Cheeky,  irreverent, impudent and amusing. “The Best Dressed Chicken Road Race” fills the bill.  Everyone’s A Winner
For those with less a sense of humor their were several local races this past weekend, Cornfield Cornfield the Old Mill 5K and the Happy Camper 5K

Real Racing!  Green Bay’s Bellin Run is known as one of this region’s best 10Ks as well as Cheeseheads.   Olympian Jared Ward led the 8600 finishers with 29:45, first female Risper Gesabwa (33:23) outlasting 2nd place finisher Kaitlin Goodman (33:34).

Grandma’s Marathon and the Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon are this upcoming weekend.  Good luck to all our Nebraska mates that will head up to take on the national level talent.  All you fast fellas should be gunning for Johnny Rutford’s 2018 1:06:14 and Grant Wintheiser’s 2017 1:06:15 in the half.  Hey Ladies!  Christy Nielsen led Team Nebraska Brooks to the 2003 USATF Club National Champs on the same course in one of the most impressive displays of Team Running in Nebraska road racing history.
22. Christy Nielsen- 1:17:38
23. Machele Cochran- 1:17:39
24. Renee Kruse- 1:18:07
16 years gone by in the blink of an eye.  Come on girls, give me something current to crow about!




Please do check the raw data.  Form your own conclusions.

What it means to me, at this point in a 40 year career, is that we are right on track with our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.  Challenging you to run to your potential.  Offering you the chance to be “Above Average.”

Saturday, April 25, 2020.

Please forgive this morning’s brevity, pecking left  handed due to a severely sprained and wrapped right wrist.  Some of you may be aware that Linda & I have put the Bar None up for sale, wonderful worlds of new adventures await.

Not for the last time (but getting close), GIDDYUP!



“This is the first mapping for Global running participation. The analysis covers 107.9 million race results from more than 70 thousand events from 1986 to 2018. This is by far the largest study of race results in history. ”

What I  have culled from the report supports my assertations of the last several years.  That Real Running, aka Real Runners, purists that ran for achievement alone,  have decreased dramatically.  In their place, multitude and sundry other reasons to participate, primarily social intercourse.

This report analyzes finish times in terms of “race results” with descriptions couched in “participation.”  The dichotomy of juxtaposition is not lost on me.

Today I look at marathoning in particular.

In 2004 fully 25% of all race results were from the marathon.  In 2018 marathons attributed only 12%.  Fewer marathoners these days.  That in and of itself is not much of  a worry for our sport, half marathon participation has leaped from 17% to 30% of all race results.  5K & 10K participation has remained relatively stable with a 3-5% increase in those distances.

Men’s marathon times have slowed significantly.  In 1986 the average finish time was 3:48:15.  In 2018, 4:22:13.  An increase of 13.8% in times.  Fewer male marathoners, slower times.   Where did all the faster fellas go?  We got old.  Before you call “Elitist!” remember my marathon personal best is a mere 2:46:56.  No ways elite.  My work over the last 30 years on their behalf may just give me a bit more insight into their habits and mindsets.

Big Tips to you ladies!  Your average marathon times slowed between 1986 and 2001 by 38 minutes.  But between 2001-2018 your times actually decreased by an average of 4 minutes.  Fewer female marathoners, faster times!

Tomorrow- What does it mean for marathon runners in Nebraska?  In the Midwest?  In the United States?








Continuing this week’s manifesto on Real Running!

The USI employee swimming pool was located halfway between my house in Atwood and Tuscola 9 miles away.   The closest and only opportunity we had.  If I behaved (rarely)  I’d get the 50 cent drop in fee, ride my bike over country roads, and hop in.  What’s  this got to do with running?

I was always  the smallest in my class.  Probably the weakest.  Mom’s Benson & Hedges and Canadian Club likely contributing to my barely 6 pound birth weight.  What’s this got to do with running and suffering?

I loved the pool, loved to swim, and soon found something I could do better than anyone else.  Hold my breath underwater.  This has everything to do with running.  Found suffering I could control in an otherwise pretty shitty childhood.  It would not translate until years later when I began my running career in earnest.

Relative to God Given Talent I’ve always felt my capacity for self abuse was the advantage I could have against those faster.  I love the Red Line.  Learned how to push myself to the absolute limits of what was given.   And I became a winner in running.  Shoes, Shorts, and Heart.  The vast majority of those that participate in our sport today find this absurd.   Why should/would a runner bleed themselves out???

