Monthly Archives: March 2012


Started out pretty well for everyone except Luka Thor.  Poor lad had to work the midnight shift and he got to the race just minutes before the start.  And in fact was in the bathroom when the gun went off.

Finished kind of weird as the heat really took a toll on everyone during the second half, none more so than Cory Logsdon.  Cory was in 5th place when he experienced a heat induced migrane and missed the final turn with a half mile to go.

A lot of good racing in between with Matt Pohren notching the Overall win, darned proud of you Matt!  Natalie Como made her Team Nebraska debut finishing 2nd Overall female.  Great runs by Matt Schneider, Luka, Justin Mollak, Cheto Cerda, Agustin Delgado (huge pr!), Cory, Natalie Jetensky, Linda Barnhart, Emily Kraus, Joy Shulz, Dylan Wilson, and I’m not too terribly disappointed in my own race.

Michaela van der Westhuizen won the 5K, Christina King was 3rd,  Andrew Jacob was third male in the shorter race.

The mates took most of the top 10 spots,  I’ll post em up as soon as they become available.

Top finishers now up: **** = Good Mate.  Cory would have been 5th or 6th had the heat not toasted his mind.

Very pleased to see the Lincoln Running Company providing some Real Competition for our mates.  Logan and Tom and Eric, keep up the good work!

 1 Matt Pohren           Omaha NE            27 M     1/58     52:32  5:16**** You're the Man Matty P!
    2 Tom Nichols           Lincoln NE          29 M     2/58     52:53  5:18--Lincoln Running Company
    3 Luka Thor             Omaha NE            25 M     3/58     53:29  5:21**** No more pre race potty breaks!
    4 Matthew Schneider     Norfolk NE          26 M     4/58     53:56  5:24**** Tough week following last Sunday's breakthrough performance
    5 Eric Noel             Lincoln NE          24 M     1/18     54:04  5:25--Lincoln Running Company 
    6 Chas Davis            Omaha NE            29 M     5/58     56:54  5:42 
    7 Justin Mollak         Omaha NE            27 M     6/58     57:19  5:44**** Final tune up before Boston!
    8 Ryan Salem            Lincoln NE          36 M     1/64     58:04  5:49**** Good to see Ryan out reminding the young guns how its done!
    9 Tim Leuschen          Omaha NE            30 M     1/58     58:07  5:49 
   10 Jason Zakaras         Omaha NE            29 M     7/58     58:17  5:50 
   11 Cheto Cerda           Lincoln NE          26 M     8/58     58:24  5:51**** Good distance run for our 800 meter ace!
 24 Dylan Wilson          Lincoln NE          26 M    11/58   1:04:36  6:28****  Back from the dead!
 59 Agustin M. Delgado, J Omaha NE            31 M     9/58   1:08:27  6:51**** How about an 11:00 pr!
 95 Will Lindgren         Omaha NE            54 M     6/37   1:12:08  7:13 tough age group eh?
30 Natalie Como          Omaha NE            22 F     1/36   1:05:01  6:31**** 2nd overall female
41 Natalie Jetensky      Tekamah NE          42 F     2/54   1:06:29  6:39**** 2nd overall master, heat issues
83 Emily Kraus           Omaha NE            26 F     4/79   1:11:11  7:08 **** Will join Justin & Cory in Boston
94 Joy Schulz            Omaha NE            37 F     4/77   1:11:57  7:12**** Getting better every week
100 Linda Barnhart        Omaha NE            49 F     1/51   1:12:38  7:16**** not bad in the middle of another 80+ mile week!


 1 Logan Watley          Lincoln NE          24 M     16:01  5:10--President, Lincoln Running Company racing team
 2 Ivan Ivanov           Lincoln NE          41 M     16:11  5:13- The ageless one
 3 Andrew Jacob          Lincoln NE          25 M     16:27  5:18**** In the middle of tax season
10 Michaela Van Der Westhuizen Omaha NE      27 F     19:39  6:20**** First overall female and 10th overall!
17 Christina King        Omaha NE            24 F     21:11  6:49**** 3rd overall female.  Another of our 800 meter runners stretching it out

The Good Mates getting ready for the start.


I dig free form Fridays.  A chance for me to stray a bit from the running norm, but never too far.

