Monthly Archives: April 2012

LOG JAM

Those were my thoughts last night as I watched the fast section of the Steeplechase at Payton Jordan.  David Adams was one of 20 men lined up, he held the penultimate spot for the first several laps and I wondered how he would ever work through the field.  I know he has as good or better wheels than most that were in the race but you’ve got to have some room to use them.  He did finally manage to break free with 800 to go and moved up to finish 8th in a second best ever time of 8:35.59.  A great learning experience for David.

I was happy to see the winner of section 3 was David Wade of Lamar University.  I studied there for 3 years and ran one season of cross country for the Cardinals.

Michaela van der Westhuizen was the Overall Winner at Saturday’s Autism Puzzle Walk and 5K.  Her and Pete made a guest appearance and we sure appreciated their coming out to support the good cause.  Great work to Laurie Halpenny and the organizing committee, they raised a pant load of $$ for their wonderful cause.  I attended a fundraiser for the Omaha Opera Guild Saturday night, our own Agustin Delgado being one of the featured stars, that effort raised over $7000 for the Guild, lots of good work by good people for the benefit of our community.

Natalie Como made her Team Nebraska debut a good one by taking 5th overall female at the Oklahoma City Marathon running a nice 3:11:23.  As I’ve said before, I can’t wait to see what this young lady does with some coaching and decent training partners.

My legs are back.  Ten miles on Saturday with 6 miles very hard in the hills of scenic Sarpy/Douglas, 20 miles yesterday, and 12 today with 5 X 2 miles @ 13:57, 13:26, 13:36, 13:29, and closing with a fast 12:31.  3:00 recovery between each.  Catch me if you can!

Natalie after yesterday’s OKC Marathon.   She is a former gymnast, rock climber, snow boarder, etc.  A pure athlete who will make an impact on the local scene and for the club this year.  And how about that smile!

THE SKINNY

Super late getting the column in today.  Geezer Run this morning then off to the Douglas County Commissioners office, our Visitor Improvement Fund grant now safely in the hands of the wizened few.   Good work by our Team Nebraska Co-Chief Legal Counsel Tim Langdon on the paperwork end of it, I’m merely the courier.

Thanks too to our club CPA Andrew Jacob for getting our financials in order, could not have done it without him either.

And Emily Langdon, also Co-Chief Legal Counsel on her direction and expertise in getting our house in perfect order.

So many people working together to move Team Nebraska onward, upward, and forward.  Citius, Altius, Fortius!  The future’s so bright we have to wear shades!

Congratulations to Always a Mate Mike Morgan on his shiny new 10K pr of 29:33 set at the Penn Relays last night.  He keeps getting faster, we keep being amazed.

DO YOU RUN A LOT?

This had to be the line of the morning at Sunday’s Gambler Half Marathon.  Tony, Linda, Kelly & I were hammering out sub seven minute miles when the young lady tailing us popped the question.  One of us said yeah, I guess so.  She then asked how “Old” we were.  Tony replied that our combined age was over 200.  Maybe that was the line of the morning.  And it is 209 years to be exact.  She was taken aback by this group of oldsters pushing the pace, jaws set, strong strides, steely eyes.

The fact that we still train to Race is something we are sure of.  And that more than anything sets Team Nebraska apart from every other club, with the exception now of the newly formed Lincoln Running Company team.  From the youngest to the oldest.   Never giving anything less than 100%, always entering races to Compete, not complete.  We’re darned proud of that.

I’m up on my high wire again, doing the delicate balancing act between personal expectations of excellence, for myself and for my team, while staying grounded enough to speak to and for everyone; well ok not everyone, but they have no business reading this column.  But the ones that do get me and my passion and aren’t offended or threatened by it.  A growing number of local runners are beginning to grasp and understand this seeming dichotomy.

