Author Archives: runguru


Weather, that ficklest of fates, smiled on Johnny Rutford at Saturday’s Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon in Duluth.  Perfect conditions greeted those zipping down the western shore of Lake Superior.  Johnny turned in a very fine 1:06:14 to finish 27th overall.

Significant achievement when put into this perspective:
Mike  Morgan (Team Nebraska, 2003), 1:04:56
Johnny Rutford (LRC Racing, 2018), 1:06:14
Grant Wintheiser, (Run Guru Elite, 2017) 1:06:15

The top 3 times by Nebraskans for the half marathon in the “Modern LDR Era” 2001-1018.


Mike Morgan still atop the Nebraska half marathon (& marathon!) lists.


Momentous weekend for Nebraska’s LDR program and for the Bar None.

Five years ago this weekend Linda and I bought this dilapidated old farmhouse.  Have remodeled, repurposed, and recharged the property.  New windows installed yesterday and today.  Almost there.

Fifteen years ago this weekend the USATF Nebraska Association made its debut in National Club competitions.  The Team Nebraska women’s team came away from Duluth with the Overall Team title for our 2003 USA Half Marathon.
22. Christy Nielsen- 1:17:38
23.  Machele Cochran- 1:17:39
24. Renee Kruse- 1:18:07
41. Michelle Paxton- 1:21:02
58. Ann Ringlein- 1:25:10
61. Michelle Swenson- 1:26:36
62. Maureen Larsen- 1:29:01

I was ill equipped to deal with the property but we have made a silk purse out of this sow’s ear.

An ever ongoing work in progress, we are getting the Bar None dialed into our dreams.

Fifteen years ago I also had the privilege of working with Dave McGillivray putting on our 2003 USA Marathon National Champs, as a precursor to our 2004 Olympic Trials Marathon.  This operations manual now the guiding force behind the Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.  And shining example of what we will do in Nebraska!





NorthStar Financial presents the 6th Annual Annual TeamUp for TeamMates 5K Run.
The event is Saturday, August 18th @ 8:30 AM (Omaha, NE)
Link to registration:

This a benefit run for the TeamMates Mentoring Program. The event will start and finish at NorthStar Financial Services Group. The course will wind its way through the scenic west side of Lake Zorinsky. There will be awards for the top three in a range of age groups. There will be a $100 cash prize for the fastest male and female.

The running event is to benefit the TeamMates Mentoring Program. The TeamMates Mentoring Program, founded by former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne and his wife, Nancy, in 1991, pairs a youth with an adult who acts as a role model and consistent influence in the child’s life. The two meet for an hour each week until the youth graduates high school. If you are interested in learning more about the TeamMates Mentoring Program or becoming a Mentor Please go to and take a moment to view the information about the program. On the website select “Contact Us” to learn more and have someone reach out to you.

Nicole Norris and Elizabeth Starbuck at last year’s TeamUp For TeamMates.


Results from this past weekend’s Portland Track Festival show just how HIGH our Midwest USATF Club bar has been raised.

Kansas City Smoke’s Zach Zarda turned in a very nice 29:35 (4th) in the 10000 meters.  The Smoke’s Amy Regan (33:28, 10th) and Sarah Fogarty (33:56, 13th) also raced the 10000 around the oval in Portland.  Two women  sub 34, adding some serious giddy to the up!

The Pike’s Peak Elite Track Club has merged with the Colorado Springs Track Club.  The combined effort should yield great results.

How fast is Omaha’s octogenarian Jose Badillo?  Fast!  His 6:59 mile (1st 80-84) at the Iowa  Senior Games age grades to a 4:17.  In the heat.  Catch him if you can at the Nebraska Senior Games.

Jose with his long time amigo and equally talented stud Bob Garcia.





The natural union of our life’s passions!  Running and gardening have been such an important part of our healthy lifestyle and we invite you to join us in eating the very best chemical free produce in Eastern Nebraska.  We’ve set up a facebook page “Athletes Feeding Athletes” that will allow you to follow what we are offering fresh from the garden.

You train and train and train but do you put in the very best fuel?  Now you can by signing up for our weekly, bi-monthly, and monthly subscription service!


Athletes Feeding Athletes


Omaha.  Lincoln.  Why no parity when it comes to supporting talented/developing runners?

I’ve pondered til I’m blue in the face.  Two cities less than 60 miles difference but worlds apart when it comes to running.

How can one city be so utterly behind the elite aspect of running and the other be equally as dismissive?   Both cities liberally peppered with talented runners.

I’ve a catalog of empirically derived reasons, they all  start at the top.

Now I ask you, what are your thoughts?   Do you agree?  Do you disagree?


Work continues on the  Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, Valley 5 Lakes Half Marathon, and 5 person marathon road relay.  Saturday April 27, 2019.  If you would like to sign up for email updates you can  visit

The race promises you a Half Marathon medal and t-shirt if you run the half marathon.  If you run the 5 person relay, you’ll get a relay medal and t-shirt.  If you run the full marathon you’ll get a full marathon medal and t-shirt.