Take a look around at your next “Race”.  I promise you there are still those that hang on to the origin of our sport.  Maybe only 1 or 2 in the event.  The cat that goes balls out from the gun, holding on for dear life until the tape, that arbitrary line in the road that in a instant is the single most liberating and exhilarating experience.  Doesn’t have to be the first across, not always the winner winner little miss chicken dinner.

I’ll say again, Shoes, Shorts, Heart, and nothing more.  Good for anyone and everyone that gets out and quickly puts one foot in front of the other.  That alone makes you a runner.  But those that invest their souls are held in higher esteem by your scribe.  All runners are not created equal.  Those that are the very best should be recognized and celebrated as better than us (gasp!), perhaps the biggest departure I’ve seen over the last 40 years.  The “We’re All Winners, Everybody Gets A Medal” nonsense so deeply ingrained into today’s society leaving this old man bewildered.

Tomorrow I start dissecting the just released “The State of Running” by Jens Jakob Andersen, RunRepeat.com and the IAAF.  The first truly global analysis of running tends over the last three decades.  If you have soft centers you might want to stay away.










Sara Hall led all women to the finish line in Central Park in 32:27.  Sara used a 16:12 5K split and never slowed to win our Women’s USA 10K National Championships in New York City.  Near perfect pacing, running on the redline.  $20,000 for the win.   Nice.  https://usatf-womens-10km-championship.runnerspace.com/eprofile.php?event_id=2522&do=videos&video_id=277839

The 3rd annual Jim McMahon Open Track Meet was held at Westside HS yesterday.  Thank you Derek Fey for this gift to the Omaha running community.  Linda and I had planned on testing our limits but a shard of pottery in her foot squelched those.

Race Results.  An anachronism.

Look, you regular readers are here for a fix.  Your Monday morning Old Fashioned.  I’ve poked the steaming piles dotting our area, our state, our nation.  Relished my role as educator, instigator, raconteur.  And pissed off hundreds if not thousands.  I’ve lamented the near demise of my sport as I know it.  Railed against those responsible.  Have stood up to, have stood against, have  stood up for.  Standing my ground.  For that ever diminishing creature, the Competitive Athlete.  Competition for competition’s sake.  Mano a mano, the victor the spoils, the rest the hindmost.  Real Racing.

You’ve heard my cries about the co-opting and corruption of Real Running and Racing.  Well folks, I’m vindicated if vilified.

I hope you’ll tune in regularly this week.   I’ll be presenting analysis and supporting arguments that corroborate my sometimes acerbic observations.  Truth.



I’ve offered a steady diet of opinions in this blog, 6 years under RGS, 9 years under Team Nebraska dot com.  Low estimate is 4500 columns.  That’s a heaping helping!

I know at least a couple of people that have consumed them all and several more that have digested the entire RGS main course.  My hope as a writer is the same as when I’m toqued,  literary umami.  I’ve served up a veritable smorgasbord towards that end.  Always a touch of salt, often spicy to downright fiery.  Dense, meaty subjects, tough to chew, harder to swallow.  Occasionally  dusting your plates with sweetness,  dearest Linda having ameliorated my bitterest edges.  Savory fillings that get to the basics.

Crafting words into a recipe that “Stimulates The Running Community to a More Competitive Culture.”

There’s going to be a new kid on the block pretty soon and I hope you’ll give him a read.  Valley 7 Lakes Marathon Race Director Tristan Nelson will launch his  new site www.ketchupkid.com in the next couple  of weeks.  Tristan is the Present and Foreseeable Future of USATF LDR in Nebraska.  He has demonstrated a refreshing if not startling alacrity for our sport.  Since founding the program in 2001 I’ve offered/attempted to mentor a dozen young men and women into the USATF leadership opportunities.  Tristan has grasped the role like no other and is determined to make his own mark, have his own say, cook up his own spread.  Twenty two years old, his perspective is  going to be completely different if reminiscent of mine.  The Future.  Its here.

This unopened box of Wheaties is part of my memorabilia collection (so is the 30th anniversary Living History Farms crockery.)  I was in the Olympic Stadium in Atlanta when Michael Johnson ran 19.32 to shock the world for the Gold Medal.  Breakfast of Champions.  We hope you’ll open your mornings with Run Guru Says and Ketchup Kid.  You Are What You Eat.


The water is down but our spirits are high!   All pre-registered athletes from this year have received instructions to roll over 19 to 20.   Regular registration will open the first week in August.  We are using a new registration platform, RunSignUp instead of active.com  Saturday April 25, the Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World!

