Monthly Archives: October 2012


Syrupy, sticky, sugary, confectioned, dulcified, cloying sweetness.  Teeth rotting, bellyache inducing, glucose, sucrose, fructose.

I could be talking about that bag of treats the kiddos will be toting around tonight.  But not.

This topic arose last night amongst some long time Omaha area runners, while quaffing a brew at the Upstream, and had nothing to do with trick or treating.  No such impish pranking or haunting or devilish behaviour involved at all in fact.

Observations and discussions about the current state of affairs.   A veritable kumbaya celebration for anyone and everyone that puts one foot in front of the other.  No distinctions, lines blurred, we’re all the same, first to last, but mostly last because those that are first don’t and can’t understand running’s Real Meaning because competitiveness sullies the true spirit of running.  That 1% that are always In It To Win It.  No room for Killer Instinct, that only disrupts the dominant social aspect that seems to be the order of the day.

Again, these comments coming from long time runners, those that were around for the original running boom.  When the real measure of a runner was to compete not merely complete.  When you were only as good as your last race.  And that judgement coming from the clock and within, not from the masses with rose colored glasses.  Old timers with a different view than the current rage.  I was intrigued to say the least.

As one that has tried to bridge the gap between the stellar and the cellar I have my own opinions.  I’m not as hard lined, I do enjoy that our sport is accessible to everyone.  I do celebrate anyone and everyone that makes the choice to get out and run, for whatever reason.  Whether to win or complete and maybe never compete.

But that is where my opinion gets a little complicated.  Even those that are completers are still competers in my book.  No one has ever gone to a run/race with the intention of giving their absolute worst.  No one has ever gone to a race/run hoping to go slower than their previous effort.  Everyone is delighted when the set a new personal best.  Everyone is exhilarated to feel like they have given it their very best.  Matters not where you finish in the results, I hold these truths to be self evident.    That is what bridges us all in this sport that we love.

So yes, let’s embrace the entire running community for it is a part of each of us.  But let’s also not forget that just because someone wants to crush their opponent when the gun goes off, they too are still motivated by the same drive that gets all of us out the door.   Shares the same love of running,  derives their own pleasure in their own measure, and too, is just another one of us after all.

Can you imagine a diet without the savory, the sour, the salty, the umami?  Not at all a palatable option to me.






I’ve got two heating units for my house and one of them is on the blink.  A little chilly in here but luckily I’ve got thick skin.

And its a good thing.  I was reminded this weekend that this is what makes me a good Leader (thanks Stacy).  My ability to handle all manner of tough decision making and still keep a steady hand on the helm.  I’ve been jabbed and poked and pricked more times than I can count.  Yet my bearings for Team Nebraska  remain true to course.

Unwavering in the face of criticism, challenges, mutiny, deceit, chicanery, shenanigans;  the bow of my ship guided by a vision both Grand and Difficult.  If it were easy, anyone else could have charted the waters that I’ve fearlessly sailed.  The respect of my crew, those that have agreed to seek adventure and glory, being an absolute necessity on such a remarkable journey.

There have been those listed on the billet that have walked the plank, lacking either dedication or camaraderie or fortitude.  Others have cruised with us and put ashore in more agreeable climes, and those remain Good Mates in my ship’s ledger.

A Commander must possess unflinching Purpose and ability to withstand the cries of the masses.  Preferring to lead a hearty chosen few rather than seeking acceptance and accolade from the myriad dinghies happily riding the tides of communal submission and acquiescence.  I’ll take that mantle, embrace it in fact, and sail into a sunset of my own design.

The results for this weekend’s trail runs can be found at:  Congratulations to our Natalie Jetensky, she almost made it a hat trick for our Team Nebraska ladies this past weekend, finishing second overall and just missing the Overall Champion title in the 21 mile by a scant :59.  The stuff Good Mates are made of!


David and Jane Monti have published Race Results Weekly for nearly 20 years.  The publication comes out every Monday morning and covers Real Races from across the country.  Indispensable resource for me as a big fan of road racing and cross country and track.

