Monthly Archives: August 2011


Mike has moved up to the top of Nebraska’s All Time list.  Today’s column is dedicated to him as he prepares to run the World Championships Marathon in Daegu on September 4th.  His official bio from USATF and a link below:


Event: Marathon
Height: 5-7
Weight: 120
PR: 2:14:55 (2010)
Born: Feb. 20, 1980
Current Residence: Rochester Hills, Mich.
High School: Lincoln (Neb.) Pius X HS ‘98
College: Nebraska Wesleyan University ‘03
Coach: Keith Hanson, Kevin Hanson
Agent: Keith Hanson, Kevin Hanson
Club: Hansons-Brooks Running Project

Career Highlights:  3-time NCAA Div. III All-American

When Mike Morgan decided to run his first ever competitive marathon he finished in the impressive time of 2:15:11, which was good enough for 15th place (fifth American) at the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon on October 22, 2006. Morgan would later improve his time and finish in the Chicago Marathon when he ran 2:14:55 in 2010 to place 11th overall. He was previously a member of Team Nebraska-Brooks and attended Nebraska Wesleyan. He was fourth in the 10,000 at the 2003 NCAA Division III Championships. Morgan was a 2005 RRCA Roads Scholar. He manages the Hansons Running Shop in Royal Oak, Michigan. According to the Hansons website, his favorite quote is, “There are clubs you can’t belong to, neighborhoods you can’t live in, schools that you can’t get into, but the roads are always open.”

2011: 6th at the Shamrock Half Marathon (1:06:31)
2010: 4th at the Rock ‘n Roll Arizona Half Marathon (1:06:09)… 1st at the Shamrock Half Marathon (1:04:56)… 11th in the Chicago Marathon (2:14:55)
2009: 2nd in the Houston Rodeo Run 10k (30:25)… 4th in the International Marathon (2:15:27)
2008: 3rd in the ING Half Marathon (1:05:16)… 3rd in the Austin Half Marathon (1:05:10)… 3rd at the Shamrock Sportsfest Half Marathon (1:04:06)… 4th at the Twin Cities Marathon (2:17:58)
2007: 12th at Olympic Trials – Men’s Marathon (2:16:28)…14th at USA Half-Marathon Champs (1:04:05)…best of 2:16:28.
2006: 15th at Chicago Marathon (2:15:11)…fifth at USA 25 km Championships (1:17:15)…bests of 2:15:11, 1:17:15.
2005: 49th at World Half Marathon Champs (1:06:40)…8th at USA 20 km Champs (1:01.41); 6th at USA 25…8th at USA Half-Marathon Champs (1:04:48)…Lincoln/All Sport Half Marathon Champ.
2004: 19th at USA 10 km Champs (29:48)…11th at USA Half-Marathon Champs. (1:1:08:26)…Lincoln/All Sport Half Marathon Champ.

And here is a link to a great interview from last week’s Runners World.  Peter Gambaccini does a great job asking and Mike has some very illuminating responses.  Take a minute to check up on Nebraska’s very own Mike Morgan.

Giddyup Mike!


Always a Mate!  But exactly what is a Mate?  It depends on whom you ask but I’ll give it to you straight from the horse’s mouth.  A Mate is anyone that demonstrates, or has demonstrated,  Pride in the TNB uniform.  Not every former member has ascribed to the Team principle unfortunately, never really were Mates at all.  Altruism can’t be mandated, and a few bad seeds have been removed if not completely stricken from the record books.  Now you know.

Few however have represented TNB with as much distinction, professionalism, and class as Craig Christians.  Craig was our Male Masters Athlete of the Year in 2003, 2004, & 2010.  In 2003 he brought home medals from the USA Masters Outdoor T&F National Championships.  And as I told him in an email yesterday, it is what he has done to promote the club and our sport that is appreciated even more than his athletic accomplishments. Craig has stepped away from TNB, he has been with us since joining as a charter member in 2002 and we will miss him.  His Positive  influence and Competitive spirit will remain however.  That is what makes him “Always a Mate.”