The event will be the only completely closed road, USATF Certified and Sanctioned marathon in Nebraska.  No sidewalks or bike paths.  A True Road Race!  And your very best opportunity to qualify for Boston or run your personal  bests!

“Giving Every Participant The Opportunity to Run to Their Potential!”

The marathon described in elevation terms, simply the flattest in the world!



Boystown National Research Hospital 5 Mile held yesterday.  Let me step back a moment..
2007- 1115 finishers.  Dustin Llewellyn (26:44) and Bridget Baldwin (31:47) overall winners.
2008- 1203 finishers.  Brian Erb (26:54) and Bridget Baldwin (32:24) for the wins.
2009- 1438 finishers.  Jordan Tucker (27:59) and Erin Esslinger (32:16) overall winners.
2010- 1673 finishers.  Chas Davis (26:28) and Christina Longo (31:53) overall winners.
2011- 1674 finishers.  Logan Watley (28:21)and Kaci Lickteig (31:43) overall winners.
2012- 1546 finishers.  Cory Logsdon (26:46) and Kaci (30:32) for the laurels.
2013- 1070 finishers.  Joe Harter (26:22) and Molly Novoa (32:38) champs.
2014- 1172 finishers.  Seth Hirsch (25:33) and Michel Davy (32:16) for the wins.
2015- 1008 finishers.  Austin Post (25:59) and Lennie Waite (29:02) like a boss.
2016- 869 finishers.  Seth Hirsch (25:49) and Jen Freeman (32:48) take the nod.
2017- 727 finishers.  Seth Hirsch (24:27) and Jen Freeman (32:07) repeat.

2018- 700 finishers.  Noah Rasmussen (29:00) and Elizabeth Starbuck (33:18) win in the heat.

Boystown 5 mile.  Completely closed road race.  No sidewalks or bike paths being substituted for Road Racing.  So why the decline in numbers?  Certainly the  weather impacted this year’s numbers but it is always  hot at Boystown.  So what gives?  Why are people staying away in droves from this  Omaha classic?

Kaci leading the way in 2011.

Logan Watley enjoying the rare chance to experience a True Road Race in Nebraska!


Always work and more work here at the Bar None.  Hand watering, hand weeding, hand to hand as it were, all while hand in hand with my dear sweet Linda.  As busy as we are there is always another needed project.  Linda trimming the bushes out front, after a quick consult decided to yank them.  Change is good.  Digging out the bushes, planted 40 years ago and too close to the foundation, turns out to be a real chore.

Yews, harder than oak.  With an intricate and substantial root system.  After much studying decided to get down with it the only way I know how.  Rolled up the sleeves, got down on my knees, started working hard as I please.  Eight hours digging to get the first one out, you dig?  Only three more to go!

Up by 6 tending dogs and hens.  In the garden by 6:30 then.  Watering, weeding, picking and planting until lunch and a quick nap.  Then back at these yews, destined to lose, your Friday news.


The Kansas City Smoke has been a USA Track & Field Elite Development Club since the program’s inception in 2002. Shawn Love was the founder and original director until 2010.  Eric Hunt and Ron Kochanowicz each had terms at the helm and the club is now led by today’s guest interview, Randy Wasinger.

Will: Randy, Shawn Love and I share a remarkably similar path and friendship. In 2002 The Kansas City Smoke joined Team Nebraska as part of the freshman class of USATF’s Elite Development Club program. Let’s talk about The Smoke!

Randy: The Smoke was founded by Shawn, Eric Hunt and Ron Kochanowicz both had terms as president before I assumed the position.

Will: How has The Smoke evolved? How would you describe the club today?

Randy: The Smoke is committed to building and maintaining support within the Kansas City Community. Our current membership is around 100. While we maintain LDR at our core we also are able to provided for jumpers and throwers and sprinters.

Will: The Smoke is on a pretty impressive upward arc as evidenced by your 1st overall team performance at this year’s Shamrock Shuffle 8K in Chicago. First three fellas under 23:55, top shelf performances!

Randy: The Smoke’s Elite Level athletes continue to work hard. Zach, Joe, Evan and others have run remarkably well.

Will: You have an Elite level aspect, what other components of the club exist?

Randy: We also serve the running community by offering “A”, “B” and Masters athletes opportunities to compete.

Will: What are the biggest challenges for The Smoke?

Randy: Geographics. We serve athletes across the entire Missouri Valley region.

Will: What do you consider your biggest success?

Randy: Our Club Trophies from the USA National Club Championships events.

Will: What are The Smoke’s plans for the future?

Randy: More of the same. Primarily focusing on USA Club Cross Nationals and USA Club T&F National Championships.

Will: And the Marathon Road Relay at next year’s Valley 7 Lakes Marathon?

Randy: Of course!