One of the Three Wise Men (Upstream regulars that solve the world’s problems on a weekly basis), Dave, is having a dilemma.  After working for 35 years at the same company he is faced with an uncertain future due to a “gently persuasive” retirement option.  We’ve been counseling him for the last couple of years to sever that tether, he’s paid his dues and should be segueing into finer days.

But Dave is from another time, a generation just prior to mine.  When a person was defined only by employment.  His biggest fear is that Society will deem him a failure if he “quits” his job.  Having taken a vow to clean up my sailor’s language I refrained from what my heart wanted to reply about society’s expectations.  So I merely said Hakuna Matata.

I also told those gathered at the impromptu counseling session that if I were to have the big grabber on the way home that my last moments above the sod would be with a smile on my face.  Knowing that I’ve lived my life according to my own design, happy with my sense of worth and contributions to making this world a better place.

Having been a stay at home dad for the last 20 years, I’ve never defined myself by society’s traditional employment values.  And that has given me a completely different perspective on what true happiness means to me.  That attitude hasn’t set well with some, especially here in conservative West Mayo-ville.  That I would have the hubris to live my life singularly and happily defies a lot of  people’s narrow view of the world, one I don’t care to be a part of.  Again my vow won’t let me tell you what they can do with their efforts to define me.  That is my message to Dave.  Live the rest of Your own life as You want, damn the torpedos!

Heading down the road manana for the State Farm 10 Mile, will be good to bust some of the rust from the 80+ mile weeks I’ve been hitting.  The open men’s race should be blazing, a Perfect last tune up for the upcoming Boston Marathon and a great fitness indicator for Lincoln in just a few weeks.  But the women’s masters race just might be the hottest of the morning.  Never ones to shy away from racing the best, our mates Stacy Shaw, Natalie Jetensky, and Linda Barnhart will be toeing the line with those shiny badges on their singlets, looking to prove who the top gun is this week.  Stacy is our top marathoner, Natalie our best 5-10K runner, and Linda the obvious speedster who has been mimicking my mileage this spring.  Catch them if you can!


I hope you’ll take a moment to check out the link at the bottom of today’s column, it has the rest of the photos from Sunday’s Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago.  And I know you’ll enjoy the few choice ones I’ve posted, just wow.

I’m already getting offers from races around the country that would love to have David in their elite field.  This kid deserves everything he can possible get.

A huge thank you to the following:  Kelly Crawford, Cade & Molly Pearson, Laurie Halpenny, Danielle Galvin, Carole Swanson, Kathy Palmer, and Linda Barnhart.  These people gave up their Wednesday evenings to attend last night’s USATF Officials Clinic and boy were the powers that be impressed with the turnout by those in support of this summer’s USA Club T&F National Championships.  A mix of Team Nebraska and Omaha Endurance Group athletes, do these people care most about the success of the event?  Yes they do.  We spent nearly 4 hours going over some general information and finer nuances of our sport.

John Tully did an exemplary job standing in for us at Millard West.  His report from this morning:
” 20 runners, 15 kids, 5 new to OEG wed night track group. To a person, everyone there worked extremely hard, they love and request  the guidance you give them. The times were surprising and amazing. To a person, the problem was running  too fast, never not trying hard enough. The coaching part was to get them at a  comfortably hard pace they could maintain. I was blown away by the new 6 to 7 m/m runners that were there, as well as  the 10 m/m runners who were all of a sudden drawn into the spirit and popped off  multiple 9:30 m/m’s. The joy and surprise on their faces was fantastic. new friends and some re-acquaintances connections made.
Resident speedster Steve bring chased by Cassandra. She didn’t quite catch  him and his 5:15 barefoot mile repeats.
Lisa Martone, triathalete, going through the paces with Jason  Schulenberger, and Keely Nyman chasing them down
Amy Rief fresh off her Leprechaun Chase and 5K PR’s  finding undiscovered speed.
Krista Palm and Amy Riggs laughing like high school kids after busting off  half a dozen 1/4 repeats way too fast!
And the Running moms with kids. ”

This is the joy of Wednesday nights.  This is what I have always envisioned for the Omaha Metro, I think we’re finally here.


David Adams early on in the chase pack.  Mike Morgan just off his left shoulder.  Both racing with eyes wide shut.

David broke free of the chase pack at 4 miles and started running down the leaders.  Here he is catching 2012 Olympic Marathoner Abdi.