Feliz Cumpleanos to my dear sweet Allison as she turns 17 today.  As every year, she has requested my World Famous Baby Back Ribs for her birthday supper, yummy!

Matt Heesch was hit by a car yesterday, this from his facebook page:
” to the lady in the beige explorer who tried to turn right on red without stopping while i had a walk signal: i really hope i dented your hood and cracked your windshield, because my improvised jump/action roll across your hood did not feel as good as is looked. equally uncool was driving away as fast as you could. at least the guy behind you had the decency to stop and ask if i was alright.”

Sad state of affairs.

How dedicated is Cameron Cummings to achieving the sub 2:19:00 at the Chicago Marathon?  How about going out for his scheduled 30 mile run After Work yesterday.  Giddyup Cameron!

Mike Reilly is stretching things out by training up for the Bohemian Alps 50K in a few weeks.  He’s got a 2:52 marathon pr so it will be interesting to see what the extra 8 kilometers will offer him.

TNB Attorney Bruce Barnhart completed the Black Squirrel Triathlon this past weekend, his debut in the sport.  So did Steve Stender who competed barefoot as usual.

Wednesday night track work, Millard West @ 6:00 pm
1 mile warm up and down
6-4-2 like this:
1.5 miles @ 10K race pace, jog 5:00 & rehydrate
1 mile @ 10K race pace, jog 3:00 & rehydrate
800 @ 5K race pace

If you are doing the  Hy-Vee Triathlon in Des Moines:
1-1.5 mile warm up and down
2 X 800, 400 easy recovery jog between
2 X 400, 200 easy recovery jog between
2 X 200, 1:00 easy recovery between

RUN RUN RUN by Fred Wilt, 1964, Track & Field News Inc.  This is considered one of the bibles of the sport of running.  It is my go to source for inspiration and motivation, I cite it often, like the following:
“Regardless of what training method is used it absolutely cannot guarantee success in racing.  Training merely makes successful racing possible.  A runner must also have the will to win, a subconscious desire for victory, courage, tenacity, and a competitive ‘killer instinct’ to transform the racing potential resulting from good training into reality.”


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!  Hardly know where to start today so I’ll just plunge right in:

Had the Most Fun at a race in over 10 years this weekend.  Discharged my pacing duties with my usual aplomb.  John Tully‘s goal of <26:00 didn’t come easy for him though.  We split 8:20, 16:40 and then I had to start riding him hard, especially the last 600 meters or so.  Riding crop in hand, I beat him with everything I had down the homestretch and we crossed the line together in 25:58.  The most rewarding experience I’ve had in running since moving to Omaha.  John really had to dig down into some places he’d never been, this was a lifetime pr for him at age 57.  Denny Gray also had his best 5K in over three years running a nice 25:08, pretty speedy for his 61 years.  So proud of our Wednesday night Track group!

I ran a West Loop 5K Time Trial with my client Carrie on Sunday morning.  She is progressing well, finished the 5K without walking in 34:38.  Inspiring to work with athletes of all abilities, it really is my privilege.

Shain Kephart contacted me several weeks ago about joining TNB.  I suggested he come to a Wednesday night Track Work, he did this past and cranked out a nice set of quarters.  Recommended he run the 10K this weekend, I spoke to him shortly before the start and told him if he won the race it punched his ticket to the Red & White.  He went on to win in 35:54.  Welcome Shain!  And Jimmie Doherty too.  Jimmie reached out at the Lake Wehrspann 10K, he had just run 42:00 and was wondering what it took to be on TNB.  I told him to start coming to the track, which he has, and he turned in a 38:00 10K yesterday despite having to stop and put his shoe back on.  Welcome Jimmie!

These young athletes that are serious enough to contact me and follow through have nothing but my highest esteem.  I’m known to be a gumbly old fart that doesn’t suffer fools or posers.  If you have the huevos to look me in the eye and tell me it would be an honor to run for Team Nebraska Brooks, then Welcome!  Bienvendios!  Welkommen!

