Monthly Archives: April 2013

MOUTHS OF BABES

Thanks to Luka Thor for stopping by for breakfast and checking in on “Mom & Dad” this morning.    This young man, at 26, has wisdom far beyond his years.  He is one of just a couple people (Matt Pohren being another) that I have always been comfortable talking with.  Notice I didn’t say talking to.  Both Matt and Luka have good counsel and a perspective that gives me pause to consider.  Rare indeed.

Luka was happy to find out just how content Linda, Jed, & I are with the new direction in our lives.  A genuine, respectful, and caring individual.  He also got a big scoop of Truth with his breakfast.  That enlightenment and understanding only furthered his happiness that we have overcome the obstacles of the last many months.  He found out that we aren’t idly sitting around watching Rome burn, nor though are we rushing to douse any flames.  But we are watchful and content to help where most needed.

One place we’ll be active is at next week’s Grand Blue Mile in Des Moines.  The event was named the USA Road Mile Championships last December.  Linda will be there in her official capacity and I’ll be snapping some pics for Nebraska’s premiere running blog.  It won’t be my first rodeo.

MEN’S FIELD

Leo Manzano
Garreth Heath
Jeff See
Will Leer
Tony Filipek
Michael Rutt
Ryan Martin
Miles Batty
AJ Acosta
Brian Gagnon
Liam Boylan
Travis Mahoney

WOMEN’S FIELD

Ashley Miller
Heather Kampf
Shannon Rowbury
Christin Wurth-Thomas
Kate Grace
Gabriele Anderson
Sarah Bowman
Alice Schmidt
Lauren Hagans
Dawn Grunnagle
Heidi Dahl
Jennie Kormanik
Kellyn Johnson
Meghan Armstrong
Asher Kyger Henry
Priscilla Schultz
Sara Hall 
Geena Gall
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It is all smiles when Luka and friends stop by.  We love him like a son.

DARKEST HOUR

We’ve had less than a day to absorb the chilling scenes that went down in Boston.  Our Nebraska running community experienced anxious moments as we waited to hear from loved ones, ultimately everyone accounted for.

We are pulling together, for better, at this darkest hour.  I was contacted by three of the local TV channels, two of them sent out remotes for interviews.  It was with relief that I reported that our Nebraskans were physically, if not psychologically, unscathed.   My phone continues to light up with follow ups and requests for interviews.  Surreal.

A lot of concerned emotions this morning.  My friends that were in Boston to run or to support.  My friends at the Boston Athletic Association.  Those injured, their families.  The first responders.  The spectators.  The City of Boston.

Two of Nebraska’s fastest women were within minutes of the explosion.  Stacy Shaw hobbled by her bad ankle, walking the last several miles, putting her close to ground zero.  Kaci Lickteig running with her mom and finishing just 3 minutes prior to the blast.  We are so thankful that they will return safely.

I offered a different perspective in my interviews yesterday.  My opinion is that major road races, especially marathons, will now have participant security at the top of their management priority lists.  They have been soft targets for years, this now glaringly exposed.  Road racing will change forever.  Casual runners may not notice but  the landscape has forever been altered.  I related my experience in Rio de Janeiro at the World Half Marathon Championships in 2008.  Much of the course was lined with a 10′ chain link fence.  What security measures will now necessarily be in place at the 2016 Olympics in Rio?

Just before tragedy struck it was a beautiful day.  And there were several performances worth noting.  Nate Stack finished his successful training cycle by running 2:39:18.  I want to thank Nate again for trusting  my coaching.  Only Cameron Cummings (2:36:33) would finish ahead for 1st Nebraskan bragging rights.   Alex Cassar ran a personal best 3:28:00 (1:45:13 at the half, nice negative split), thanks to her as well for accepting my training.  Haleigh Riggle was first Nebraska female running a personal best 3:09:59.

My old buddy Jim Garcia is remarkable.  He continued his streak of sub 3 hour marathons finishing in 2:59:02. He has run sub 3 hours for 34 years and 6 months, and counting.   And he’s in the 60+ age group, that impresses me.

And Joan Benoit Samuelson ran 2:50:29 at age 55.  That is a world record for the 55-59 age group.  Excellent.

Congratulations to Mike Morgan, he ran 2:17:05 at last weekend’s Rotterdam Marathon.  Still getting it.

