Author Archives: runguru


It all depends what you are in it for.  And only you can answer that.   Competition?  Development?  Friends?  What do you expect out of your running?  Why do you train?  Why do you race?

These athletes, my athletes, your athletes, if they are in it for development and competition deserve someone that will, as referenced here before, light their beards for  them.  It starts and ends with coaching.  I’m writing individualized programs for 8 athletes.  They  run for me.  But I don’t claim to be the only coach in the Midwest.  More than a few of  our  runners are being coached by others.   The Run Guru Elite interview  process includes a chapter on this.  A sound approach to training need not only come from me but you can bet your bottom that I’ll have some say in the approval  process.

It depends on those whats and whys.  What are your expectations for your own  running, your own racing, your mates, your coach, your club?  Are you being served?

The number one hard lesson I’ve learned over the last 30 years in the sport is to not want more for  someone than they want for themselves.  To not want more for a club than what the members settle for.  If you are satisfied and comfy and cozy good on you.  If you feel like there is more to you, more to the sport, then I suggest some deep soul searching.

This newest iteration, Run Guru Elite, is a refinement.  A recalibration.  A hearkening to my Original Vision of what Excellence in Athletics really means.  Its a Philosophy, consistent and unwavering, unflinching for over 20 years.

Our athletes have High Expectations.  And so do I.





Run Guru Elite Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit set up to advocate for post collegiate athletes.   The club addresses what I perceive as the flagging competitive nature of top flight athletics in Nebraska and parts of the Midwest.    Our athletes ascribe to the “In It To Win It” philosophy.

Run Guru Elite, Inc. is the only unsponsored USATF Elite club in the Midwest and is currently seeking funding.  This is a great opportunity  to associate with excellence.  Our athletes are highly competitive and have dominated the Nebraska/Iowa road racing scene in 2017.  Grant Wintheiser has put up the top Nebraska times in nearly 20 years from 5K- half marathon and Jay Welp is undefeated at less than the 13.1 mile distance.  Our team has had a very successful 2017 recruiting campaign while maintaining a small total size to best advocate for the serious athlete.

If you are serious about our sport, and are looking for an experienced and successful advocate, please contact me at

We also welcome all interested potential sponsors to contact me at the same.



Responding to injury without revenge.  A good example is the situation at 1909 Campanille Road.  His dog knocked me off my bike last year sending me to the hospital and causing great pain for the next several months,  costing me over $5K out of pocket.  When investigated the response was, “We don’t have a dog.”  I still have to drive by that address and it causes me pause and reflection on what turning the other cheek really means.

Sometimes  being repeatedly ignored is just as painful.   I offer a third cheek.

The heat is on.  Stay out of it if you can.  Linda and I have no such luxury (or desire for that matter).  Feeling trapped inside the house even though still plenty to get done while feeling confined.  Eyes constantly pulled out the window, just like grade school.  Its our nature.


No plea too small or large.  Jesus tried to teach common courtesy and respect towards your fellow man.




If you are willing to do the work, if you’re out there busting your ass, if you Revel in the Sheen, this column is for you.  If not, time to leave.

I’ve railed for years about the direction “fitness” has taken.  Taken a stand because I truly believe in my message.  But its not for everyone.  Last chance to leave.

Sitting down with friends over a Sam Adams Summer Ale last night.  We enjoy these visitors as they give us updates and glimpses into “city life”.  Things have only gotten weirder in the “fitness” community.  Between sips the young lady dropped my  jaw.  One (or more?) of the local (gym?  spa?  catwalk?) facilities has upped my bewilderment into the stratosphere.

Coiffed?  Check.  Tanned?  Check.  Manny/Peddy?  Check, check.  Stay with me now….

What made my head spin like a wind up toy?  The young lady told me that it is now “fashionable” to have your armpits botoxed to prevent sweating.  At a gym.  Or spa.  Or catwalk.  As athletes, I ask you to consider this.  To me that would be akin to having my taste buds removed because I didn’t like the taste of  something.  Yet all the popular kids are at the table.  The old adage and oft spoken warning comes  to mind- “Just because they all jump off a cliff would you follow?”  Some it seems, do just that.

I might have to move to Montana.


I had a bug fly.  In my eye.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  They may have been just a little  moist at the end of this morning’s track workout.  Toughest of the year.  The final one before sending Sam off to USATF National Championships in Lawrence next week.

Sam won’t be the only Nebraska athlete competing and you bet I’m darned proud of every single kid in this association that qualified.  But after working with Sam for the last 4 years, I’ve got a special  appreciation for him.

A lot of conversation on the final cool down.  How proud I am that both he and brother Jack rose to my call.  To up their game and level of competition from AAU to USATF.  Big difference.  Huge difference.  For Sam advancing out of the Region 8 Champs in both the 1500 and 3000.  The latter his favorite and mine.

Thanking his parents for entrusting Linda and I with the measured, non-specialized, methodical, developmental  arc I described back in 2013.   Denise insisting this was the best way for Sam.  I insisted right back that it may not  be the best way but absolutely A BETTER WAY.


My Retirement Gift to Coach Mingo at Burke.  May his final year be his best!


Time flies and over the last four years, these fine young men have learned to do the same!



“Willie, you’re giving yourself a rough row to hoe!” an admonition I received regularly as a child.  And my dad knew a thing or two about rough rows.  Having grown up in the throes of the depression, there were no easy rows.

Those same rows helped prepare me for this summer.

