Monthly Archives: December 2011


Met my mileage goal for the year + 5 for good measure.  Hope you met yours as well.  10 this morning with the Wild Willy Crew on the MoPac, first 6 moderate then a much quicker last 4, felt great.  Nice work to Shain, Shawn, Agustin, Mike & Linda.   Hy-Vee breakfast afterward.

Be safe tonight, have fun, and see you next year!


From the USATF National website, under Community Outreach: “USA Track & Field is committed to being a community leader both on and off the track.”

While Team Nebraska may be known as one of the top Elite Development Clubs in the U.S. it is our work locally that represents the very best of what our sport has to offer.  It is easy to recognize our charitable deeds this time of year, and in June with our Big Blue Run prostate cancer awareness event.

It is however our efforts to promote the sport across all levels of age and abilities that makes us most proud.  Our kids run program (Thank you Linda), calendar of road and xc and trail races (Thank you RRM committee), and Omaha Endurance Group program (Thank you Everyone!) are at the very core of Team Nebraska’s contribution towards a more healthy, active, and social Nebraska.

You know I like to talk long and longer about this but today I’m sharing a quote that sums up this essence of community spirit and service.

From Kathy Palmer: “I wanted to thank you both for the kind words on Wed night at the track.  To even think that you guys thought of me at all for any sort of recognition is absurd to me – but I was very excited to hear it and it meant the world to me.  I certainly do not deserve any such award – as there are people who have done many more things than me.  Other people have progressed a ton, come through very difficult situations, gotten medals, etc. – I am really not any different than anyone else.  But for me – I know what I’ve done – and I am proud at what I have accomplished.  But it’s not any different than anyone else on that track – everyone should be proud of what they accomplish every day!  On the track/Lake Z and elsewhere.  Look at Jody.  She can’t run now, but she continues to accomplish so much with the running community and she is still our biggest fan/supporter/etc.  In fact, her NOT running might just be award-worthy – I think that is taking more guts (for her) than a lot of what any of us do!”

Kathy hit it right on the head.  It isn’t just about the fast and furious, it is about recognizing the relative accomplishments of us all, regardless of ability.  It is about giving back to a much larger community, inspiring others to take that first step, modeling hard work and perseverance in the face of difficulties.  Recognizing and encouraging the social aspect of our sport, the good we can do for each other trumping any individual achievements or honors.

Be sure to come out on Sunday for the Hair of the Dog Run.  WOWT Channel 6 will also be airing a segment on the run and Team Nebraska Sunday morning between 8 and 9.  Thanks for being part of our community.



There was great response to my call for nominations of your favorites of 2011.  There were certainly a lot more races, awards, performances, etc., if your own favorite didn’t make the list be sure and submit this time next year!  Honorable mentions to All that received a nomination.

I couldn’t be prouder that our very own Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run received the most votes for this category.  We’ll not set on our laurels though and promise to make the 2012 edition the Very Best Ever (April 7th).
Honorable mentions:  Omaha Corporate Cup, Sandhills Marathon, Lincoln Marathon, Buffalo Run, Lincoln Mile, Beer & Bagel.

Susie Smisek.  Susie oversaw continued growth of the Omaha Marathon and overcame the forces of Mother Nature dealing with the Mighty Missouri’s flooding.  The new start/finish in front of Reliant Stadium proved to be a great move that we hope stays.
Honorable mentions: Nancy Sutton-Moss, Ann Ringlein, Andy Pollock & Scott Schwartz, Jody Green, Ben Cohoon, and yours truly.

Market to Market Relay .  Ben always comes up with a sweet technical t, well fitted and great memento of your accomplishment.
Honorable mentions: Beer & Bagel, NE5, Lincoln Marathon.

Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run.
The cast iron skillets are a load to carry home but are the most functional award of any race around.
Honorable mentions: The Omaha Marathon’s unique glass finishers medals, the mega-sized mugs at Beer & Bagel.

Only 1 nomination for this category and it didn’t count because it occurred outside of Nebraska.  I’ll mention it though because it will forever be a moment to remember for at least a few of us.  David Adams nominated my shedding tears after watching him chase down a top 10 finish at the Club Cross Country National Championships earlier this month, sniff.

