Monthly Archives: August 2011

LEZ BON TEMPS ROULE Please check our digital brochure link.  The 6th annual Swamp Stomp 8K XC Cajun Fest is TNB’s oldest consecutively held race.  It was at least 8 years ago that I conceived this event while running South across the big dam at Lake Zorinsky.  I was telling the group of old timers (affectionately dubbed) that the East dam face would provide a perfect venue for a challenging cross country course. They scoffed and I ran with it. It was ideal for both the participants and the spectators.  We also took advantage of one low lying area that really did provide a mini-swamp to run through.  Hay bales and logs to hurdle, our old buddy Tom Ryan mowing the snaking route through the tall grass, ah, memories.  But we outgrew that old favorite and will host our 3rd year using the 8K surrounding Chalco Hills, a course almost all high school harriers in Central/Eastern Nebraska have run on.

Some things have remained constant, and that’s where all the FUN is.  In 2005 Paul Braunschweiler spun his version of the Cajun Classics, Red Beans & Rice and Seafood Gumbo.  We added our TNB Chef, Steven Durant the following year and he has worked his magic for all of our races since.  So great Cajun comestibles will always be a part of the “Stomp”.

Our age group awards are another upgraded amenity.  Each year the awards are ordered directly from New Orleans, very much Mardi Gras themed.  My road race mgmt committee clobbers me every year for going over budget on awards, but it is My Treat.  In ’05 & ’06 we actually awarded prize money to the top 3 open and masters.

The Prairie Gators are another stalwart.  Master Gator Steve Kunasek has brought out the small ensemble with the authentic sounds every year.  Hearing Steve play the National Anthem on his “squeeze box” is one of the rare, eclectic moments in all of running.

And with any rain at all we will run you through a more respectable swamp, make sure your shoes are tied!

Once departed.  Last year I pushed for a short sleeve T for the first time, but it was five color and very unique.  We are going back to our Long Sleeve t shirts this year.  You spoke and we listened!

Added since the move to Chalco is our Little Gator Gallop.  You know how important it is to the community and to our club to provide fun, healthful opportunities to our Nebraska youth.  Linda Barnhart has done a great job growing this aspect of our races.  Age appropriate distances starting with a 40 yard Diaper Dash for those 3 & under, ages 4-6, and 7-10.

Also new this year is a special early entry fee structure.  Only $25 prior to September 23, $30 through October 19th, and $35 race day.  So enter Early & Often!

Laissez Lez Bon Temps Roule- Let The Good Times Roll!

I actually got to run the Swamp Stomp last year.  One of the funnest runs of the fall season in my opinion.


BOO! Check this link for our 2011 Monster Dash digital brochure, cutting edge technology in race promotions.  Great work by Bob Harris and FrontRunIt!  Mark the calendars for your Family Fall Fitness destination, October 29 at Vala’s Pumpkin Patch.  Lot’s of great info and a celebrity (legend?) voice over.

We had 32 people show up for track work at Millard West last night.  Bienvenidos todos!  Our Wednesday night group grows with each week and I am humbled—-NOT!

Millard West Track Practice is The Place to be on Wednesday evenings.

A nice little “rivalry” developing between Denny Gray (L) and John Tully (R).  Pushing each other to their fastest ever quarter miles in 1:35, the Jody Vortex surely had just a little to do with their incredible speed.
Not to be outdone, Angie Ross and Kathy Palmer accepted John’s strutting for less than the time it took the old fellas to circuit the oval.  They hauled to their own 1/4 prs in 1:33, Double Giddyup!

Jody Green, Kristin Ramm and Carole Swanson (left ot right) practiced their tethered running, they will be racing the Mud Run in Lincoln, bound and determined.  Carole is a STUD masters runner, I am proud to announce she will be representing TNB moving forward.

My old buddy Joseph Kariuki set the WR for 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) at the 1998 5th Third River Bank Run, running a blazing 1:13:55 (4:45/mile).  Joseph and I became good friends the next year after he ran my Brazosport Run For The Arts in Texas.  We share a love of country (Real Country) music, I once gifted him the CD “Trio”, a fine piece that features Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmy Lou Harris.  Joseph was the world’s most sought after pacer for major marathons during the late 90s and early double naughts.  He made a vast fortune rabbiting for NYC, Chicago, London, Berlin, etc.  Some of his $$ went to build the only bowling alley in his hometown of Nyeri, Kenya, maybe the only bowling alley in all of Central Kenya.
Joseph, front and center used his talents to help others achieve great heights.