 

 

 

 

BIGGEST STAGE

Patriot’s Day.  The Boston Marathon.  The one day when everything is right in the running world.  They’ve got the Perfect Day today, lower 40s to start and mid-upper 50s at the finish, no wind.  Nice.

Going to send some special Giddyup to my boy Nate Stack.  Nate was kind enough to allow me to train him up for his Boston Marathon, he’ll do great.  I didn’t go into detail last week but his run at the Shamrock Shuffle 8K proved his fitness.  His pace for 8K was faster than his previous 5K personal best.  Right on time.

And Alex Cassar.  She too trusted me with her marathon training, look for a big pr!

And Stacy Mangers Shaw.  Here’s hoping that sub 3 hour mark is achieved and first Nebraska female as icing on the cake.

And Haleigh Riggle.  The future of female marathoning in Nebraska maybe.

And Aaron Carrizales.

And Cameron Cummings.

And good luck to Daren Konda.  And Bryan Sypal.  Both swell guys.

And thanks to my old buddy Jordan Tucker for the phone call last night.  It meant a lot.

Wishing everyone Good Luck, Great Racing, and Giddyup!  Live streaming at this link:  http://watchlive.baa.org/

 

 

PLEASE COME TO BOSTON

Boston.  No other word means as much to distance runners.  Carries an aura of respect and awe and accomplishment.  Every marathoner’s dream.  And anyone that has ever been there has their own special memories.

It starts with the people, the citizenry of Boston.  Upon your arrival the taxi drivers and waitstaff and hotel workers and everyone else you meet will be interested in you.  Your qualifying time, where you ran it, how many times you’ve run this iconic event, what your goals for Monday are.  You will feel loved.  And you’ll love the city right back.

I’ve got my own special memories from the 100th Boston in 1996.  It would be my only trip from Hopkinton to Boylston.  If I can offer just a bit of advice, don’t go with the attitude of conquering.  You can run fast, and indeed I know a lot of people whose personal bests were set on this historic tour.  Do go with the intention of running a good race while at the same time taking in every moment.  Your finish time will be what it is meant to be, nothing you can do to change that at this point at any rate.  But your experience and memories are what you can control.  So enjoy, you may never make it back.

I’d love to get into how I’m old buddies with Race Director Dave McGillivray.  How I was his Assistant Operations Director for the 2004 USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in St. Louis (sure it was mainly just a title, but one I’m proud to have held).  How I was the guest of the Boston Athletic Association back in 2006 (yes they really did bring in Mitt Romney to have supper with our trio of site selectors).  How I worked with BAA President Guy Morse in bringing the 2008  USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon to that city and event.   How I was offered a rare glimpse into the very soul of the organization, deep in the bowels of the John Hancock building.

But those days are long past and are just stories now.  But they’re my stories.

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The one marathon every distance runner dreams of.  The one marathon you’ll never forget.  Yes, I used to be a stud and those are Diadoras.

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Part of my Boston collection is Joseph Kamau’s 1997 2nd Overall Orefors Swedish Crystal Bowl.  Yeah, stories, I’ve got a ton of them.

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And Boston pictures, pictures out the wazoo.

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It was my privilege to serve with the Boston Marathon, memories for a lifetime.

SPREADING LOVE

Results from this past weekend’s USA Club 8K Road Championships:  Lincoln Running Co. Racing Men’s team takes 18th overall for Nebraska bragging rights.  The Team Nebraska men finished 20th overall.  Team Nebraska women run solid for a top 10 finish.

18. 1:42:10 LRC Racing ( 25:33)
1 25:05 124 NEIL WOLFORD M 25 HASTINGS NE
2 25:08 125 MICHAEL RATHJE M 23 LINCOLN NE
3 25:58 121 TOM NICHOLS M 30 LINCOLN NE
4 25:59 123 ERIC NOEL M 25 LINCOLN NE
5 ( 26:00) 122 ANDREW JACOB M 26 LINCOLN NE

19. 1:42:52 Universal Sole A ( 25:43)
1 25:14 146 STEVEN BUGARIN M 27 CHICAGO IL
2 25:44 148 EMISAEL FAVELA M 36 CHICAGO IL
3 25:47 150 ROGER PINON M 24 CHICAGO IL
4 26:07 149 JEFFREY THOMAS M 32 CHICAGO IL
5 ( 26:20) 147 MATTHEW FREY M 33 CHICAGO IL

