Monthly Archives: January 2014


A gal I used to work with was an enigma.  She ran marathon after marathon, winning most, sub 2:40s all.  She was finally busted, Mary Akor, shame on you.  Raised eyebrows are often harbingers of truth.  You see what seems incredible and it makes you wonder.

Its happening right here in Omaha too.   Need not be at a national level, cheaters know no bounds.  Damn the drugs and the users.  You’re the very worst of our sport.

Better hurry and register for Ni-Bthaska-Ke before the entry fee goes up tonight.  From a low $40 to still a deal at $45.  We’ve surpassed 100 thus far and are anticipating a record turnout.

The Two Rivers Twosome has already doubled our participation numbers from last year.  Still time to go to and register, keeping the entry at a bare $25.  You can also register at packet pick up and on race morning.  Packet pick up will be Thursday, February 13th at the Peak Performance located at 168th & West Center.

I recently heard from one of the top runners in Nebraska.  Won’t name names but had a very astute observation:
“Personally I would be a fan of only one club in Nebraska that aimed at getting the talent level in the state competitive nationally. Right now divided I don’t think our state is achieving that. But that’s just how things are now.”

Well yes we did enjoy that at one time.  Interesting suggestion and not one I’m personally in favor of any more.  Too many egos, personalities, and agendas to squeeze onto one team.   I think there is plenty of room for multiple clubs.  Having said that I do think there should be one club that attracts the Best Talent.   Just my opinion of course.

Feliz Vierenes and Giddyup Broncos!






Kaci Lickteig and Kyle Clouston will be competing in this weekend’s USA 100 Mile Trail Championships at Rocky Raccoon in Huntsville, TX.  Both were kind enough to take a moment from their busy schedules to answer a few questions.  Thanks to them both and Giddyup!

Will: Few national class marathoners have made such a quick jump to the  upper echelon of ultra trail running. When did it click with you that  this might be your sweet spot?

 Kaci: I have always been in love with cross country and being out in the woods. I did some small trail runs locally and had a blast. Then I signed up for the Psycho Wyco 50K in Feb. 2012. I had no idea what to expect and I just remember being so nervous for that race. I ended up running it and having the time of my life. It felt so exhilarating to run on single track trails next to trees and with so many like-minded happy people. It lit a fire that has since emerged into a full on passion for me.

 Will: I’ve been privileged to watch your development for the last 5 or
6 years. From our time on Team Nebraska to your Olympic Trials Marathon
qualifier to 100 Mile Trail National Championships. What is different
in your training than from when you focused exclusively on the marathon.

 Kaci: I have done less “speed” work and more quantity and sub-threshold runs. I love to run, and run and run. I honestly, I am just happier the farther I go. So, with ultra training I am doing less intense workouts, where I would normally have to have shorter runs to recover. I can now run 12-20 miles daily. I have been blessed with the ability to run back to back runs and a lot of mileage per week and not become injured. I have really learned to stay in tune with my body and to listen to it.

Will: Cognoscenti have you picked for a top 5 finish. Will you be
able to get out on the Rocky Raccoon course prior to Saturday’s race?
It sounds like it suits your style quite well.

 Kaci: You have always believed in me. I remember the first time we met and you knew that I was going to be a sub-3 marathoner and OTQ. That is something I will always respect. So, thank you for that. I will be able to see the course either Thursday late afternoon or Friday. It does fit my running style very well. I can’t wait to see what it will be like!

 Will: Do you have a “plan of attack” or will you let the race unfold
and adapt accordingly? Is there a strategy when it comes to being on
your feet that long?

 Kaci: I really like to go into a race with a few goals in mind, but I am still very flexible with those. Every ultra I run I go out remembering that it is going to be a long endurance event and I keep reminding myself of my mantra “run within your means”. I never want to feel like I am pushing too hard too soon. That will be for the last loop…giving everything I got left. The main thing about being on your feet that long is making sure you are staying hydrated and eating often. You can’t let your blood sugar get too low or it will start effecting how you think, feel, and respond to situations.

 Will: You are known for being able to consistently handle prodigious
miles. How does having your Doctorate in Physical Therapy impact your
training and recovery?

Kaci: It definitely has helped being an Physical Therapist and know the body’s anatomy and physiology. I can really focus on knowing how to fix problems before they become a true injury.