So what does Joseph have to do with your Run Guru?  I’ve decided to take a page out of his book and will be assuming pacing duties at the Ted E. Bear Hollow 5K scheduled for August 27th.  We’ll have lots of Good Mates racing that morning on the USATF Certified 5K & 10K courses, come on out and get a race in for a good cause.



A friend, Karen Yocum, from my school boy days posted a disco compilation on facebook this morning. I commented how you can take the boy out of the disco but you can Never take the disco out of the boy.  And that I’ve always been a mover but disco refined my groove and ultimately and inevitably contributed to my running.  She replied that her memories of me on the playground had her convinced I would end up an acrobat.

She was not far off.

I’ve walked a tight rope over the Platte River for over 10 years now.  Bent over backwards trying to please the Nebraska running community.  Jumped through hoops for our road race management committee.  Traversed a balance beam over a pit of turds.  Juggled a hectic family/volunteer/training schedule.  Done handstands of joy.  Vaulted the competitive running scene to new heights.  Remained flexible enough to admit when I’m wrong.  Tumbled occasionally but always landed on my feet.  Employed rhetorical gymnastics daily.

And have had a ball doing it.

Had a good run this morning, tested out tonight’s track workout.  We will meet at Millard West as usual but if the MW football team is out in full force we will move the workout just a half mile south to Beadle Middle School (180th & Jefferson).  The workout is a little something I call 5-3-1, here’s the skinny:
1-1.5 mile warm up and down
1.25 (5 laps) @ current 5K race pace
800 easy jog and hydration break
.75 (3 laps) @ current 5K race pace
400 easy jog and hydration break
.25 (1 lap) @ current 5K race pace



Going to start off today with a tip of the sombrero to Magdalena Lewy Boulet.  This woman is a great story.  She won the Falmouth Road Race this past weekend, only the 2nd American woman to do so in the last 17 years, Jen Rhines won back in 2003.  Mags is a naturalized citizen from her native Poland, she got her U.S. citizenship on September 11, 2001.  She went on to finish 2nd at the USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in 2008 and realized her dream of representing the United States at the Beijing Olympics.  At age 38 it was cool to see her take the Falmouth title.  Magdalena also serves on the USATF WLDR (Women’s Long Distance Running) Executive Committee, sharing a seat at that table with our own Linda Barnhart.

I was fortunate enough to be on the finish line at the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon and snapped this photo immediately after our Olympic Marathon team was set.  Deena Kastor, Magdalena Lewy Boulet, and Blake Russell left to right.  Mags and Jen Rhines are the only two Americans in nearly 2 decades to win Falmouth.

From the almost fell through the cracks department: While not a TNB mate, Ivan Ivanov is a stud Nebraska runner.  He participated in the World Masters T&F Championships in Sacramento last month, competing in the Steeplechase.  Ivan took 2nd overall (9:25.62) to Morocco’s Elarbi Khattabi’s 9:24.23.  Great work Ivan!  In that same race my old buddy Cornelio Garibay of Houston finished 9th.

We are already receiving entries into the Swamp Stomp and Monster Dash, be sure and pencil these two Fall Classics into your schedule.  The Swamp Stomp will be held on October 22, and the Monster Dash on October 29.

Here is a list of the remaining USATF National Championship races.  Remember, you must have a 2011 USATF membership to compete in these events.  If you are not sure if your membership is current shoot me or Linda an email and we’ll check for you.   We are often called upon to verify memberships, we do this with a mere click of a button so really no problem.

Aug. 27USA 10 km Trail Championships
Sep. 5USA 20 km Championships
Sep. 5USA Masters 15 km Championships
Sep. 11USA 40 km Open & Masters Race Walk Championships
Sep. 17USA 24 Hour Championships
Sep. 18USA 5 km Championships
Sep. 24USA 50 km Trail Championships
Oct. 1USA 5 km Race Walk Championships
Oct. 2USA 10 Mile Championships
Oct. 2USA Masters 5 km Championships
Oct. 2USA Masters Marathon Championships
Oct. 9USA 1 Hour Race Walk Championships and 15,000m walk
Oct. 10USA Women’s 10 km Championship
Oct. 22USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships
Oct. 23USA 50 Mile Championships
Oct. 30USATF 30 km Race Walk Championships
Nov. 5USA Marathon Trail Championships
Dec. 10USATF National Club Cross Country Championships
Dec. 10USATF National Junior Olympic Cross Country Championships


You all get tired of me trumpeting how proud I am.  You get it almost daily, whether it be our TNB mates, our Wednesday night group, or now with the clients I am working with.  Every person that gets out there and puts one foot in front of the other in rapid succession has nothing but my highest esteem.

