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Dear Lord, in the battle that goes on thru life

I ask but a field that is fair,

A chance that is equal with all in the strife

A courage to strive and to dare

And if I should win, let it be by the code

With my faith and my honor held high

And if I should lose, let me stand by the  road

And cheer as the winners go by.

Author Unknown


There are enough hands to go around.  Yourselves and them covered the last two days.  Today I’m looking for a hand for us.  Who is  us?  Run Guru Elite, Inc.  501 (c)(3) not for profit set up to advocate for athletes serious about continuing their development with an eye towards local, regional, and national competitiveness.  Tax ID #47-4966239  All donations are tax deductible.

But who is Run Guru Elite, Inc?

Grant Wintheiser.  23 years old.  Former DIII XC National Champion.  Fastest runner to represent any Nebraska club since Mike Morgan 15 years ago.  His 1:06:15 at 2017 Garry Bjorklund Half erasing any doubt.  Grant’s 50:51 at the 2017 State Farm 10 Mile in Lincoln the fastest in 20 years.  He’s a medical student studying as hard as he races.  A once in a generation talent.   He deserves a hand.

Jay Welp.  25 years old.  Former GPAC XC Champion.   Outkicked LRC Racing (Johnny Rutford) and Team Nebraska’s (Colin Morrissey) very best at the State Farm 5K, surprising everyone but me.  Racing often over the next 5 months with an unblemished record.  High school teacher that works as hard as he races.  He deserves a hand.

Nicole Norris.  Nothing but personal bests this year.  An 8 minute improvement (1:25) on her half marathon personal best.  Marathon debut of 3:13 at 2017 Grandma’s on her 36th birthday.  Mother of two delightful children.  A stay at home mom that works as hard raising her family as she races.  She deserves a hand.

Elizabeth Starbuck.  22 years old.  The fastest female to run for me since Gina Morgan 10 years ago.  Goals of sub 17 for the 5K.  She trains as hard as she races.  She deserves a hand.

Abby  Schlater.  26 years old.  Two time Iowa state champ.  Pure miler.  Looking towards  the 2018 indoor season.  She deserves a hand.

Mark Abrams.  25 years old.  Former GPAC 10000 Champ.  The only fella I’ve met that has promised to beat Jay.  Great fit for that alone!  He dreams as hard as he trains and races.  He deserves a hand.

Jeremy Morris.  The baddest trail runner from Nebraska.  And by bad I mean the best.  More miles and races than anyone else I know.  He deserves a hand.

Angee Henry.  One of the most decorated female track and field athletes in Nebraska history.  She deserves a hand.

Jackie Freeman.  Mother of two, full time job.  Half and full personal bests this year.  She deserves a hand.

Amber Sargent.  Full time job.  Sub 3 hour marathoner.  She deserves a hand.

Sean Skillern.  Nick Knowles.  Tristan Nelson.  Ashley Schurman.  Stacy Mangers Shaw.  David Frost.  Kray Zeller.  Michel Davy.  Craig Halverson.  All solid.  All working their butts off.  They deserve a hand.

I’m asking for a hand for these athletes.  They need uniforms.  They need entry fees reimbursed.  They need travel and hotel assistance.  They need continued opportunities.

Donations should be made out to Run Guru Elite, Inc.  and mailed to 304 South 259th St., Waterloo, Nebraska 68069.

I’m asking you.


Give us a hand.





Following up on yesterday’s comments regarding the 71% increase in boys high school xc participation from 2001-2017.  Today I further  on how it coincides with the development of our Nebraska Association USATF Long Distance Running Program generally.  And Team Nebraska’s role specifically.   The Team Nebraska.  As originally scripted.  With all due respect to the current incarnation.

I sometimes belabor the point that there were no opportunities for post collegiate athletes prior to 2001.  Because of its relevancy.  It is why I celebrate the first athletes that represented The Good Life in toto.  Those that carried the USATF banner into battles.  Competitions against the best clubs in the United States.  Against the best athletes.  A team that verily and truly represented the entire state of Nebraska.  A paradigm that came and went.  The Platte rending what was once great.

Here is whom you can applaud for today’s robust participation.  The first members of Team Nebraska.  That coach.  That have brought our sport to new levels.  Allowing  me a seat at this computer with warm fuzzies, confident in my program.  USATF.  It  has changed yes.  It will continue to change yes.  What won’t change is the genesis.  The contributions of these fine young men.