 Will: How many 100 milers have you run previously? I understand their
are enormous logistical considerations, do you have a mentor that has
helped prepare you for the nuances?

 Kaci: I have ran one other 100 miler – Black Hills last June. I have my training partner, Miguel Ordorica, who has helped me with figuring out traveling, hotels, rental cars, etc. We basically make a plan and work as a team to get everything lined up.

 Will: You were recently picked up by Pearl Izumi, congratulations on
that. Can you give them a shout out and tell us why you are happy with
their support?

 Kaci: I cannot be more thrilled to have Pearl Izumi as my sponsor! It was a blessing to have met Scott Jaime at The Bear Chase in Colorado last Sept. He is a renown ultra-runner and someone I highly respect and admire. I am blessed to have this great group of athletes as my teammates. And, even better the gear is amazing! If you haven’t tried on a pair of Pearl Izumi’s I recommend it!! (no I am not paid to say that either!)

Will: I know a lot of us are hoping you will be running the Lincoln
Marathon this May. Will you still keep 26.2 on your competitive
schedule in 2014. Any others? Plans to go after the 2:43 Olympic
Trials standard?

Kaci: I am planning on racing the Lincoln Marathon. My first goal is to get into Western States by the open slots that the Montrail Series has for the top 3 that place at certain races. Three of those races I am signed up for, Rocky Raccoon 100M, Lake Sonoma 50M, and Ice Age 50M. I would like to train competitively for Lincoln in the middle of training for those. I am always up for a challenge and will definitely be eyeing that sub 2:43 OT standard! If not this spring then possibly this fall…

Will: We all want to wish you good luck, great racing, and Giddyup!

Kaci:  I appreciate your support and everyone else’s! I love our running community and how much it is growing. I hope to make Nebraska proud. And GOOD LUCK to Kyle!!


Will:  I’ve nicknamed you “The Mechanic”.  Your thorough workman-like
approach to this race is nothing short of comprehensive.  How much
success at a 100 mile trail race is based on experience?

Kyle: Long run trail experience was an aspect that I underestimated going into last year. I thought overall running ability would make up for quality trail miles, it took about 5 miles into the race last year to realize I was wrong. That being said, I’ve had about 360 days to improve my trail feet and I’m confident my recent experience will lead to success this year.

Will:  This is your first 100 miler in a while.  You trained up to a
lifetime best 4:50 mile last summer, will you expect that newfound speed
to be an asset at some point?

Kyle:  Big time and a thank you to you, Will for helping me buy into that. Not too many coaches would be as willing as you’ve been to work on my speed in connection with 100 mile goals. All the Wednesday nights were big getting the kinks out of my stride. Improved speed has also been a big confidence boost. I’m not much of a math guy but I’m sure there are some far-fetched statistics that would show how improved speed at the mile would correlate on up to faster 100 mile times. I think it’s a common perception that 100 milers are a bunch of glorified hikers which isn’t completely wrong. However, there is a new breed of speedsters tackling 100 miles and setting course records all over the place.

Will:  You’ve done a bit of your training from the Bar None, how
beneficial has your training at Two Rivers State Park been?

Kyle:  Two Rivers has been beneficial as it’s a new trail for me which offers new challenges. As well as Two Rivers, I’d like to give a nod to the Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run course. By running that course, I feel pretty well prepared for anything the trail will throw at me down at Huntsville State Park. If people want to see what they’re made of on the trails, that’s the race course to find out around these parts.

Will:  You ran a 50 mile training run on Christmas Eve, one of the worst
days so far this winter.  Will you be calling up mental strength from
any other training runs or is it just a given?

Kyle:  That wasn’t the most enjoyable run I’ve ever done. You really don’t know how you’re going to respond mentally to the level of fatigue/pain that comes with running long until you face it head on. The more experiences at the breaking point and successes pushing through, the easier it is the next time. Between the weather and poor logistics on my part led to a lot of rough patches on that run. Being able to persevere gives me a lot of confidence to call on come this weekend.

Will:  You’ll be racing with some of the top ultra runners in America.
Any jitters toeing the line against the best of the best?

