Monthly Archives: November 2013


“Sweet Jesus, one toque over the line.  Sitting down town in a rail way station, one toque over the line.”

Today my dear sweet Allison starts her professional career as the Denver Broncos Pastry and Baking Chef.  Just past her 19th birthday.  Extremely satisfying because she has taken up a passion of mine and taken it to the next level.  Our time in the kitchen over her childhood will forever bond us in the tastiest of ways.


Alli will have to learn how to deal with her own staff.  Four years of advanced Spanish won’t hurt. Her good people skills a bonus too, she much softer than I.   I’m wishing her all the success she deserves.  And a handsome quarterback with a sweet tooth…..

Man do I sympathize with Alec Baldwin.   Dealing with this nut job with a pretty face and pure black heart.  Her charming smile as convincing as her intent is evil.  So sincere and believable no matter how far off the crazy train tracks the truth reveals her to be.  I hope he’s seen the last of her.


Brewer and Shipley’s album Tarkio.  The song isn’t about chefs at all after all.  What was I thinking in the early 70s?



  • 2008 US NATIONAL CHAMPION 50K-2:55:05 (Championship Record)
  • 2008 US NATIONAL CHAMPION 100K-6:56:57 (Course Record)
  • MEMBER US 100km TEAM 2008, 2009, 2010
  • 2009 & 2010 US NATIONAL CHAMPION 50 km
    ***** finished 2nd to Good Mate James McGown!

I first met Michael Wardian over 10 years ago.  He’s one of my old buddies.  His occupation is what initially caught my attention.  As an international ship broker, he mainly does scheduling transfers of those huge shipping containers you see.  Fill them, ship them, refill them, reship them, repeat.  In the meanwhile he runs, and runs, and runs.  What really fascinated me on our first meeting though was his tale of the Marathon des Sables, the Toughest Footrace on Earth. One hundred fifty six miles across the Sahara Desert.  The Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race has to be a close second.

Michael is also one of the quietest, most humble, nicest guys you’ll ever meet.  Not that it really matters in this context but worth noting nonetheless.

Which begs the question.  Is it so important in competitive athletics to be considered a “nice guy or girl?”  Plain and simple its not.  If you are genuinely nice well ain’t that wonderful.  If your true and Real nature is otherwise, you better roll with it.   You try and play by other’s rules and you’re doomed.  To thine own self be true.  In either instance, you’re either In It To Win It, or you’re not.  Let that be the athletic measuring stick you are judged by, period.

For Michael’s incredible double he will run the San Antonio Rock N Roll Marathon in the morning and then fly to the Las Vegas Rock N Roll Marathon (4:30 pm start time).   He will be providing me with a race (x2) recap Sunday evening or Monday morning.  You will be amazed.


You can meet Michael and test your bad ass self at next August’s Trans Gaspesia.





Our Good Mother has provided quite the symphony this fall.  Or maybe it is always like this but I was too busy to notice.

We have no less than 15 varieties of trees at the Bar None.  I’ve danced among them rake in hand, gathering and hoarding, earth to earth best after all.  What has been most remarkable is the perfect orchestration.  Each one’s colorful carpet laid neatly and quickly and individually.  No two trees on the same day, a tree it seems, every day.  And still, they fall…  Siempres mas bailando!

You know who they are.  You marvel at them.  You’re inspired by them.  They’re crazier than you and that lets you cozy up to your own less glaring manias.

Those cats that run marathons weekend after weekend.  Or further.  Let’s not forget Pete Kostelnick’s epic RAGBRAI run over 6.5 days.

An interesting study out of Denmark would suggest it might be merely mortal.  I hope you’ll read the very quick article,  Here is the excerpt I find most important:
“The subjects were in their 40s and while not competitive athletes, they were experienced; all had completed 80 or more marathons, and at the time were running about 35 miles a week.”

Non-competitive.  They were training for a week of marathon a day, seven days, seven marathons.  On 35 miles a week.  In It To Finish It.  Yawn.

Marathon Legend Michael Wardian announced today that he is going to run two marathons, no big deal for him.  Except this.  He is, as is his approach for every race, In It To Win It.  Ah, but guru you say, he’s been a national class athlete for over a decade, what makes this so extraordinary?

He’s running them both this Sunday.


Michael Wardian, the most prolific competitive marathoner of this generation.   Brian Sypal’s national class twin?


Happy Veteran’s Day to all my fellow vets.  Hard to believe that it was only 35 years ago that I was a young boatswain’s mate.

Young and tough, my standard line is that I could whip you then and I can whip you now.

Proud to say that my dad served in Korea as well.

