Author Archives: runguru


The Des Moines Marathon/Half/5Mile/5K had a combined total entries of 6157.   The first 5 fellas in the full were Kenyan.  Kibet, Rotich, Cheptoo, Kosgei, and Pyatich.  The first 3 under 2:22.

The half had a more decidedly American feel.  Brogan Austin for the win 1:06:20, Austin O’Brien 2nd in 1:08:33, Eric Noel (LRC Racing) 3rd in 1:08:38, Tyson Wieland 4th in 1:09:50, and LRC Racing’s Johnny Rutford 5th in 1:10:15.  The women’s  race had most all my interest though.  Emma Bates ran a sterling 1:15:10 for the “W” followed by Kazakstani runner Yelena Nanaziashvili in 1:20:34.  Mary Hillis (LRC Racing) next in 1:21:03.  The battle for 4th though, that is what I’m talking about!  Nicole Norris.  She and Jennifer Vandevegte both credited with 1:25:45.  Nicole’s half marathon personal best at the start of the year a respectable 1:33.  Lowered it at Lincoln to 1:29:40, another 4 minutes chopped off yesterday.

Proud that she is our mate.  Proud to be her coach.  No philosophical differences.

The Nebraska Marathon/half/5K  were also  yesterday. No  results posted  yet.  Just like the 80s
I do know that Abby Schlater made her Run Guru Elite debut by finishing 2nd o/a woman in the 5K.  And I know Justin Mollak ran 2:46:18 but don’t know where that placed him.


Back in 1980 we would run a race and then wait up to a month for the “Official” results to be sent via snail mail.  Now I’m too spoiled,  expecting race results posted the same day as the race.







Yesterday’s District XC meet at Papillion LaVista South showed some fine performances.  Linda and I saw some Real Racing as the thinclads earned their way into the state meet.  Props to all the athletes and teams that advanced.

My heart was broken to see Sam Runde standing on the sideline cheering.  He was my pre season pick to win this race.  The first time I’ve experienced this type of disappointment.  Me left wistfully wondering… if only…..  Congratulations to that other freshman I like, Zach Jones of PLVS, finished 14th to advance.

Who are “My Boys”  and why do I have the hubris to call them mine?  A group of fellas that answered my call over 10 years ago.   That gave what I asked.  The first group of athletes I recruited for Team Nebraska.

Lots of hugs and handshakes.  Shannon Stenger.  Ryan Salem.  Brian Wandzilak.  Paul Wilson.  Dustin Llewellyn.  All coaching Class A.  My boys.

And Colin Johntston.  And Bill Scarborough.  And Max Kurz.  My peers.  I’ve never felt so comfortable.

“A” game.  Anna Jennings of PLVS in 18:42.  Gabby McGinn of MW in 18:58 leading Coach Johnston’s top 4 under 20 on the hilly course.  Nice.

In District C-2 Jonathan Lindgren of Boone Central/Newman Grove finished 2nd to advance.
In District C-4 Jack Lindgren of  Ogallala finished 2nd to advance.
Those Runnin’ Lindgrens!

Congratulations to our mate Jackie Freeman and her Bloomfield Fighting Bees for advancing to state!

Nicole Norris, slowly putting together a year to remember.  Four minute personal best (1:29:40)at Lincoln Half.  3:13 marathon debut at Grandma’s on her 36th birthday.  She has reported in every single day this year.  That is how serious she is.  That is how serious I am.  She will be running the Des Moines Half this weekend.  Going to be my great pleasure  to report her time on Monday.





We started the 2017 market season in new and bigger digs, Village Pointe.   It’s a good market for the reason of keeping it to farmer’s only (dot com).  No face-painting or prepared foods or crafts, just tables of produce.  We took our slogan  with – “Best Organic Practices”.  Every plant started by organic seed, rain water our primary source, our aquifer the secondary.  Never any sprays or fungicides or pesticides or any sides of any kind.  Our very first Saturday Linda was verbally accosted by a woman demanding “You can’t even say the word organic unless you are Certified Organic or it will be a $10,000 fine.”

Interesting  loophole is Certified Organic farms are allowed to use Certified Organic chemicals.   Many of  which warn that the produce must not be eaten from 3-5 days after application.