Kyle:  I couldn’t be happier about that aspect. I keep referencing last year but the more I think about this year, the more I realize I had my head up my ass last year. Last year, I had this laid back mentality that a 100 mile run was a leisure long run where being relaxed was paramount to my success. Being relaxed is important but this year I’m treating it like a competitive damn race! Having both men and women that are gunning for the North American trail record reaffirms that this is a Real Race and I need to do some Real Racing. I’ll certainly have jitters on the line but I’m grateful to have the opportunity to line up with the best. That’s what it’s all about, right?

Will:  Your NRGE mate Jerrod Anzalone is making the trip with you.  He’s been a steady training partner, how has that helped you prepare?

Kyle: Having Jerrod as a NRGE mate as well as a pacer has been great. As a teammate, I love his approach to running. His discipline, work ethic and business-like approach is greatly appreciated as well as contagious. These traits give me confidence that when things go south with 15 miles left to go, he’ll re-enforce his values as a runner on me and that will be the kick in the shorts I need to seal the deal. Anyone willing to take time out of their life to come run around in the woods at night with me shows a lot about their character. I’m sure we’ll know a little more about each other come this time next week.

Will:  Do you have any specific goals outside of simply finishing?  We
mere mortals can’t even begin to comprehend how long it may take.

Kyle: 20 hours (12 min miles) is my “A” goal, 24 is my “B” and finishing is “C”. Ideally, I’ll knock the first couple laps in well under goal pace. I don’t want to say I’m banking time cause that’s not always a good approach but it’s unrealistic to prepare for even splits. This will also allow cushion as I’m sure there will be some power walking the last lap or two. I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth here but I’m confident in my approach. Pete has been big in helping me prepare from a pacing stand point. Thank you to you, Linda, the Mates, “The Band” and especially my parents. Listening to my bs for the last year takes a different personality and I’m blessed to be surrounded by the people that I am.

Will:  Is there a link we can follow to track your progress?  Wishing
you all the best, good luck, great racing, and Giddyup!

Kyle: Please let me first thank our sponsors for their kind support of this opportunity.  Gretna Family Health, Premier Physical Therapy, Dynamic Physical Therapy, LLC and Stodden Physical Therapy!  There are a couple different ways to follow me. None of which are perfect. The race web site is: 

Last year they provided splits periodically. 

The link above will provide updates on the leaders

Also, my parents will be posting on my Facebook page often throughout the day. That will give the most detailed info so I’d recommend staying up on that.



Yesterday’s column asked you to take a look at your annual competition schedule, or devise one if you haven’t already.

This is for the Real Competitors.  And not as easy to do as it might sound.  Sacrifices to be made.  Time in training spent away from family and/or friends.  Money spent on entry fees and sometimes travel and more.  Other races missed.  The physical toll itself.  The rolling of the dice that high level training will intersect fortuitously with goal races.  And while I believe you make your own luck, it doesn’t hurt to have a Guardian on your shoulder, keeping away the stray sneeze or hidden walnut or ice patch or whatever else Fate casts your way.  That’s where your Good Clean Living comes in, aka Karma.

Where are you racing then?  That is a question a lot of us are asking ourselves right now.  Especially in light of the Lincoln Marathon being our USATF Nebraska Association Championships.  If you ran Houston you could probably pull off another peak performance at Lincoln.  Qualifying this by reaffirming my philosophy that you should only run 2 marathons a year.  Or, better, you can only run 2 Quality marathons a year.

If Boston is your priority, history beckons so you’d better roll it hard and fast.  You won’t have ample recovery time to come back and run Lincoln with the respect it is due.  Every single marathon deserves your utmost, only when you retire from them does that ring truest.

Walter Key.  Thank you for making the Lincoln Marathon your spring peak.  Walt was already entered into the OKC Marathon on April 27th but changed his plan to accommodate his NRGE mates’ quest for the team title at our association championships.

This is our Priority.




I would have never dreamed of stepping into a thrift shop when I was a West O’holean.  Craig’s List was only No Frills.  Wouldn’t have discovered Carharts.  Never exhilarated with the thrill of The Big Hit.   I was hooked the first time I found that absolute steal.  A wind chime obvious in its Native American origin, found I’ll not tell where at an unusual thrift along some lost highway in western Nebraska.  I was dreaming its ancient sounds as it hung in the stillness of the shop, wondering if I had the money for such a treasure.  Remembered the unused wad of Attention Deficit money, considered a fair price and made ready to offer up to $50.  Paused and asked how much.  The abuelita behind the counter asked “How about 2 dollars?”