We had a Bar None NRGE run on Saturday.  Tammy Consbruck, Jerrod Anzalone, Kyle Clouston, Lindsey Brezenski, Linda and me and Jeff Jensen.  Brave runners all amidst the flurry of constant gun fire, not for the faint of heart out on Our Little Slice.  And nary a lighthouse to be seen.  Following the run we were entertained and enlightened by Mike Hajek-Jones.  Regaled us with tales of Real Running back when it was something special.   Mike knows more about the history of running in Nebraska than you do.  And me too.  And way back in the day he was way faster than you.  And me too.

Speaking of popping a few off, Linda’s dear, sweet Tom stopped by yesterday afternoon with his Browning semi-automatic.  I admitted that I was rusty, hadn’t done any target shooting in a year.  The pressure was on after watching him not miss 10 in a row.   I steeled myself and proceeded to knock off five out of five.  Confident and content that I can still defend myself, my family, my property, and my country if needs be.  Once a Vet, Always a Vet.



One of the perks I enjoyed during my years of volunteer service with USATF was upgraded freebies from the national office, races, individuals, and teams.


These singlets represent the 2004,  2008, and 2012 Olympiads.  The uniforms are changed with each Olympic quadrennium.  When named as a team leader or coach to an international traveling team you receive the same kit as the athletes. 20131107_124125

These jackets are pretty cool too though I hardly ever wear them.  The one on the bottom left is from the 1996 Olympiad.


Another of my favorites is this jacket given to me by the Boston Athletic Association for my work on the 2008 USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon.20131107_124550This is the official 2008 Ethiopian Olympic kit.  Athletes and administrative staff have a long tradition of trading uniform pieces when at international competitions.  This one was gifted to me by old buddy Hussein Makke.

Registrations are already coming in for next April’s Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run.  Be sure and take advantage of the low $30 November entry fee by signing up today! keyword 2014 Ni-Bthaska-Ke



From those madcaps over at wikipedia: “A rule of thumb is a principle with broad application that is not intended to be strictly accurate or reliable for every situation.”

I decided to throw this title out today in response to an intelligent (Gasp!) question on our Nebraska Association LDR facebook page.  When considering the proposed rules amendments described in yesterday’s column Jimmie “Lucky” Doherty pondered  “What happens if one of these mandates are not followed?  Is there any teeth on these resolutions?”

My reply was as accurate as can be, rule of thumb wise.  ” In our USA, Regional, and Association Championships to be sure. USATF Sanctioned events, most likely. Sandhills marathon, for example, probably not.”

Now now now, I know there are several of you already picking the lace out of the shadows.  This was not an affront to the Sandhills Marathon.  A unique concept that had great interest for me at one point.  I endorsed mates going out the first couple of years (winning going far away).  Sandhills has limited entry, another thing that lends charm to it.  Andy Pollok has done a good job of creating a novelty, niche event.  Maybe some of the best awards in the entire state.  Point to Point.  And therein lies my point.

Let this be a hue and cry to all those that would take up the call.

What we really need in another Nebraska marathon is a flat, point to point, USATF Certified race course. Legitimate performances that can be used as Boston Marathon qualifiers.   You’d sell out 1000 entries in a minute.

Me, I’m just twiddling my thumbs.  Or not.

20131104_142136This mountain of color took a couple of hours to amass.  Great core work!

20131106_121705And then moved, joining the cut grass and food scraps and chicken poop, in my wind row compost pile.  It’ll be ready for amendment duties in a year. Patience is a virtue on the farm.  Something I was never very good with, becoming easier now.

20131101_154426 (1)Half of next year’s garden.  Thanks to my Good Neighbor Tom for the tractor hours.  Weather permitting I’ll get the rest turned this weekend.

Let’s make a deal!  I’ve lowered the asking price on 18312 Ontario St. to $365,000, a $35K reduction.  You can take a look at my former digs here:

West Bay Woods.   Richerville.    Bar None.   Realville.







One of the first arguments I received when promoting USATF locally was that there is never any good to come out of bureaucracy.  My position then and now is that we do need rules to govern the conduct of our sport.  Here are four proposed rule changes that affect, well, almost all of us that are Real Runners.

Rule 144.9.  Interesting to me because I set up water and sponging stations on the track during the USATF Club T&F National Championships at Burke Stadium in 2012.  

Item 25 – Amend Rule 144.9 as follows:
(a) In races of 5000 Meters through 10,000 Meters, ((During hot weather)) the meet organizers may
furnish competitors with water and sponging stations ((in races of 5000 Meters an longer)) on the
track and in off-track events.
(b) In Track Events longer than 10,000m, refreshments, water and sponging stations shall be provided.
Refreshments may be provided either by the Games Committee or the athlete and shall be placed so
that they are easily accessible to, or may be put by authorized persons into the hands of, the athletes.
Refreshments provided by the athletes shall be kept under the supervision of officials designated by
the Games Committee from the time that the refreshments are lodged by the athletes or their

Rule 160.7 important to those of use that put on track meets.