My new standard.  If I can’t slurp a tablespoon of it right now it won’t be in my garden.

I immediately amended our slogan.  “Better than Organic”.  And we spent the summer educating the buying public as to why that is a fact.  Our customer base now understands the difference in quality when choosing among available options and they are as fervent and passionate about our paradigm as we.

Some customers tell me “I care not at all”.   Usually the oldest, set in their ways, curmudgeons refusing to get with the times.

It was the other vendors that presented the biggest stink.  How dare Bar None Produce waltz into our game and insist they are doing it better than us.  Yes, the facts support the claim.  But there were several that took such umbrage.  Called to comparisons  they had never expected, all they could do was  bristle and complain.  And stick to their own dated values.

We’ll be back next year with the same message.  We are the Best, Bar None.  And people will get it and people won’t.

Just like our running community.


My old buddy/nemesis has been foisting late night visits again.  Insomnia.  When  the entire world spins in my head.  So many things to consider.  So many angles to ponder.  So  many words.  How do I calm, quiet, and clear a busy mind?

By going outside.  Outside my head.  Outside my house.  And listening to El Buho, el tecolete, The  Owl.  The Wise One.  His message requires my utmost attention, pushing aside all the clutter.  I listen.  Waiting patiently and quietly.  Sleep comes.

Our flock of chickens have never been happier.  Linda and I did a complete reno on the coop Monday.  All that good poop going out to the  garden, fresh hay and new nesting boxes installed.  Happy little cluckers they.  Getting close to my goal of 3 dozen/day from the 55.

I’m still keeping an eye on a couple of the rescue chickens we’ve accepted.  Not yet to adolescence, just on the cusp.  The coop has seen 3 previous birds meet a similar fate.    Our ladies have accepted there is only one, tis I.  You never know whether cock or hen.  Until that first crackling, like an 11 year old with his first hint of peach fuzz.

Knowing the stew pot is the next stop.  And still unable to refrain.

Cock must crow.

True to Nature.



This is a plea to the Scottsbluff Marathon, Grand Island Marathon, Lincoln Marathon, Omaha Marathon, Heartland Marathon and Nebraska Marathon.

Please join forces and agree to provide a $10,000 bonus to the next male and female residing in Nebraska that qualifies for the USA Olympic Trials Marathon with the “A” Standard.  2:15 for the fellas, 2:37 for the ladies.

Incentivize them.  Make it worth the hours and months of training and racing.  THEY WILL STEP UP IF THEY KNOW THE SUPPORT IS THERE.

If they hit those marks they deserve it.  If you don’t agree, you’re probably in the wrong sport.


I moaned last Monday about the lack of representation at the Twin Cities Marathon.  Today I groan with no Nebraskans competing at Chicago.  Two of the premiere marathons in the United States, both easy driving distance, fast courses, loaded with competition.

The USA Olympic Trials qualifying window opened September 1 at TCM and will wind up at the Houston Marathon on January 19, 2020.  Fellas- 2:15 A standard, 2:19 B standard, 1:04:00 Half.

The last male qualifier living in Nebraska?  That fella out in Brady.  The rancher/school administrator.  The young man I coached to the ’04 & ’08 Trials.   James McGown.

A lot of coaches in Nebraska.  A lot of runners in Nebraska.  How has the value and luster of the Olympic Trials Marathon fallen into disfavor?

By having too much fun.  By focusing on the social and funsies and as long as we all hang out that’s good enough.

So hard to understand this.  Not even one among us?  10 Years since a male living in Nebraska has dreamed to the Trials.  With all due respect to Mssrs. Morgan and Fruit, both Nebraska natives that achieved their dreams through programs outside the Good Life.

What is this landscape?

Omaha’s Race For The Cure 5K.  I loaded (5 athletes!) the field and we came away with hollow victories.  No awards ceremony, no overall recognition, no competition from the other USATF Clubs, no nothing.  Only legitimate times to guide this fall’s training.  The charities that have so bastardized our sport.  Did you know that 60% of the proceeds go to Komen’s leviathan administrative efforts.  The lady that stood on the sidelines saying it all- “I’m a survivor and we used to be able to run/walk for free.  They started charging us and now I can’t afford to participate.”  8000 participants.  215 selected the extra $5 to be “Offically Timed”.  Remember they call this a Race.  At least it was USATF Certified.