Circuitous route to my latest find.  A 16′ X 4′ X a couple hundred pounds original slate chalk board.  From an old school in Wahoo, off Craig’s List for $25.

I’m a big picture guy.  If I can see, or dream a story or tableau in its entirety, execution is easy.  Its when I have to use these up and down arrows or scroll buttons that I tend to lose myself.  Personal foible.  The chalkboard will hang in the barn and on it will be described a well thought out approach to everything from seed starting to transplanting to projected maturity and harvest and on to the canning jars or freezer.

The point is you too should have a big picture when it comes to your training and racing for 2014.  If you’ve a calm mind (don’t drown daily in post it notes and lost reminders) you might not need to present the entire year at a glance.  But it would certainly benefit you still to sit down and plan out your year.  Macro cycle, meso cycle, micro cycle.  Periodization.  Peak Performances.  Personal Bests.

Chalk it up to experience.


NRGE Honorary Member Gerry Lindgren battles Steve Prefontaine.  My old buddy is still kicking it in Waikiki.



Several of our NRGE mates took to the streets for the No Frills 5 Mile on Saturday.  First race of the year where we weren’t battling 30-50 mph winds.

Twelve new single age records were set.  Twelve!  None more impressive than our own Mike Wasson‘s 29:24.  At 48 years of age he age graded 26:07 for the overall 10 points.  LRC Racing’s Jason Zakaras was first across the line in a fast 26:24, Team Nebraska’s Justin Mollak was next in 26:44.  They moved to number 4 and number 8 respectively on the all time non age graded No Frills list.

Three USATF clubs making the drive to Plattsmouth to race each other.  Every single NRGE athlete understands the drill and competes proudly in our uniform.  Other than Jason and Justin I saw no other team kits displayed but am pretty sure there were other Team Nebraska and LRC runners in the race.  Whats up with that?  Be loud!  Be proud!

Our boy Pete Kostelnick had a breakthrough race finishing 5th overall.  And emerged, along with Kyle Clouston and Jerrod Anzalone, as leaders of Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  We had a team meeting over lunch at The Lodge and elected our 2014 officer slate.  Congratulations to Kyle on being voted President, Jerrod is our new Vice President, and Pete our Treasurer.  I remain on board as head coach, chief instigator, or some other such vagary.

Back to Mike, and Pete.  Jeff Marshall has had a stranglehold on the age graded No Frills Series title for the last few years.  My instructions to Mike prior to the gun were simple, run a sub 29:30 and the 10 points are yours.  He topped Jeff (age 52, 30:57) by 1:33, enough for a :31 age graded advantage.    And Pete.  He has had his motivation right in front of him all winter.  Named Jerrod.  Pete has been chasing him, bearing down, gritting his teeth, getting fitter in the process.  Declared early Saturday morning that this was to be the day.  And he proved  just that by a scant fifteen seconds.  Jerrod could have excused the performance based on heavy legs, chose rather to congratulate Pete on the newly carved notch.  Mates first, competitors second, friends third.  Any other order and it is lost on me.

Stacy Mangers celebrated her 48th birthday finishing 3rd o/a female.  34:28 a nice opener after taking most all of 2013 off with injuries.  She’ll be fittest when it matters most, bet me a dollar!

And finally, I had a darned good effort myself.  Pretty consistent miles, near the red line for the entire race, not a single falter, closed with dignity.  36:17 that age graded to 30:12, good for now but not for long.

photo (4)

Mike Wasson gets his final pre race instructions.  Jerrod just to his left, always listening and learning.  I was the only cat in short sleeves.

photo (3)

Pete is developing Real Speed and is not happy at all that there were 4 finishers ahead of him.  He’s coming to get you.  Really he is.

photo (2)Jerrod has been putting in mega miles to satisfy his charge of running the last 40 miles with Kyle at this coming weekend’s USA 100 Mile Trail Champs in Huntsville, TX.

photo (1)This old hippy still has some leg kick, my form starting to improve with the increased mileage of the last few weeks.

