Category Archives: Uncategorized

TWICE TITILLATED

A couple of recent developments have me rolling rosy.

The first validates some of my earliest efforts in Nebraska.  Back story- Derek  Fey was an original member of Team Nebraska Brooks.  Heady days when Brooks allowed me to select 12 mates for complete kit and shoe support.  Derek was one of those “A” athletes and had my full advocacy.  While at Dana College Derek had a very solid half marathon time at the Midlands Half Marathon, qualifying him for the NAIA National Marathon Champs.  Post collegiately we hoped to get him into the elite field at the Rock N Roll Half Marathon in, if memory serves, San Diego.  I reached out to Race Director Tracy Sundlun and petitioned for inclusion into the first corral.   We were rejected because the Midlands Half Marathon was not USATF Certified.  The first Real Wake Up Call in support of my efforts to get the Good Life in line with the rest of the United States.  I immediately reached out to the Midlands and beseeched they allow me to measure the course for Certification.  Alas, the NAIA Marathon National Championships did not require qualifying performances to be on a certified course, leaving your scribe with only one leg to run on.  At least 15 years have passed.

I spent some time on the phone with Midlands Head Coach Daniel Gerber yesterday.  We are now scrambling to get the course certified prior to the Dec. 7th starter pistol.  The NAIA now requires all qualifiers be from USATF Certified courses.

My second tickle is for those that have dreamed of or wished for for a year round training facility.  Not in Lincoln, not in Omaha.  In the future epicenter of elite running, Valley!   $35 Million Dollar Sports Complex

All good news setting me out this morning’s door with a little extra spring in my  step!

NEVER GURUS

Please consider renewing or joining our USATF Nebraska Association LDR program in 2020!
https://www.usatf.org/home/top-utility-nav-content/membership

A portion of all membership fees come back to our program, allowing advocacy for excellence in our sport.  For example, our 2017 USATF Nebraska Association LDR Scholarship winners did very well at their respective conference XC Champs this fall.   In the Big 12  Iowa St. junior Milo Greder was 9th over 8K in 24:00. Oklahoma St. junior Taylor Somers (20:08.5) finished 2nd overall in the 6K, a mere wink from the win. In the Big 10 Seth Hirsch (24:43) finished 27th. A big tip of the sombrero to these athletes and to their continued success collegiately!

Our Association’s LDR grass roots programming also receives a boost from both membership fees and sanctioning fees.  Providing support to events that help to grow our sport.  Exposing athletes to competition, opportunities to run to their potential, to qualify for higher tier events, ala USA National  Championships and beyond.  Regardless of kit, some of our best athletes are not attached to a club.

Even if you are not an athlete you can  still support those that dare to dream.

I want to thank those clubs that require all members to be card carrying USATF Nebraska Association members.  Most all do.

There is value on a local level with USATF.

I’m a little biased as you know.

 

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

The IAAF World Mountain Running Championships  were held this past weekend in Villa La Angostura, Argentina.  Please join me in congratulating the following athletes and performances from our American contingent.  Some very fine racing resulting in a nice haul of international competition hardware!

In the men’s long course- 41.5 kilometers (26.2 miles) with 2,184 meters ascent and 2,184 meters descent (aye caramba!)- Jim Walmsley of the United States took the Gold (3:12:16) leading his mates Hayden Hawks (6th, 3:26:05) and David  Sinclair (10th, 3:29:14) to a Silver in the team competition.  Spain captured the Gold and Italy the Bronze, speaks highly of the competition levels.

The women’s long course race featured Emily  Schmitz (10th, 4:01:30), Ashley Brasovan (16th, 4:07:45) and Dani Moreno (19th, 4:12:05) of the United States taking a 4th overall team behind France, Spain, and Romania.

In the Senior men’s competition, 14.7K (9.2 miles) with 754M ascent and descent, Joseph Gray of the U.S. took more Gold (1:05:13) leading our  mates to a Silver in the Team Competition.  Joining  Joseph were David Sinclair (12th, 1:07:38), and Andy Wacker (21st, 1:09:04).  Gold went to the Czech Republic, Bronze to Italy.

In the  Senior women’s division Grayson Murphy (1:15:20) of the United States took GoldKimber Mattox (17th, 1:21:40) and Kasie Enman (21st, 1:21:55) joined Grayson to a 5th overall team  finish.  Gold went to France, Silver to Czech  Republic, Bronze to the UK, and Italy ahead of us.

In the Junior men’s race, 7.6K (~4.75 miles)  Tyman Smart (5th, 33:09), David Cardenas (20th, 34:38) and Mike Hancock (26th, 35:50) steered the men to a 6th overall team finish.  Gold to the UK, Silver to Turkey, Bronze to Italy.  Mexico and France also finishing ahead of our good mates.