It is the people that feel the same pride that really are the icing on the cake.  The amount of camaraderie and support displayed by our Wednesday group is a true inspiration.  Everyone working Together, sharing the same efforts, pushing and cajoling each other to a Greater Good.  We all stick around until the last runner is done with the last lap, even this loose knit group understands how important it is to be a part of a Common Vision.

The Very Best of the Good Mates get this too.  But it is not mandated that everyone on TNB subscribes to the notion of group unity or fealty to the club and that is OK too.  There will always be lone wolves (I was certainly one for most of my running career).   I have often said that TNB was not founded to make friends, but rather to become one of the top USATF clubs in the United States.  There is no doubting that we have achieved our goal, even with the disparate membership base, and as it turns out they are quite a great group of friendly people to boot.  We accept athletes based on desire to improve personally as well as those that are in it for the Team.  I’ve stood up for every single member at one point or another, insisting that individual goals are just as important as club goals.

But give me one Matt Schneider or Laura Neel or Jen Viehrig or Ben Shultz (and too many more to name)  for any number of aspiring national class athletes and we’ll still have one of the top clubs in the U.S.  While we support everyone, we naturally work just a little harder for and with those that buy into the mission of the club.  Bottom line is you need only have The Dream to be on The Team.

And we had mates representing well over the weekend. Tim Langdon (2nd, 17:11), Ben Schultz (4th, 17:59), Steve Stender (7th, 1st master, 19:13), Linda Barnhart (1st master, 21:25), and Jody Green (1st 35-39, 22:23) all ran the Boxer 500 yesterday and did very well.  Our Wednesday night group was also well represented with John Tully (26:21) scoring hardware.  Great job to all that ran in their boxers!

Cory Logsdon was 3rd overall (27:26) at the Atlanticfest 8K in Iowa, this off of marathon training, Cory is looking strong this early fall.  Tom Nichols (2nd, 16:09) and Stacy Shaw (1st master 21:01) tackled the Thunder Run 5K in Lincoln.

I hit 60 miles last week, my highest total since April, Giddyup!

Tim Langdon cut quite the figure in his colorful britches.

Is Jody enjoying this more or Linda?


It’s been a busy weekend for Team Nebraska Brooks.  We had a large group of Good Mates show up for hills, hills and  more hills yesterday morning.  I covered 16 miles, others went further including Matt Schneider who covered 23 in a shade over 2 hours thirty minutes.  He’ll be tough to catch at the Sioux Falls Marathon next month, as will wife Meghan, they will both be making their 26.2 debuts and are training intelligently and well.   These team runs are an integral part of TNB.   We all enjoyed egg casserole, black beans, brown rice, cabbage, banana bread, and rice krispie treats post run, yum!  Running Freak awards were passed out.

Danielle and Vince Galvin hosted our 7th annual TNB Summer Party yesterday evening at their lovely home, a real sanctuary in the midst of West O.   Over 40 mates, friends, and family gathered in fellowship and good cheer.  Great food, great beer & root beer (thanks to our old buddies at the Upstream Brewing Company for the kind donation!), and great people.  We took some time to recap the year thus far, that was fun and reminded me of just how special this group really is.  I also announced our fall schedules, made requisite introductions, and reminded everyone that there are only 3 Rules to being on TNB:
1. You must Always compete in your TNB uniform, no matter the race, no exceptions
2. You must adore both me and Linda
3. As long as you follow Rule #1, we could care less about Rule #2

A lot of new faces mixed in with some of our veteran runners, just as it should be.  It was also fun opening the party up to our friends and sponsors, TNB runs deep in the Omaha Metro.

Peter vd Westhuizen and wife Michaela were in attendance, Peter is just back from competing on the European Circuit.  We had some good discussion regarding his fellow S. Africans Oscar Pistorius (“Blade Runner”), and Caster Semnaya, the ethical and moral implications and impact of both of these athletes being allowed to represent at this month’s World Championships in South Korea.  Very interesting to get Peter’s take, he is a very well thought out young man.

A couple of hot items from the mailbag:  Bridget Easley has announced she will be going for the 2:46:00 Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon standard at the California International Marathon in December, the last chance to qualify before January’s big date.  Bridget had a breakthrough performance at Grandma’s this past June, we are thrilled for her decision to go “all in”.