All photos courtesy of Kyle Clouston.  He has been driving over from Lincoln to join Linda in supporting our mates on race morning.   He’ll make a great President for NRGE.






Mason Williams 1970 acoustic classic, cat could pick.

One of the things necessary to be a classic is the ability to stick around.  Longevity gives a perspective that often escapes youthful bluster.   Many sunrises offer many life experiences, and man ain’t that that the very definition of living after all.  “Just glad to be here” is my standard reply when asked how I’m doing.  North of the Good Mother’s grass.

As I’m looking at my 2014 running plans memories of some of the best races from over the years come to mind.  This year on April 19th will find the 36th annual Crescent City Classic, one of the fastest 10K courses in the world and one of my very favorite races.  New Orleans knows how to throw a race and a party like no other city.  I ran the race several times back in the 90s.  Joel and I renting a Lincoln Towncar, driving the 350 miles of I-10, barely able to see over the steering wheel in the huge car, no need for the gangsta lean.  Musky room above Bourbon Street, flooded with wafting gumbo, music and barkers, and the general commerce of debauchery.  Young and healthy men with appetites for the racing and the racy.  Yeah, New Orleans in April was a Spring Classic and I’ll bet it still is.

One of the cool things about CCC was that they always had a world class field.  Mark Nenow ran 27:22 in 1984 for a World Best.  Another great feature was their awards structure for the open runners.  Top 500 finishers received the official race poster.  Number 501?  Mwah, mwah.  I usually ran ~35:00 and that was good enough to guarantee some artwork.


Crescent City Classic.  It was a gas.


1992 poster highlighting the oak trees in front of Tulane University.


1994 celebrating the Jazz heritage.


1995 showcasing the French Quarter.



Keeping with the Dolly Parton column title theme.  She and I and former 25K World Record holder Joseph Kariuki have a story together.  She one of the biggest country voices, he one of the biggest racing talents, and me the bonding agent.   I’m never at a loss for a tale.

Posting the musings a little later recently as running has trumped writing’s card.  Thanks to everyone that checks in daily for allowing.

Happy to announce Complete Nutrition as a Community Partner with the Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run.  Be sure and stop by their booth on race day.
Complete Nutrition Logo-JPEG (1)


Coach Han and students at the Bar None training table.  These three lassies will be looking to re-write our USATF Nebraska Association throws records.  And a pretty nice security detail in the meantime.

Craig Christians posts the following age records from the venerable No Frills Racing Series, petitions for competition to challenge.  At least one may go down this Saturday.

Anne Medeiros 50 35:44 1/22/1994
Gary Julin 46 29:09 1/22/1994
Anna Fisher 34 33:29 3/12/1994
Cyrus Huffman 58 31:36 3/12/1994
Jim Manners 61 40:46 3/12/1994
Anna Fisher 35 34:42 12/10/1994
Karina Bird 28 36:14 12/24/1994
James Schrader 17 29:33 1/28/1995
Bill Monahan 52 29:52 3/11/1995
Jim Manners 63 42:13 1/13/1996

Ever had a Wahoo Weiner?  I just left the Wahoo Locker, their world famous weiners in hand.  I know, chuckle chuckle.

Need some new running shoes?  Though much has changed in the last 40 years the basic fact remains that most shoes are good for 300-500 miles.  Be sure and visit our friends at Peak Performance to help you pick out the best shoe that’s right for you!





It will be a little creakier this time, I’m sure.  More aches and new pains.  Fewer ice baths, more Epsom Salt soaks.  Back to napping.  Glucosamine Chondroiton with the morning coffee.  Advil as needed.

I’m going public and declaring I’m training up for the Lincoln Half.  While training a handful of my mates.  I’ll be putting myself through the same workouts, as I have always done.  McLatchie/Killer Coach hybrid number I don’t even remember now.

It will be interesting as Kyle will be joining the program after a brief post Rocky Raccoon hiatus.   Pete is training up for Brew to Brew first and will hop in afterwards.  That’s what I like about our runners, enjoying their specificity and still ready to take a couple of bulls by their horns.


Kyle’s toes likely have seen better days.  This is what it looks like to train for a 100 Mile Trail National Championships.

20140122_115359These hang in the house.  The horn on the right is Team Nebraska, the one on the left is Lincoln Running Co. Racing.  I’m throwing NRGE right smack in the middle.



