Monthly Archives: May 2013

100% REAL

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The absolute highlight of last weekend was taking Linda to my hometown of Atwood, Illinois.  We are pictured here with, left to right, Tony & Audrey Fleener, Lyle & Cheri Dorjahn, Tim & Lori Murphy, and Dan Gregory.  These fine people remained in the area taking over their family farms, most generations old.   Salt of the earth,  life long friends, 100% Real.

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I attended 12 years of school with these cats.  We graduated from Atwood Hammond High School, home of the Fighting Rajahs, Class of ’75 rocks!  The school is closing for good in a couple of weeks, only ~50 students attending across all four grades.  I ran a very sentimental lap around the grass loop I trained on as a young “thinclad.”

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I called the guy that owns the house I grew up in and told him I had stashed a bunch of my high school and U.S. Navy junk up in a forgotten attic.  He granted me permission to retrieve it, had no idea it was up there.  Turns out I was a young guru in training and didn’t even know it.  Inside a folder were the programs, results, and newspaper clippings from our track team.  I never made the traveling squad but the connection must have always been there.  I didn’t even realize I had saved these so it was quite a surprise.  Note the date of May 4, 1972.  Over 41 years ago.

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There were other “treasures” safely stored as well.

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I graduated #47 out of 47 in my class.  Lack of discipline and disrespect kept me suspended for much of my 4 years.  Somehow I was elected Class President when we were sophomores.   (Fast forward to 1992 I graduated 2nd in my class from Northern Illinois University.)  Funny how life rolls out.

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How many people can still fit in their military uniforms 35 years later?  I went in as an E-1 and came out as an E-1.  Problems with authority and disrespect kept me from maintaining my advancements.

Two common themes then throughout my life.  Maintaining Real Friendships with Real People from every chapter of my life.  And a continued insistence on bucking the apple cart where I see fit, the landscape littered with fakirs and posers and hypocrites and those that would suppose to dictate my life.  That’s me, 100% Real.

 

 

RIGHT OF PASSAGE

I hopped in the accompanying 10K in Grand Rapids this past Saturday.  Not enough endurance to make the 25K, not enough speed for the  5K, figured 6.2 might be doable.  Finished my warm up and began making my way among the assembled masses (~3500 in the race), working from the rear towards the front.  Worried that I might miss the gun (7:00 until Go Time), weaving through the 12:00 pace group, 11:00, 10:00, making mental notes as I moved.  9:00, 8:00, “Should I line up here? Oh no, look at these folks, not here.”  Up through the 7:00 runners, not believing a single one could hold that pace.

Finally settled on front and center of the start line.  I took a look around and for one brief instant the old adrenalin rush of “Maybe I can win this thing.”  Then a high school stud next to me, and then a couple of more obviously talented runners.  Enjoyed that fleeting spike of hormones though, reminded me of what it was like to be Competitive.  When the gun went off, those people that I was so sure couldn’t keep up with me even on a bad day began streaming past.  And this went on for the rest of the race.  And as each person passed I gave them a mental tip of the sombrero.  “Good for you, you’re passing a Real Runner!”

Old runners, young runners, skinny runners, heavy set runners, fluid runners, discombobulated runners, they continued their own pursuit to the finish line, barely noticing if at all the old man that had set out to lead them.  My mind was strangely at peace and happy.

I had to take my first walk break at 4 miles.  Conversed with myself that this is how ultra trail runners do it so maybe I should enter one of those.  Walked again at 5 miles up a steep little hill.  Got to the top and another fella named Justin was looking worse than me.  I encouraged him to run it in with me and he began jogging again.  We talked about his goal, it was his first ever 10K, which was to break 50 minutes.  I told him we would do it Together and so I pulled and pulled and cajoled and pulled some more.  With a quarter to go he took off, my voice echoing off the buildings for him to “Giddyup!”  I couldn’t cover his youthful move (he a mere 32) but was more happy for him than I was concerned about my own goal.

Justin finished in 49:51 and I was able to qualify for the seeded pass at this October’s Omaha Corporate Cup by eeking out a 49:57.  We shared a big congratulatory hug and I felt for the first time ever that a race was not just about my own performance.  That even if I am slowing (although I got another shiny new “fat pr”) there is still something to be garnered from participation.

All those people passing me.  And me passing through myself.  Both a Right of Passage.