There was a full slate of events in the Omaha Metro this past weekend.

The Vala’s Trail of Terrors of course, see Saturday’s column for a link to results and photos.  Notable at the event was Team Nebraska’s Carolyn Meyer being the Overall Champion, besting all competitors from either gender.

The 35th annual YMCA Masters Classic was yesterday afternoon.  I feel bad for Gary Meyer.  He certified the course for this years race and sadly only 22 finishers in the 15K, 17 in the accompanying 5K.  And like the Trail of Terrors, a Team Nebraska female was the Overall Champion.  Stacy Shaw led the entire field to the tape in 1:03:33, outkicking Larry Jones of Lincoln by one second.

How about those Team Nebraska ladies!

I’m no computer genius but I have spent some time trying to find results for Saturday’s Red Kettle 5K, no luck.

No luck either finding results for the Goat 50K and various other distances that were held yesterday morning at Lake Cunningham.  I do know that our mate David Bohlken won the 10.5 mile in 1:03, perhaps some 20 minutes ahead of the next finisher.  We had several mates entered and I will recap official time/place/distances once they are available.

The Council Bluffs Half Marathon was also yesterday.  No results available.  Disappointed runners found the course to be up to a half a mile short of the advertised distance.   And apparently the finisher medals were “shipped to a wrong address”.  We did have Carole Swanson and Joy Shulz entered so hope to find out how they did eventually.

*Today’s column edited and ameliorated  for public consumption.











Results are here:

Photos will be up later today on our pink flickr button.

Thanks to everyone that came out and participated, volunteered, cheered, or otherwise supported the event.  A lot of races to choose from this weekend and we’re happy that you came out to Vala’s Pumpkin Patch!

Agustin & Lupita Delgado were certainly in the “Dia de los Muertos ” spirit this morning.  A cold morning tempered by the fire pits and assortment of runs, a Spooktacular time for one and all, whether living or undead.

Colorful awards to the top finishers!


Can’t believe I’m just getting around to today’s musings.  Long, long day that started at 2:30 this morning with me confronting intruders in my home.  Me against the three of them, they never stood a chance.

Then meeting the client at 6:30 a.m. for a solid 4K time trial, nice work Steve!

And straight into a day long final prep for tomorrow’s Trail of Terrors 5K.  Sweet timing system will allow each individual finisher to catch a :20 video of themselves crossing the finish line.  Hi Tech baby!

No nap today though and I’m gassed.

Maybe just enough time for an Uptoberfest before supper and an early bed time.  I’ll be snuggling with an old friend tonight, and this time she’ll be loaded boys!


Which witch pulled the switch?  Woke up at 4:30 to meet a Very Early client and was greeted by thunder and lightning and wind and pouring rain.  The weather going from beauty to beast in 12 short hours.  The meteorologic curse dampening this morning’s intended 2 X 2 Mile, minor setback in the bigger picture.

We wrapped up our 2012 Wednesday Night Track workouts last night.  I’ll miss our weekly gatherings until we resume next March.  Hope to capture a good temperate evening in the next couple of months and we’ll have a bonus workout.  Huge thanks to Coach John Tully, Kids Fit Program administrator Linda, assistant coach Kelly Crawford, and everyone that made this such a memorable year.

Our group last night epitomizes the essence of Wednesday Nights.  Deb Bahr made it a full 2 miles without having to walk a single step.  Darned proud of you girl.  And at our post workout gathering at Tanner’s we had a surprise visit from the other end of the spectrum.  Peter & Michaela van der Westhuizen joined us for a Big K Burger and a pint of Blue Moon Winter Ale.  Pete and Micky have an incredible opportunity in front of them, will be moving to Big Bear Lake, CA in just a couple of weeks.  Ah to be young and have the world as your oyster.

And speaking of oysters, thanks to everyone that pitched in for the gift certificate to Shucks.  Linda and I happen to be afficanados of the little bi-valves and will slurp to our heart’s content.