David would finish just :30 behind the eventual winner and put his name on every Elite Athlete Coordinator’s list in the country.

I get chills just looking at this Good Mate in the Red & White.  And I’m thankful to the Lincoln Marathon for all their support that makes these opportunities possible for our team, we proudly wear their logo on our chest!

More photos here:



That’s about the only thing I was bringing into this morning’s workout.  30 X 1/4 with :30 recovery.  Put the fear of the unknown aside, forget any frailties or twinges or imagined weaknesses.  Show up, warm up, get started, work patiently, see through to completion.

Never a doubt.

The most quarter mile repeats I’ve ever done, increasing by 10 from last weeks 20.  It goes up to 40 next week.

Bring em on.

I mentioned many weeks ago that looking at this program up front was daunting, but that I had faith in Killer Coach and knew I would be worked steadily and effectively towards each week’s  load.  And again, I have this added motivation of completing the seemingly impossible, at age 54, to inspire and motivate our mates to dream beyond supposed mortal limitations.  And not just Team Nebraska, but also our Omaha Endurance Group and my friends on the Omaha Running Club.

We are all capable of more than we give ourselves credit for.  If the desire is there, a willing heart and a willing mind, there are no limits to what we can achieve.  Don’t let anyone else dictate your dreams, don’t let the man bring you down, don’t lean on the crutches of mediocrity, set your own goals and go after them with everything you’ve got.  (A great lesson for all aspects of our lives).  Even if you fail you will never regret giving it your all.  We all have those secret aspirations, regardless of our latent ability.  Pursue those most private ambitions with all your gusto, that is what provides the real spark of living as an athlete.

With that in mind, come join the Omaha Endurance Group tonight as we kick off our 5th season of free coaching at Millard West, 6:00 pm start.  Unfortunately Coach Linda and myself and several others will not be in attendance due to the scheduled USATF Officials Training Clinic tonight.  But Honorary Coach John Tully will be there barking out instructions and keeping you hard to the task.  Please bring your gusto, give John your best, enjoy the camaraderie, and hopefully we’ll catch you at the Upstream Brewery for a quick one after the clinic.



Ronnie Montrose was the front man for the band “Montrose” as well as playing with legends Edgar Winter, Boz Scaggs, and Sammy Hagar.  One of my favorite songs from the band in the 70s was today’s column title.

It ends there.  I can’t stand to have anything sticky on me, especially when its hot and sweet.  (Unusual for a guy that has put honey in his coffee every morning for the last 35 years.)  For example today’s run was maddening from the Clif Shot that oozed onto my hand.  Wouldn’t spare the precious drinking water to rinse off so I suffered, building temperance and character I hope.

Acclimating to this heat builds character too.  As the temps climbed into the 70s (coincidence that Ronnie was rockin about that time?) it became more and more difficult to proceed with the workout.  We did get it done though and a big thanks to our mate Christina King for hopping in for the last 3 miles.    Speedy girl with a new found mileage base, she’ll be rocking the State Farm 5K this weekend.

Seventeen miles via five West loops, good for developing mental toughness.  Saw a few snakes, and one skunk, but no nightcrawlers.

We’re loading up the State Farm 10 Mile this weekend too.  Some people to test their fitness, some to make a point.  I’m not sure what happened at Sunday’s Shamrock Shuffle but Luka Thor returned with a silent vow.  This kid doesn’t like to get beat and I’m expecting some Great Things through the rest of 2012 for him.  Los Dos Matts (Pohren & Schneider) will also have the quick turn around and hit the 10, look for some of the fastest times in the history of the race.  Justin Mollak, Cory Logsdon, Cheto Cerda, Agustin Delgado, Andrew Jacob (5K), and a host of other men, Lauren Klima, Stacy Shaw (the sheriff) and local debuts for Jacque Parker and Natalie Como as well as many others.  I’m anxious to see that sea of Red & White after they turn around at the 5 mile mark.