Brian Wandzilak’s website is a breath of fresh air for the Nebraska running community.   His unique perspective on running and life, his contributors, and exclusive interviews make this a must read for serious runners across the state.
Honorable mentions:, Omaha Endurance Group’s facebook page, Omaha Running Club’s facebook page,  flotrack, Lincoln Track club’s newly revamped site, Ni-Bthaska-Ke digital brochure.

Luka Thor.
Luka overcame early year knee surgery to successfully defend his Omaha Half Marathon title.  If you know anything at all about Luka, that victory pales in comparison to the obstacles this fine young man has  surmounted.
Honorable mentions: Cameron Cummings 2:26:47 win at the Lincoln Marathon, Eric Noel’s 2:32:21 debut performance at Lincoln,  David Adams’ Olympic Trials qualifier, Brian Wandzilak in a hot dog suit, John Tully’s lifetime 5K pr at  Ted E. Bear Hollow, Shain Kephart’s overall win at the accompanying 10K.

Stacy Shaw.
Stacy turned in an amazing 3:03:18 for second overall at the Omaha Marathon.  What made her performance  remarkable is that she is a young 45 years of age.
Honorable mentions: Kathy Rongner Palmer’s lifetime mile pr, Kaylen Stockton’s 1:25:20 win on the difficult Omaha Half Marathon course, Kaci Lickteig’s 2:58:14 4th place finish at Lincoln.


We had 22 adults and 8 kids show up at last night’s bonus track workout at Millard West.  What a great way to wrap up 2011, the Omaha Endurance Group has left its mark on my heart and sole.  We will kick off our 5th year of the program Wednesday, March 28, mark your calendars!

Almost surreal to have temps in the 50s this close to the end of the year.  I’m always amazed that there are people that appreciate my hollering at them 28 weeks of the year.


This is the time of year when the fat cats get fatter and I’m not speaking of the holiday ham or fifty dollar gift certificate to the company store. I’ve seen healthy, significant, and down right obscene cash payouts to those that need them the least but insist on them the most. Oh well.

In my own way I’m rewarding all hard working runners with their own special year end bonus. Tonight we will return to the Millard West track, starting at 5:00, for a celebration of all the hard work that went into the pursuit of our goals this year. Dividends will be paid out in the form of sweat equity, please plan on joining us for fun and a final fellowship for 2011. And sure we’ll gather afterwards at the Upstream Legacy for some of their tasty Double Dutch Belgian Dubbel, my new favorite seasonal on tap.

The Lincoln Marathon is officially sold out! If you dillied or dallied you are too late. Ten thousand entries in just 27 days, amazing! You can still get in however if you have met the Elite Standards in the last two years, times as follows:
Men- 2:30:00 marathon or 1:15:00 half marathon
Women- 2:50:00 marathon or 1:25:00 half marathon

I’m gazing into my crystal ball and seeing 5 Team Nebraska mates under Sammy Rotich’s 2011 winning time of 1:07:08 in the half. Going to be a Red & White horse race.

Don’t forget to pencil in the Hair of the Dog Run on January 1st. Non-perishable food items or a $10 donation. Help us help those that feed the area hungry. 1:00 pm start time at the Zorinsky boat ramps. Distances and paces according to ability. Be sure and pay attention to the appropriately marked “hot chocolate” dispensers.

And finally, you can use some of your own year end bonus to help support our USATF Nebraska Association Olympic Trials Marathon Qualifiers- Bridget Easley & Kaci Lickteig- by coming out on January 8th, same Zorinsky boat ramps, same 1:00 pm start time. We are hosting this fundraiser to help these talented ladies offset travel and housing expenses to Houston, they’ll run the race of their careers just two weeks from this Saturday!  Both Bridget & Kaci will be on hand for photo ops and autographs!

Give till it hurts and then just a little more!


Giving some early thoughts as to what I might be resolving for 2012.  I’ve got a few that should make for a happier, sunnier me.  But as they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.  It’s not the codification but the delivery that counts, I’ll choose my personal goals carefully enough to be able to fulfill them.

