of our USATF LDR program it has to go through Lincoln.

Look, here’s the conundrum, USATF is NOT RRCA.  USATF is for athlete development and excellence, geared toward USA National Championships, World Championships,  Olympic Trials and the Olympics.
RRCA, Road Runners Club of America, is the social side of running where we are all winners.  Both have their niches, rarely do they sync.

The Lincoln Marathon fully embraces RRCA.  The Lincoln Running Co. Racing team is USATF.  The marathon sponsors LRC Racing.  Man it gets sticky right here.  How do you get a club that relies on RRCA to participate in USATF Nebraska Association Championship events.  How do we get the athletes in our association to support USATF?  We had zero LRC representation at our USATF 1500 Meter Road Championships in Valley a couple weeks ago.  Not a single athlete could deign participation.   And that is only the most recent example of a long line of USATF Nebraska Association Championship races that have not been supported.

December 14 is our USATF XC National Championships in Bethlehem, PA.    Our Nebraska Association athletes (LRC) will load up several teams for the annual boondoggle.   Support at the national level but not the local association.  That is why the real power must be relocated to Lincoln if our LDR program is to survive.  Logan Watley?  Nolan Zimmer?

USATF Nebraska Long Distance Running used to be one of the most respected in the United States.  Now it is a joke.  Says the program’s architect and founder.

Quote of the day- “If you want something done fast, do it yourself.  If you want something to last have the group do it.”

 

 

 

 

 

RACE REPORT MONDAY

A lot of Nebraska races to choose from this past weekend.  And Iowa.

I’m partial to the Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon, 10K, & 5K.  We had a record turnout in numbers if not results.   We’ve worked hard to offer the flattest, fastest USATF Certified & Sanctioned half in Nebraska.   Shannon Mauser-Suing taking the Overall in 1:27:01.  Birthday boy Michael Bickley won the 10K and Jack Runde took the 5K title.

The Wabash Trace Marathon & Half Marathon.  Cory Logsdon (2:46:18) continues his unbeaten streak.

The (S)HITS Marathon & Half Marathon, 10K & 5K.  Marathon won in a very pedestrian 3:14.  Say what?  Craig Halverson finishes 2nd in the half (1:22:29) and wins the 5K (18:19) and 10K (46:08).  WTF?

Lincoln Running Co. Racing opted to skip Nebraska’s offerings and travel to Des Moines for the Capitol Pursuit 10 Mile.

Its the xc meet at Walnut Grove last week that has me most fired up.  Liam Chot of Lincoln NorthStar, truly a man among boys, won as usual, this time with some shady circumstances.  *This based on eyewitness reports.*   Chot was off with the gun, gapping the field.  Somewhere between miles 1 & 2 he was joined by two dark, shadowy figures (running ninjas?).  Running with Liam through the wooded sections.  And then disappearing just as quickly, not on the course after 2 miles, not finishing.  Whether bandits or pacers, I would have raised hell.

Giddyup!

The Twin Rivers YMCA Runs feature the most inspiring start line in Nebraska.  And course records of 1:04:48  (Zach Hine) and 1:17:19  (Whitney Bevins).