 

25K RECAP FINALE

Summer of Fun tune up complete, a little over 1700 miles in 4 days.  Today, The Race:

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Mo Trafeh (pronounced Truh-fay) set a new 25K American Record of 1:14:18.  It turned out to be the Perfect Morning (if just a little windy).  Mo was dropping 4:45 miles like nobody’s business.  And when he hit the hills from 8 through 11, how about a little 4:40-4:42 action to spice things up!

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Mo had dinner with Linda & I on Friday night (along with Luka Thor and Allan Wagner) and we all became New Buddies.  Allan attended Dana College but I joked I wouldn’t hold that against him.  He is also a 2:17 marathoner, originally from Hawaii and has moved back there.  Turned out to be a delightful guy.

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Men’s Championships Chair Bob Latham congratulates Mo at the awards ceremony.  Bob is a 3 time National High School Coach of the Year out of Bend, OR (ever heard of him Craig?).  We go way back to when I served in the same capacity for the Women’s Champs from ’02-’09 and remain great friends.

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Matt Tegenkamp finished 3rd overall, the longest race of his life (he’s a middle-long specialist up to 10K).  He does not like to lose at any distance.

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My Real Old Buddy Clint Verran finished just outside of the top 10.  During warm ups I heard someone holler “Hey Run Guru”, turned around and it was Clint.  We ran together a bit and relived our trip to the World Championships Half Marathon in Vera Cruz, Mexico way back in 2000.  I’ve always been flattered that he named his physical therapy business after me.  He’s 38, still runs for Hansons, and is still a stud!

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Ladies and gentlemen, your top 10 Men!

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Dot McMahon of the Hansons gets a Championship Hug from Linda.  Linda was the Women’s Liaison to the event and had the privilege of draping medals over the top 10 ladies.  It was Dot’s first National Championships at age 36!  Dot was on the 2008 World Championships Half Marathon team I took to Rio de Janeiro in 2008.

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Linda preparing to drape Katie McGregor.  She finished 9th, at age 35!  Stephanie Pezzullo looks on, Linda took her to Chiba, Japan for the International Ekiden in 2010.

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Ladies and gentlemen, your top 10 women!

This is USA Track & Field!  

 

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My new buddy Mohammed Trafeh sets a new American Record this morning blistering an incredible field in 1:14:27.  Dot McMahon takes her very first national title at age 36 on the women’s side.  Pictures and more reporting later.

WET & WILD

Forecast is wet and chilly.  The course is hilly.  And the 10K for Willie.

Briefly considered taking Greg up on his offer to hop in the 25K, opted for the accompanying 10K instead, will settle for another “Fat PR”, building my rotund resume one race at a time.

My old buddy Mr. Fabulous may kiss his American Record of 1:14:21 goodbye in less than 24 hours.  Fernando Cabada set the AR here back in 2006, time to put that puppy to  bed.  Matt Tegenkamp and Mo Trafeh are both in good enough shape to take it down, should be a wet & wild race to be sure.

Polish breakfast you say?  Yup.  The Westsider restaurant dished us up some pleasing perogies, great golabki, and scintillating sauerkraut this morning.  Grand Rapids Polish community, yum!

Heck of a drive yesterday.  Turned into 12 hours of rain, jackknifed semis, muddy windshields, and utter enjoyment of the traveling companion.  Nice little tune up for next month’s trip to Oregon.

Off to Holland, MI this afternoon to tour one of my favorite breweries.

Finding health, happiness, good food, and good beer one city at a time.  Life is good.  I’ve got No Complaints.

I wish all the same and more for you.

 

 

 

USA 25K NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS

My favorite race in the U.S. is on tap for this weekend.  And not just because 25K is my sweet spot.  It is the city of Grand Rapids, Greg Meyer, Kristen Aidif, Fifth Third Bank, and the untold volunteers that make this race uniquely special.  This will be my 6th or 7th time to the home of Amway (the Grand Plaza hotel is my most preferred hotel of any I’ve ever stayed in domestically.)  Fond memories of winning the USATF 50-54 age group national champs a few years ago also call me back.  But our sport is one of What Have You Done Lately, what I did last year (I ran fast!) has absolutely no bearing on where I stand today.  And unfortunately I won’t be running it this year.  But it will be cool to catch up with my old buddies.