Professionally it becomes a lot more fun if no less difficult to achieve.  I hope to continue to elevate the status of Team Nebraska to the highest echelons of USATF Elite Development Clubs.  Foremost on that front will be Major Success at the USA Club T&F National Champs in July.  And even loftier, hope to have a top 10 finish for the Good Mates at the National Club XC Champs next December.  We have the talent on this team to achieve it, its a matter of me pulling things together that will make it happen.  Getting everyone on board the same ship headed to the same horizon.  Taking team pride to the next level.

I also hope to continue the growth in participation of our Team Nebraska road/trail/xc events.  We had 504 entries for the 2011 Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run and are capping entries at 600 for this coming April’s 6th annual.  The Big Blue Run 5K has unlimited potential and it is still our goal to make this eventually as big as the Race For The Cure.  If we get a friendly schedule from the Huskers our Swamp Stomp & Monster Dash should also benefit nicely.

Our Omaha Endurance Group outreach grew this year too in the 4th year of the program.  The growth attributed to opening it up to the entire running community instead of being limited to membership at a particular local health club.  We had 40+ show up for most of the summer months, we have room to grow and Everyone is welcome for this weekly fellowship and training.  Look for some new twists and turns around the oval and beyond in 2012!

Getting some good feedback for my top 10 list, keep them coming!

Only two spots remain for my one on one Spring Marathon training program, the online portion remains open to all.  Better hurry if you are interested,


I’m resolving to be one cool cat in 2012!


















Getting my usual Top Ten list ready for later this week.  As a twist I’d like for you gentle readers to submit your own nominations of what was outstanding, exemplary, and incredible in 2011.  I’ll compile and vet the most noteworthy.  As always I’d like to recognize the following favorites:









I’ll be very careful to not over weight the performances to the already acclaimed Team Nebraska Athletes of the Year.  These categories should reflect Nebraska racers/races only.

I’ll also entertain amusing or motivating New Year’s Resolutions if you’d like to submit for our pleasure.

Eight miles in the hills, and wind, this morning.  Training has officially resumed.  Pointing to the Lincoln Half Marathon and then Grandma’s in June.  Gidduyp!



8:45 am on Christmas morning and all three kids still abed.  I miss the energy and excitement and anticipation that only youthful eyes could muster at 4:00 am.  Brunch all prepped, bored silly, so I’ll post a recap on yesterday’s Jingle Bell Run.


We had a record turnout of 65 runners/walkers/supporters of the cause.  Thanks to everyone that put others ahead of themselves for just a brief slice of their Christmas Eve.
,My shirt may have said “Naughty” but I sure felt nice, as did everyone that enjoyed the perfect afternoon, hot chocolate, donuts, and other various and sundry treats.  The bells affixed to our shoes and hats and hair made a joyful noise around the dojo.


Festive attire was encouraged and Cassandra rocked her tu-tu on her tour of Zorinsky.

Even Ivan, our mascot for next week’s Hair of the Dog Run got into the Christmas spirit.  He’s just finishing his loop and eyeing some treats!

Great to have Lorraine & Tom Whitaker out for the cause.  We had many runners from out of state  credit the Omaha Run Club website for learning about the event.

It was cool to see so many kids and families out learning about community service from their parents.  These kids took holiday time from themselves and that makes them rare indeed.

I may have had the Grinch on my shorts but my heart did grow 10X yesterday.  Many of the Good Mates made it out in support of the cause, here I’m dashing and prancing ahead of Matt Schneider, Andrew Jacob, and Lee Anderson.

Team Nebraska and USATF, great partners in service to the community.  These boxes and more filled to overflowing; and a nice cash donation as well, will go to the Open Door Mission.   We hope you can join us on January 1st at 1:00 pm at the Zorinsky Boat Ramps for our Food Bank of the Heartland fundraiser.

all photos courtesy of Jody Green.

Merry Christmas!


runguru the red nosed runner
writes some very shiny prose
and if you’ve ever read him
you would know just how he rolls
some of the other runners
used to laugh and call him names
they’d never let poor guru
promote his USATF games
then one amazing christmas eve
those runners came to say
guru with your prose so bright
won’t you guide our club tonight
then all the runners loved him
they no longer teased and teased
and the folks in Indianapolis
saw and were very pleased!

Merry Christmas to all and to all Good Night!