Paul Wilson
Shannon Stenger
Dustin Llewellyn
Brian Wandzilak
Ryan Salem
James McGown
Craig Christians
Derek Fey

Give Them A Hand.

Coach Stenger standing proud with his 2017 Class A XC State Champion Titans.  Not for the last time my old friend, GIDDYUP!
photo courtesy of Aimee Guzman-Jones



Its all about you.  And you.  And you.  And you over there.  And you over here.  And all y’all over yonder.

Today I claim no lineage, no heritage, no credit, no authorship, no architectural provenance, no leadership, no nothing.

This column is for all runners in Nebraska except me.

No one has contributed more to distance running in Nebraska than you have.

Participation in boys high school cross country was flagging when I moved to Nebraska in 2001.

Since 2002 Nebraska boys cross participation has risen 71%.

Give yourself a hand.



A couple of good runs this past week left me with my highest mileage in perhaps a couple years.   I’m thankful for whatever I can get.  Can I possibly still mete out enough suffering to meet my minimum daily requirement?  Yes, so I’ve got that going for me.

Grant Wintheiser jumped in for a little test run at Beer & Bagel off road race.  Four miles in 22:49 for the win by over a minute.  Good to see our mate on the mend.  Nolan Border (25:03-LRC Racing) and Matt Seiler (25:50-Team Nebraska) rounding out the mattered places for the fellas.  Insert Nebraska USATF Athlete of the Year hashtags here.  Catherine Coletta (30:37), Christy Nielsen (30:58) were the first two women, Christine Houser and Amanda Lingg both credited with 31:18 for 3rd & 4th.

Camille Herron of War Acres, OK set the WR for 100 miles (12:42:41) this weekend at the TunnelHill 100.  First overall period, besting the semi professional field.  Insert friendship hashtags here.

Bo Pelini was a reviled winner.  66-27 over 7 years.  But not a good fit.  Insert spittle hashtags here.

Mike Reilly is a loveable loser.  Such a nice guy.   Insert sweet fella hashtags here.  Insert worst season in 60 years hashtags here.  Insert be careful what you wish for hashtags here.

“I will not run, nor will I accept my parties nomination.”  Decided against my run for ORC President.  Received  counsel from long time members of my community.   Became apparent that only a very small number cares about elite level running in Omaha.    Insert that’s why they don’t cross the Platte hashtags here.

Only the California International Marathon left for serious 2017 marathoners.  This year will serve as the USATF National Championships.  When I served as WLDR National Championships Chair that event, along with St. George’s Marathon were ineligible courses due to net elevation drop.  You could not run an Olympic Trials qualifier on either.  Insert strange times indeed hashtag here.













How we got here.  Doesn’t matter any more.  The fact is we are.

The question now becomes will we stay.  Some will and some won’t.

Two  rules to belong to Run Guru Elite.  #1- USATF Membership.  #2- Run in uniform.

I’ve heard from our USATF Nebraska Association LDR Chair that LRC Racing and Team Nebraska are now making membership into our national governing body optional.  USATF teams without USATF members.  Very easy to reconcile rosters.  We are seeing an orchestrated shift away from the program that inspired generations and provided hundreds of opportunities for all Nebraskans.  Ask yourself who and why.

And that is that.




I’m not sure how  many of you were around when I moved here in 2001.  I brought a hard life and a piece of conduit with me.  A pipeline to Bend, OR.   To Jim & Carol McLatchie.  My two  original mentors.  He my coaching, she my administrative.  What they saw, why they chose me, is best left to the gods.

Maureen Larsen and Pam Dubas were the first two female runners across the Blarney Stone 5K that same year, that rascal Chaz Davis replete with shamrock, shillelagh and pipe would lead the men.   I recruited them on the spot, told them of a vision.  Chaz not at all interested for his own good reasons.  A knock on my door a couple  weeks later and I would work daily with Maureen for over two years, channeling and teaching the McLatchie Method.  Leading to a personal best 2:56:41 and 3rd o/a at the 2003 Houston Marathon.  She is currently a top masters competitor.

James McGown qualified for the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon.  I  was privileged to coach him using the same McLatchie Method.  He is the last Nebraskan male to reach the Trials.