Certainly the 45 individuals that showed up at the Millard West track last night get it.  They are shifting their own paradigms to expectations of personal excellence.  And they are busting their rumps in pursuit of lofty goals never before dreamed of.  And for some of them completing their goal race is competing.  Competing against all the doubt, from self and from others, competing against the odds that are against them crossing the finish line- or even making it there to begin with, competing against all the other worldly obligations that would otherwise render their ambitions moot.  None of them feel threatened or offended by my insistence that they dare to be more than they ever thought possible.  That is the love of Wednesday night track work.  I’ll mention John Tully and Kelly Crawford every week as keys to the Omaha Endurance Group’s success, I am so fortunate to have these guys as assistant coaches.

Linda’s Kids Fit Program continues to grow as well.  Over 25 bodies of boundless energy that only youth provides.  Giving props to her assistants too, my sweet Katie and her bff Keigon have come out and helped “herd the cats”.  If I think it is difficult to keep track of the adults all I need do is look at the joyful chaos on the infield to know I’ve got the better end.

How about you?  Do you run a lot?

Tony Sorentino (57), Linda Barnhart (49), your Run Guru (54), and Kelly Crawford (49) at the 5 mile mark (34:49) at the Gambler Half Marathon.  Marcy Rice, obscured, had us chuckling shortly after this picture.

 

 

 

AUTISM PUZZLE WALK AND 5K RUN

I hope you can make it out this Saturday morning to support the Autism Society of Nebraska’s events at Chalco Hills.  Registration and more information here: http://www.autismnebraska.org/ A wonderful cause that Team Nebraska is proud to support.  We aren’t just about winning every race, sometimes it is more important to give of ourselves and hope to inspire others to do the same.  This weekend is another example of that.

Congratulations to Peter van der Westhuizen on winning the Grand Blue Mile road race in downtown Des Moines last night.  He bested A.J. Acosta for the 2nd straight time, 4:02 to 4:03.  Both will tangle again at the Drake Relays Invitational Mile this coming weekend.

Natalie Como will tackle the Oklahoma City Marathon this weekend.  This young lady has major talent that has yet to be tapped, we’re hoping to see a glimpse of it this Sunday morning.

Happy to report I made it through yesterday’s 20 miler completely pain free, the adductor issue now in the rear view mirror.  Thirty 1/4s (w/:30 rec) today, hard to believe we are on the downside of this training cycle.

I like to recognize the remarkable, even if it isn’t a Team Nebraska marvel, so here you go:  Abby Knight finished two marathons in one week.  She ran a 3:12 in Paris and a 3:19 in Madrid.  Talk about seeing Europe by foot!  She is an amazing athlete to accomplish such an unlikely double.  I’m questioning those who choose to run Lincoln after running Boston just 9 days ago, there’s not a reasonable coach in the country that would endorse that.  Just goes to show you that there are exceptions to every rule.

Jack Halpenny, a Real Good Mate!  Jack took 2nd in the Special Olympics 50 Meter Run and will be going to the State Championships!  Jack & mom Laurie have our hearts and our support for this weekend.  Giddyup Jack!

Team Nebraska will be providing race numbers, medals, and volunteers for the Puzzle Walk and 5K Run.

 

 

 

WE’RE TRAIL RACERS!

The little engine that could.  Nancy Hobbs is the founder of MUT, Mountain, Ultra, Trails.  Her passion and dream became a reality several years ago when USATF finally adopted MUT as an official Sports Committee under the purview of LDR (Long Distance Running).  This means that it joined Track & Field, Race Walking, Cross Country, and road events from the mile to the marathon as funded entities charged with developing world class athletes within the discipline as well as grass roots programs to spread the love of the sport.  I was proud to serve with Nancy on the WLDR Executive Committee for many years, saw her fire and determination that has resulted in today’s depth and breadth of trail running notoriety and success.

Team Nebraska has always embraced the Very Best trail runners right here in our home state.  James McGown won the USA National Trail Marathon Championship a couple of years ago in fact.  Matt Schneider also won a 50K trail marathon a couple of years ago in his only foray off road.  Supports my contention that the most Successful trail runners have to have a pedigree on the roads in order to achieve national level success.

