Monthly Archives: September 2013

BUT I WILL

I was told recently by one of my former mates that the reason this column is so widely read is because I say what others will only think.  Tengo huevos mas grande!

Leading off congratulating Jerrod Anzalone on his crushing victory at Saturday’s Wabash Trace Marathon.  His time of 2:45:35 was more than 30 minutes ahead of the next finisher and was the only respectable time on the men’s side.  Women’s winner Ashlee Nelson ran 3:26:06 to win her division by nearly 16 minutes.  Yawn.

If you’re tuning in today looking for me to rail against the Omaha Corporate Cup, you’ll be disappointed. The event’s new venue/atmosphere/direction are perfectly suited to the climate of running/walking in Omaha. To those of you that complained about my pushing/advocating for elite level competition,  I know your world is much safer now.  Sure there are a few dinosaurs including Bob Garcia and Craig Christians that will lament the glory days of the race, but we’re collateral damage in the softening of our sport.

The competition was certainly there yesterday, well almost certainly.  The front line was packed with Team Nebraska’s best, just like the good old days.  I would however have loved to see the Lincoln Running Co. Team’s top guns in the mix.  Now that would have been some Real Racing.  Winner Eric Rasmussen (32:23)  and 2nd place finisher Luka Thor (32:51) both broke 33 so the course isn’t as slow as some predicted.  The women’s times were much slower across the board though.

So it is now up to those that care the most to get together and support a fast and competitive 10K.  Who, might you ask, would host such a race?  The Two Rivers Twosome Couples Run in February now looks to be the flattest, fastest 6.2 miles in Nebraska.  Saturday February 15th, mark your calendar!

vera cruz 00-1I should have included this, my very first international trip, along with Friday’s poster offering.  The 2000 World Championships Half Marathon in Vera Cruz, Mexico.  I was scared and anxious to do a Great Job in my role as U.S. Team Leader.  IAAF President Lamine Diak personally escorted me to the vip dinner the night before the race, things were all better after that.  One photo opportunity I wish I would have taken advantage of.

vera cruz 00-2The men’s team included former American Marathon Record Holder Jerry Lawson (2:09:35).  And Teddy Mitchell, a legend in elite running circles, both for his talent and his mis-behaving.  Teddy was the only man to qualify for both the U.S. Olympic Trials 10000 meters and Marathon in 2004.  A stud’s stud.  Jeff Campbell shows here too, I can say I knew him when he was dating Deena Drossin (Deena Kastor).

vera cruz 00-3 Kelly Keeler has signed just above Kelly Cordell.  Keeler is a Burke graduate, didn’t run in high school but turned into one of the best half marathoners in the United States.  We’ve been great friends for the last 13 years.  Kristin Beaney would later become Kristin Nicolini and be a racing force for much of the double aughts.

SAMSUNGMilena Glusac would finish 10th in 1:13:53 in Vera Cruz, the highest finish ever by an American.  We reconnected here at the 2010 Chicago Marathon.   I hardly recognized her from the skinny little runner ten years earlier but her grip was the same.

 

 

 

POTPOURRI FRIDAY

Glorious morning, feels great to be alive!  Fall is here with its crisp morning’s, Linda headed out in a long sleeve top this am.

Bodes well for Running & Racing this weekend.

Kissing your sister, no pressure, no fun, and Not Real.

stateville

One of the few race awards I’ve saved.  License plates made by the inmates at Stateville Prison in Joliet, IL.  The Stateville 5K & 10K actually took place on the prison grounds.

06stompThe 2006 Swamp Stomp hosted the USATF Nebraska Association 5K XC Championships.  Some of you whippersnappers were still wet behind the ears.

1964 olympic bookEvery Olympiad the USOC complies a volume covering the Games.  This 1964 Tokyo report also includes the Winter Games in Innsbruck, Austria and the Pan Am Games in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

brazil08And this poster is from the World Championships Half Marathon in Rio in 2008.  My final international trip was by far the best.

yokohama06The trip to Yokohama in 2006 was pretty sweet too.

chiba02And my first trip to Japan back in 2002.  I’ve always enjoyed these posters from my world travels.  Most have the signatures of our traveling USA Teams, reminds me of what a lucky guy I am to have served at the highest echelons of our sport.

 

 

 

 

 

WAIST REDUCTION

Bit of a milestone yesterday as its the first time I’ve been under 140 pounds since 2011.  The consistent miles coupled with hard daily chores has done the trick.  Maybe I should change the NRGE motto to “Mean, Clean, & Lean.”

I’ve seen some runners recently, actually only two, that I hardly recognized.  Their bodies have undergone complete transformations from doughy and slow non-runner to cut and hard and running fast.  And I’m not talking about losing a few pounds, I’m speaking of the type of thing I only read about in the back of comic books when I was a kid.

newmanMuscles and tone used to come from hard work alone.  Now all you need is a prescription.  Its who you know that can make you go.  If drugs were my only avenue, I’d remain a slow, and doughy runt.