Linda has Real responsibilities as the Women’s USATF Liaison to the event.  She’ll take care of all of the invited elite ladies.  Me, I’m just a driver, gofer, and arm candy.

At last year’s 25K Champs Luka Thor finished 11th overall and made a name for himself on the national circuit.  He returns this weekend to try and improve on that finish.  I had him on the track for a set of quarters last night, all in the 60 point to 62 low range.  The lad has Real Gifts.

Kyle Clouston too is Real.  I have the pleasure of training him up for his assault on the sub 5 minute Mile on July 7th at the Lincoln Mile.  Not a big deal you might say, sub 5:00.  But when you consider that his motivation for developing speed is to get faster at the 100 Mile distance, well you kind of get an inkling of why his buddy (and mine) Bryan Sypal calls him Freight Train.  Thanks to my boys Jimmie Doherty and David Bohlken for pulling Kyle through the first half of the workout.  I can’t say how appreciative I am that I get to work with so many Team Nebraska athletes.  Teamwork among teams, can you dig it?

A postscript tinged with appreciation, great memories, and just a hint of sadness.  The final Original Good Mate has stepped away from Team Nebraska to focus on his coaching and family.  Ryan Salem was one of the very first people I approached back in 2011.  He wore the Red & White proudly and even outlasted me by 5 weeks to earn the distinction of longest tenure on the club.  It was a Great Ride Ryan and thanks for everything you contributed and we wish you nothing but the best!

We will be pulling into Grand Rapids tonight, approx. a 10 hour drive.  After Saturday’s race we’ll head to the Sand Dunes outside of Muskegon.   Sunday we’ll drive down to Atwood, IL where Linda will get to see the birthplace of her favorite writer.  I’m looking forward to introducing her to all my old classmates (Class of 1975, 47 graduates!).

I will be posting throughout the trip, look for my race recap on Saturday!

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The Grand Plaza is my favorite hotel on the National Championships circuit.

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Richly appointed and beautiful.

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As always, biggest thanks to my buddy Greg Meyer for extending an invitation for my return.  My Pleasure.

LAKE ZORINSKY SECURITY CAMERA CHALLENGE

We have a winner folks!  Darci Williams correctly guessed Bill as the winner with a time differential of 5:30.  Bill got me by 6:06 so she was only off by :36.  Darci will receive the $100 gift certificate to Peak Performance.  Congratulations Darci!

Honorable mentions to Anne Triba who guessed Bill’s time at 1:39:16, he ran 1:39:22.  John Tully guessed my time at 1:44:55, actual was 1:45:28.

Our fundraising page will remain up, thanks for visiting and contributing to this important cause.  We still have a lot of room for your kind donations.
https://digbro.com/forms/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.preview&id=48

Thanks again to Tom Whitaker and the Omaha Running Club for administering the funds through their 501 (c) 3 status as a not for profit.

The initiative is being supported by the Omaha Police Department, City of Omaha, Omaha Parks and Recreation, Omaha Running Club, Nebraska Run Guru Events LLC,  Gretna Family Health,  and other concerned individuals and groups.

And for all the Mountain, Ultra and Trail Running studs and studettes:

Do you like running off the beaten path or testing the real limits of your endurance? Do you like running up and down mountain trails where the air is thin? Well, if you do, then pick the National Championship that is right for you.

USA 10 km Trail Championships – Beech Mountain, NC – June 29, 2013
USA Mountain Running Championships – Cranmore, NH – July 21, 2013
USA 100 Mile Trail Championships – Burning River, OH – July 27-28, 2013
USA Marathon Trail Championships – Manitou Springs, CO – August 18, 2013
USA 50 Mile Road Championships – Boalsburg, PA – October 20, 2013
USA 24 Hour Championships – Oklahoma City, OK – October 26, 2013
USA Half Marathon Trail Championships – Moab, UT – November 2, 2013
USA 50 km Trail Championships – Boulder City, NV – November 9, 2013

Visit USATF Mountain Ultra Trail for more information
We are USATF. | www.usatf.org

 

 

LINCOLN RECAP PT. DEAUX

First hand impressions of what went down Sunday morning.

It was the perfect morning.  My goal of sub 1:50 was a breeze, 1:45:28.  Thanks to Mike Reilly for escorting me.