What is this landscape?

Big win by Jeremy Morris at the Lake Perry 50K.  Mountain Man.  Nick and Liz  taking the overalls at the above  mentioned charity run.  Tristan and Stacy and Angee also repping Run Guru Elite with solid efforts.

LRC Racing taking to the mud at the Briarcliff Invitational.  Cory Logsdon of Team Nebraska too.  Good on them for racing.

The start build out to yesterday’s race collapsed just prior to the start sending volunteers scrambling.  Apropos for how the charity has deflated my best efforts to make it a Real Race.  USATF deserves better.  RRCA deserves better.  WECRAWL deserves better.

What is this landscape?



The Chicago Marathon is this weekend.   When I “rode herd”, you likely were directed to select either Twin Cities or Chicago for your fall marathon.  Took large contingents to both.  I won’t swear to it but looking at the TCM results I didn’t find a single Nebraska USATF athlete in the marathon (and only JR in the 10 Mile).  I’m hoping they all selected Chicago.

Marathoning.  What used to be the litmus for Real Runners, seems to have fallen out of fashion of late.

The Race For The Cure is also this weekend.  Grant Wintheiser turned in the fastest 5K of 2016 (14:37) at the event, besting Luka Thor by nearly  :45.  Point being,  man its fast!  And another throwback here, a fast course in and of itself used to be enough to draw Real Runners.

Grant won’t be defending his title, Jay Welp will be running a xc meet.  They’ve already established themselves as the two fastest guys  in Nebraska, so wide open for  the fellas.

So whom will step up?  Maybe Nick or maybe Tristan.  See?  Same as it ever was.  Find a fast, certified course, get your athletes entered, compete.  Simple.  Liz Starbuck has shown some flashes of wheels this fall.  She’s the favorite for the women.  Someone please come  push her to a fast time!  I want her to win but would much rather a competitive race resulting in fast times.

Bill Rodgers and Nick Rose.  Please google if you don’t know them.  Racing the USA Cross Country National Championships at Buffalo Bayou, Houston, circa 1979.  Nick and Bill leading the  pack.  Nick looks over, sees an alligator scrambling on the bank, about drops the deuce.  Why the anecdote?  I was shocked to see the Metro XC Meet cancelled yesterday due to, I think it must have been rain?

Galloping Bohunk.  Ralston beat Bennington last night,  Number 2 for Ralston is Noah Oellerich Kunasek, my nephew!  He’s a star.  Sophomore and the fastest guy on the team.  Returns punts and kick offs, plays tail back, caught some passes and had some nice long runs, prompting the announcer (the game was aired live on tv) to call him “shifty”.

My old “Boss” Virginia Brophy Achman is the RD for Twin Cities.  The Marathon and 10 Mile and all the other TC events.  If you buy me a beer I’ll tell you tales about my 7 years as the head of the Women’s National  Championships.  Buy  me a whiskey and I’ll tell you how it all went down.  This past Sunday the 10 Mile featured an “Equalizer Bonus”.  The women to get a pre determined head start, 6 minutes eighteen seconds.  According to reports by Robert Johnson of LetsRundotCom, the timing company  erred by starting the men 6 minutes and 10 seconds after.  Kipchirchir caught Sara Hall one step from the finish- ostensibly winning the $10,000 bonus.  So a nod to VBA for stepping up and paying Sara as well as Kipchirchir.  Costly mistake, if I know her-and I do- I’m sure heads will roll.  She doesn’t cotton to Rosy Red Cheeks.


No fanny packs, no walking, no headphones, no ski poles, no six pockets in their shorts.  Just Real Racing.


I talk, talk, talk about Freedom of  Speech.  I take it further, I live by it.  Swear by it.  Put it in your face.  Challenge you with it.  Effect change with it.

The cost of freedom is hard to quantify.  Sometimes its clear, you give up in order to get.  Pull the plug on the blog or get nothing.   Give up your principles, your opinions, toe the line, dance to the call, do what you are told.  Be like all the others.  Recognize your master.