The advertisement’s next to last caption of the guy getting socked in the jaw is quite violent.  Getting even with a bully.  Just desserts I say.  This topic came up at the Upstream recently when I polled those gathered at the bar as to whom had ever been in a Real Fight.  I’ve been punched in the face a dozen times and more.  Dished quite a few out as well.  You could tell just by looking those that had never had to put up their dukes.  Manicured nails, perfectly coiffed, noses cocked at the appropriate angle, above it all.  Softies, insulated, pampered and privileged.  Never having had to defend themselves or absorb a roundhouse, they may as well have been from Mars.  And now me old and scrawny but wiry, there’s still a couple of noses I’d like to introduce Mr. Fist to.  To the Old School Style of conflict resolution.

Sticking with today’s theme, waste reduction has become an important part of daily life at the Bar None.  If the scraps aren’t going to the compost pile they are headed to the chickens.  Re-purposing now a duty embraced.  Amazing how much you can reduce your impact with just a little effort.  Returning things to the Good Mother, being a part of Her closer circle.  No amassing goods and counting that success, rather being appreciative of what bounty is already right in front of us.  Blue skies and sweet scents,  critters and creatures of land, water and air, someone you truly love.

I’ve gone from ~3600 square feet of West Omaha empty excess to 1450 square feet of love and happiness.  A good woman, a good dog, my health, a good piece of land.   Only the Most Important things in life.

plrwill

Peace, Love, Run!

 

 

 

OCCASIONAL ACCOLADE

The Omaha Corporate Cup 10K is this Sunday.  This event was for decades the signature Competitive event on the Omaha calendar.  Lord knows I threw everyone and everything I had at Tim Dooling’s “event” record set back in the 80s.  It will never be taken down with the new course and I suppose maybe it should remain that way.   Race Director Gary Meyer predicts the winning time will be over 33 minutes.   Dooling was a man among men and years ahead of his time.  He was and remains an enigma wrapped in a riddle cloaked in a mystery.  May his legacy live long.

The 2nd annual Wabash Trace Marathon is also this weekend.  Look for Nebraska Run Guru Elite to notch our first win (we are after all and unapologetically,  In It To Win It.)  Jerrod Anzalone will be rocking the new kit and attitude, catch him if you can!

This weekend is also a very special event, but not so close to home.  NRGE’s Lindsey Brezenski is putting a 5K on in her hometown of Bettendorf, Iowa in honor and support of her brother Brett.  The run is called “3 For 30”.  Her brother Brett Greenwood was a standout for the Iowa Hawkeyes and  a former Pittsburgh Steeler.  All proceeds will go to the Brett Greenwood Foundation to raise money and awareness of anoxic brain injuries.  More information at the following link:  http://qctimes.com/sports/football/college/big-10/iowa/former-hawkeye-making-progress/article_abd098ba-530f-5dc7-aba8-71feac5c2b04.html#.Ui-Aehyjzok.facebook

ltcaward

Just for fun I’ll post some of the awards I have received over the years.  In 2007 I was awarded the Lincoln Track Club Distinguished Service Award.  How bout them apples and no take backs!  I’d like to quote from the narrative Ann Ringlein provided that evening: “Will is one of the most passionate people I know about running.  When you are passionate about something you develop lifetime friendships and you create some adversaries.  Outspoken Will has certainly done both where ever he has lived- he stirs the pot and keeps things interesting….”  Hallelujah Ann, hallelujah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3Fkuq5Lf0Q

 

SOFT FABRIC SOUND

While yesterday’s announcement took precedent there was some running and racing last weekend to report on.

David Bohlken took the win at the Peak to Peak 10 Mile (USATF Course Certification # NE11001KU).  His time of 57:54 may be a new course record.  No women were under 72:00.

Some fast times were turned in at the Midnight Run 5K.  Incredibly fast.  In fact, so fast, and with so many lifetime personal bests, by so much, one might, nay, has to, question the course legitimacy.  And that’s a shame.  Not taking anything away from the Real Competition, but those lads and lasses deserved an accurate, USATF measured course.

I had 56 miles last week.  Feeling pretty darned good about that.  Getting enough of a base to start tinkering with some leg turn over.  I may get some Real Racing in before the year’s end after all.

Had a few of the NRGE mates out for this past Saturday’s run.  Special guest was that amazing young man that ran RAGBRAI, Pete Kostelnick.  We’re having quite the eclectic group of runners meeting out at the Bar None, and of course everyone welcome.