Amend Rule 160.7 as follows:
NOTE: The 1500m start line may be extended out from the outside bend lane to the extent that the
same synthetic surface is available.

And Rule 165.1 for those of us concerned about legitimate times.

Item 42 – Amend Rule 165.1 as follows:
Four methods of timing are official, hand timing, fully automatic timing, video timing, and transponder timing as set forth in this Rule. A timing device that operates automatically at either the start or finish, but not at both, shall be considered to produce neither hand times nor fully automatic times and ((should)) shall not be used to obtain official times.


And for you mountain goats, Rule 252:
Add Rule 252 as follows: 

1. Course:
(a) Mountain Races take place on terrain that is mainly off-road, unless there is significant elevation
gain on the route in which case a macadamized surface is acceptable;
(b) The course should not include dangerous sections;
(c) Competitors shall not use supplementary aid(s) to assist their progress on course;
(d) The profile of the course involves either considerable amounts of ascent (for mainly uphill races),
or ascent/descent (for up and down races with start and finish at the same level);
(e) The average incline should include a minimum of 5% (or 50 meters per kilometer) and not exceed
20% (or 200 meters per kilometer);
(f) The highest point on the course should not exceed 3,000 meters altitude;
(g) The entire course shall be clearly marked and include kilometer marks;
(h) Natural obstacles or challenging points along the course should be additionally marked;
(i) A detailed course map must be provided along with a profile using the following scales:
Altitude: 1/10.000 (1cm = 100m) Distance: 1/50.000 (1cm = 500m)
2. Race Types:
(a) Classic mountain races:
For Championships, the recommended distances and total amount of ascent should be

Mainly Uphill Up & down races Distance
Distance Ascent Distance Ascent
Senior Men 12km 1200m 12km 600m/750m
Senior Women 8km 800m 8km 400m/500m
Junior Men 8km 800m 8km 400m/500m
Junior Women 4km 400m 4km 200m/250m
Boys (Youth age group) 5km 500m 5km 250m/300m
Girls (Youth age group) 3km 300m 3km 150m/200m Proposed Amendments

(b) Long Distance mountain races:
Long distance mountain race courses include distances of approximately 20km to 42,195km, with a
maximum elevation of 4,000m. Participants under the age of 18 should not compete at distances
exceeding 25km.
(c) Relay Mountain Races:
(d) Time Trial Mountain Races:
Mountain races with individual start times at various intervals are considered time trials. The results
are ordered by the individual finish times.


Well that was a call out of the blue.   Polite conversation.   Then the screw turned.   I suppose I should be flattered.  But that gets you nowhere.

Pretty amazing that I would be reached out to with a request to help Team Nebraska’s competitive schedule.  I care about athletes, NRGE first, Team Nebraska second, everyone else next not by far.  Even higher on my list of priorities is complete adherence to the rules of fair competition.   I will do everything in my power to make sure the spirit of my beloved USA Club Championships program remains uncorrupted.  So I verbally and succinctly described the resolution to the conundrum.   And when asked to put it all down on paper, I politely declined.  But I will be keeping my eyes on things for the next several weeks.


I caught a whiff just in time.


And this too from yesterday.   I received a forwarded email from my Lake Zorinsky Security Camera Initiative “partner in crime”, Michelle Bandur.  Well respected she, and deservedly so.  Is this why I am edgy sometimes?  You decide. The forward in its entirety, another example, coincidentally (?),  of bullying by an anonymous (not so much) coward:

“Do you remember writing a story about 2 guys trying to make Lake Zorinsky safer by raising money and racing the Lincoln Half-Marathon? To refresh your memory, the “event” was called the “Will vs Bill Camera Challenge.” Will Lindgren and Bill Weeks said that they would be raising money to put up cameras around Lake Zorinsky since there are thefts and car break-ins each year. This was in March-May, 2013. As you know, it is now October. That’s 5-7 months. Are there any cameras up around Lake Z.? Nope. Not one. Seems like PLENTY of time has passed to get some cameras put up. I’m not sure where this becomes fraud, but it sure seems like it is headed in that direction. Stealing thousands of dollars from people who are trying to help the community seems like something that should be brought to the public’s attention. If you are not the person whom I would notify of this long delay of action, please send me the contact information of whoever I should get a hold of regarding this disturbing issue. -Disgruntled Athlete”

As easy as it is to recognize my own writing style, I can tell you exactly who wrote this.  Disturbed? Absolutely!  Disgruntled?  That too!

Transparency is the only answer to such ludicrous and laughable charges.  First of all there is exactly $1060 in the account.  Of those funds I personally donated $250.  The money resides in a special account set up by the Omaha Running Club.  Their capacity as a 501 (c)(3) will help keep the project above these types of asinine criticisms and eventually ramp up momentum on the project to completion.  Anyone that has ever dealt with bureaucratic red tape knows that 5-7 months is typical.  And we will get this done. Don’t doubt it for a minute.