The Women’s junior race found a top 5 team result for the United States with Samantha Blair (8th, 39:49), Joslin Blair (15th, 40:30) and Moggi Condon (23rd, 44:01) representing.  Gold to Italy, Silver to Turkey, Bronze to Czech Republic.  France just ahead of the U.S.

 

ARE YOU HARD OR SOFT

Which way do you like it?
Linda and I lasted only two nights on the beauty rest.  Downy, cushy, fluffy, pillowy, luxuriant.  Couldn’t wait to get back to our firm, firmer, firmest in the  rpod.   Six and one half years busting our butts at the Bar None imbuing an ability and preference for the stotan lifestyle.

My way is the hard way, I  feel blessed every moment of every day that Linda has embraced and accepted this about me.  Even as she ameliorates the roughest edges.

The easy way to go through life is to go with the flow.  Do what you’re told.  Accept the status quo.  Be compliant.  Be soft. Get along or move along.  I’ll always be a mover if getting along sacrifices my core principles.   I’ve moved a lot over the last 7 years.   I don’t agree with the status quo and am set on providing a better option.   Huevos Mas Grande vs. Silky Shaven Legs.  

Look at Valley 7 Lakes.   ” America’s Marathon”, “Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World”.   And the Nebraska Trail Run, “8th Most Challenging Trail Run in the United States.”   Not hyperbole or garrulous banter.  Cold Facts vs. Hot Takes.  

Which way do you like it?   Are you Hard or Soft?

Percy Cerutty leads a group of Hawthorn players and Club President Phil Ryan (3rd from right) over the sand dunes, Jan 11th, 1968.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LIVING AT, STAYING AT

84 days.  Just shy of the three month mark.  Linda and I have finally thrown in the towel and  moved from the rpod into a spare bedroom here at the 2Lazy2.  We awoke yesterday morning, the windows in our tiny camper ice covered, on the inside.  Enough is enough!  Pioneers yes, primitives no.

Ground scheduled to be broken for our new digs this week.  A sight warm up will speed that  along nicely.  Our new acre located exactly 33 miles from Omaha.  And exactly 33 miles from Lincoln.

Stirring these lyrics into this morning’s coffee-

“Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you”

And you dear and gentle readers, hopefully get the intended tongue in cheek.

 

 

 

 

NI-BTHASKA-KE

There’s a name to hang your hat on, and we did for a decade.  Before transitioning to the much easier to pronounce Nebraska Trail Run.   We believe it to be the longest consecutively held trail run in Nebraska, our 14th (15th?) annual coming next April 4.   We’ve listened to the trail running community around the Midwest and are bringing it back to Platte River State Park for 2020!

A little history on the event-

Founded as a fundraiser for Team Nebraska in 2005, allowing us to send mates to competitions around the  United States.   A collaboration with local legend Tom Bombadil, I mean Ivan Marsh.  His regular training ground, intimate knowledge of the trails guaranteeing a half dozen victories in as many years.
Linda and I have continued the race since Team Nebraska’s demise in 2012.  In addition to the brutal 12K we’ve also hosted a 4 mile and a ridiculously difficult half marathon on the storied course.  Our buddy and 4 time Olympic Trials Marathoner Patrick Rizzo taking the 12K & 13.1 titles in 2016 & ’17.  Ingenue Kaci Lickteig joining Patrick for overall laurels in ’16.
Moved the race to Chalco Hills in ’18 & ’19, shortened to an 8K- both softly received, prompting our return to PRSP.
Cabela’s has been primary sponsor for the history of the race, complimentary mission statements.  Always a well earned signature dish and beer garden in addition to some of the best age group hardware anywhere, Cabela’s cast iron cookware and more.  And Bragging Rights for conquering what Business Insider Magazine dubbed the “8th Most Challenging Trail Run in the United States.”  Bea Sides and Brian Wandzilak running every edition at PRSP, hope to have them join us once again.

We opened registration yesterday and are happy with the immediate response.  https://www.active.com/louisville-ne/running/races/nebraska-trail-run-2020?int=

We would like to invite you (dare you?) to come out and challenge yourself on the extreme elevations.  Find that sense of accomplishment that brings runners back year after year.  Stake your claim to the Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest!