I’ve used some version of the method with hundreds of Nebraska runners by now.

Longtime readers know Jim was a DI XC Champion in 1963.  Has coached dozens of Olympians.  Carol was a 32:30 10K runner, Women’s LDR Chair, lifetime friend.  They retired to Bend, OR fifteen years ago.  Summit HS girls in Bend just won their record setting 10th straight Oregon High School XC Championships.  Like this: “With senior Taylor Vandenborn winning her first individual state title and five more Storm runners placing in the top 10, Summit claimed its record-setting 10th straight girls cross-country state championship Saturday at Lane Community College with 15 points — the first perfect score ever posted, by any gender in any classification, in OSAA history. 

Its a culture.  If you have ever pondered, wondered how and why Nebraska is where we are today.


Carol also works as a USATF Official at the Prefontaine Games.  Our sport, so much bigger than our own training routes.



We’ve got a corner of the Bar None designated as our compost pile.  Over the last 4 years I’ve tossed everything from kitchen scraps to chicken coop poop to raked leaves to every plant pulled from the garden.  The joys of decomposition.  Linda gets the pitchfork out semi regularly and turns the whole pile, a day long job.  Can you dig it?

I’ve been patient.  Turning crap into something useful and beneficial.  Dividends paid years after groundwork laid.  Those early contributions hidden beneath, buried, maybe even forgotten.  Gracing the entire garden.

Best Amendments.


 The Women’s Athlete Development Program was founded in 1995 by Lee Ann Meyer of Minnesota. I  served as Coordinator from 1996-2002.  My dear sweet Linda still chairs the Women’s program today,
I helped Brian Jones and Scott Simmons set up the men’s program in 2000.    Brian Jones continues as the Men’s ADP contact,
I have seen times turned in recently by LRC Racing that meet the standards.  Run Guru Elite’s Grant Wintheiser and a couple more of  ours with sights set on achieving the marks.  This program provides $200 travel stipend, shared room  for two nights, ground transportation, meals and waived entry to selected USA National Championship races.
“The goal of the Athlete Development Program (ADP) is to assist in the development of the next  generation of GREAT American distance runners.  The program provides emerging elite athletes the ability to experience competition at the national level.”

1) Have a current USATF membership
2) Be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 18-29
3) Have met one of the following times within the last year (see time standards below)
4) All times must  have been met on USATF Certified courses
5) Athletes need to be in top physical shape to compete.  If illness or injury occurs the ADP Coordinator needs to be identified.

Women       1 Mile- 4:48.50, 5 km-16:50,  10 km- 35:15,  15 km-54:27,   10 Mile- 58:45,  Half Marathon-1:18:30,    Marathon   2:51:00

Men  1 Mile- 4:11, 5 km-14:42,  10 km-30:00,  15 km-47:03, 10 Mile-50:45, Half Marathon   1:07:45,   Marathon   2:24:00


Thank you Shalane Flanagan.  Winning the NYC Marathon.  Dropping a 4:52 25th  mile to  become the first American woman in 40 years to wear the laurels.  Your performance will inspire future generations of great American Women marathoners.

Robust!  USATF Nebraska Association LDR Championships, what a difference a year makes!  Yesterday’s XC champs at Pioneer’s Park hosted 53 runners, up 40 from last year’s edition.  The new venue at Pioneer’s Park in Lincoln the difference.   Back half of the course difficult to navigate for the first timers.  The race rented my clock and banners and megaphone, next year I’ll include a fist full of flagging.  Patrick Letz (UNL) led the men in 16:01, Mary Hillis (LRC Racing) continued her torrid string, three weeks in a row now,  taking the women’s title in 19:06.   Proud of all those that raced.

LRC Racing taking both men and women’s team title.  No surprise there.  What did raise eyebrows was Run Guru Elite’s Mark Abrams taking the first K out in 3:00 en route to 6th o/a.  Only slightly less so Liz Starbuck’s 3rd overall.  LRC Racing taking advantage of the home course with 23 runners entered, Club 402 with 11, Run Guru Elite with 8 and Team Nebraska 3 (no women).

Cheers and here’s to next year!


My first race in over 3 years.  The USATF Nebraska Association LDR Program will always be never far from my heart.


Linda and I  chose attire most fitting.  Our involvement transcending geographical and temporal boundaries.  United States of America Track & Field.