We all know Ivan Marsh as a legend of verticality, undefeated at the Trek to the Top, 4 time winner of the Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K Trail Run, consistent top finisher whenever he lines up in the Psycho Wyco series or other ultra and trail events around the midwest.

Todd Nott may be the most consistent ultra runner in Nebraska.  He won the Stampede 50K in 4 hours 23 minutes on March 3rd.  He followed that up with a win at the Run For The Bridges Trail Marathon on March 17th  in 3:26.  On April 7th Todd took 2nd overall at the Rockin K Trail Run 50 Miler in 8:39:44.  Todd has been doing this for so long it is easy to sometimes forget just what a man among men he really is.

And now we’ve added another Real Trail Racer.  At the same Rockin K Trail Run the overall winner was Jeremy Morris of Kearney, covering the 50 miles in 8:33:27.  Jeremy has reached out and now has joined Team Nebraska.  His resume includes wins and course records at every distance from the marathon to 50 miles to 100 miles ranging from Nebraska to Kansas to Wyoming to Colorado.  He also boasts a nice marathon pr of 2:49 at Lincoln.  We are proud to have Jeremy and his dedication to Excellence, proud that as a native Nebraskan he chooses to represent the spirit of our club.

And a quick nod to the “Father of Trail Running” in Nebraska.  Jim Craig has done more for the sport over the last 30 years in Nebraska than any other person.  www.angrycowadventures.com His series of races and passion for promoting trails and endurance events knows no peer.

Team Nebraska, yep, we’re Trail Racers!

 

3:58.44!

David Adams joined the most exclusive of clubs Saturday afternoon by running 3:58.44 at the Glenn Cunningham Mile at the KU Relays.  This was a five second pr and positions him as a favorite to make the USA Olympic Steeplechase squad.  David, you continue to amaze your mates, Nebraska, and the Real Fans of T&F across the country.  Please do go to our Videos tab on the front page where you can see his historic race (thanks Jordo for updating, also included is David’s win at the Stanford Invite Steeple).

Minus 4 times two.  David becomes the second Good Mate to run sub 4 while wearing the Red & White.  Peter van der Westhuizen was the first and that is no coincidence.  Peter won Saturday’s Mile in 3:56.90.  Both Peter and David are under the tutelage of Killer Coach Glen van der Westhuizen.  Not many clubs around the US can boast of having two members in that rare company, but everyone knows I’m one to boast!

David called me right after the race.  Told me that he had dined with Jim Ryun at supper the night before and discussed race strategy, the plan was to go to the front at 600 meters.  If you watch the video you see it was executed perfectly and David deserves a lot of credit for making sure the race did produce 3 sub 4s (A.J. Acosta finished 2nd in 3:57.08).

Elsewhere on the roads:  Matt & Meghan Schneider made it a 1-2 at the Arbor Day 10K in Matt’s hometown of Nebraska City.  Matt was first across the line in 32:38 and Meghan was next in 42:45.  An extremely hilly, difficult course, this is where Matt started running some 20 years ago.

Meghan’s brother Andrew Jacob was first across the line at the Novartis 2 mile in Lincoln Saturday morning running 10:49.

Luka Thor (1:12:22), Tim Langdon (1:17:02), and David Bohlken (1:17:50) led the parade of Good Mates to the top 3 spots at Sunday morning’s Gambler Half Marathon in Council Bluffs.  Some very blusterous conditions might have slowed the overall times but the effort was good by all.  Happy to report that my training partner Linda Barnhart took the Overall Female title  in 1:35:00.  She battled Marcy Rice of Bellevue for the first 12 miles before pulling away to a :19 win, Giddyup Linda!  Kelly Crawford was 3rd o/a Master in 1:30:59.  I won the 50-54 age group (20th overall too!) in 1:34:12, and Tony Sorentino made his Team Nebraska debut a good one by taking third in the 55-59 in 1:39:43.  In the accompanying 5K Emily Langdon was 5th overall and 1st 25-29 age group.