 

 

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

Its the course.  Of course!
Thirty four Americans qualified for the USA Olympic Trials Marathon at the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monument Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday.  Here’s some highlights:
In the full my longtime buddy Dot McMahan (Brooks Hansons) led from start to finish turning in an “A” OTQ standard with 2:35:30.  Not bad for 40 years old, eh?  Nate Guthals of the KC Smoke led all the fellas with his own “A” in a fine 2:17:51.
In the half there were 50 men under 1:10.  25 runners under 1:05.  Top 6 hit the OTQ mark of 1:04:00.  Johnny Rutford of Omaha and LRC Racing toed the line and came away with a personal best of 1:04:52.  Jay Welp (Iowa City, IA) continues his improvement under the RunAblaze kit turning in a fine 1:06:14
Its the course.  Of course!  Flat and fast draws American competition.  Making next April 25th’s Valley 7 Lakes Marathon (America’s Marathon) a very attractive alternative for those seeking to run to their potential.  It will be all the more important the next Olympic Cycle (2024) when the standards are tightened and qualifiers will be limited to performances on IAAF record eligible courses.  V7LM fitting that bill.  https://runsignup.com/Race/NE/Valley/Valley7LakesMarathon?remMeAttempt=

Why not kick start your new year by signing up for the 2020 Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series?  We’ve set up registration for all three races.  Individually, and new this year you can pre register for all 3 and receive some special swag after the Valentine’s Day 5K.  https://www.active.com/waterloo-ne/running/two-rivers-winter-fitness-series-2020?int=

 

FASTEST GIRL IN AMERICA

If you’re a Real Fan of our sport your eyebrows may have arched over yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece from Mary Cain.  Or maybe, like me, you weren’t surprised at all.  NIKE, the Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar blasted by the former high school record holder in the 800, 1500, and 5000.  The toxic culture fomented by AlSal and cohorts leading the upper echelons of United States distance running into a mess.

I have a unique perspective.  Chair of USATF’s Women’s Long Distance Running Athlete Development Program 1996-2002.  Chair of  USATF’s Women’s National Championships, 2002-2009.  The only male on the WLDR Executive Committee 1996-2009.

My volunteerism on behalf of talented females across the U.S. has given me an insight into what makes them tick, how they tock.

The bottom line is that it  takes women to understand women.  Female coaches dealing with female athletes.  Most especially at the elite level.  —There is a percentage though that respond better to male coaches, no doubt about that.—–

I’ve coached dozens of women.  The advantageous arrow in my quiver is Linda.  Her experience dealing with America’s best, coupled with her own experience as a national level competitor, makes her the perfect sounding board.  A perfect balance.

Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.  I’m from Uranus.

 

 

 

THE SPEED OF LIFE

A certain gravity has been tugging at me the last couple days.  Signed up for social security on Monday.  Something I’ve looked forward to for years.  Three weeks until 62, still full of vim and vigor (piss & vinegar?).  And now that it has arrived a bluesy vibe joins the celebration.   Mortal reality replacing anticipation.  Akin to opening Return Of The King.   Excited for the final book of the trilogy, knowing it will be full of wonderous adventures, but an end nearer now.  Hoping the chapter lasts another 40 years.  Dad 88, an aunt 92, genetics in my plus column.

A lot of reflection this week too.  On a life that has sped by.  I’ve hurried to keep up and still have a lot to do.  A bit more patient and focused.  Sagacity replacing impetuousness.

Looking back on life’s work I carry a sense of contentment.  A most important outcome, satisfaction.  Trying my best, given human frailty, to hold fast to the credo “Love All, Serve All.”

Time slips away in the blink of an eye.  Embrace it.  Do Your Work.  The Speed of Life.

 

 

 

DEEP ROOTS

Grandma Katie graduated 8th grade.  She had 8 kids and a dead husband (dust bowl pneumonia) in 1939, Indiahoma OK.  All 4 boys enlisted and sent their checks home.  They barely scratched out an existence in the middle of the Great Depression.  The smallest (not youngest) boy was Bill, my dad.  When older brothers Ivan and Carl left for the service Bill, by default, became man of the house in 1941, age 9.  The next 10 years spent whooping anyone and everyone that offended a sister or his mom.  Attended school with no shoes.  Earning reputation as the toughest s.o.b. in Comanche County, Bar None.

My mom was sent down state Illinois from her family at age 14.  Had 3 kids before she was 20.  An abusive alcoholic during my entire childhood (like the cliché my first marriage mirrored same).  My sister had two kids before she was 20, plus one more.   She is now a great grandma at 62 years old.  Kids  having kids.  My brother left our hometown his junior year of high school and has never been back.

I graduated from Northern Illinois  University in 1992 with a B.S. in Community Health Promotion, 3.97 gpa.  Spent the next 20 years trying to raise my 3 children as a stay at home dad.  Volunteering for USA Track & Field providing another important purpose,  satisfaction of meaningful work outside the home.  Advocating for others providing a deep fulfillment.  Gulf Coast Windbreakers in the mid 80s, Brazosport Area Road Runners Assoc. in the 90s.  Run For The Arts 10 Mile.

I was up to pace when moving to Nebraska in 2001.  Established the USATF LDR program, Team Nebraska, Run Guru Elite, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, dozens of more races over the last 20 years.  Coaching too.

This is what I am.  This  what I do.  This is what I have always done.  This is what I  will always do.