We’re bumping 250 entrants to this weekend’s Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Trail of Terrors 5K.  If I was a little disappointed in the turn out for last Saturday’s Swamp Stomp, I’m ecstatic about this weekend.  You can still register at Red Dirt Running Co. on Friday from 10:00- 6:00 pm and then Saturday morning out at the Patch beginning at 6:30 am.

Congratulations to our Good Mates York Thomas and Megan Zavorka.  They will be tying the knot on Saturday afternoon.  Such a cute and speedy pair, you can tell they were made for each other!  And in a couple of weeks it will be Uriah Shaver and Kyla Vala getting hitched.   Another of our favorite twosomes.   Love potions all around!

The eyes have it!  A very happy foursome celebrating running and living as we wrap up 2012 and Wednesday night.


The Parks & Rec Dept. has been busy replacing all of the bridges out at the dojo.  Looks like they are just finishing up today.  It is reassuring to step with confidence, knowing that strides won’t be compromised by rotten wood.

Analagous to our Omaha running community.  New bridges being built, closing the gaps between the varied running groups, offering new foundations of cooperation and confidence and mutual support.  Bridges have to lead somewhere to be meaningful though.

I’m surveying the list of entrants from last weekend’s Swamp Stomp 8K (results at  and this weekend’s Trail of Terrors 5K.  There are many on the lists that have historically supported most of our races.  There are a whole bunch more that are new to our efforts, the span successful in reaching those that want to come out and do some running or racing, and enjoy the fellowship, fun, fitness, and festivities.   That’s meaningful.

I would invite each and all to also “like” our Team Nebraska facebook page to follow our programs and our athletes.  We aren’t a closed group, no invitation necessary, bridge is open, Everyone Welcome!

Got to test the Mizuno Wave Rider 16 this morning.  A sweet shoe that utilizes Mizuno’s patented wave plate technology.  A couple of modifications leading to a savings of 2 ounces from the Rider 15.  The new model will be available at Red Dirt Running Co. the first week in November.  Red Dirt is also the only store in Nebraska to carry the Wave Prophecy, designed to allow 500-800 miles of running, pretty amazing stuff.  As mentioned in yesterday’s column Red Dirt’s Grand Opening is also this Saturday.  And the list of freebies just continues to grow.  Must be present to enter, but not necessary to be present to win.  Talk about a sweet deal!

The Men’s Wave Rider 16 in yellow, the Women’s in Pink.

And the Wave Prophecy.  Available only at Red Dirt Running Company.   Funky design, great cushioning, and up to 800 miles!






The Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Trail of Terrors 5K, Monster Dash 1 Mile, and Little Goblins Runs are this Saturday.  I can’t thank my road race management crew nearly enough.  Putting two races on over consecutive weekends is nothing short of a labour of love for the Nebraska running community.  Add in their efforts just 4 weeks ago at the Big Blue Run and you get the idea how much this fine group contributes to the local scene.  Please do greet and thank these volunteers when you see them this weekend!

Our 6th annual, and 3rd edition at the Pumpkin Patch.  The race has really picked up momentum this year with well over 200 entered and still time to get signed up.  Online registration will remain open until 9:00 tomorrow night,, keyword “Vala’s Pumpkin Patch”.  A special feature will be offered for entrants that would like to get their runs texted, facebooked, or otherwise electronically transmitted.  The new timing system we are utilizing has more magic than the Amazing Joe Cole.

We’ll be having packet pick up and registration at Red Dirt Running Co. this Friday from 10 am until 6 pm.  And then race day registration Saturday morning at the Patch beginning at 6:30 am.

After you’ve had a Spooktacular time at the run, please do stop in and say hola to Ande, Ben, & Trey at the Red Dirt Running Co. Grand Opening Celebration.  Inside scoop:  There will be more give aways and freebies than you can shake a stick out.  Several pair of shoes, some high end jackets, socks, and much, much more.  You’ll be able to get all of this in before kick off time too!

And a sweet shirt too!  Thanks to our sponsors, Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC and Gretna Family Health.  And our contributors, Sunrize Donuts and Hy-Vee.