David leading this weekend’s Glenn Cunningham Mile.  A picture is worth a thousand words!

Matt & Meghan Schneider returned to his roots in Nebraska City this weekend.  Pictured with them is Matt’s dad Roy.

Kelly, David, Linda, Luka, Emily, & Tim took home the lion’s share of the hardware from Sunday’s Gambler Half Marathon.

 

HARD FOUGHT, WELL EARNED

Congratulations to our Matt Pohren!  Matt has been ever so close to cracking the 15:00 mark for 5K for the last 2 years.  A handful of 15:01’s, :03’s, and :05’s.  Last night at the KU Relays 5K he blew past it running a  swift 14:51, good enough for 5th overall against a very good field.  For the mortals, that is 4:46 pace, Giddyup!  Also an impressive run by Andrew Jacob who qualified for the USA Club National Championships by running 1:59.33 for the 800 meters.  This after having completed tax season by working 60 hours a week for the last many days and nights.

Matt and Andrew embody the spirit of our USATF Elite Development mission.  Working hard day after day, month after month, year after year towards lofty goals.   We’re darned proud of you both!

I’ve been cautious with my strained adductor, an easy 6.5 yesterday, easy 8 today, going to run a requisite tribute Pedestrian Bridge run tomorrow morning and then the Gambler Half on Sunday, USATF Certification #IA12007MF.  The State Farm 10 Mile in March, a good solid half marathon effort in April and then the USA Masters 25K National Championships in May.  Working my way up to Grandma’s in June.

Our Amanda Lee will be going after her Olympic Trials B standard in the Steeplechase tonight in Princeton Larry Ellis invite.  Giddyup and good luck Amanda!

Congratulations to UNK Junior Al Sanabria on breaking the school 10000 meter record last night at the Mt. Sac Relays.  His time of 29:39.38 broke Tanner Fruit’s mark of 29:50.41 set a year ago.  Info courtesy of the Kearney Hub.

Don’t forget to tune in to Flotrack to catch David Adams and Peter van der Westhuizen in the Glenn Cunningham Mile tomorrow afternoon at 4:10.  Nick Symmonds is also in the race, should be one of the most competitive and entertaining mile races of the year thus far.

Feliz Viernes!

SOWING THE SEEDS

Radicchio, spinach, swiss chard, giant ceaser, arugula, breakfast radish, and beets.  Finally got around to getting my garden in yesterday.  Hope to be around long enough to reap the bounty.

I am experiencing a Bountiful Harvest in the Omaha running community.  Started those seeds when I moved here in 2001, they’ve weathered some tremulous storms but are finally achieving the richness and fullness that I’ve always known could be expressed.  The beauty of elite level running combined with the harmony of the social and beginning aspects.  Good folks all.  The global view that this running life is for everyone, regardless of talent level.  That we all experience the same highs and lows, anxieties and joys,  relative only to our own investment into the sport.   Defining what it means for ourselves and giving back accordingly, this most individual of sports bringing the broad palette of humanity together into something wonderful and beautiful.

We had 31 adults at last night’s Wednesday night track workout at Millard West.  The group continues to grow and flourish under the tender care of Coach John Tully and myself.  We’ve seen some perennials really blossom this year and are seeing the first hints of great yields in some of our emerging sprouts.

Linda had 21 children in the Kids Fit Program.  Those little ones are sowing their own seeds of a life time of fitness and fun.

Yes, we’ve weathered the storms and while the horizon will always contain the few dark clouds, this Garden of Omaha is looking mighty fine indeed.

I’m glad I’ve been around long enough, it has been worth the wait.