With the Bar None garden now over 16,000 square feet, there are plenty of  same.  An easier row would allow “cides”, pesticides, fungicides, etc.  Best Organic Practices, they’re a tough  row.  Hoeing,  weeding,  pulling, dripping brows, backs bent and nose to the grindstone.  Triple digit heat indexes.  10-12 hours most days

Our list of Boutique Customers continues to grow and are my favorite aspect of the business.  Most bring small children that pull their very  first carrot, experience the Christmas morning of digging into a potato hill, teach them to retrieve eggs without disturbing the hen on the nest.  Delighted faces learning where Real Food comes from.

Bar None Produce.  Double entendre.  Everyone welcome, none better.  Its that second part that mirrors my commitment to the running community.


Fruits of Linda and my labors.




At the 2012 USATF Nebraska Association annual meeting LDR Chair Matt Pohren introduced the Nebraska Association LDR Founder’s  Scholarship.  I  am honored that it is in my name and privileged to oversee the selection committee (Shannon Stenger, James McGown, current LDR Chair, me).

This year’s winners are Millard South’s Taylor Somers (State Champ 1600 – 5:02.21 & 3200- 10:52.16) for the girls and a split between Westside’s Milo Greder (State Champ1600- 4:09.6*, 2nd 3200- 9:20.69) and Millard West’s Seth Hirsch (State Champ 3200-8:57.20*,  2nd 1600- 4:14.10) for the fellas.
* State record

Congratulations to these deserving athletes and not for the last time, Giddyup!


I wrote a grant to the USATF national offices in Indianapolis back in 2002 to publish this brochure and launch the LDR program in Nebraska.  I can hardly believe  it has been 15 years already.  Featured on the cover:  Michelle Swenson, Gary Dougherty, Ann Ringlein, Michelle Paxton, and Craig Christians.  There was no USATF LDR program, no Team Nebraska, no LRC Racing, no Women Run Nebraska, nada for post collegiate athletes before I moved here, I know it is hard to believe.

You have my permission to chuckle if someone tries to convince you otherwise.  Aw Shucks!


Thanks to Chris McBratney for sending in the  following report.  If you would like to submit a race report please email to:  shoot me an email and I’ll do  my best to get it in!

“This is my 4th year as Race Director, and we’ve continued to see some fast times, particularly in the 5 mile race (we also have a 2 mile option).  The course is exceptionally flat, so it supports some good times.  Ridge Road Run 5 Mile results

This year, we had a good showing of some college and high school talent.  The race was won by Tito Gonzalez (in 26:18), followed closely by Jack Schulz (26:44), both of whom I believe just graduated from Fremont High School.  I would hope with talent like theirs that they’ll continue their running journeys beyond 12th grade!  Not to be outdone was Ben Schulz (29:25), who I would assume will continue running under Coach Sean McMahon at Fremont High School again next year.  4th place was Alex Rohlfs (30:31), who runs for Drake and will be a sophomore this year.  We also had Alex Way (31:00.93) and Jacob Klein (31:33) who run at Midland University and I believe tend to favor much longer distances.  Jacob crossed the line just 1 second ahead of his former high school coach at Fremont High School, Sean McMahon (31:34) who still continues to put up some really competitive times.

There’s very little shade on the course, we hardly had any wind, and it was pretty humid.

This year was also the first year of the Corporate Challenge (a competition for companies and organizations to encourage their employees to participate for the John C. Fremont Cup), which is similar to the Corporate Cup and other team-related events.  No surprise here, the race was won by Fremont High School, led by Coach Sean McMahon, his wife Beth, and their son Ross.  They beat out Hormel and Bell Field Elementary and get to take ownership of the John C. Fremont Cup until next year’s race.  We hope that we’ll continue to see more organizations competing next year to get some stiff competition for the Tigers!”




This has been one hell of a recruiting season.  Mark Abrams, Sean Skillern, Ryan Bauermeister and Liz Starbuck already announced.  Abby Schlater signed yesterday.  The door is still open.

Advocating for serious athletes.  Putting performance above politics.  All but Abby having made the obligatory trip to the  Bar None to get the skinny on what the club means,  what it stands for, what its goals are.   Abby will be out for her final introduction upon return from her position at the Michael Johnson Performance Center in Texas.  Abby studied at College of St. Mary in Omaha before heading to the Lone Star State and we are happy she’s headed back.

What brings Mark and Sean and Ryan and Liz and Abby to Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc.?

I made the decision to advocate for American athletes in 1996 after a boatload of “C” level Kenyans took the $3000 in prize purse at my Run For The Arts 10 Mile.     Over 22 years of service later there is no questioning my commitment to developing Americans.   Fighting the good fight for the last 17 years right here in the Heartland.  Trying to make it a Better Place.

These athletes are doing due diligence.   We welcome them and promise to do what we do best.  All they have to do is the same.  And have a USATF membership in the Nebraska Association.

Giddyup Y’all!




The 5th annual TeamUp for TeamMates 5K is set for Saturday, August 5th at Lake Zorinsky.  Put on by NorthStar Financial Services.  Nice payday ($100) for the winners.  Great benefit.

TeamUp For TeamMates 5K

Nice little race out at my old dojo.  Starts and finishes at the NorthStar campus just behind the Fleet Feet on 177th & W. Center.  Winds up a big hill through Legacy, drops down onto the trail proper, out to the parking lot at 168th, and giddyup the same way back.  Shaded.  Course laid  with  Jones Counter (USATF Course Measurement protocol).  So you can count on a legit distance.

Nebraska Run Guru Elite kits on the line.  The ones with the Blue Collars.  Working hard.


Last year Cory Logsdon (243) and Colin Morrissey (228) were both credited with 15:27 for the tie.  photo courtesy  of Gary  Dougherty