Linda Barnhart was the overall women’s 10K winner, her 2nd RRCA State Championship of the summer, having won the NE 5 Mile last month.  She will bust up the Corporate Cup 10K and then tackle the Omaha Half Marathon. Catch her if you can!

Jody Green, Carole Swanson, and Kristin Ramm were the Overall Female Tethered Team at the Mud Run in Lincoln.  Good clean fun!

Last Tuesday Aaron Carrizales cranked out 4 X 1 Mile in 5:05, 5:03, 5:05, 5:12.  Not bad in the 100+ degree heat.  He followed that up Thursday with 3 X 3 Miles @ 16:30 with only 3:00 recovery.  Aaron will be running the San Jose Half Marathon shooting for the sub 1:05 necessary for the USA Men’s Olympic Trials Marathon.  He’s also signed up for the Corporate Cup, this year’s race is going to be deep and fast.  Aaron’s training partner John Seiler will also run San Jose and is looking to break his 1:15:08 pr he set at Lincoln in May.

Matt Schneider did 18 miles on Saturday with the last 10K in 35:54.  Wife Meghan did 6 miles @ 7:00 pace, they both are looking good heading into the Sioux Falls Marathon.

Kaci Lickteig ran 4 X 1.5 miles (800 rec) on Thursday, hitting the last set at 5:46 pace.

Megan Zavorka ran her longest ever run of 15 miles on Saturday.  All solo, a great workout leading into the USA Women’s 10 Mile National Championships.

Ben Shultz ran 10 X 400 @ 76-77 on Saturday morning.

Fall is here and Everyone is getting fit.

Denny Gray and John Tully have worked hard this summer and were rewarded with some great performances this weekend.  Congratulations and Thanks for letting me be a part of the morning.


If you’ve got free time this weekend there will be no shortage of Track & Field viewing.  Listed below is the online and telly schedule broadcasts.  The Women’s Marathon kicks things off during the morning session, we should get some good coverage.

Be sure and check the new professional voice work on our Monster Dash digital brochure, this cat sounds waaaay better than the hack we had originally.

Hope to see many of you at the Ted E. Bear Hollow 5K & 10K in the morning.  Borrowing a page from local pacing legend Gary Wasserman, I’ll be setting the rhythm & rhyme  for Denny Gray and John Tully on their quest to break 26:00 in the 5K.

Should have given a nod yesterday to the 30+ people that showed up for Wednesday night’s track workout.  I can’t imagine a more fun, positive group anywhere, always a highlight of my week to be surrounded by these fine folks.  Welcome to our newest members Cassandra, Anna, Lori, Shain, and Jimmie.  I’m keeping a real close eye on the latter two, I like their competitiveness.

Watch Online

Date Time Event Website
Aug. 26 8 p.m. ET Day 1 – Morning Session
Aug. 27 6 a.m. ET Opening Ceremony + Day 1 – Evening Session
8 p.m. ET Day 2 – Morning Session
Aug. 28 3:30 a.m. ET Day 2 – Evening Session
9 p.m. ET Day 3 – Morning Session
Aug. 29 5:50 a.m. ET Day 3 – Evening Session
9 p.m. ET Day 4 – Morning Session
Aug. 30 5:50 a.m. ET Day 4 – Evening Session
8 p.m. ET Day 5 – Morning Session
Aug. 31 9 p.m. ET Day 6 – Morning Session
Sept. 1 5:50 a.m. ET Day 6 – Evening Session
9 p.m. ET Day 7 – Morning Session
Sept. 2 5 a.m. ET Day 7 – Evening Session
7 p.m. ET Day 8 – Morning Session
Sept. 3 5:45 a.m. ET Day 8 – Evening Session
8 p.m. ET Day 9 – Marathon
Sept. 4 5 a.m. ET Day 9 – Evening Session