Tomorrow evening is the USATF Officials Clinic at Burke HS in the cafeteria.  6:00-9:00 pm, looking forward to seeing everyone there that has signed up.  Please be aware that you will need a 2012 USATF membership, you can get that by going to or the old fashioned way by paper tomorrow.  If you do go online, please feel free to select Team Nebraska as your club to show support of the Good Mates and the USA Club National Championships.  We are club # 29-150



We are all still abuzz about David Adams’ performance yesterday.  Here is a list of the top finishers up to and including Always a Mate Mike Morgan:
1. Abdelaziz Atmani, 30, Indianapolis, IN       23:17 PB
2. David Adams, 23, Lincoln, NE                 23:21 PB
3. Abdi Abdirahman, 35, Tucson, AZ              23:30
4. Thomas Frazer, 30, Lake Forest, IL (IRL)     23:30 PB
5. Jeremy Criscione, 24, Sterling Heights, MI   23:32 PB
6. Mike Reneau, 33, Saint Paul, MN              23:36 PB
7. Jordan Fife, 28, Bloomington, IN             23:39 PB
8. Adu Dentamo, 25, Bloomington, IN             23:42 PB
9. Jed Christiansen, 25, Greenville, PA         23:43 PB
10. Robert Scribner, 26, Sterling Heights, MI    23:52 PB
11. Tyler Sigl, 26, Green Bay, WI                23:57
12. Brandon Bauer, 25, Westerville, OH           23:58
13. Mike Spain, 24, Normal, IL                   23:59
14. Kyle Brady, 23, Naperville, IL               24:01 PB
15. Willy Kaul, 25, Naperville, IL               24:02
16. Mike Morgan, 32, Sterling Heights, MI        24:05

A lot of personal bests listed and all the more amazing is David notching Abdi in his belt.   Abdi  will run the Olympic Marathon in London this summer after placing third at the Trials in 2:09:47, so that makes it quite the accomplishment.  Those that would listen heard me picking David for a top 3 finish, wonder what I know?

I attended the 65th birthday party for Gary Julin and Ron Olsen on Saturday night.  It was a who’s who of distance running history for Omaha and Nebraska.  A lot of talk about performances past and about how Omaha used to be a hotbed of Real Racing talent.

It is again.

When was the last time 4 guys from Nebraska all ran under 5:00 pace for an 8K or 5 Mile race?  We had 4 Team Nebraska athletes do it yesterday morning.  I couldn’t be prouder of David, Matt Pohren, Luka Thor, and Matt Schneider.  I was particularly impressed with Schneider.   He ran a :58 personal best for 8K.   The race also had a certified 5K point marked which he passed in15:24 for a :05 personal best for that distance.  Pohren and Thor passed that mark in 15:03, David some :30 faster.

To quote Schneider “Who’d have thought a rag tag group of hicks from the sticks could hang with the true elite (professional) teams in the midwest! Boom! We are all fired up.”

I did.

Real Racing.

Gary & Ron are proud of you Good Mates.  They and the rest of the revelers Saturday night are watching and smiling, happy that you are stepping right up and not only filling their shoes but surpassing their own laudable accomplishments.




Team Nebraska took 6th at this morning’s Shamrock Shuffle Elite Team Challenge in Chicago. David Adams 2nd Overall. The Good Mates had an amazing morning with our top 4 runners averaging 24:21 for the 8K race. David Adams blistered the course in 23:21 (beatingAbdi Abdirahman for 2nd), Luka Thor and Matthew Pohren both finished in 24:38, andMatthew Schneider was right on their heels in 24:44. Their combined time was :35 faster than last year’s winning time but were a scant :06 average out of the 5th place prize money this year.   John Kern also competed as our traveling alternate running 27:50.  Great competition bringing out great results, Giddyup!

I can’t say how proud I am of these guys for taking on the very best runners in the midwest and beyond.  Hanson’s won both the male and female titles, complete results when available.


You’ve probably noticed all the earthworms warming themselves, or slowly moving across your favorite running routes since the rains earlier this week.  There were hundreds out at Two Rivers State Park on Wednesday and many, many more on the Millard West track yesterday morning.  The anglers out at Two Rivers were making good use of them, slaying the trout as it were.  Reminds me of when I was a child and my dad had fishing trips planned for us.  We would go out the night before with straightened coat hangers affixed to a low voltage battery, stick the ends into the wet ground, and up they would come in the multitudes.  I wonder if this is still practiced anywhere?

This weekend’s Shamrock Shuffle Elite Team Challenge in Chicago will be one of the most competitive races of the year for our Good Mates.  They’ll get to tangle with former Team Nebraska mate Mike Morgan and some of his Hansons comrades, the returning champions from Wisconson, and a handful of others that won’t give an inch or a dime.  This is exactly what is needed to bring out the very best in our athletes and we are excited about such high level competition.