This one came from a horse’s ass.  You heard it from the horse’s mouth.






Or, Incognito.  Richie Incognito to be exact.  What a tough guy!  And smart too!  Able to rally other weak minded fools into bullying Jonathan Martin.  Setting up situations where Martin felt ostracized, criticized, insulted, and demeaned.  Ha Ha!  What a laugh!!

This story strikes a real chord with me.  Having dealt with my own bullies over a lifetime.  I thought high school was difficult.  But I found none more villainous than right here in Omaha as an adult.  That makes bullying particularly heinous.  When grown adults amuse themselves by instigating situations to harm. Either physically or emotionally.  And to do it anonymously on social media, “I helped wit dat!“, it takes a brave and proud person to hide behind false screen names, Rundown indeed.   I stood toe to toe (mouth to mouth) against my antagonists, and I accept full responsibility for where I sit today.  A proud, unbeaten, principled man.  And the bullies?  They’ll roast in their own special hell.  Last Laugh!

Now to the running news.  Good Mate Kyle Clouston finished a fine fourth overall at yesterday’s Beer & Bagel.  One of the toughest courses of the fall, the chips fell just where I thought they would.  No one beating Ivan Marsh.  Ivan bested Jason Zakaras and Tom Woods of the Lincoln Running Co. Racing Team, those two cats have raced lights out this year.  I texted Ivan after the race “Get the win today?”.  His short reply “What do you think? :)”  Followed by “I had quite the battle with Jason Zakaras most of the way.  ‘Real Racing’ baby.”  Good man Ivan.  Good Man.  NRGE’s Medical Director  Dr. Bill Weeks also danced with Bigfoot, taking 5th in a very competitive 55-59 age group.

NRGE is also happy to announce the addition of Tammy Consbruck to the team.  Tammy epitomized  hard work, dedication, and desire during our Wednesday Night Track Work this year.  She saw great improvements dropping her post collegiate 5K pr by nearly 2 minutes.  She’s got the right stuff and I’m excited about her potential.

Linda & I watched the live broadcast of the NYC Marathon yesterday.  We celebrated Excellence with winners Geoffrey Mutai and Priscah Jeptoo.

Meanwhile back at the Bar None….

Life is beautiful.






The New York City Marathon is this weekend.  Here’s a tale you’ll not hear anywhere else.

Flashback to the first week in December, 2008.  Reno, Nevada hosted the USATF annual meetings.  Dirty stinking town, the week long event was held at the Silver Legacy Resort, a casino of course.  That allowed smoking, everywhere.  Whoever approved Reno’s bid to host must have gotten something very nice for Christmas.

But what, may you ask, does Reno have to do with New York City?  Just this.

During my tenure as the WLDR National Championships Chair I solicited, entertained, and awarded bids for our champs program.  That is one of the ways I built relationships with almost every race director of note in the country.  One of my strongest doctrines was loyalty to events that historically supported our women.

In Reno I had received bids from both the Twin Cities Marathon and the New York City Marathon for the 2010 National Champs designation.  Twin Cities had hosted our champs for many consecutive years. They came in with their usual solid bid, ~$125,000 in prize purse.  Important to note that Twin Cities Executive Director Virginia Brophy-Achman was the Women’s LDR Chair at the time, I reported directly to her.

Mary Wittenberg is the President and CEO of the New York Road Runners and Race Director for the NYC Marathon.  She has a lot of resources ($$) and a lot of clout with athletes.  Her bid for the champs came in at a sweet $250,000.  Double that of Twin Cities.  And that put me in a pickle.  NYC also wanted to host the Men’s Marathon National Champs in 2010, but offered a prize purse similar to TCM.  Why?  Because NYC wanted to host the USA Women’s Olympic Trials Marathon in 2012 (which we eventually awarded to Houston.)

So while negotiating a slippery tightrope between Minneapolis and New York City I wrangled a deal that worked for everyone.  A personal pinnacle of achievement if you will.  In 2009 the Women would contest Twin Cities, the Men would race NYC.  The 2010 Women’s Champs would go to NYC and the Men would be competing at Twin Cities.  Everybody gets paid and large!

Sitting in those closed door meetings, going toe to toe with the most powerful people in our sport in the country, maybe the world.  Bending them to my will for the benefit of our athletes.  Heady times to be sure.

And you wonder where my swagger comes from?


In October of 2008 I had the privilege of getting to know Allan Steinfeld very well (4th from left.)  National Distance Running Hall of Fame member, former NYRR President and Race Director for NYC Marathon.  We were USA Team Leaders for the World Champs Half Marathon in Rio de Jaineiro.   We are pictured here about half way up Parque Nacional da Tijuca, en route to the famed Cristo Redentor.  Swagger?  You bet!