*Watch on Television

Date Time Event Network
Aug. 26 8 p.m. ET Day 1 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Aug. 27 1:30 p.m. ET NBC
3 p.m. ET Day 1 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 2 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Aug. 28 12:30 p.m. ET NBC
2:30 p.m. ET Day 2 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 3 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Aug. 29 5:30 p.m. ET Day 3 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 4 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Aug. 30 6 p.m. ET Day 4 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 5 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Aug. 31 6 p.m. ET Day 5 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 6 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Sept. 1 6 p.m. ET Day 6 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 7 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Sept. 2 6 p.m. ET Day 7 – Evening Session Universal Sports
10 p.m. ET Day 8 – Morning Session Universal Sports
Sept. 3 2 p.m. ET NBC
3:30 p.m. ET Day 8 – Evening Session Universal Sports
8 p.m. ET Day 9 – Marathon Universal Sports
Sept. 4 1:30 p.m. ET NBC
3 p.m. ET Day 9 – Evening Session Universal Sports

*Always check your local listings to verify air dates and times



To borrow from Moby’s hit, “We Are All Made Of Stars”.  We really are  exactly the same from an organic standpoint.  It is only the magic of individuality that keeps us all from being so many lemmings pitching ourselves to the depths below.  It is that uniqueness that is celebrated in today’s column, that variance in humanity that keeps life interesting and challenging and worth living.

I’m guessing that I sometimes have y’all wondering what in the world I’m talking about, where in the world I’m coming from.  On the one hand I describe the emotions and pains and joys that J. Q. Everyone experiences in running, training, and racing.  And I’ll just as easily comment on what I see as Real Running and Real Racing as it applies to those that have nothing but the highest of aspirations in our sport.

My challenge has been to try educate and illuminate upon true Excellence, while always keeping each of us on the same level of respect, regardless of abilities.  What makes it work is my genuine support of anyone that wants to run and imporve.  We all have our own barometers of excellence, and as I’ve said before, I just want You to be better than You.  But sure I’ll keep pointing out those that aspire to the very pinnacles of their potential.

You can follow former TNB mate (once a mate always a mate) Mike Morgan while he is in Deagu, South Korea.  He is twittering his experiences while there running the World Championships Marathon, check in on Mike by going to @mikemorgan.  Best of luck to Mike and the rest of the U.S. team!

Thanks to Jeff Jacob for pointing out that Lisa Baumert (Fremont HS, class of 2005) ran a 2:41 at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.  She technically is from Nebraska although she has lived out of state since graduating.  Not sure if she claims NE as her home state but if she does she should go on the list as a Nebraska Olympic Trials Qualifier.

I found this in the funny pages this morning, and think it prompts serious discussion.  From 2-time Corporate Cup Champion (1986, 1987) Bob Garcia, commenting on the recent changes to the race:

” Because I hate the new set up. When I ran my first CC (its 2nd year) I was excited about it because I was a full-time working man, coaching on top of that, married with 2 little daughters. I wanted to see how I measured up against the other working stiffs. And I thought I did pretty well.  Then the screwing around started, open division, spouses, etc., just helped ruin it.  Now with the “elite” division, just takes it farther from what it once was.  And I just don’t get the insanity about having to break Dooling’s record. It’s ridiculous.”

Since I am the one that has been trumpeting the assault on Tim Dooling’s record I’ll use my own forum to reply.  First of all, it is not “ridiculous” to want to see our present day athletes eclipse the records and performances from previous generations.   In fact, when David Adams or Peter vd Westhuizen, or whomever it is, notches a new CR, I’ll be the first one to call for it to be shattered in 2012.  This is after all a Race.  All due respect to Bob, his talent and achievements, but I just don’t see how highlighting competitive runners in a Running Race has helped plunge it away from anything, rather this has helped focus the event back on running while detracting not at all from the fundraising.   This is Our Sport after all.   Has it changed from being exclusively a fund raiser?  Yes.  Will that benefit the athletes that aspire to make this their profession?  Yes.  Will it hurt athletes that are “working stiffs”?  No.  Is it craziness to insist that a 30:20 is merely a decent 10K time?  No.  Ah, but that depends on whom you ask, therein lies la difference!  If the course record was 29:20 would I still be exhibiting “insanity” by insisting that our mates make that their goal?  If that’s what you call it then, yes, yes I would.



