Monthly Archives: September 2011


I had a nice conversation with Peter vd Westhuizen on Sunday.  We were discussing how his dad is coaching an ever growing number of our TNB middle distance/distance runners.  And how many of them are area high school coaches.  And how their improvement and focus on excellence is sure to roll over to their charges.  And how well that bodes for the future generations of runners from Nebraska.

TNB’s biggest contribution to Nebraska distance running may not be known for another generation or two.  And it may come from South Africa.

A highlight from this past Sunday’s USATF Nebraska Association annual meeting:  The Nebraska Association was awarded the Bronze Achievement Award for excellence across all programs.  This is the first time ever that our Association has been thusly recognized.  A big tip of the national office’s sombrero to our leadership that is committed to you, the sport, and our state.  We can all be proud and hope you are too!

Our mate Jose Badillo rocked the Red & White at this past weekend’s Air Force Half Marathon in Dayton, Ohio.  He blasted a 1:46:12, can you imagine having those wheels after age 70?  Incredible.

The Omaha Marathon, Half Marathon, & 10K are fast upon us.  We’ll have a bevy of mates lining up for one of the three races.  It will be interesting to see how the new courses are received, big thanks to Gary Meyer, Tom Whitaker, Daren Konda, and RD Susie Smisek for hustling and rustling up new tours for us.

As recently reported here, Omaha running legend Gary Julin is having a very difficult time and needs your prayers and meditations.  We are getting updates regularly and it is with sadness that the news is accepted.  His health continues to decline rapidly but it must be comforting for him to know how respected and loved he is in this community.

Two Omaha legends:  Gary Julin and Ronn Baker during happier times.

This still photo of Gary from his famous Bud Light “Heartland” television commercial for the 1984 Olympics.  He earned enough in royalties to buy a jeep.  He was able to keep fewer miles on the jeep than he did on his legs, think about that for a moment and you’ll know how much he loved to run.  Heavy hearts.

Linda Barnhart and I have both passed the USATF background screening.  We encourage all USATF LDR club representatives to do likewise!

From my old buddy Joseph O’Meara: “You are entitled to your opinion, which is, in spite of our best efforts, subjective, but you are not entitled to your own facts. Being able to distinguish between the two is fast becoming a lost intellectual skill.”




I’m letting the Cubs Fan in me come out when I say “Just wait until next year!”  I really thought we’d have a sub 30 yesterday.  As my little buddy Chas Davis says “Will is making the usual claims he makes every year”, but I’ll start them 364 days early.  Next year it goes down!

One thing that we did have yesterday was one hell of a race, and that beats an arbitrary number of clicks on the clock, doc.  The men’s race went out at a rather pedestrian 5:05 pace, dooming any chance of <30:00.  But boy did the Real Racing heat up!  When we finally saw the lead motorcycle it was Benson Chesang, Peter vd Westhuizen, and David Adams in a tight battle with 3/4 mile to go.  Peter had promised me on Friday that he was ready to use his World Class Miler’s speed and close the last 1/4 in :51.  And that’s just what he did to put Benson away by a scant 3 seconds, 30:36 to 30:39.  David was next in 30:46.  Aaron Carrizales was next in 31:27 and Luka Thor followed in 31:59 to give TNB 4 of the top 5 Money spots.

In the women’s race it was hot for only 1 mile, the first one that went out in a 5:35.  Bridget Easley remained calm and resolute, realizing that pace was overly ambitious if not ridiculous.  She caught the women’s leader shortly after that and never looked back taking the win in a quick 36:54.  “Z Money” Megan Zavorka took 3rd in 37:31, and Andrea Bowen was 5th in 39:10.  Complete results can be found at:

Huge thanks to Kevin Bonney and the American Lung Association for providing a National Class race for our mates.  The competition and prize money have put the Corporate Cup at the top of Real Racing in Omaha.

Be sure to check our Flickr page for photos of both races, you can find yourself and as always no secret passwords or fees for you to download and love.

1.  Luka Thor had major knee surgery earlier this year.  The way he was able to hold off Torry Zeller (32:01) and Matt Pohren (32:02) was truly a thing of beauty.  Luka will defend his Omaha Half Marathon title next weekend.
2.  I could not have been prouder to see my son Miles Lindgren in the 2 Mile race.  I’ve never pushed, prodded, cajoled, or encouraged him to run, he does it because he wants to and he enjoys it.
3.  Jimmie Doherty needs a good luck charm.
4.  Did every single one of our Wednesday Night track group run a pr?  Yep.   Amee Rief and Enita Larsen have busted their butts in pursuit of a sub 60, and they were rewarded with huge prs in 58:50!  John Tully continues to destroy his lifetime prs. Linda Hendrickson, Carole Swanson, Kristin Ramm, David Frost, Denny Gray, hope you are enjoying the rewards this morning of all your hard work this summer!