Our technical/operational experts presented some exciting new innovations at last night’s meeting at the Bar None.  These young men and women bringing Linda and I into the 21st century.  Race Director Tristan Nelson doing double duty last night, sitting in with us while on conference call with the USATF Masters Committee.  My sage advice to Tristan is  “Raise your eyes son, look beyond your comfortable horizons, soar so high you leave nothing but the short hairs for others to chase.”

Our IT guy is working on the registration portal and revamping the website.  Many of you might know Matt Copeland as the top fixed gear bicyclist in the Midwest.  If you are a Gravel  Grinder, a Fixed Gearhead, or a Pedaling Masochist you undoubtedly know him well.   Sponsored by Nebraska Medicine.  One  of the best in the United States.  Matt is also a Certified Level II Fitter, this cat can figure all your riding ills by watching you sit in the saddle.   We welcome his fresh perspectives and insight.

V7LM has also partnered with the Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon, 10K & 5K (Run For A Reason!).   Run both of these events (full + half or half + half) and a world of wonderful prizes will be lavished upon thee.  Details forthcoming.

Our Wednesday Night Track Work is getting ready to kick off in June.  An outreach program of Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. modeled after the fabulously successful program of the same name Linda and I conducted at Millard West for 8 years.  Not our first rodeo folks.  Both Linda and I are USATF Level I Coaches and I have my USOC Safe Sport Credentials.  We are also kicking off our weekend series of runs that will feature portions of the V7LM course.  Stay tuned for details.

That is all.  Thank you.

Matt is too cool for school Raul.  Brining a laid back style to our marathon efforts.




Hospital Hill in KC.  Dam to Dam in Des Moines.  Havelock in Lincoln.   But today’s  regularly scheduled column is being bumped in favor of what I personally consider to be the best news for Real Running in a quarter century!

With due respect to all the good work done on behalf of medical research everywhere.  The 25 year exercise in combining apples and oranges finally comes failed.

Regular readers know how I feel about the charity bastardization of our sport.  Utterly corrupting the word “Race” into an unrecognizable molasses mass of humanity.

Using my sport, your sport, and giving nothing at all back.  It started with the “option” to pay extra for chip timing.  In a race for goodness sakes, an entry fee and then another fee to be timed.  And even with that “extra” perk you were not running in a Real Race.  Your official time didn’t allow for recognition of excellence in running.  Overall Male or Female?  Nada.  Age group awards?  Not a chance.  No one cared enough about our sport.

So what’s up this Monday that has me so Giddy?  I’m celebrating Truth in Advertising.  The mustard duck that has been foisted on the national  (and right here in Omaha) running scene as a race has finally been revealed for what it has always been.  The “Race For The Cure” has officially changed to the “More Than Pink Walk.”  Truth.

Two of the biggest “races”  in the Omaha Metro have followed their true nature and landed as glorified fundraising walks.  The Omaha Corporate Cup failed as a race a few years ago, again too much pork up top, bloated admins with no experience or interest in Real Running.

Look, I loaded up Nebraska’s very best runners in both of those events for many years.  Fought the American Lung Association for opportunity and prize money, made it the most competitive 10K road race in Nebraska.

I believe that Nationally Competitive Athletics will make another appearance in the Omaha Metro.  I’m doing everything I can.

The 2016 Race for the Cure.  Grant Wintheiser, #956, ran 14:38 for the fastest USATF Certified 5K in Nebraska’s modern era.  The race failed to get USATF Sanctioning thus the mark is ineligible for the record books.








Altius!  Today I celebrate the Omaha Sports Commission brining the Capitol District Pole Vault Competition to town July 31-August 1.   Set up by Lindsay Toussant and Jeff Hartwig at the Drake Relays.  America’s best jumpers including national champs and Olympians, reaching for greater heights in Omaha’s popular Capitol District.  A two day affair that will also provide instruction for developing  jumpers, including high school.  Bring a food donation for the Open Door Mission and get a free entry!

I’m especially happy with this effort.  Bringing national level talent to Omaha, to Nebraska.  Worth repeating here that Lindsay is a member of our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon Committee and former LDR staff member in Indianapolis with USATF.  A great addition to our athletics community.  We look forward to bringing national attention to our efforts on behalf of American athletes!

The Capitol District.  Part of what I’m proud of in Omaha.   Nice to see athletics joining the College World Series, Olympic Swim Trials and Olympic Curling  Trials as a marquee event.