Good luck to our Nicole Nelson, she starts UNMC Medical School tomorrow.

We are very pleased to announce that David Adams has joined Team Nebraska Brooks.  David graduated from UNL this spring after an illustrious career including a school record 14:12.47 indoor 5000, being named the Men’s Most Valuable Runner in 2008 & 2009, and qualifying for the 2011 USA National Championships in the Steeplechase.  David will be training with our middle distance corps and will be coached by Glen vd Westhuizen, Peter’s dad.  With Peter back in town until next year, that group now has some real star power.  Both Peter and David will be in this year’s elite field for the Omaha Corporate Cup.  Add in last year’s champ Eric Rasmussen, 2010 runner up Luka Thor, Olympic Trials hopeful Cameron Cummings, a hungry Matt Pohren, and well you get the idea, Giddyup!  Look for the women’s side to be just as competitive if not out to destroy the course record.  Check in on David’s blog at , he has a legitimate shot at making the 2012 London Olympics in the steeple and it will be all of our treat to watch his progress.  He is  from York, NE, married to Bethany Adams, and is working in electrical engineering when he is not training his butt off.

We are also starting to look at assembling our Market to Market Relay teams.  Will last year’s TNB Mixed Team’s  8:25:27 (5:58/mile) record be challenged?  Can Anyone ever approach the Open Men’s incredible 7:51:46 (5:34/mile) record?  We’ve got some mates that are saying yes to both challenges.  I like the cut of their jib.

It is my privilege to be associated with such fine people.









Was able to squeeze in an easy 3 between welcome, cooling storms this morning.  Legs are looking forward to tomorrow’s TNB group long run, it will be my furthest jaunt since the Lincoln Marathon on May 1st.  We’ve changed the route up a bit due to conditions on 192nd (very muddy and some nasty size chunky gravel are the two main culprits).

While I was driving the course it brought back some good memories of training runs there a few years back.  It has changed quite a bit since then though with residential/commercial tentacles extending all the way to Giles Rd.  All of that is concrete now too, take paradise, put up a parking lot.  Once you pass the Gretna Hwy, it reverts back to some of the prettiest and hilliest running (all the way to Platteview Rd) in the Omaha Metro.  We’ll give it a go another time.

So for manana we’ll still offer plenty of running, including hills, via  our old reliable F St. out to the Farm and then south, all the way to the Pig and beyond for those wanting to go 18+.  Some of us may pop out to the dojo with salutations as part of the run too.  Should be a near perfect morning for mileage.  In order to accommodate everyone joining in we will offer a variety of paces and distances, my ancient bones will likely be dragging the rear. Breakfast, showers, relaxing digs afterwards.

Speaking of salutations, my old buddy and Boston Marathon Race Director continued his tradition this morning by running 57 miles on his 57th birthday.  Cool way to celebrate.

Giddyup!  And I mean it! has put together the most comprehensive analysis of USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifiers.  Going to share some nuggets that are hard for me to swallow but I have no doubt that we’ll be represented in January.

The 2012 Standards:

The Men’s Standards
A-Standard (trip to the Trials is paid)
Marathon – 2:19:00 and under
Half Marathon – 1:05:00 and under
10,000M – 28:30 and underAutomatic
1) Any competitor who places top ten at USA Marathon Championships in 2008/2009/2010 who runs 2:22:00 or better will receive automatic qualification
2) Automatic qualification will be provided to any man who was a member of a past US Men’s Olympic Marathon Team.
The Women’s Standards
A-Standard (trip to the Trials is paid)
Marathon – 2:39:00 and underB-Standard
Marathon – 2:39:01-2:46:00
Half Marathon – 1:15:00 and under
10,000M – 33:00 and under

Automatic qualification will be provided to any woman who was a member of a past US Women’s Olympic Marathon Team.

Current Men’s Qualifiers:

Qualifying Times Run: 284
Individuals: 129

A-Standard: 127
Automatic: 2
Qualified by 26.2M: 68

Current Women’s Qualifiers:
Qualifying Times Run: 308
Individuals: 163

A-Standard: 40
B-Standard: 123
Automatic: 0
Qualified by 26.2M: 144

Men and Women: All Qualifiers by Where They Live…

Even though the USA is one country, we still take pride in our home states. Here is the list of male and female qualifiers ordered by where we believe they are currently living (tell us if we’re wrong… we’re sure this will keep changing!). 13 states are missing… Where are the runners from: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Louisiana, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming?

