In the vernacular of the early 80’s, “Its On Like Donkey Kong!”

Our Full Wolf Moon 5K is full speed ahead for Saturday morning.  And here’s why.  This small community that we live in and the new forecast.  The weather cataloged under the “Better lucky than good” column.  The community our wild card.  I drove the short 3 miles to Two Rivers State Recreation Area yesterday and met with the park superintendent.   Arranging for the snow plow to make a couple of quick passes over our two loop, completely closed road course.  They’ll be out as soon as the snow winds up at 6:00 a.m. making  sure you have the very best chance to keep your fitness on.  They’ve also agreed to open the park office for registration and packet pick up.

Regular readers pick up on a common theme  here.  Completely  Closed Road Courses.  Whether our Winter Fitness Series or America’s Marathon.  No one has railed against sidewalks/sidewalks called trails/four foot by four foot squares of  concrete any way you call them.  I’ve made a stand on this  premise.  Trying to reshape your expectations for your entry dollars.  One 1.5 mile loop at a time.

And this.  Trying to educate the running community on what “Flat” really means.  Describing elevations via fact and not hyperbole.  I  pay attention to these claims and you should to.  If you like hills there are  plenty in Nebraska.  We embrace the significant elevation changes at our  Nebraska Trail Run.  At one point when held at Platte Rivers State Park, deemed the “8th Most Challenging Trail Run In The U.S.” by Business Insider Magazine.   Our new venue at Chalco Hills, enough said.  Hills make you tough, I prescribe them in my marathon training programs.

Be diligent, check elevation profiles.  Road races across America usually provide theirs.  Choose what you want.  But be informed and check the veracity/authenticity of the ad men.

And no matter what you choose, “Don’t Quit, Be Fit.”


The buzz is out there.  America’s Marathon-Valley 7 Lakes is a Throwback.  Hearkening to a simpler time when you trained your butt off with a single intent.  To race to your potential.

Do you have what it takes to toe the line?  Are you committed to your own personal best?  Do you have the need for your own relative speed?  Willing to push your limits?  Have you ever wondered what you could really do under the ideal  conditions of a wide open, pancake flat, lightning fast, closed road course?

Do you dream of breaking 5 hours for the marathon?  Are you doggedly pursuing your Boston Marathon qualifier?  Do you aspire to an Olympic Trials Qualifier?  Do you want that “Race of a Lifetime, your Personal Best” that you’ll proudly carry into your competitive sunsets?  If so, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon is for you.

You should have your base miles well behind you at this point.  Less than 14 weeks until some of the most serious marathoners gather in front of the Veteran’s Memorial in Valley for the start cannon.  All those cold winter miles imbuing strength and confidence for the Real Work necessary to achieve all of the above.  Time to turn up the heat, by degrees, with sound and focused training.

To quote Jennifer Wilson, “scared, excited, scared, excited”, that is where you should be right now.  Filled with hope and just the right amount of anxiety, your two greatest fuels when handled properly.  I’ve coached Jennifer through two marathons.  Both saddled with hilly courses, just missing her ultimate goal of breaking 5 hours by eyelashes.  This marathon is for her.  I’ve been pushing Aimee Hough since October.  The goal of breaking 4 hours well in the rear view mirror now, her true potential being carefully nurtured on a daily basis.  This marathon is for her.  Both fitting the profile of Real Marathoners.  Do you?







The 7th annual Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K will be held at Two Rivers State Recreation Area on Saturday February 9th.  The most popular of our annual Winter Fitness Series runs.  Filling your hearts and  soles with that Loving Feeling!  And chocolates!  And a nice unassuming bottle of cabernet or pinot grigio!  Something special for the kids too.   As with all our Winter Series runs you’ll be treated to hot chocolate (with a splash if your 21), home baked goodies, door prizes, and Linda’s custom made participation awards!  Completely closed road, USATF Certified and Sanctioned course.  Official times.

Everything about our events reflects the local nature of our efforts.  The baked goods, door prizes, participation awards all originating right here at the Bar None.

We are seeing more “Race in a Box”, franchised events.   Garmin certified (there is no such thing folks), neatly packaged and presented, the same in every city.  Franchises purchased up front and a portion of your race entries going out of the community, way out.

We hope you will run local.  And invite you to come run with us at the Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K.


Andy Palmer gave sound running advice.  Phd in Sports Psychology.  2:16 marathoner.  In the early 80s he trekked across the United States, from Seattle to Boston, and pitched camp on the front stoop of Bill Rodger’s Running Store.  So he  could train with the  very best runners of his day.  He wasn’t the only intrepid athlete in the 80s, just the one that had the biggest impact on my coaching philosophy.

“The Mind is the Athlete.”  The single most important running truism.
“There is Always Someone Faster.”  The second most.
“You’re hardest miles will be your slowest.”  Are you disciplined in your training?