Bill Weeks emerged victorious in the “Will vs Bill” Lake Zorinsky Security Camera, finishing 5th in the 55-59 age group in 1:39:22.  His goal of sub 1:40:00 achieved as icing on the his cake.  I’m analyzing  data today to determine the winner of the $100 gift certificate to Peak Performance.  Announcement will be made tomorrow.  Donations will remain open at our site, we’ve still a long way to go to our goal of $15,000.
https://digbro.com/forms/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.preview&id=48

Personal highlights:  The athletes that I have been coaching this spring all ran personal bests.  It just doesn’t get any better than helping others to achieve their goals.  I’ve crowed about these runners for the last several weeks, how hard they’ve worked, how determined they were, even through this windy and cold and rainy spring.  So my own best moment occurred when each runner that came through the finish line sporting that big grin indicating their own Peak Performance.  How lucky am I to have such a great group?

My own run was absolutely painless.  This was the first time I’d ever “Run” a Half Marathon instead of “Racing” one.  The first 5K was the slowest, the 2nd & 3rd 5Ks progressively faster and the final 5K (+1K) the fastest of the morning.  Did I discover some heretofore unknown secret of running?  For one thing I learned that I can run 8:04 pace for 13.1 miles off of 20 miles per week.  Nothing to boast about but does give me a baseline of my natural talent.  Another lesson was that casual running does not beat the heck out of your legs like racing does.  An easy 5 miles yesterday revealed no fatigue or pain or any of the other trappings of hard running.  No wonder it is so popular!

And without further adieu here are some photos, thanks to El Viejo Mas Rapido for shooting and sharing.

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Shannon Suing battled Nora Youngs for much of the marathon.

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Joy Schulz had a nice PR in the Half Marathon.

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Lily Kaftan is sandwiched between Miguel Ordorica and Kaci Lickteig on her way to a personal best in the Half.  I’m coaching Lulu Lily for her upcoming Grandma’s Marathon and her 1:28 was a big confidence boost.  Steve Stender rocked the Five Fingers instead of running completely barefoot this year.

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Mike Reilly and I discussed my moving up to the Clydesdale Division.  I set a “Fat PR” having weighed in at 156 (matching the heaviest I’ve been in my life) the night before.  Somehow managed a top 10 age group finish toting the thunder thighs and muffin top, oh my!

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Andrea Bowen and Kristin Ramm working together.

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Christina King running strong.  A former sprinter turned distance runner, I’ve always admired her longer aspirations.

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Alysha Davis in full flight.

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Justin Mollak was the 3:10 pacer.  Carl Samuelson runs alongside.

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Emily Kraus always shows up ready to race.  Her 1:23:55 surprised many, but not me.

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Anne Shadle and Emily enjoy the company and pacing skills of Kelly Crawford.

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Finally a fella!  Brian Bergt ran a 3:01:54 for 2nd in the 50-54 age group.

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Megan Thomas.

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Jen Viehrig.  Some of the best guns on Team Nebraska.

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Natalie Como, talented and focused.

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Suzanne Higgins.  Another 800 meter runner moving up.

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Shawna Young.  Top 5 in the 40-45 age group with a nice 3:34:13.

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Todd Nott ran 3:05:45 for a top 10 45-59 finish.  James (#7084) gazes on in amazement.

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Gary Bredehoft, Ron Olsen, and Nancy Sutton Moss.  Ron is the only person to have run all 36 Lincoln Marathons and he isn’t done yet.  And how about a 4:17:55 at age 66!—this photo courtesy of Gary Bredehoft

LINCOLN RECAP

The Lincoln Marathon, in my humble (!) opinion just got better.  Both winners (Mario Macias, 2:21:17) and  Camille Herron (2:44:06) set out to take down the too long standing event records.  Both barely missed.  I have a feeling we’ve seen the last of decent regional times taking the top spot in Nebraska’s biggest marathon.  Nancy has to be thrilled with the top performances.  A lot of non Nebraskans had the marathon on their schedule and that is great for competition.

Big sombrero tips to Eric Noel (Lincoln Running Co. Racing) on his 4th overall finish in 2:30:10 and to my boy Cory Logsdon of Team Nebraska (8th, 2:38:46) on their top 10 finishes, the only Nebraskans to earn that distinction.  Ndorfnz Racing’s top finisher was Jason Zakaras (12th, 2:44:21).