Bridget Easley showed a good combo of Strength and Speed to get the win yesterday.  She started having Fun immediately after crossing the line, that $600 sure helped her smile.

Pete used his World Class speed to put away a very determined Benson Chesang.  He was all business.

David Adams made his TNB debut taking 3rd overall.  Look for some Great things to come from this young man.

Luka Thor really is this fast!

Megan Zavorka on her way to 3rd overall.  Both Megan and Bridget are physically strong specimens, their attention to upper body and core being the foundation of their success.

Aaron Carrizales will be running the San Jose Half Marathon in two weeks shooting for his <1:05:00 Olympic Trials qualifier.

The calm before the storm.  I’m always full of Optimism when waiting for the gun to go off.  Next year it goes sub 30, I Guarantee it!!


Please come down to watch the Elite Race tomorrow morning.  Gun fires at 7:45 a.m.  This will likely be the most competitive Nebraska  road 10K in at least the last 30 years and perhaps ever.

As promised, I’m going to say nice things about the non-TNB runners entered into the Elite field.

Most of them are former TNB runners and a couple on the women’s side were our Female Athlete of the Year (2008, 2010).    No matter who you race for or if you are on your own or if you fit somewhere in between or if you fit nowhere at all, wishing Everyone a Great Race.  The Competition will be Fierce and I tip my sombrero to you for Giving it Your Best.  To quote that American Icon Steve Prefontaine, “To give anything less is to sacrifice the gift.”



Professor Peabody used the Wayback Machine to teach Sherman (his boy) history every week.  We’ll start today’s column off by giving a nod to 30 years ago.

Omaha Pepsi Challenge 10K 1981
1. Bill Rogers 29:04
2. Stan Vernon 29:20
3. Bob Wallace 29:34
4. Jon Eggers 29:35
5. Ted Castaneda 29:52

A Big shout out to whomever can identify the cats in this picture.  I think that is Vernon in the Tiger singlet?  And if anyone remembers who the Race Director was I’d love to have that info too.

Now on to this weekend.  In addition to Matt Gabrielson, David Adams, & Peter vd Westhuizen there will be plenty of Real Racing going on.  Of our TNB mates I expect Matt Pohren and Aaron Carrizales to be top 5 finishers.  Matt has been having a great year. I’m even more excited for Aaron who has put together his best training cycle in almost 10 years as he preps for the San Jose Half Marathon.  There he will be gunning for the <1:05:00 necessary to get the automatic entry into the USA Men’s Olympic Trials Marathon in January.

In the Women’s race it looks to be a  Battle Royale.   Kayte Tranel is rounding into excellent shape as she shoots for a sub 2:46:00 at the Chicago Marathon in a few weeks.  Bridget Easley is also going for the Trials standard at CIM and her training is going very well.  She is further motivated by a dissapointing loss at the GI Half a couple of weeks ago so look for her to not hold back anything this weekend.  Megan Zavorka is also tuning up for a National Championships (Tufts 10K for Women, Oct. 9) and could be a spoiler. Michaela van der Westhuizen is always tough as she is talented and can’t be counted out either.   Jen Viehrig has shown she is afraid of No One this summer and is also a dark horse.   And let’s not forget Andrea Bowen.  I don’t see Melissa Todd‘s name on the Elite list and more is the shame as I had really hoped to have someone push our ladies.   No matter how it shakes I just could not be prouder of these ladies for having the huevos to get on the starting line and race the Very Best 10K runners in Nebraska.  Even if that means competing against each other.

Tomorrow I’ll try my hardest to say some nice things about some of the non-TNB athletes entered into the Elite field.

Oh, and GIDDYUP!




The theme this morning though is actually City Record.  Or maybe Nebraska Record.  For a USATF Certified 10K Road Race.

Thanks to Jeff Jacob for bringing some old race results to the track last night.  He ran in the Pepsi Challenge 10K waaaaay back in the day, and it was perhaps the same course that the Corporate Cup has or is using.  Vagaries aside, Bill Rodgers turned in a 29:04.  Jeff is getting me copies of some of his archived material and I’ll be doing an upcoming feature column on how it was when Real Racing ruled the roads in Omaha.