Jed’s Cost of Freedom is easier to figure.  Twenty four post holes, 4′ deep by 12″ across, a full  day of  digging, you dig?  Twenty two posts, 8′ by 4″ square.  Two posts 8′ by 6″ square.  Forty eight bags of quick setting cement.  Two Hundred feet of 4′ welded wire fencing.  Two 8′ paneled gates.  Seventy two quality grade 1x4s.   Four Sundays in September.

Jedediah is a Free Dog now.  Off the master’s cable .  Free to run the Bar None.

Free to Run.

Free to Bark.









Your top 10 finishers at yesterday’s USA 10 Mile National Championships in Minneapolis.  Ian, Martin, and Jonathan the three top 10 athletes born in the United States.   Numbers 1-6 Kenyan athletes that joined the  US Army’s World Class Athlete Program.  Soldiers.  Laying lives on the line  for their country.

What say you?

1. Leonard Korir- 47:33
2. Shadrack Kipchirchir- 47:33
3. Emmanuel Bor- 47:39
4. Haron Lagat- 47:40
5. Elkanah Kibet- 47:41
6. Abbabiya Simbassa- 47:45
7. Ian La Mere- 47:48*
8. Martin Hehir- 47:50*
9. Jonathan Grey- 47:54*
10. Futsum Zienasellaissie- 48:23
25. Brogan Austin- 49:41 -Iowa Ablaze
35. Zach Baker- 51:06- Iowa Ablaze
38. Johnny Rutford- 52:18- LRC Racing

Louisville Cross Country Classic 8K (Louisville,KY)
Wisconsin finished 8th overall, seemingly no big deal.  Here’s the big deal- led by sophomore Oliver Hoare (8th- 23:40), senior Joe Hardy (21st- 23:57), freshman Seth Hirsch (61st- 24:43), freshman Finn Gessner (66th- 24:47) and freshman Tanner Wagner (85th- 24:58).  Look out 2018!

Congratulations to Anne Shadle.  Inducted into the Nebraska High School Hall of Fame and so deserved.

The Hy-Vee Pinky Swear Run and Market to Market also this past weekend.




September 29, 2007.  The first USATF Certified (#NE07008KU) and Sanctioned sub 4 minute road mile in Nebraska history.   Omaha.  The day that re-ignited Real Racing.

The Rodeo Run.  Sending the runners off in front of the River City Round Up parade, covering the 1 mile in a hurry.  Race clocks every 1/4 mile.  One on the back of the lead truck.  Featured elite race with a promise, a boast.   I was building Team Nebraska into one of the top USATF Elite Development Clubs in the U.S.   It was time to bring in the big guns.  Sold my pitch to and became a Trail Boss with the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben.   Linda too as Co-Race Director and a full race committee, but that is another tale.

Ryan Kleimenhagen, Rob Duncan, David Juliano, and Josh Moen.  These cats were known as some of the fastest road and track milers in the U.S.  My Mates  Shannon Stenger, Paul Wilson, Dustin Llewellyn, and Mark Hall changed the competitive landscape in Nebraska that morning.  Shook it out of a decades long doldrums.  This is their story, their contribution to what you and I enjoy today.  USATF competition at the highest levels.  In Omaha.  In Lincoln.  In Nebraska.

A sub 4 was guaranteed that morning.  The men above delivered it into the history books.

When filled in on the plan the mates were Giddy!  Shannon and Paul and Dustin trained together and like never before, hell bent.   They relished the opportunity to race a national class field on their home course.  Made it the focal point of that fall.  Turned it in to the race of their lives.


David Juliano took the lead early.  Rob Duncan in the blue.  Ryan Kleimenhagen to his right.  Shannon Stenger to Rob’s left.  Dustin Llewellyn, Paul Wilson, Mark Hall, and Josh Moen in the back row.  The fastest, deepest mile in the history of Nebraska.


This is the exact moment that changed competitive racing in Nebraska.  A good mate leading the field into the final (only) turn on the course.  This is one of my all time favorite photos, the two lads cheering Shannon on, the future of racing in Nebraska.  I want you to study this photo and understand the courage Shannon displayed heading this national field into the final 300 meters.