 

GLENN, JIM, PETER, DAVID

I couldn’t get it done but its done all the same.  I tried over the last couple of weeks to get David Adams a well deserved spot on the starting line at this Saturday’s prestigious Glenn Cunningham Mile at the Kansas Relays.  Our always a mate Peter vd Westhuizen will be competing there and had suggested to David it would be a golden opportunity to hit the sub 4:00 mile.  None other than Jim Ryun finally stepped up on David’s behalf and Viola!  David has volunteered at Jim’s Christian Running Camp for the last few years, good things happen to good people.  A group of Team Nebraska mates will make a quick road trip to Lawrence on Saturday to catch the magic.  Matt Pohren will also be competing at the Relays running the 5K on Friday night.  Go get it Matty P!

Took my first day off since January 6th today.  My adductor longus was very tight after yesterday’s workout, in fact had me abbreviate what was to be a 20 miler to a mere 12.  Lots of crazy notions about giving it a go anyway today put aside by getting out and painting the dojo.  Bright new marks for all to use, enjoy.

And I found my first morel of the year, but only one.  Let’s hope the first of many.

Emily Langdon is a saviour for Team Nebraska and is my new Hero.  Husband Tim will be racing the Gambler Half Marathon on Sunday, he’s in it to win it.  Linda is going to hop in it as well, should be interesting.

Thanks to Brian Kelly for sending the pics below, he had a friend out on the course Monday that knew just who these cats were representing.

Justin Mollak sporting the sweet shades, his cool demeanor belies the soaring temperatures.

Cory Logsdon, the fastest marathoner from Nebraska at the 116th annual Boston Marathon, finished 160th overall.

 

AL’S GOT ME IN SUB 2:40 SHAPE

Homage to my H-Town homey Doug Storey.  Doug was a competitor of mine back in the good (fast) old days.  His coach was 1956 Olympic 10000 Bronze Medalist (28:53) Al Lawrence.  Al also qualified for the 5000 final but didn’t compete due to a strained let.  Doug would show up on the starting line with today’s column title on his lips.  We were in a decade long pursuit to see whom would be the first under the magical 2:40 mark in the marathon.  Neither of us made it. There were a lot of races in a lot of different years where Al did have Doug in <2:40 shape.  And I’d need more than two hands to count the times I was on pace in the late stages of my own attempts.  Alas, the marathon is 26.2 miles and you give it what you’ve got on any given day, despite the conditions.  That is part of my love/hate relationship with the distance.  I’ve often said that I’ve never had fun running a marathon, would never dream of running one for fun, its true.  That sets my generation apart from most marathoners these days.    We had lofty goals and gave everything we had to meet them, would rather crash and burn (often did) than not give it our absolute all in hopes of that one magical race, weather conditions be damned.

But there are still those that are willing to lay it on the line.  Cory Logsdon did just that yesterday.  So did Justin Mollak.  The only two Nebraskans under 3 hours on one of the most dreadful Patriot’s Day in the history of the Boston Marathon.  We had 6 athletes in the Red & White, all soldiered on, all finished, and we are proud to call them mates.
Cory Logsdon- 2:47:07
Justin Mollak- 2:52:49
Emily Kraus- 3:34:54
Jacque Parker- 3:51:53
Matt Heesch- 3:53:22
Anne Medeiros -5:12.36

That is the fickle nature of the marathon then.  Getting in your best shape, giving it everything, knowing that you will only have one or two Great Races in your entire marathoning lifetime, and that if you are lucky.  Last year’s Boston was ideal with the cool temps and huge tailwind, you’ll only see that once in a generation, Buddha willing and the creek don’t rise.  It takes the dedication of a running career to hit that one perfect day where everything comes together.  Doug and I never got that day but I hope someday you do.

Heat 2 of the 1956 Olympic 5000 meters won by Al Lawrence in 14:14.60.  Right to left- Vladimir Kuts, Al Lawrence, Herbert Shade, Derek Ibbotson, Lazlo Tabori, I’m not sure who the last two pictured are.