Messages absorbed during the Maine Running Camp in 1994.  Running two a days on the soft carriage trails of Acadia National Park.

As you train up for your spring marathon I invite you to think about Andy’s messages.  Keep inside your own head.  Don’t measure yourself against  others.  Don’t outrun your goals before you get to the start line.

Happy Monday.



I’ll dive deeper into our USA Olympic Trials Marathon in an upcoming column.  Today I tip my sombrero to Your own marathon trials.  I’ve had my ear to the ground for the last couple of years, listening intently to marathoners in Nebraska.  Your footfalls filled with determination, dedication, and perspiration.  I’ve coupled those echoes with my own experiences and expectations.

Our America’s Marathon-Valley 7 Lakes race committee the result of what you have laid down.  You work hard in pursuit of your marathon, as it should and must be.  It has taken a year of standing barefoot in the skillet, Douglas County and the City of Valley rendering answers.  We hope that serious marathoners in Nebraska and beyond will join us.

We are offering a 26.2 mile tour on the wide open roads of Western Douglas County.  Pancake flat, lightning fast.  Capped our entries at 500 runners for our first annual.  Have a 5 hour time limit.

We’ll keep our ears to the ground, listening to you.  Doing what we can for your own marathon trials.



Follow up to Hey Nobody just one year ago.  Today a cautionary tale to Generation Z.

Facial Recognition.  Voice Recognition.  Gesture Recognition.  Access Recognition.  Implantation Recognition.  Location Recognition.  Anticipation Recognition.

Robots.  Mobots.  Make the bed.  Make the bread.  Qiub to fold your clothes.  NanOScent to pick your nose.    Smart homes surrounding a hub.  Digital drivers delivering your grub.   Simulation, Virtual space.  Stimulation, Virtual face.    Impossible Burger tastes like real!  Synthetic bodies with a fleshy feel!  Voice commands, Real you’ll swear.  Artificial hands, Taking you there!  Kohler Smart to wipe your ass, all this tech a modern gas!  4G, 5G, 8G too. Electronics doing it all for you.  Completely connected, your lives directed.  No need to choose!  No Free Will blues!  So hard to make a choice?  Let the coffee grinder be your voice!

I called VSAthletics yesterday and ordered a hand held printing stopwatch to time our Winter Series.  Asked the person on the other end if Joe Rubio was still the owner (met him in ’03, his wife from Council Bluffs).  The same instant Joe recommended as a facebook friend on my computer.  Frikkin bizarre, frikkin scary.

And maybe it is only me.  Pining for the way it used to be.





The Super Blood Wolf Moon – the second eclipse of January and 2019 – is very unusual.   It will occur the night between January 20-21.  A supermoon combined with a total lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon.  Supermoons occur when the moon is at its closest point to earth in its orbit.  Some actually believe it portends the end of days.  So you better get signed up for the Full Wolf Moon 5K on Saturday January 19th.  The forecast calls for another perfect day and it might be your last 5K ever!

My old buddy Al reminded me yesterday that I’m a walking omelet, that much egg on my face.  He rightfully pointed out that the Houston Marathon is Sunday the 20th, not this coming as reported.  Always the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day.  And, gasp, perhaps your last if you believe Nostradamus.

One thing that ends with certainty is tomorrow night’s early registration rates for America’s Marathon!  We had extended it to the 10th for the tardy and undecided.  Goes up a mere $10 so still won’t break piggy banks.

Linda’s handcrafted participation award, Bar None ephemera, collect the whole set for your award display or next year’s Christmas tree!




Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon this weekend.  Race Director Brant Kotch has done more for Nebraska athletes than any other national level race.  Since 2001 Brant has accepted all of our best and aspiring runners.  American Athlete Development at the very heart of his race.   Flat and Fast and Loaded.  Please forgive if I gush a little, Brant being one of my oldest and most respected buddies.  We’ll have Good Life representation this weekend, Giddyup Y’all!

The City of Houston rallies around their marathon like few others.  Full civic embrace offering runners unparalleled support to Run To Their Potential.  The 26.2 mile tour through America’s 4th largest city (~2.5 million people) a proving ground for every serious late winter marathoner.
My marathon debut (3:11) there in 1983, hard to believe 36 years have flown by.  Made the start line 10 times, the finish line 8.  Personal best 2:46:56 set there in 1995.  Cherished memories.

More importantly is the race shaped my expectations of marathon road race management.  The Houston Marathon, incubator of excellence.  The very race that our own America’s Marathon is modeled on.  We are approaching 75% sold out, athletes seeking a Boston Qualifier or Personal Bests.  Our elite field growing as well.  America’s Marathon.  Nebraska’s Launch Pad.