20. 1:43:04 Team Nebraska ( 25:46)
1 24:20 212 LUKA THOR M 26 ELKHORN NE
2 25:22 214 YORK THOMAS M 24 OMAHA NE
3 26:33 211 NATHAN STACK M 28 LINCOLN NE
4 26:49 213 CORY LOGSDON M 25 OMAHA NE

9. 1:28:07 Team Nebraska ( 29:23)
1 29:06 444 MEGAN ZAVORKA F 26 OMAHA NE
2 29:28 443 ANNE SHADLE F 30 SOUTH SIOUX CITY NE
3 29:33 445 NATALIE COMO F 23 OMAHA NE
4 ( 29:34) 442 SHANNON SUING F 35 LINCOLN NE

Got a call from my old buddy Camille Herron over the weekend asking for an assist into the Lincoln Marathon.  She’s in and is likely the favorite at this point.  Always glad to help out.

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Lots and lots of love.  Prepping our garden at the 2 Lazy 2 Ranch.

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I’ve been spreading love in Nebraska for over a decade.  Some might say this picture says it all.

A MOMENT WITH GREG MEYER

Greg Meyer, in my opinion, is one of the most historic figures in American distance running of the last few generations.  Reasons include being American record holder, advocating for developing US distance runners, elite athlete coordinator, and oh by the way the last American to win the Boston Marathon.  30 years ago.  And I’m proud to call him a friend.  We’ve worked together for the last 15 years, through national championships, athlete development programs, and as host for the Fifth Third River Bank Run 25K, my favorite road race in the entire country.   I asked Greg to take a moment and answer a few questions as he prepares for his return to Boston, he’ll be running the marathon this coming Monday.

Will:  You’re entered in and training up for the 117th Boston Marathon. How are the legs holding up?

GREG:   Legs are doing fine after a few 20 milers.  I stay slow and that seems to work just fine.  Normal aches and pains for a guy my age who has a few miles on his wheels!

Will:  Do you have any particular time standards or goals you will be pursuing?

GREG:   Probably under 4 hours.  I think I could comfortable run about 3:40, but with the boys running closer to 4.

Will: The mantle as last American to win Boston, now 30 years ago, must weigh heavy.  How do you deal with that pressure?

GREG:   What pressure?  There was pressure to win, but my emotion is more toward disappointment that another American has not experienced winning Boston.  I am a fan of US distance running, a win at Boston, NY or Chicago could help ignite the next generation of great US distance runners.  Men and women!

Will:  Who are the Boston Icons that you most look up to?

GREG: In distance running, Jim Ryun and Marty Liquori were the athletes I followed growing up.  I remember them racing each other on national TV on a Saturday afternoon…now I’m lucky enough to know them both.  For Boston, Joanie and Billie were amazing.  Roberta Gibbs never gets the attention she deserves…and of course, Johnny Kelly the Elder.

Will:  You’ve been tireless in your support of developing American distance running talent.  What trends make you optimistic about a resurgence to greatness of our homegrown men and women?

GREG:  I think the return to training groups is a real plus.  We do well at a young age, but I think we fall off in the colleges.  I could never figure out why the USOC doesn’t subsidize Olympic sports on the college level.  It’s where the talent is developed.   If the USOC put some money in maybe the college AD’s would pay a little more attention to the sport and hire better coaches.  Finally, I believe the colleges are doing a dis-service to the athletes by doing away with most scoring meets.  Athletes learned to race when something was on the line, not just a time to qualify for nationals.  Teams should be forced to have a few dual meets or scoring meets that allow the runners to learn the importance of RACING and also allowing the AD to evaluate the coaches on their success as a team, not just a couple of fast runners.

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Greg and I hanging out with Kevin Hanson in the elite athlete hospitality suite at the 25K.  I’ve made many friends and memories at the event that hosts our USA 25K National Championships.  A beautiful course, world class competition, and deep commitment towards American athletes.   The best road race in America,  I’ll be pinning on a number again this May 11.

 

 

THANK YOU VERY MUCH

The 7th annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Runs were met by a perfect morning.  Cloudy, cool, and a couple hundred plus of the heartiest mudders around.  Boxed lunches and beer included with the entry fee, sweet pint glasses too.  Bragging rights all around.  The cats that keep coming back for this race amaze me and I said as much at the start line.  “If you’ve run this race before hold up your hand.”  “What is wrong with you people?”  Knowing what lay before them and still willing to tackle the “Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest!”