The Hospital Hill Team Challenge on June 2 in Kansas City will be the next big opportunity.  We’ve had a group of our top studs committed and now we are sending some studettes as well.  We’ll be doing battle with some of the top clubs in the region and even for bragging rights against USATF teams here in Nebraska.  Giddyup!



Thursdays turn out to be ravenous appetite day.   My nominal day off from running (still manage a slow 6.5), I crave more calories than any other time of the week.  Bagels and eggs and bacon and yogurt and kashi cereal and fruit and cold meat loaf.  And that’s just breakfast.  Have to keep the furnace stoked in order to burn on high heat the rest of the week.

We had 22 hearty and hale athletes turn out in the rain for last night’s track workout.  We welcomed a handful of new attendees too, and that is what makes this group something special.  A mix of all different talents and goals and reasons for running.  All are welcome and more’s the merrier.

Looking ahead to a week from this Saturday is the 14th annual State Farm 10 Mile and 5K.  Always well attended and competitive, Team Nebraska will be using it as a fitness gauge for both Boston and Lincoln.  And the following weekend of course is the Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K & 4 Mile Trail Run.  Our 6th annual, my how time flies when you’re having FUN.

April 15th will be the Maverick Stampede 8K and 4K, a nice cross country race down on the Chili Greens Golf Course in Omaha.

On April 21st will be the 30th annual Novartis 10K and 2 Mile, one of the oldest consecutively held events in Nebraska.  Scheduled on the same day will be the Spring Tune Up 10K, a new event that will take place in Springfield.  And the Arbor Day 5K/10K down in Nebraska City.  The Gambler Half Marathon will be the next day at the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs as well as the EarthDay 5K in Bellevue.

Saturday the 28th will feature the Autism Society Puzzle Walk & 5K Run out at Chalco Hills. Team Nebraska is a sponsor of this event and we are looking forward to a great morning.

Plenty of opportunities to lace them up and race them up!  Or simply get out and support your favorite cause.

I’ve received applications from 3 new clubs across the U.S. that desire to become USATF Elite Development Clubs (one in Boston, one in NY/NJ, and one in California).  We’ll hopefully add one or more to our expanding roster and they will be at this summer’s USATF Club National Championships here in Omaha.




Yesterday’s hard 20 miler had me moving slowly and stiffly during this morning’s warm up.  With a scheduled 20 X 400 (:45 recovery), I was wondering how in the world I would get the old legs to open up at all.   A slow 3 miles with several stops to stretch out followed by just a handful of pickups and it was time to go.   I decided I wouldn’t worry at all about the times, just relax and let the times be what they may.  The first 5 went much better than I thought possible (1:38-1:40), the next 5 the legs were starting to loosen up (1:37-1:38), the next 5 I started to flow (1:36-1:37) and the final 5 I concentrated on relaxing (1:34-1:35).  I explained to Linda that there was no conscious effort to increase or push the pace as the workout progressed.  More that by relaxing and eliminating tension, you naturally run faster, even when nearing exhaustion, which we definitely were.

Did this workout at Parque Estado Dos Rios ( Two Rivers State Park).  I’ve laid out marks every quarter mile (using my Jones Counter) around the 1.5 mile inside loop of the park.  Nice and flat, no traffic, and the added bonus of being able to cold soak the legs in Lake #4 post workout.  And by the way, they were slaying the trout out there this morning.

Our mates are getting ready to roll into the Windy City for this weekend’s Shamrock Shuffle 8K Elite Team Competition.  Many thanks to my old buddy and Elite Athlete Coordinator Jeremy Borling for providing a couple of rooms at the host hotel, right on the start line.  David Adams, Luka Thor, Matt Pohren, Matt Schneider, and John Kern will look to bring home the biggest chunk of the substantial prize money available.  Giddyup!

Peter vd Westhuizen won his Yellow Pages 1500 meters last night.  He led wire to wire in a nice 3:38.61 (about a 3:54 mile for our metrically challenged readers).

Team Nebraska’s Omaha Endurance Group will have another Spring Bonus Wednesday track workout tonight at Millard West, 6:00 pm.   And as always, a celebratory pint at the Upstream Brewery following.  Can’t wait to hear the tales from last Saturday’s Blarney Stone successes.

Frankie Goes To Hollywood