Heard from my old buddy Matt Gabrielson this morning.  Matt runs for Team USA Minnesota and is a Stud among Studs.  He’ll be coming to Omaha for this weekend’s Corporate Cup and will give David Adams and Peter vd Westhuizen all they want.   I’m sure they’ll return the favor.   He’s got some National Class personal bests of 28:44 for 10K, 13:30 for 5K and 4:02 for the mile.  In 2011 Matt has finished 6th at Grandma’s Marathon (2:13:28) and 5th at the USA 25K National Championships (1:17:50).  At 32 years old Matt has the experience and wheels to make this a horse race.  He asked me if anyone was ready to go sub 29, look for some fireworks Sunday morning!

I’ll feature some other Elites tomorrow and Saturday.

Correction to last week’s report on the Hy-Vee Triathlon:  Enita Larsen was actually 1st overall in the Athena Division.  We’re proud to have her as part of our Wednesday night group.

And what a group!  We had a record turnout of 39 athletes last night.   Shain Kephart turned in a nice set running 2 X 3 Miles in 17:25 and 16:55.  He’ll be tearing up the Omaha Half next weekend.  Justin Mollak led a large group doing 8 X 1/4, hitting his in 66s and 65.  Krista Lingenfelter Palm had a swift 3 mile in 23:10, nearly a minute faster than goal pace, nice work Krista!  Angie Hodge is showing some wheels as she readies for Chicago turning her set in :90-:95s.  Kristen Ramm and Carole Swanson clocking all of theirs under :90, nice work ladies!   Amy Jensen showed us real determination is the key to continued improvement.  Proud of every single one of you!   We are also very happy to see so many children coming out with mom & dad.  Parents modeling excellence through sweat, doesn’t get any better.  And it beats sitting around reading the funny pages!

Pat Goodwin is the President and founder of Team USA Minnesota.  Pat and I have worked together for the last 10 years to elevate US distance running.  She is one of the best fundraisers in the country and her program reflects that.  She is also an Omaha native!



What a difference a day makes!  Still felt a bit sluggish when I headed out the door for this morning’s workout, 8 X 1/4 @ 5K minus :15, same recovery as effort.  First one reflected the past week punching in at 1:38.  But then the Good Stuff came back to me.  The next 7 were all between :87 and :90, pretty zippy for this old man.

My training partner (she knocked hers out in :82 to :85) was asking me why I’ve been so hard on myself in this column lately.  My reply was that it shows that all of us go through the same basic emotions relative to our running.  The fears, disappointments, and insecurities are just as much a part of our daily pursuits as the Jubilations and Exhilarations.  It is how you cope with the downside that helps you appreciate and celebrate when you are feeling Great.  We all experience the gamut of feelings, I feel comfortable putting them into words.

The 2011 USATF Nebraska Association meeting is this Sunday at 1:00 at Seymour Elementary School in Ralston.  4900 South 79th St., if you’ve ever wondered what goes on, if you would like to make a difference, or if you have a beef with the current leadership, Sunday will be your opportunity to be heard.  As LDR Chair I’ll be reporting on the road race, cross country, and T&F goings on in our Association.  Highlights include those that have competed in USATF National Championship events, our great performances at USA Club T&F Champs, our Nebraska Association Champs, and our plans for the 2012 USATF Club National Champs next July.

I want to invite everyone to come out Sunday morning and watch the Elite Race portion of the Corporate Cup.  It starts at 7:45 am, last year the Good Mates ran in front of exactly 3 people.  I’m hoping our promise of some record setting performances will draw enough fan interest to boost those numbers.

Last year’s Corporate Cup champion Eric Rasmussen missed the “event” record by just a few ticks.  This year will finally see Tim Dooling’s course and event records go by the by.


A beautiful morning for a run.  I’m taking it off, preferring to sacrifice it to the weather gods in hopes it is pleasing to them and they reward me with many more before the snow flies.

And I need a day off.  And some frijoles.  From the mouths of babes: “Of course you’re tired dad, look how skinny you are and you haven’t taken a day off in weeks.”  Sometimes the most obvious answers are right under our noses.  With that in mind I hopped on the scale and sure enough I weighed a scant 132 pounds, barely enough to sustain a middle aged endurance athlete.  I know athletes from both sides of that spectrum.  Those that are so well fed that it seems impossible that they can fly- yet they do.  And those that are so painfully skinny you wonder how they can fly- yet they do.  So I’m loading up on the calories today hoping to re-find my own sweet spot.  Add a nice long nap in and I should be ready to roll it again manana.

Bruce, Linda, Kyla, Uriah, Ben & I were out at Vala’s this morning putting some final touches on our Monster Dash course.  This event is growing into the fall classic we knew it would, we hope you all can join us on October 29.

And you probably received our Swamp Stomp digital brochure yesterday, thanks for checking it out and sharing with your friends!