Iowa has 1 man and 5 women on the list, you can check out more fascinating stats by going to





OK, that title should get your attention.  The 1993 film is on my list of all time favorite bizarres.  And kind of a segue to the Boxer 500.  The 5K Run/Walk starts at 8:00 am Sunday morning.  The 1 Mile Walk goes at 8:15 followed by the 1 Mile Kids Run (12 & under) and Kid’s Dash.  9:30 am 5K Awards Ceremony.  Walnut Creek Recreation Area, 9902 Schram Road,  Papillion.

A good showing at last night’s CCQ 10K.  Justin Mollak set a new Series Record pacing off 5:44 miles to finish in 35:35.06.  Jimmie Doherty was next in 41:29.23 followed by Shawn Kellis (42:25.44), Terry Merrihew (43:14.66), Carole Swanson (43:57.53), Bruce Barnhart (44:33.12).   Jody & Taia Green were next setting a new standard for the Stroller Division running an incredible 48:31.99-7:49 pace!  Taia is 2 and now holds the 5 & under Course Record.  Kim Kruse came across in 50:56.21 and Kathy Palmer set a new 10K pr in 54:29.20.  John Tully (58:18) improved by 3 minutes over his last effort and Paul Baltes was hot on his heels in 58:27.90.  All through in under an hour and man am I proud of their progress.

Out for a warm up in the hills, its a beautiful morning, if you see me smiling and flying along do give me a honk!  And remember, it takes fewer muscles to smile than it does to frown.



Or Exact.  I’ve built a career, or at least a reputation, out of this soap box of mine.  I’ll elevate it just a tad more:

There are now 8 USATF Course Measurers in Nebraska.  Here’s their skinny:
Gary Meyer (Omaha)- Credited with 63 courses measured including 3 in Wisconson, 7 in Iowa, and 4 in Kentucky.
Eric Miller (Bellevue) – 12 courses measured, all out of state like this: 2 in Iowa, 2 in Texas, and 8 in Ohio
Will Lindgren (aw shucks)- 7 courses measured in Nebraska.  I had previously measured 25+ in Texas, those have now lapsed with the 10 year mandatory renewal, my TX mentee is credited with 30, pass it on.
Greg Freese (Lincoln)- 5 courses measured including the Lincoln Marathon, Half Marathon, St. Farm 10 Mile and 5K
Mike Calvillo (Wayne)- 3 courses measured, all in South Dakota
Jason Shuster (Grand Island)- 2 courses measured including Bill Seymour Half Marathon
Lynn Lightner (Lincoln)- 1 course measured
Susie Smisek (Omaha)- 1 course measured, Omaha Marathon

If you are looking for a USATF Certified course to get an accurate assessment of your racing fitness you can go to Certified courses are listed by state, distance, measurer, etc.

This Saturday morning’s attack on the Scenic Sarpy/Douglas Alps (naddy) has taken a life of its own with not only the TNB mates hitting it but several members of the local community as well.  I am going to need the company!


Submitting three grant applications today, I’m wishing all my grant wishes are granted.  Whew!

Received an email this morning from one formerly very speedy dude that requested anonymity.  He indicated he’d run <33:00 on the Lake Wehrspann 10K course, a little more checking and we’ll nail down the official CR and who holds it.

An easy 8.25 this morning, just like yesterday.  Been doing the majority of all my runs in either the Green Silence or the Racer ST.  I’m digging the responsiveness and realize I’ll likely stick with lightweight trainers or racing flats from here on out.  This pudding is just right.  Got to catch up with old friend Tim Larsen, one of the guys I really admire here in Omaha.  An ER Doc at UNMC, nothing nobler than saving lives.  Tim’s wife Maureen is one of the faster women in Nebraska, I know she’s licking her chops at turning 40 next year….

Online registration is open for both the 6th annual Swamp Stomp 8K XC Cajun Festival and the 5th annual Monster Dash 5K.  You can go to to enter.  We’re headed over to finalize the digital brochures this morning, I’ll roll out those links when they are hot later this week.

Man am I glad Jody Green is back in town.  Having her around provides me a great deal of necessary direction and resulting comfort.  Thanks Jody!

A lot of interest in tomorrow night’s Corporate Cup 10K Qualifier, hope to see you all at the starting line at 6:00 pm.  If you choose to go to Millard West Track the workout will be as follows:
1.5-2.0 mile warm up and down
2 X 1 Mile @ 5K race pace, 5:00 active recovery and hydration after each
2 X 1/4 @ 5K race pace minus :10, 2:00 active recovery after each