Working and working on the word work.

Ramping up efforts for this summer’s garden.  Seeds have been ordered and received from The Natural Gardening Company.  Starter kits in place, over sized chest freezer purchased ($60 at New Life Thrift, score), visions of various voluptuous veggies dancing in my head.

Getting things lined out on the race management front too.  The Two Rivers Twosome 10K Couples Run has already doubled from last year’s inaugural effort, putting the R in running and romance.  Sponsored by Victoria’s Secret and Bakers Candies.

Ni-Bthaska-Ke just getting our print media rolled out.  Packet pick up and registrations for both events will be held at Omaha’s premiere running store, Peak Performance.

Some interesting television recently, I especially enjoyed “Chasing Shackelton” about a group re-enacting Sir Ernest Shackelton‘s amazing experience aboard the Endurance.  Several great books on the subject, one of the most inspiring stories in the history of mankind.

Omaha!  Omaha!  Even the mildest of football fans now know about our fair city.  My dear sweet Allison maybe appreciates it just a wee bit more.  In her own words “It was an amazing season with the Broncos. We fed everybody from the employees who worked at the stadium to John Elway and Payton Manning to The Fray..unforgettable and I’m ready for next season! ”  Just a couple weeks left to her heady ride to the Super Bowl.  I’m so proud of you dear!


Collage.  Top left- Kevin Hanson and I getting some instruction in origami at the 2002 Hanji Aoki Chiba International Ekiden in Japan.   Top right- I show my work to Charlotte Thomas as our interpreter looks on.  Charlotte’s grandfather was Sir Ernest Shackelton.  It was thrilling for me to fly across the world and back with her, she answering many questions I had about her famous grandfather.  It was pretty cool sharing a cedar cabin with Kevin for a week too.  Bottom pic- All the teams assembled for the group photo.   Look closely and you can’t miss me or our USA team.   I would carry the American flag at the next morning’s opening ceremonies, an honor I’ll never forget.

20140121_085136You’ll note that we offer race day registration but not chip timing for those waiting until race morning.  I didn’t agree with it at first but after finding out that all of the Lincoln Track Club events have adopted similar protocol I couldn’t argue with our timing vendor.



Winner Serena Burla did it in 1:10:48.  Twentieth place finisher Rene Baillie also did it in 1:14:55.  In between there were 18 other female runners that qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon by hitting the sub 1:15:00 half marathon standard.   The Houston Half Marathon is fast folks.  The women’s race also heralded in the newest generation of young stars, seven of the top 10 are 26 or younger.  As it always is, as it always should be, youth is served.

There are outliers though.  Thirty eight years old, Meb took it to the young studs by winning his 22nd national title in 1:01:23.  Fourteen of the top 18 men are 28 or younger, the top 22 finishers in under 1:04:00, 32 finished under 1:05:00, good enough for the Men’s Olympic Trials Standard.  Looking pretty darned good.

Luka Thor, age 27,  was the only Nebraskan in the race finishing 58th in 1:07:42.

That’s why I always dig our national champs.  You take a local stud like Luka, put him in a national caliber field, and the narrative on what yet needs be done is clear as a bell.

NRGE made another trip to the Manawa 10K on Saturday morning.  Our mates battled the brutal conditions, the competition, and each other.  We got a little fired up when one of the racers referred to my kit as a costume.  Keep feeding us, we like it, it makes us hungrier.



Jerrod Anzalone (bright green), Walter Key to his right, and Pete Kostelnick furthest right blast off with the command.  Your top 3 finishers had concluded a 12 mile training run prior to the 6.2 mile tempo portion of the morning’s run.  Stacy Mangers and I sporting our colorful cotton t-shirt.  Individualized kits, one of the rules for NRGE is that there are no rules outside of USATF membership.  Quite the pendulous leap eh?  Glad we have your attention now.  We’re taking our merry little troupe down to Plattsmouth this coming Saturday, see you there.

Run Guru Says and Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC proudly endorse Democrat David Domina in his bid for the Nebraska U.S. Senate Seat.  One of Nebraska’s most prominent trial lawyers, born in Cambridge, grew up as a rancher, and still one at heart.   And a buddy of mine and Linda’s.