I’ve cited’s comprehensive look at our USA Olympic Marathon Trials qualifiers.  I’m still wrapping my brain around the fact there are currently no qualifiers from Nebraska, again with the caveat that this will change dramatically with this fall’s marathons.

At a glance: The Omaha Running Club newsletter shows for this weekend there are 3 races in the Omaha Metro area and 1 in Waverly.  The newsletter from Fitness Sports in Des Moines lists 26 races  this weekend. Interesting observation even if it is only superficial or coincidence.

But we are catching up.  The Lincoln Track Club’s calendar has remained steady for several years, you can always count on their old reliables, including the Buffalo Run on Sept. 11 and the venerable Governor’s Cup on October 16.  We are seeing more and more new events pop up here in Omaha and for that we are grateful.  It is about growing participation in our sport and that is always a good thing.  The more runners we have the better for our communities, our events, our athletes, and our charities.

Gary Meyer and Tom Whitaker are re-vamping the Omaha Marathon Start/Finish areas, the Great Flood of 2011 has wreaked havoc on that event.  Another wake up call for the race to move out West!

Beer and Bagel is capping its entries this year at 2500.  That is explosive growth and indicates just how many runners there really are locally.   If you build it they will come.   If  we could just get half of them to come to the Monster Dash…..




If you can’t stand the heat.  Felt like an oven again this morning so backed the mileage down to a manageable 5 spot.  A quarter century in Houston should have inured me to this midwest summer of 2011 but it has been tough.  It takes more than a little sweat and discomfort for me to bail on my passion though.  Whether it be my own daily training, or the goals I’ve set for TNB and the Nebraska running community, I’m not going anywhere soon.  I’ve dealt with Real Heat before.

These came straight out of my garden last night.  A couple of Fatalis and a couple of Habaneros.  The Fatalis are even hotter than the Habeneros.  I took a bite of one last night so that I would know what I was working with in my kitchen.  Any Great Chef would do the same.  When faced with an unknown heat level, the only way to proceed is to familiarize yourself with what you are going to be working with.  This shapes your expectations of  what you will anticipate of others.   There is an analogy to the running community here.  I’ve taken a big bite out of some of the self proclaimed toughest hombres around and am still here to talk about it.  I talk plenty and won’t be going anywhere soon.  My Kitchen, my garden, my dojo, my community, these are what I love.

Bring on the Heat!  I apply that mentality to my own racing and it shapes my expectations of TNB’s.  Just because I expect a win in every single race  does not mean I lack sportsmanship, au contraire mon ami!  In fact, Bring on the Heat!  If I expect victorious results and records it is only with the necessary competition that they mean anything.  The Real Sporting life, whether up at the top or at our own water level, requires worthy challenges to earn and deserve respect and credibility.  And I beg and plead for competition for both myself and my mates.

Updates on a couple of our mates:  Shannon Stenger is going through a major injury and will be on the shelf for most the rest of this year.  Chris Tegtmeier is working with some of the top running medical people in the country (including Dr. Phil Maffetone) trying to diagnose his bouts of spontaneous lethargy.  Best of luck to both as they rehab this fall.