That soft fabric sound you hear is panties getting all bunched up.  Yesterday’s column, hard hitting truthful reporting that it was, ruffled a few frillies and that couldn’t make me happier.  I’m an old man that doesn’t cotton to disrespectful, deceitful young whippersnappers and when they get pissed I know I’ve plucked the chord I was hoping to strum.

um

This book published in 1979 does a good job of surveying ultra-marathoning over the last 150 years.

deathvalley300

Richard Benyo details his run from Badwater in Death Valley (-282 ft. elevation) to Mt. Whitney (14,494) and then back again.  One hundred fifty miles each way.  Maybe something for Pete’s bucket list?

LDR PRIMER

The USATF Nebraska Association annual meeting will be this coming Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Ralston High School.  If you care about the direction of our sport, as relates to our USATF LDR member clubs and individuals, please come to the meeting and find out some nuts and bolts.

When I moved to Nebraska in 2001 there was only a strong USATF Youth presence.  The Long Distance Running component didn’t exist.  After attending my first local meeting,  I was able to get a couple of thousand dollars from the national office in Indianapolis, and then matching funds from our Nebraska leadership.  Nebraska LDR was born.  Team Nebraska would follow in short order.  And then a long standing series of Association Championship events.  In 2004 I received the Scott Hamilton Award at the national USATF annual meetings in Portland, OR for my work setting up Nebraska’s LDR program.

After overseeing the program for a few years it was Linda next leading the efforts.  And then Jordan Tucker would step in.  After Jordan it was Matty Pohren’s turn.  Both young men had been mentored well for a couple of years and understood the machinations and dynamics of trying to serve such a diverse membership.

Matty was the Right candidate at last year’s election.  There were shenanigans afoot however.  Ndorfnz Racing (no longer associated with USATF, surprise!, surprise!) were offering their own club president as candidate, Derek Fey.   Derek had/has no USATF administrative experience but the Lincoln Running Co. Racing team leadership decided to throw their votes and support with Ndorfnz anyway.  I would have loved to hear the strong and charming persuasion that brought that about.   The ballots were cast and  Matty P. had a single vote edge.  But wait!   Team Nebraska attorney Tim Langdon had excused himself from the meeting, thus making his vote ineligible during the recount.  And so a tie between Matt and Derek occurred. After much discussion it was decided that in the best interest of the running community, both men would serve as Joint LDR Chairs.

But Derek would notify Nebraska Association President John Wissler the very next day that he would not remain in the position.  And so it was Matt directing until he moved to New York last month.  Strange but true.

Elections will be held Sunday to fill the remaining year of Matt’s term.

Show up and vote.  But vote for the best person, not just against someone.

99rfta

The poster for my 1999 Run For The Arts 10 Mile in Lake Jackson, Texas.  Artist Christopher Cudworth produced the signature artwork for the event for several years.

99rw

But it was his 1999 edition that joined Twin Cities Marathon, Bolder Boulder, Grandma’s Marathon, and the Cincinnati Heart Mini-Marathon as one of the top 5 posters of the year in Runner’s World annual Cream of the Crop contest.

EMPTY PLATE

As much fun as I’m having it becomes apparent that featuring my collection is going to take a bit of work.  I think I’ll clean off my plate, of my plates, today.  So without further adieu, and as always, for your inspection and approval, I offer the following and remaining commemorative plates:

helsinki52

Helsinki, 1952.

melbourne1956Melbourne, 1956.  It was here that one of my oldest buddies and running club mentor, Al Lawrence, won the Bronze Medal at 10000 meters.  He would move to Houston in the early 1960s, help form the Houston Harriers and then the Al Lawrence Running Club.  Both remain relevant to this day.

rome60Rome, 1960.

mexicocity68Mexico City, 1968.   I especially like the design work on this one.

munich1972Munich, 1972.  This is where my love for running began, watching Frank Shorter win the Olympic Marathon.

montreal1976Montreal, 1976.  The simple yet dynamic figure on this plate symbolizes Real Running.

moscow80The infamous boycotted Olympics of 1980.  We didn’t participate due to political differences, a tragedy for athletes of my generation.

LA1984And then back on US soil in 1984.  Carl Lewis would become a household name and Joan Benoit would win the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon.

sydney2000Sydney in 2000.  The low point in US Olympic Marathoning history.  And the motivation for everything that has come after.

I hope you have enjoyed my plate collection.  I’ll be featuring other items including, apparel, pins, posters, books, autographs, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COMMON GOOD

It is out there, for all of us.  To have and to hold and do what we will with it.  Short for some, long for others.  Easy for some, hard for others.  Slow for some, fast for others.  Fun for some, Real for others.

However you define it and almost without exception running is good for all of us.  Whether it is for the Available Truths or simply just the social element, we all have our reasons for running like and how we do.