Another downhill on 10th St.  Flying into the finish and the history books!


The final separation on the very slight uphill to the finish!


Ryan Kleimenhagen for the win.  USATF Nebraska.  Team Nebraska Brooks.  History books.


Rob Duncan second in an official 4:01.

David holding on for 3rd (4:04) in front of a fast closing Shannon.

Shannon Stenger crosses in a lifetime best 4:07.


Josh Moen next in 4:10.


Paul Wilson and Dustin Llewellyn next, both credited with 4:16.


Mark Hall ran 4:31.


Casey Owens of Des Moines led the women in 4:48.


I want to thank Shannon and Paul and Dustin and Mark.  And Ryan and David and Rob and Josh.  This is the standard that I hold.  This level of courage, excellence and performance.  Inspiring the next generation.  Your generation.


The fastest mile in the history of Omaha and Nebraska….until the very next year!

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?  I reached out to the field from that historic morning and received the following updates.

From Ryan Kleimenhagen: “It’s hard to believe this historic day in Omaha happened 10 years ago.  I was recently married and moved to Madison, WI.  I remember driving the 6 hours to Omaha, NE wondering what kind of shape I was in since September is usually “off season” for us milers.  It was a beautiful morning for the race and my legs were felling awesome during warmup, so I had a feeling something special was about to happen.  I remember David Juliano taking the race out hard, so I tried to close the gap and beat the clock to the 4 minute mark at the finish.  The race and making history still means as much today as it did 10 years ago and will never be forgotten.  After battling calf injuries for the better part of a decade, I’ve taken up cycling and swimming and competed in my first Triathlon a few weeks ago with great results.”

David Juliano:  “I remember that race fondly and relished the chance to run as fast as possible.  It was exciting to feel the rush and combine the thrill of the mile with the challenge of a road race.  I haven’t run in five years or so but thing about starting again every so often.  I am a high school math teacher so it is sometimes hard to find the time during the school year to give it an honest effort.”

Rob Duncan: “ I wanted to run a fast mile on the road and what better way then a good down hill and with friends. The prize money was good and Omaha was close and a great town to spend the weekend in. Great race and great crowd support. Still have that pic of me looking up and the clock reading 4:01″

Josh Moen: Living in Eden Prairie Minnesota and works at the TC Running Company.

Shannon Stenger: “Oh yeah!! !  I remember that run very well.  It was a nice morning, about upper 60s and I think the elite group went off around 8:45 am.  Goal going in to that run was to run under 4:15 and I did that. Ran with the top three runners that went 3:59, 4:01, and 4:04 for about the first 1200m. Felt really good going down Capital and strong turning from Capital to 10th St. and decided to take the lead and start to push it.  (I have attached the picture- love that pic!).  Legs started to get a little tight with about 300m to go and I could no longer stay with the leaders. Turnover was good until that point. Again, a great race that I will never forget.  Glad I ran it with no regrets!
I am currently running some ultramarathons.  Will run a 100k in California on Saturday, October 7th, only two weeks out.  Since I will be turning 39 in October, my goal when I turn 40 is to get back to the track and make a serious run at breaking 2 minutes in the 800m when I turn 40.  Will see. . . . .

Dustin Llewllyn:  I have never been a person with great speed. The longer the race the closer to the front I was. Shannon and Paul are much stronger, but I never thought I couldn’t beat them or wanted to give it my all to stay with them. Both have far better running credentials than I, but for some reason on that day I felt I could not only stay with them, but maybe even finish ahead of them. That thought went out the window as soon as we got 40m into the race with Shannon taking off like a rocket. I kept Paul in my sights and coming down in that last 200-250m I thought I could get around him. I finished right behind him and with my fastest mile time ever. Even though I did not finish in the front pack or beat Paul, it was one of if not the best race that I took part in. Too be able to race and also watch Shannon take a lead and to see Paul ahead giving me the motivation that I needed to give my best is something I will remember for ever. Those guys mean the world to me and the friendships that we formed over so many miles, races, and meals has been a blessing.

Paul Wilson and Mark Hall unavailable for comment.