Wednesday night Track Workout at Millard West, 6:00 pm:
1-1.5 mile warm up and down
If you are running this weekend’s Ted E. Bear Hollow: 6 X 1/4 @ goal race pace minus :10, 2:00 easy jog & hydration break between each effort
If you are training up for Corporate Cup: 3 X 1 Mile @ goal race pace, 4:00 easy jog & hydration break between each effort





Or Murse if you prefer the European androginization.  Good news any way you shake it out.  This year’s Corporate Cup 10K has increased the prize money for the Elite field:
1. $600
2. $350
3. $200
4. $100
5. $50
Big Thanks to Kevin Bonney, Adam Butler, and the entire staff at the American Lung Association.  This race has made Great Strides towards accommodating the real runners and racers over the last couple of years and we certainly appreciate everything!  Now on to that pesky little matter of a new course record….

12 women convicts on the highway and none picking up trash.  It must be the Wisconsin Ragnar Relay.  Our own Jody Green never stops.  The 50 Miler last month was just a tune up for this overnight event that ran the 196 miles from Winona, MN to Minneapolis.   Jody ended up running nearly a million miles, pretty amazing what she has accomplished this summer.  Her team of Rick’s Dirty Dozen must have caused quite the stir, especially among those like me that are fans of women’s prison movies.

Cory Logsdon continued his marathon prep by winning this weekend’s Millard Public Schools 5K.  He won by nearly a minute and a half on the non-certified course, one last good speed test.  Our mate Kraig Vanderbeek was 3rd overall and first master.

I did another 16 miler this Saturday morning.  Included 2 X 2 miles @ goal 10K pace, hit them spot on in 13:47 and 13:43 respectively.  Linda put the middle 6 in at 41:58, catch her if you can or just have some fun.  We were joined by Anthony Oberle, I was hoping to have this young stud in the Corporate Cup field but his rehab of a broken foot will delay his local road debut.

Got my full compliment of Brooks winter running gear this weekend.  Equilibrium Wind Briefs, Thermal Wind Boxers, Infiniti Short Tight, Infiniti 3/4 Tight, Infiniti Tight, all as good as it gets for bubble wrapping the goods.

And I’ve pre-ordered my Pure Project minimalist shoes, opting for the Pure Connect, the lightest of the lightweight.  Available October 1st, I can hardly weight/wait!




Been getting a lot of guesses on yesterday’s quiz.  Surprisingly no one has gotten the right trio but every correct name has been cited, a couple of people got 2 out of 3 with different combinations.  Interesting.

So some hints.  One ran her marathon pr of 2:43 at age 22.  One represented the United States at the World Half Marathon Championships. One ran 1:00:05 at my Run For The Arts 10 Miler in Texas.  I’ll reveal the answer if no correct answers by manana.



Kelly Morgan was the first correct respondent.  Left to Right-

Renee Kruse, Machelle Cochran, and Christy Nielsen.  Renee ran the 1997 World Championships Half Marathon in Kosice, Slovenia (1:17:11).  Machelle Cochran ran the RFTA 10 Miler, and Christy Nielsen won the 1997 Memphis Marathon in her still standing pr of 2:43:27.  Thanks to Gary Dougherty for pointing out that in June 2003 we were not quite running under the Brooks banner, thanks for the reminder.

The complete Team Nebraska results, pretty amazing at how well the top 3 ran as a team:

22. Christy Nielsen- 1:17:38
23. Machelle Cochran- 1:17:39
24. Renee Kruse- 1:18:07
41. Michelle Paxton– 1:21:02
58. Ann Ringlein– 1:25:10
61. Michelle Swenson– 1:26:36
62. Maureen Larsen– 1:29:02*

Pam Dubas also traveled with the team and ran in the open division of the half.
*Maureen Larsen suffered an asthma attack in the latter stages, couldn’t breathe at the finish line, and was rushed to medical for treatment.




Below is a photo of the very first Team Nebraska Brooks National Championship winners.  The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon is held in conjunction with Grandma’s Marathon each June.  In 2003 my old buddy and Race Director Scott Keenan hosted our Women’s USA Half National Championships.  As part of the USA Champs race they hosted the USATF Club National Championships.  We took 8 or 9 women, our top three women are shown below after receiving their flowers and trophies.

First person to correctly identify all 3 gets a shout out.