Proud of every single one of you!  Results at: http://onlineraceresults.com/event/view_event.php?event_id=10447  Thanks to Precision Race Results for the speedy and professional timing and results.  And thanks again to Peak Performance for hosting our packet pick ups.

Thanks to ALL my volunteers!

Thanks to Cabela’s, Subway, & Upstream Brewing Co.  And the staff at Platte River State Park.

Always my favorite race weekend of the year, PRSP really is an oasis just minutes west of Omaha.  Upgraded the digs to the “modern” cabin this year so actually got to see some Final Four action for the first time since 2007.  One year ago we were huddled around a laptop and streaming broadcast of David Adams setting the fastest time in the U.S. in the steeplechase.  How quickly time flies…..

After Alan Higley timed our event he was on a plane to Chicago to time the Shamrock Shuffle 8K Road Race.  That event served as the USA Club Champs, I’ll report on the team competition results as soon as they are available.

Our Trail Run served as the USATF Nebraska Assoc. Champs, Brian Wandzilak picked up a cool Benjamin for the win, Kyle Clouston $75 for 2nd, and Jimmie Doherty $50 for 3rd.  We had no women USATF members compete.  I had several people ask where that prize money came from, and they were surprised to learn that I donated it.  I’ll always support USATF athletes whenever possible.

The biggest compliment of the weekend came from Jenni Richards.  She and a big group were out running the trails early Sunday morning.   We happened upon them and she was impressed that “You would never even know there was a race here yesterday.”  Keeping it clean, keeping it green, that’s how we roll.

 

FALSE CHARGES! NOT GUILTY!

Start off this Friday with a difficult report.  Our dear Stacy Shaw (Mrs. Shaw?  Really?) is scheduled for an MRI first thing tomorrow morning.  Her bothersome ankle has blown into a stress fracture, crap.  There goes Chicago this weekend and Boston in another, double crap.  She had been working the Hanson’s marathon training program with success, yet another example of the fickle nature of peak fitness, triple crap.

I reported last week that training was recharged with the kick off of the Will vs. Bill Camera Challenge.  It was a false positive, I’ll get my first run of the week in this morning with Trail Legend Ivan Marsh.  We’ll be previewing tomorrow’s Trail Run, wish me luck!

And its funny, I don’t feel guilty at all.  For the first time in my life, and hers, Linda and I share domestique duties 50/50.  When she gets up at the crack of dawn to take Jed for his morning constitutional I merely smile and roll over back to sleep.  And when its my turn she the same.  Sharing is caring.

Magic Johnson.  Great Father.  I’m a strong advocate for diversity and it was great to see this.  We are all equal and entitled to our own lives and beliefs.  If you think you are better or another is worse, more’s the pity.  It is up to only ONE to make that judgement call and you can’t speak for HIM/HER.

Peace out!

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TOO CLOSE TO HOME

I received an email this morning from Dallas Archer, Head Brewmaster of the Upstream Brewing Co.  He was spending part of his afternoon yesterday enjoying a stroll around Lake Zorinsky.  When he got back to his car, yep, you guessed it.  His window was smashed and his laptop, all his files, basically his mobile office, were all taken.

This really drives home the message to me and everyone that is participating in either this weekend’s Trail Run or our Lake Zorinsky Security Camera  initiative,https://www.facebook.com/LakeZCameras .

We have been assembling a great team that are committed to your safety and protection at the lake.  If you are unable to support the cause with a donation please do help spread the word to your friends that utilize this recreation jewel of Omaha.  We will all benefit.

As I’ve mentioned a portion of the proceeds from Saturday’s race will go toward the initiative, and our donation will be matched by Gretna Family Health.  Please consider helping out.

A link between male pattern baldness and risk of heart disease on the news this morning.  Glad I keep my other vitals (blood pressure, cholesterol) in check through exercise.  What ticked me off though was their lead in to the story, citing the negative self esteem that comes with baldness.  You’re kidding me right?  I’ve always contended that there is a segment of the world population that actually digs a clean pate.  And with my ego being what it is, I can’t imagine having a higher estimation of myself with the addition of a few curls.  No, I’ll leave the rogaine and weaves and tanning booths and pierced navels, etc. etc. etc. to those that really need it to feel better about themselves.

You know you’re a Real Texan when this Willie & Merle classic still brings a bit of a tear to the corner of your eyes.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JxzJAF1BxP4