On the women’s side Lincoln Running Co. Racing clearly assumed bragging rights placing both Hannah Kinberg (3rd, 2:53:50) and Frankie Petersen (4th, 2:54:31) in the top 5.  Kaci Lickteig of Ndorfnz Racing finished 6th in 2:56:41.  Team Nebraska’s Shannon Suing had a big pr of 2:58:20 for 7th overall.  Christy Nielsen rounded out the Nebraska finishers in the top 10 (10th, 3:02:13).  Team Nebraska’s Natalie Jetensky took top Masters Female finishing 19th overall in 3:11:18.  She’s the new Sheriff.  James Bressette of Clinton, Arkansas amazed everyone by carrying his 52 year old body around Lincoln (18th, 2:48:26) to take the Masters Male title.  Miguel Ordorica (40th, 2:56:41) was the top Nebraska male master.

The Women’s Half was very competitive.  Team Nebraska took 6 of the top 10 spots including Bridget Easley‘s win in 1:21:38.  Bridget showed just how tough she is, she had her second child only 5 months ago.  Megan Thomas (2nd, 1:21:50), Natalie Como (3rd, 1:21:58), Alysha Davis (6th, 1:23:53), Emily Kraus (7th, 1:23:55), and Anne Shadle (9th, 1:25:35) all represented with distinction.  Lincoln Running Company Racing’s Hayley Sutter (9th, 1:24:07) and Nora Youngs (10th, 1:26:42) also ran well.  Ndorfnz racing’s top finisher was 41 year old Theresa Gosnell (11th, Overall Masters Female, 1:26:51).

In the Men’s Half it was once again Lincoln Running Co. Racing taking the top honors with Neil Wolford (3rd, 1:08:31) leading the way.  Team Nebraska’s Eric Rasmussen (5th, 1:09:01) and Kyle Smith (7th, 1:10:36) had good races.  Wolford’s LRC mates Tom Nichols (9th, 1:10:41) and Michael Rathje (10th, 1:10:47) rounded out the best of the best.

So, on balance a competitive day for the most part.  Lincoln Running Co. has shown that they are seriously challenging to be the best club in Nebraska.  Give me a year with Team Nebraska Run Guru Elite, we hope to be right up there.

USATF Nebraska Association Club Top 10 finishes across the half and full.

MEN
Lincoln Running Co. Racing:  4 (1 Full + 3 Half)
Team Nebraska:  3 (1 Full + 2 Half)
Ndorfnz Racing: 0

WOMEN:
Team Nebraska: 7 (1 Full + 6 Half)
Lincoln Running Co. Racing: 4 (2 Full + 2 Half)
Ndorfnz Racing: 1 (1 Full)

COMBINED SCORING
Team Nebraska: 10
Lincoln Running Co. Racing: 8
Ndorfnz Racing: 1

Competition between LDR clubs in Nebraska!?!?   Where in the world did all this come from?  Ask me!  Ask me!

More Lincoln recap manana.

In other news the Invest in Yourself 5K was also yesterday.  Team Nebraska’s Matt Pohren (1st, 15:50) took the win and the accompanying Borsheim’s trophy.  (My boy Luka Thor of Team Nebraska was late getting to the race but still wound up 3rd.)  Michaela van der Westhuizen (19:12) took the Women’s win.  There were over 1600 finishers, pretty amazing.

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Michaela (looking fit and happy) and husband Peter will soon be moving to God’s Country.  Austin, TX for the uninitiated.  I’ll miss them both as mates and friends.

 

TEAM NRGE

Today’s first column announces the formation of Team Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  NRGE is being founded with the same ideals and passion that built one of the most successful USATF clubs in the United States (Team Nebraska).   The newest USATF Nebraska Association Competitive Club is formed with the intent of being competitive at local, regional, and national championship events.

The first thing Nancy Sutton Moss asked me when I crossed the finish line yesterday was whether today would be the big announcement (she’s been privy for a while).  That sealed my decision to go public this morning.

We will be In It To Win It.  I will be the President and Head Coach.  There will be NO attorneys involved insisting I hold hands with our competitors and critics.  Thanks to the many of you that have encouraged me to take this step.  I am your man.

Interested athletes may contact me at runguru@cox.net

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Interested athletes should contact me at runguru@cox.net