Hi, my name is Will and I’m a runner.  More specifically a life long running geek.  The hundred or so individuals at Saturday’s  Rust Buster can testify.  Completely jazzed about our top five finish times.  Equally so for the middle five and the final five.

Clarion call to personal excellence, regardless of talent, echoing between the Elkhorn and Platte River Bluffs.  Two Rivers State Park beckoning runners to “Come Run To Your Potential!”

The pancake flat, lightning fast 5K course, designed with serious intent.  Two laps of the closed road course offering everyone the opportunity to test their fitness.  Or to simply enjoy the scenic surroundings and shared camaraderie that makes our sport.

Nolan Zimmer led his LRCN mates to a top 5 sweep, setting a new USATF Certified and Sanctioned 5k Nebraska state record of 15:02.  A fine time that the best will put squarely in their sights.  I’m just as gleeful over Aimee Hough’s :03 personal best, I’ve busted her butt for the last 12 weeks, great progress as we head to April 27th’s America’s Marathon.

America’s Marathon.  Designed as two 13.1 mile loops, Gary Meyer and Tristan Nelson spending all day Saturday measuring Nebraska’s Only completely closed road, USATF Certified and Sanctioned marathon.  IAAF Record Eligible.  The Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World.  By design.  For all of you.  Half Marathon too.  Right here between the  Elkhorn and Platte Rivers.  Three more days to sign up at our early registration rates.




Thank you to everyone that shared the morning with us!  Special tip of the sombrero to Mark, Denise, Sam, and Jackson Runde for volunteering!  Lots of personal  bests today and even more fun!   Results below.  Thank you to Gary Dougherty and Dordio Photo for capturing the morning’s efforts!


  1.  Nolan Zimmer          15:02
  2. John Cleary                 15:25
  3. Tim Meyer                   15:26
  4. Cole Marolf                 15:32
  5. Nolan Border              15:34
  6. Michael Bickley           17:56
  7. Craig Halverson           18:09
  8. Ethan Zaborowski       18:24
  9. Jake Ridpath                 18:36
  10. Elizabeth Starbuck      18:39
  11. Tim Fry                          18:52
  12. Chris McBratney          20:01
  13. Brian Detweiler            20:25
  14. Porter Bickley               21:11    age 12
  15. Eli Bickley                     21:12     age 9
  16. Michael Robinson       21:23     age 15
  17. Erika Vardarl                21:32
  18. Anthony Obermiller    21:37
  19. Emily Udell                   21:46     age 16
  20. John Brady                   21:49
  21. Carson Reynold           21:50   age 14
  22. Robert Borer                22:56
  23. Kelly Perry                    23:01
  24. Brandy Sampson        23:09
  25. Aimee Hough              23:28
  26. Felipe Pinales              23:33
  27. Calvin Tomcak             23:46    age 11
  28. Raya Dzingle                23:55     age 15
  29. Kristine Tomcak           24:00
  30. Chad Dzingle               24:16
  31. Lauren Udell                24:37   age 14
  32. Bill Udell                       24:48
  33. Korban Fry                   24:49    age 9
  34. Adam Sylvan               25:10
  35. Bruce Newton            25:16
  36. Stephanie Fritson      25:28
  37. Katelyn Fisher            26:02
  38. Mark Farrell                26:09
  39. Kyra Fry                       26:09   age 12
  40. Lucas Bortholomew  26:23   age 12
  41. Jabin Moore                26:31    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  42. Jessica Jackson           26:33
  43. Mike Manna               26:37   age 71!!
  44. Jesse Richardson       27:02
  45. Bill Weeks                   27:03
  46. John Coop                   27:31
  47. Carl Butler                   27:44
  48. Kate McGee                 29:27
  49. Kameron Harrison     29:28
  50. Jackie Manna              29:30
  51. Danielle Crawford      30:18
  52. Anne Koerten              30:29
  53. Rebecka Schafer         30:54
  54. Niki Figard                    31:04
  55. Kelsi Anderson            31:48
  56. Kim Hansen                 31:49
  57. Heather Lauterbach   31:50
  58. Wayne Matychuk        31:51
  59. Megan Robinson        32:09
  60. Austin Becker              32:15
  61. Scott Wilson                 32:29
  62. Rachel Bowers             33:05
  63. Anthony Bowers          33:14
  64. Jade Moss                     33:15
  65. August Goelz               33:34
  66. Eulalia Fritzen              37:01   age 9
  67. Amanda Cuddeford    37:40
  68. Regina Johnson           37:45
  69. Noah Macapinlac        40:55   age 11
  70. Lara Robinson             42:09
  71. Bonnie Menks             45:24
  72. Linette Nelson            49:32
  73. Jessee Leatherwood   52:08
  74. Jacqueline Bart            52:47
  75. Andee Hoig                  55:11