At the start of the Peak to Peak 10 Mile Dan Allen asked how many people read Runner’s World.  A smattering of hands went up.  With my usual bravado I asked Dan for the microphone and inquired to the gathered runners “How many of you read Run Guru Says?”  Quite a few more than a smattering, and I thank each and every one of you that take a moment of your day to check in on the Good Mates.  Or to check in and see which pot I’m stirring, you know I’ve always got quite a few on the burners.

Wednesday Night Track will resume at Millard West tomorrow evening.  If a game is in happening, head 1/2 mile South to Beadle Middle School, same 6:00 start time.  We have been stretching the efforts to build endurance and strength, manana we go back to honing your speedy speed.  Like this:
1-1.5 mile warm up and warm down
If running the Corporate Cup on Sunday: 6 X 1/4 @ goal race pace, 1/4 easy jog recovery.
If training up for the Omaha 10K:  8 X 1/4 @ goal race pace, 1/4 easy recovery
If training for the Omaha Half: 3 miles @ goal race pace
If training for the Omaha Full: 2 X 3 Miles @ goal race pace


Thanks for indulging me with these two pics from 1979.  A friend sent these to me on facebook.  I really did have a full head of hair at one point, and a tan that I’m paying for these days.


A great weekend for debuts.

Matt Schneider (5th, 2:37:44) made Sioux Falls his first effort at 26.2 a learning experience.  Ran 5:55 pace through 18 miles, including a 6 mile stretch where he used both hands to keep his hernia from popping out.  There was also the matter of having to pass ~ 1200 half marathoners that started upstream, on a 6′-8′ path.  The last 4 miles lagged a bit at 6:15 pace but the lessons learned were invaluable.   Meghan Schneider (4th, 3:16:51) was outkicked in the last 100m to lose the $400 awarded for 3rd.  A tremendous upside for both of them, a little R&R and we’ll see more of both as the fall progresses, I couldn’t be prouder of their efforts!

In the accompanying half marathon Andrew Jacob ran 1:17:24 and Matt Heesch ran 1:19:06.

The Fab 5 all made it through their IM debuts yesterday at the IronMan Wisconson.  Michelle Reitz– 12:25:12, Sara Garcia– 12:39:23, Bob Harris– 14:25:52, Michelle Bandur– 14:45:24, Gina Morkel– 16:45:10.  You are Iron Men and Women!  I just can’t fathom how you can push yourselves to those limits, you are all truly amazing!

Matt Pohren set a new Northwest Missouri course record at Friday night’s 4 Mile XC race.  He covered the difficult and hilly course in a blazing 20:54.

The Buffalo Run in Lincoln saw the mates taking many of the top spots.  Bridget Easley (1st, 30:15) and Stacy Shaw (2nd, 32:24) took the honors for the women.  On the men’s side, Tom Nichols (4th, 28:00), Brian Wandzilak (5th, 28:01), and Matt Seiler (6th, 28:28) all tackled the tough and hilly 5 mile classic.  Brian Bergt ran 30:13 to win the 50+ division.  Our TNB buddy Bryan Sypal had a nice run in 33:28.

Andrea Bowen’s winning time at the Midnight Run was a nice 17:56, she’ll bring that speed to the women’s race at this weekend’s Corporate Cup.

Speaking of which, a couple of our ringers recently turned in 4 X 3000m in 9:30 (3:00 recovery).  8 total miles well under 5:00 pace, this will be quite the show on Sunday.

Ran with John Seiler yesterday and he was inquiring as to Saturday’s column.  Whom was it I was calling out he was wondering.  Ambiguity, one of my sharpest tools.  Of course the target of my words was myself.  We all encounter that self doubt and fear associated with racing.  I’m in a constant battle with my inner demons that try and convince me it is ok to just take it easy, try and have fun, enjoy the surroundings, etc.  And that is all well and good in training, but not when the gun goes off.   Real Racing is not supposed to be Fun and anyone that tells you that it is has already built in an excuse for defeat.

Just to keep you on your toes.

Jimmie Doherty, Josh Sawyer, and Agustin Delgado all finished in the top 10 Saturday and are all part of our Wednesday night track workouts.  Giddyup!

I’m still searching for answers as to why I continue to train well and race poorly.

John Seiler has no such problems.

Neither does Daren Konda.  Daren does a tremendous service to the Omaha running community with his administrative involvement in the Omaha Run Club and also is a stud runner.


I might not know everyone in the Omaha Metro running community but its getting pretty close.  I ran the Peak to Peak 10 Miler this morning and recognized just about everyone of the 200+ Real Runners.  Had a great time cheering everyone on, especially those that passed me (and there were a bunch).  I set out at <7:00 pace feeling pretty good and then things got nasty after 4 miles.  After a couple of bright green Lemon Lime Gatorade technicolor yawns I was toast.  But turned toast into Fun by encouraging those that were whizzing by.  Another less than satisfactory race for me but optimism abounds.  Why?

