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REAL HEROES OF RUNNING

I speak a lot about the historical aspect of  our sport, locally to internationally.  Throw around words like “visionary, blah, blah, blah.”  Never at a loss.  Toss names as easy as a drive through order.  Not today.

Today’s Big Tips go to the lesser known but no less important.  There are a whole bunch of you,  please forgive me highlighting just my favorite two.

I’ve watched Matt Scott with a sense of awe this year.  I’ve chronicled his daughter Madison’s training and competitive success, none would have been possible without Matt and Kristy being there.  Not just the many training sessions and local competitions.  But travelling across the United States for the opportunity to race the rest of the best.  North Carolina, Indiana, and this weekend, appropriately enough,  Madison, Wisconsin.  She and the West Omaha Track Club Wolves will be competing at the USATF National Junior Olympic XC Championships.

I’d also like to recognize Tim Fry and  Michael Bickley of Club 402.  These cats are as committed to our sport’s future as anyone in Nebraska.   Serious runners themselves, the lion’s share of their efforts are poured into their youth program.  Modeling excellence their strongest suit.  They’ve also loaded up and will be on the start line tomorrow morning in Madison.

Matt, Tim, and Michael.  The Real Heroes of Running.

 

MY GREATEST WORK

Google analytics tells me readership is at an all time high.   I want to thank everyone that has checked this week’s musings.  Perfect opportunity to lay bare a little bit of soul, man.

Running is my life.  Think it, live it, breathe it.  Its not the only thing, just the one thing.  No  different than a carpenter, lawyer, dentist, businessman, homemaker, I’ve dedicated myself to my craft.

Athlete.  Administrator.  Advocate.  Coach.  Writer.  Self Styled Visionary.  Its the last one that brings the greatest challenges and greatest rewards.

When I  moved to Nebraska I saw a blank canvas.  Splashed programs here, events there as needed.  Others have taken up brushes and good on them, it is the end game for any guru after all.  Now a hundred canvases each with their own  strokes, folks.

But not once have  I considered walking away from my easel.  Not in 2009, not in 2012, not 2017, not now.   Still too much Good Work to be done.  My Greatest Work in fact.  A lofty ambition, I hope you aspire as much in your own works.

The motivation?  The same passion and energy for American Athletes that underlies my credentials of the last 40 years.  The fuel  that led to USATF Nebraska LDR, Team Nebraska, and indirectly LRC Racing.  My grunt work in Nebraska finished, time to return to my first and deepest commitment, American Athletes.

Valley Lakes Marathon.  America’s Marathon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

USATF CLUB XC CHAMPIONSHIPS PRIMER

For all y’all headed out to Bethlehem, PA.

Here’s a tip.
Just because you shave your legs doesn’t mean you get to use the women’s restroom.   An iconic incident from the 2007 Club Champs that will live in infamy.  Linda and our mates were there and we know it true.   Don’t tase me bro!

 

Nebraska’s best ever.  David Adams’ 10th overall in an eye popping 30:02, Seattle 2011.  Stud!

Athletes representing LRC Racing this weekend:
LRC Nebraska – Team A
Mark Abrams, Nolan Border, Phillip Duncan, Tim Grundmayer, Jacob Olson, Clay Simpson, Nolan Zimmer
LRC Nebraska – Team B
Chad Berens, Ryan Dostal, Cole Marolf

LRC Nebraska – Team A
Emily Berzonsky, Erica Doering, Sarah Fowler, Hanna Hegemann, Mary Noel, Elizabeth Starbuck, Kayla Wolf
LRC Nebraska – Team B
Ashlyn Glann

Don’t tase me bro!

 

 

 

MIDLANDS HALF MARATHON

Linda and I had the privilege of riding lead bikes for the Midlands Half on Saturday.  The event had always been an enigma shrouded in mystery for your scribe.  I knew it was contested in December, started somewhere out in the country and is run with the wind.  All new to my road race management tool belt, this old dog learned a couple of new  tricks.  Thank you Coach Gerber for the opportunity.

The course starts in Valley.  Pancake flat for the first 11 miles, the Morningside overpass in Fremont, then another dime flat deuce to the finish.

Geography lesson-The race taking  advantage of the area’s natural endless horizons, ala Valley Twin Rivers YMCA Half, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, Valley Days 1500, and Waterloo’s Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series.  Valley to Fremont, corridor of excellence in running.  If you want to run free and fast, if times are important to you, if you want to run to your potential, we bid you come run with us.