It is always my burden and privilege to try and advocate for each and every one.  Especially those up front.

Its not often that I quote another writer two days in a row, but Toni Reavis, in his blog yesterday says this better than I can.  Summing up his position on the Competitor Group’s decision to defund elites.
“At the same time, an athletic enterprise often does come down to heart as the head has long since offered its two cents, especially in an event like the marathon. After twenty miles the body says, “I got the point, it hurts, let’s stop”. This is when the heart takes over, and it’s what makes the accomplishment at the end so rewarding. There is perseverance involved, an overcoming. But running hasn’t been marketing that aspect of itself lately.  In fact, I heard a coach lamenting about some new athletes the other day.

“I hurt, I hurt,” they kept saying before they stop and walk. They can’t push past the pain barrier. You need to train to hurt, the old ‘it hurts so good’.”

Fitness is like armor, but you have to forge it. In the early boom years that was a well understood concept. Today’s runners have softer expectations. They haven’t been taught to compete, either among themselves, or with themselves. ”

Amen Toni, amen.

And now some Commonwealth items:

vancouver54

1954 found the games in Vancouver, British Columbia.

perth62

1962 in Perth, Austrailia.

kualalampur98

1998 in Kuala Lampur.

brisbane82

1982 in Brisbane, Austrailia.

sportscastercommonwealth

Filbert Bayi of Tanzania leading the 1974 Christchurch, New Zealand 1500 meters and setting a new world record of 3:32.20.  You can watch the exciting race here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjhC-1W9QTE

RUNNETH OVER

Some, including my own dearly departed mother, contend that its my mouth that does this.  I say that in recognition of what would have been her 76th birthday today.  Damn cigarettes.

I did run over this morning too.  My last 3 weeks have been in reverse order, 36, 31.5, 38.  I’m at 28.5 this week after tacking on an extra 2.5 to my daily seis y media, looking to go mid forties for the week.  Continuing the measured build up and feeling spot on.

For those that care the Competitor Group, managers of the wildly successful Rock N Roll series of events, has pulled its support of elite athletes.  They will no longer provide travel or hotel or appearance monies.  Says Competitor Group CEO Scott Dickey:  “Competitor Group is at it’s core a health and wellness company dedicated to promoting and enhancing an active lifestyle. Lifestyle is the key word, not Sport. Rock n Roll marathons have always been about the journey, the commitment, the personal dedication required to train and finish a half or full marathon. We’re not about how fast you complete the race, we’re about the fact that you showed up on the start line and the commitment one has made to complete the journey.”
**for full article go to www.tonireavis.com **

I say how sad.  A business group using our sport to build untold riches that can’t find a dime for the top athletes of said sport.  And so it goes.

nyc80

I’ve occasionally overfilled this 1980 NYC Marathon beer stein.

meadowlands87

And this U.S. Olympic Festival stein from 1987.

munchen72

This ceramic cup from the Munich Games is better suited as a shot glass.

bud80

1988 Seoul Olympic Stein from Budweiser.

auckland50The 1950 Empire Games were in Auckland, New Zealand.  One of my favorites.  In 1954 the games were renamed the British Empire and Commonwealth Games.  And later became just the Commonwealth Games.

 

WITH THE PROGRAM

Congratulations to my boy Luka Thor on his win at Saturday’s Bill Seymour Half Marathon.  And also to Ashley Miller who showed that Real Speed trumps all.  Her move way up to the half from her 1500 ways translated to the $500 for first overall female.

I’ve added another cat to NRGE.  Jerrod Anzalone had contacted me a couple of times expressing interest, he finally made it over for a run this weekend.  After the interview process I was still unsure of his jib.  I mean, after all, this guy is Really Nice.  A self coached runner (student of Pfitzinger and McMillan though) he debuted at 2:55 in Lincoln.  Its his potential that got him on the team.  And his juevos. Repeated contacts and a drive out shows me he’s serious.  After running with me and getting both barrels he didn’t flinch.  He fully understands the program and is ready for it.

Cranked out a tough 13 miler yesterday with my amazing Linda.  First 6.5 at casual and conversational pace, the second half spent hammering each other, Real Training, just like the good old days.

And now a few of my favorite programs:

20130903_085239

The 1944 Millrose Games.  Check out the military themed cover art, reflecting the times.

p2

 

The 1950 AAU Championships.  The Amateur Athletic Union was the precursor to The Athletics Congress (TAC) which would become USA Track & Field.

p3

The 1955 AAU Champs held at beautiful Folsom Field in Boulder.

p4Jim Ryun adorns the 1968 NCAA Championships program.

p5And back to 1950 with the AAU Indoor National Championships.

I’ve got dozens more of these, including Olympic Trials and Olympic Games and will delight in fetching a few out occasionally for your inspection and approval.