You were good boys and girls and get just everything your hearts desire.  One thing is for sure, I’ll not get my customary lump of coal.  My gift was delivered yesterday morning and this will be the most peaceful, hopeful Christmas in very many years.  I’m not big on the commercial side of the holiday, preferring to take the time to reflect on the true meaning for the millions of Christians around the world.  I like Linus’ rendition in a Charlie Brown Christmas, the message of Peace on Earth and Goodwill toward men.  Tomorrow rightfully is the best expression of that and should warm us all regardless of theological bent.  It has been a festive past fortnight and I want to thank all the friends that have made this a most memorable holidays, I truly feel blessed to be surrounded by such a loving community.

Some Stocking Stuffers:
Jody Green- Either a new butt or a remedy to the excruciating pain she has endured over the last 2 months.  Our hearts go out to you dear.
John Tully- A wax gift certificate to Kimberly Spa, his dome knows no peer.
Ivan Marsh- Great success with his Empyrean Trail 5K Run. Set for February 18, limited to the first 300 entrants, you better Giddyup if you want to run this new Winter Classic.
Matt Pohren- Those Racer STs in every color combo to meet his fashionista wardrobe.
Bridget Easley & Kaci Lickteig- The experience of a lifetime at next month’s USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon
Lincoln Running Co. & Ndorfnz Racing- Great training and competition for the upcoming year.
Burke Stadium- Seats filled to capacity for the USA Club T&F Champs in July.
Peter vd. Westhuizen- An Olympic Medal in London.
Mike Morgan- A spot on the Men’s USA Olympic Marathon Team.
Shannon Stenger & Paul Wilson- More hours in the day (both are very busy with future Team Nebraska stars)
Team Nebraska- Continued success across so many levels of involvement in the Nebraska running community.  I always wonder how we’ll top the current and previous years, but somehow these fine athletes and volunteers manage it.

Be sure to set out cookies and milk and check in tonight for my annual Christmas Classic.



And looking ahead to the new year.  Here is the list of our 2012 USATF Nebraska Association Championships and other notable dates.  Thanks for marking your calendars.

Saturday April 7- 6th Annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K & 4 Mile Trail Runs**.  10:00 am start time, Platte River State Park.  Also an as yet to be named Kid’s Run of 400 & 800 meters.  The 12K will serve as our Trail Champs for that distance.  We will also hold our Association’s annual LDR meeting that afternoon beginning at 4:00 pm at Mallet Lodge.  If you are a Nebraska Association LDR Club this will be your opportunity to have your voice heard.

Sunday May 6th- Lincoln Marathon & Half Marathon.  The Marathon will once again serve as our champs for that distance.  Giddyup!

Saturday June 9- The 3rd Annual Big Blue Run 5K** will host our Road Champs for this distance.  We’ll finally get to use our USATF certified course, Buddha willing and the creek don’t rise.

July 6 & 7- USATF Club Track & Field National Championships**, right here at Burke Stadium!

Sunday Sept. 16- Omaha Corporate Cup 10K.  And once again, Giddyup!  Our NE Assoc. annual meeting generally follows the Corporate Cup that afternoon, time and location tbd.

Saturday Oct. 20- 7th Annual Swamp Stomp 8K XC Cajun Festival**.  Laissez Le Bon Temps Rouler (Let the good times roll!)  Our 8K XC Champs is our oldest Team Nebraska administered race and we love it.

Saturday Oct. 27- 6th Annual Monster Dash 5K XC run**.  This fall classic will once again be a Spooktacular time and serve as our 5K XC champs.

Nov. 28th – Dec. 2nd- USATF Annual Meeting, Daytona Beach, FL.

We are currently entertaining bids for Road Race Championship distances of 1 mile, 8K, 5 Mile, Half Marathon, 15K , 20K, 25K,  and 30K.  Ultra distances of 50K and 100K are available.  Trail distances of 5K, 10K and trail ultra distances (50K, 100K) are also available.  If you know of a mountain in Nebraska we’d love to have a Mountain Champs as well.  And if you are a race walker, we can do that too!  If you or your group are interested in hosting a Nebraska Association Championships event please shoot me an email at for additional details.

Please refer to our Association web page for most up to date info on times etc., or as always, get your news on right here at Run Guru Says.

** indicates sponsorship opportunities are available for the event.  If you would like to contribute to our efforts please contact me at the above email address.