50 collegiate runners + a stalwart Chris McBratney toed the 33 degree start line.  Chasing the NAIA National Championships Marathon standards of 1:13:00 and 1:29:00, that race set for May 21 in Gulf  Shores, Alabama.  Chilly 15-20 mph winds out of the southwest accompanying the field.  The gun fired and 102 pink legs raced the wide open spaces.  Pushed along for the first half of the race, battling a nasty swirling wind for the second half.

A picture worth a thousand words.

Tim Grundmayer (L) tethered to blind runner Alex France of Midlands.  Tim embraces his duties as a guide runner as much as his own competitive goals.

Braden Cumow of Dakota State (1st, 1:10:51) would separate from a pack of five at the 10K and stretch his winning margin over Alec Wick of Doane (1:11:44) and Jacob Vander Plaats(1:12:35), all three punching their tickets to Gulf Shores.

 Wyatt Lehr of Concordia (9th, 1:14:58) bolstering my respect and admiration.

Dakota State teammates Jada Anderson (1st, 1:30:35) and Jacia Christiansen (1:30:58) leading the distaff side of the race.  Northwestern’s Hunter Koepke (1:31:32)  rounding out the podium spots.

Thanks again Coach, looking forward to next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

The course was there and they came.  Another 56 Americans hit the Olympic Trials Marathon Standards at yesterday’s California International Marathon.  Greased Lightning  We may have 700 qualifiers by the time the streets in Houston are swept clean in mid-January.

Good on the athletes.  All of them.  They trained up and took advantage of what was given.  My comments regarding CIM have absolutely nothing to do  with our US athletes (how could they?).  Thirty five years of  advocating  for American athletes just gives me a different perspective than most.  Two qualifiers yesterday (Zach Hine,7th in a pr 2:16:36) and Patrick Rizzo (19th 2:17:53) personal buds that have run at my Nebraska races.  6 runners were within :06 of the men’s standard, I hope they appeal and get in, good for the gander, good for the goose.  One female missing by :09, I hope she successfully appeals as well.

One of the constants over the last 7 Olympiads, from an administrative level, is how  to approach our Marathon Trials standards.  I sat at that table for 13 years (1996-2009) and speak from direct experience.  Softening the standards to get more athletes qualified was an initiative I always challenged.  The thought was/is that having more people from Hometown USA would be good for our sport.  Inspiring dreamers to think that they too might toe a Trials line.  That part is good and makes a solid point.  The obverse, we are trying to be competitive with the world, put bodies on the podium at the Olympic Games.  Most of you too young to remember or too entitled to care but we only had 1 American male and 1 female in the 2000 Olympic Games Marathon.  USA distance running at the very top has come a long way since.

Again, congratulations to everyone that has qualified for the Trials, no matter where.  You’ve earned your spot on the line.

Should CIM be taken off the list of eligible courses, our work at Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, “America’s Marathon” becomes all the more important.  V7LM meets all the criteria, IAAF, USOC, and USATF.  That alone sets V7LM apart from CIM.  The fact that it is the “Flattest Completely Closed Road Course in the  World” will come to be a serious draw to American athletes.  Americans, the whole point of the race after all.  Not for the last time, Giddyup!

LOCAL VALUE

The 50 or so athletes lined up for tomorrow morning’s Midlands Half Marathon will tell you there is a local value to USATF.  Coach Gerber reached out to us on November 18th about the NAIA National Marathon Championships requiring qualifying performances be achieved on USATF Certified courses.  A shift in protocols, and we were under the gun, two weeks to get’r done.  NE19021GM.  Nebraska USATF Long Distance Running Chair Tristan Nelson and I got’r done.

USATF.  Its bigger than me, its bigger than you.  Bigger than any single club.  Its all about them, the athletes.   As long as we keep them at the center of our efforts and programs, there will always be a Local Value.

THE BIG RUMBLE

I’ve got my ear firmly placed on the ground and hear the thunder of many feet, vapor fly %s to be most accurate.  Pounding trails to the start line of this coming Sunday’s California International Marathon.  Hoping to qualify for the Big Show.  Bigger than any Olympic Trials field(s) ever.  Before Sunday’s hopeful hordes hit the highway the numbers look like this-

200 USA men have qualified for Saturday February 29th in Atlanta.  391 USA women have qualified.  Of the 182 men marathon qualifiers, 66 have been achieved at California International Marathon.  Of the 384 women qualifiers 117 were run at California International Marathon.  A total of 183 CIM qualifiers before this Sunday’s gun.