We were blessed with an absolutely Perfect Morning for Saturday’s 7th annual Swamp Stomp 8K Trail Run & Cajun Festival.  All that Good, Clean Living you can rest assured.   An early morning fog shrouded Lake Wehrspann and the still vibrantly colored trees, shadowy deer present only in glimpses.  As start time neared  Master Gator Steve Kunasek’s rendition of the National Anthem on his squeeze box  called the runners to their marks.   The sun burning off the last of the mist just prior to the gun.  There were a lot of very Happy Trail Runners out sharing the camaraderie and Cajun music and Red Beans & Rice, the swiftest taking home voodoo dolls, mardi gras pimp hats, masks, and the very fastest porcelain jester dolls.  This event truly is a taste of Mardi Gras and New Orleans, right here in Omaha, in October.

Maybe my favorite part of the morning was the Little Gator Gallops.  The energy and determination and finish line celebrations were a delight.  Each Little Gator breaking the finish tape, receiving their medal, and smiles all around.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Gretna Family Health.  And to our guest emcee Michelle Bandur.

Fifty year old Gary Wasserman proved to be the class of the field this year taking the title in 29:50.  Team Nebraska’s Alysha Davis was the Overall Female in a quick 31:43 over the rugged terrain.

Meghan Schneider ran the Governor’s Cup 5K yesterday and took 3rd in 21:16.

Nod to our Wednesday night favorites Keely Nyman and David Frost for conquering the Des Moines Marathon yesterday.

Still time to register for the 6th annual Vala’s Pumpkin Patch Trail of Terrors 5K and Monster Dash 1 Mile.  And of course the Little Goblins Runs.  Register before Wednesday night to get your guaranteed t-shirt size.

Alysha had been making a name for herself on the roads and trails this fall.  She’s got the Right Stuff if not yet a Team Nebraska singlet.

Gary Wasserman, the Overall winner often trains out on the back trails of Chalco, just to his liking!

Who likes Trail Running?  Melissa McKibbin of Lincoln sure does!

Krista Palm keeps a rose colored eye on Angie Hodge.  The two battled for much of the race before Krista pulled away for a :28 second advantage to win their age group.

Jack Duysen’s 34:55 was the top performance in the 50-59 age group.

Mindy Popevis and Lanette Epps, both of Lincoln enjoying the perfect trails and perfect morning.  I was surprised and very pleased by the number of runners that made it from Lincoln.  All photos courtesy of Brandon Fenster.


I like to use words not found in regular day to day conversation.  The howling winds of the last 24 hours completely stripped the leaves off my Sunset Maple.  And a lot of other trees in the area.  Autumn colors now a memory.

And as the seasons change so too has the running landscape.  A lot of runners have wrapped up their competitive seasons, but others are just getting started prepping for a winter marathon.  You’ll still see them out in the cold and the wind and the dark, these cats are Serious.

They too have pared down to the essentials.  No extra adornments or accoutrements, just the necessary functional items that allow us to handle the harsh Nebraska elements.  That might be the latest technology, fabrics light and bright and wind proof and water proof.

This morning’s client is decidedly old school though.  Steve made the trek from Ponca Hills (not Papillion) to an early morning date at Millard West.  The Zen Mile on the breakfast menu, with a side of 20+ mph winds.  He nailed the workout while adorned in cotton sweats.  Not surprising that he is in my age group.

Race Directing 101.  No matter how many times you put on an event, you can never anticipate everything that might hiccup.  Its how you handle the glitches that indicates experience.  I’m calm as a clam at high tide, cool as a cucumber, even though their was a Major anamoly yesterday.  A couple of deep breaths, a little patience, and everything works out just fine.  Gone is the overly excitable guy, retired for a more measured, even response.  It never gets old though.

Thanks to my old buddy Mike for the Farm Fresh Eggs.  So yummy.

Be sure and come by the Red Dirt Running Co. today from 10-6  for packet pick up and yep, registration for tomorrow’s 7th annual Swamp Stomp.  The first race I created in Omaha and still one of my very favorites.