Because this year I race as much as I talk.  I rarely congratulate myself-and the mates- on training efforts.  Its what you do with it that counts.

I am having one hell of a week (60+ miles, 3 quality days) but please save all the back patting for when I actually Do Something with that training.  And I am trying to Do Something with it, in addition to all my talking.  Just like the rest of the cats out racing this morning.  Or at last night’s Midnight Run 5K downtown.

It comes across loud and clear that I love to talk, train and race, in that order.  If you just train and talk, what’s the point?  I get it if you just train, there are myriad reasons for that.  But for goodness sakes, if you are going to talk, talk, talk, come on out and Race Me at least once in awhile.  Bok, Bok, Bok, I’m not a Chicken.

Our Scottsbluff ringer John Seiler cruised to the Overall victory this morning in 58:05.  Linda Barnhart was 2nd overall female in 1:10:30, only young Abby Knight fronted her.  Jimmie Doherty continued his developmental arc finishing 4th in 1:06:30.  We had some very good performances from our Wednesday night group as well with Faster Pastor Josh Sawyer and Agustin Delgado finishing in the top 10.

At the Midnight Run our mates Andrea Bowen and Cory Logsdon took the Overall victories and the very sweet round trip airline tickets that went with the spoils.  Cory clocked 15:34, Ben Shultz ran 17:03 for 6th.  No official results available yet but I’ll post as available.

Matt & Meghan Schneider will roll Sioux Falls Marathon manana.  There’s a whole lot of TNB pride happening with those two and we’re lucky to have them.

Super Chicken spent a lot of his time talk, talk, talking to Fred.

The Super Chicken Theme Lyrics

When you find yourself in danger,
When you’re threatened by a stranger,
When it looks like you will take a lickin’, (cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck)
There is someone waiting who
Will hurry up and rescue you,
Just call…for Super Chicken! (cluck, awk!)

Fred, if you’re afraid, you’ll have to overlook it,
Besides, you knew the job was dangerous when you took it! (cluck, awk!)

He will drink his super sauce
And throw the bad guys for a loss
And he will bring them in, alive and kickin’ (cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck)
There is one thing you should learn
When there is no one else to turn to
Call…for Super Chicken! (cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck)
Call…for Super Chicken! (cluck, awk!)


Good luck, Great Racing and Giddyup to our TNB friends FAB FIVE at this Sunday’s Iron Man Wisconsin.  Bob Harris, Sara Garcia, Michelle Reitz, Michelle Bandur, and Gina Morkel are resting comfortably today in Madison, building reserves for their Big Dance.  This will be Michelle’s Iron Man debut, and in fact her marathon at the end of the day will be her 26.2 debut!  These amazing athletes are animals and we wish them all the best.

From Jeff Jacob in yesterday’s mailbag:  “I never knew how much I missed the track workouts…in the 80’s at UNO and the 90’s at Omaha Westside with the old boys;  Baker, Juiln, Dickmeyer, Olsen, Cooper, etc, etc, etc.”  Jeff made our Wednesday night group this week and he and Josh (is there a faster pastor?) blew out 3 X 1 mile in good fashion.  Jeff has recently joined TNB, is in my age group and is looking to kick my butt at Corporate Cup.  He is also Andrew Jacob and Meghan Schneider’s dad, so you know from whence those wheels sprung.  His email lists that generation of Real Runners in the Omaha Metro, those that raced to race and saved the fun for afterwards.

Dylan Wilson is a man of few words but when he speaks you should pay attention.

And that means you too Tim Langdon, already talking smack about how the TNB Mkt2Mkt Open Men’s Team is going to make short work of our Co-Ed Team.

Our ringer for tomorrow’s Peak to Peak 10 Mile is en route from Western Nebraska.

Got a great Man Rush last night.  The 2011 NFL season kicked off at Lambeau Field and Bart Starr carried in the flag to open the ceremonies.  I remember watching the 1967 Super Bowl with my dad, how the game’s MVP dismantled his favored team, the KC Chiefs.  And last night Starr parading in with moist eyes, you could tell it was a special moment for him and I was glad to have  memories of his greatness during the 1960s.

Enita Larsen finished 2nd overall in the Athena Division at last week’s HyVee Triathlon.  I’m putting mad bank up that she wins that division next year.  I see how hard these triathletes work in their running, realize they are putting in similar efforts to the other two disciplines, and am amazed.