59 men have run faster than the 2:15:00 “A” standard.  From Galen Rupp’s 2:06:07 (Volkswagon Prague Marathon, 2019) to Fernando Cabada’s 2:15:00 (BMW Berlin Marathon, 2018).  123 “B” qualifiers have belts notched 2:19:00 or better.  Another 18 have sub 1:04 creds to make the “B” qualifier list.  LRC Racing’s Johnny Rutford (2:17:59, California International Marathon, 2018) will be representing locally.

78 women have run faster than the 2:37:00 “A” standard.  Jordan Hasay’s 2:20:57 at Chicago ’17 leads them all.  Lindy James takes the coveted final spot in 2:36:59 turned in at Chicago ’19.  306 “B” qualifiers have hit the 2:45:00 mark.  Another 7 have sub 1:13:00 digits to also be deemed “B” athletes.  LRC Racing’s Tessa Stoltenburg (2:41:15, Chicago ’19) representing the Good Life.  Tessa’s LRC mate Hayley Sutter was successful in her appeal.  Collapsing and crawling across the finish line in 2:45:07 at 2018 California International Marathon, the WLDR Executive Committee agreeing to adjust her time to the standard of 2:45:00.

Going to be a whole lot more qualifiers Sunday, and then some more at Houston mid-January.  My experience and perspective is this:  The Trials have outgrown themselves.  Nearly 600 athletes qualified already.  Competing for 6 spots.  Look for some major IAAF/USOC/USATF changes going into 2024.  Including tightening qualifying times and being more selective on which courses will be deemed eligible for legitimate performances.  Will this be California International’s last hurrah?

 

 

 

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

Thanksgiving leftovers.

Fremont Turkey Trot, 11/28.

Some spirited running up front in the 5 Mile with former Millard North runner Ryan Cox (25:23) and Tim Grundmayor (25:30) taking the giblets and gravy.  Cox was a 4:21 prep miler, improved to 4:11 at Northwest Missouri State, and now runs for Bowerman Elite in Portland, OR.  Ryan’s goals include breaking 4:00 for the mile, Giddyup!

Aly Janke (2nd, 13:34) made her Run Guru debut finishing 2nd overall in the 2 Mile.  Winner Elli Dahl got ready for her turkey dinner with the win in 13:24.

Club 402 races and races and races.  Modeling excellence for their formidable and growing youth program.

LRC Racing’s Kara Schlueter took the women’s 5 mile title in a nice 31:20, finishing 9th overall.

Tristan Nelson (2nd, 11:31) battled eventual 2 Mile winner Owen Wagner (11:24) over the pancake flat out and back course.

SMALL AND INSIGNIFICANT

You hang around running long enough and you develop appreciations for the finer, more esoteric deeds.

I have run a sub 7:30 mile for the last 42 years in a row.    An accomplishment, small and insignificant.

ARE YOU A RACER?

Doesn’t everyone that runs have that certain little spark?  That question?  Can I do better?  Once the euphoria of participation/completion wears off, don’t you wonder?  Was there only one person in the race that you thought you should have finished in front of?  Just one?  Did it ever cross your mind the selfie you took at mile 2 cost you almost a minute?  Some runners can emphatically answer no to all  of  the above.  They’re not Racers.

Today I’m talking to you, the Racers!  You tangent running, gun time racing, pr seeking, double knotting, elbow throwing, name taking, belt notching, peak no tapering, in it  to win it types!

If you’re a racer then you stand  to benefit the most from exactly what it is I have been doing for the last 20 years, now more so than ever.  Creating opportunities to run to your potential.  USATF Certified.  Completely closed roads.  Pancake flat.  Competition.

Our Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series fills that bill.  Our Rust Buster results from this past January.
Nolan Zimmer 15:02
John Cleary 15:25
Tim Meyer 15:26
Cole Marolf 15:32
Nolan Border 15:34

Valley 7 Lakes Marathon,  the, well you know,  Flattest Completely  Closed Road Marathon in the World.  April 25, 2020.

The Valley Days  1500 Meters.  Flat, and smoking fast.  August 8, 2020.

The Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon, legit Olympic Trials qualifying course.

But first ask yourself, Are You A Racer?