Monthly Archives: March 2014

PRIMAVERA PALETTE

Spring springing and birds singing
No snow snowing, big winds blowing
Seedlings popping, work never stopping
Oh what fun at the old Bar None.

The Bar None is an empty palette, we’ve been eager to get our strokes going.  Our first Spring revealing possibilities of aesthetics and self sustainability.  Hope springing eternal, always the optimist.

I was optimistic about our mates racing this past weekend.  The NRGE Trail Show ventured to Lincoln for the Wilderness Park Run For The Bridges.  Kyle Clouston tackled LRC Racing in the Half Marathon.  LRC masters stud Thomas Woods (42) took the win in 1:24:56, Brian Wandzilak 2nd in 1:25:57, and Kyle next in 1:26:36.  Brian Kelley (55, 1:29:50), Darin Schlake (44, 1:32:52), and Jason Schmaderer (41, 1:32:57) were the next three across giving LRC Racing masters runners 4 of the top 6 spots.   NRGE’s Stacy Mangers was 3rd overall female and first master despite losing quite a bit of time trying to find her way after getting lost.  Something that seems to be an accepted theme in trail running.

Our mate Jeremy Morris took the Overall in the accompanying marathon in 3:02:29.  Miguel Ordorica (3:24:15), Todd Nott (3:24:45) and Kaci Lickteig (3:26:06) were the top 4 finishers.

Ben Cohoon took his wildly successful Leprechaun Chase to Des Moines this weekend, Nebraskan’s Colin Morrisey (3rd, 32:44) and Cory Logsdon (4th, 32:58) had good showings.

Nebraska Run Guru Elite is proud to announce our newest mate, Shain Kephart.  Shain and I share a strong bond in training philosophies and appreciation for the historical aspect of our sport.  He’s also a hell of a lot tougher than you so a very nice fit for us.
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I asked Shain to name the three people on his list to beat this year.  His answer earned him an A+, a hell yes, and a Giddyup!

We also enjoyed the company Saturday morning of one of the top female distance runners nobody knows about (ssshhh! not yet).  A nice run with her giving me the opportunity to Tell The Truth about distance running and racing in Nebraska.   And extend an invitation to join NRGE of course.

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Linda was off Thursday and Friday for Spring Break.  We took the opportunity to take down an old wall/flower box and replace it with this Peace Garden.  Buffalo grass and fresh herbs to come.  Iconography is Left to Right- Bar None, Peace (total nuclear disarmament), and Linda’s stylized rendition of a Hopi Sun.  All materials re-purposed from other dismantled on site projects.

FUNDRAISING FRIDAY

The Lake Zorinsky Security Camera initiative may be stalled but not forgotten.  Though I no longer tread my former dojo it is still dear to me.  To resuscitate awareness the 2014 Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Runs will make a donation to the effort.  I don’t want this fading from community awareness, just too important a project to let sit.

Speaking of the Trail Run, we are pleased to announce the generosity of Rotella’s Italian Bakery.  We are very proud to add Rotella’s to our home grown list of contributors, sponsors, and supporters.
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And another tip of Trail Run gratitude to our community partner Complete Nutrition.
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Team Nebraska now has 3 teams with a total of 14 athletes headed to Chicago for the USA Club 8K Road Championships at the end of this month.

Team Nebraska – Team A:  Bridget Easley, Ashley Miller, Leslie Van Winkle, Megan Zavorka

Team Nebraska – Team A:  Peter Falcon, Cory Logsdon, Colin Morrissey, York Thomas, Luka Thor

Team Nebraska – Team B:  David Bohlken, Cheto Cerda, Matthew Heesch, Justin Mollak, Nathan Stack

Making hay.  Took down an undesired retaining wall yesterday and began work on the patio that will replace it.  Good hard work to fill the idle time before spring planting.

Six more chicks, one each of Americauna, Barred Rock, Leghorn, New Hampshire Red, Rhode Island Red, and Silkie.  They will join the two in the tub at the debutante’s barnyard ball in a few weeks.  Meanwhile Red, our rescue hen is up to two eggs a day.  Fuzzy the Cock of the Walk has never been in better spirits.
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The two originals.  Fuzzy was first, lonesome and very grumbly.  Then Red came into his life and now he sings nothing but the sweetest of tunes.

We’ve also got 4 ducks coming.  A pair each of Cayugas and Pekins.

I’ve got all my seedlings transplanted into their vessels of the next four weeks.  Next stop the Good Mother.  Peas can start going in any time now.  Potatoes and cool weather greens in a couple more weeks.   This then is what me moved to the country for.

 

NON COMPUS MENTIS

Not sound of mind.  Or just plain ornery.  Or worse, both.

I’m burdened with the labors of dealing with some muy locos.  Not all of them are included in our wonderful running community.  Some are even closer.  Real Life.

Imagine arriving at what should be your best years, enjoying the fruits of decades.  You scrimp and save and sacrifice anticipating a comfortable if not pampered retirement.

Then the winds change.  You realize the journey was even more solo than you imagined. Your former now endeavoring in ruin, at all costs, personal and professional, insisting on and orchestrating wholesale loss.  Cra Cra.

When I embarked on this chapter I knew there would be hell to pay, that much was threatened and promised.  And agreed upon.  I also knew that no matter what, if anything, was left, that would be preferred and sufficient.  That what little remained would be the strong and sound base from which to start anew.  Thank Buddha I don’t need much.

it's not about money joker box office

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHERE WERE YOU?

Twenty five years ago today the internet sprung forth, for better and worse.

Better because of the obvious.  Worse because of the obvious.

We got along fine without it.  Think you could do without it now?  Those of us that somehow muddled through life without instant gratification of every kind know we could.  It would be boring for a while but Real Life has plenty to offer without wires and signals and bitcoins and world wide community.

My dear sweet Katie got a lesson in Real Life this morning.  I nested three rare breed chicks (like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re getting) yesterday.  Hoping for some exotic color and behavior for the coop.  Katie checked on them with first light, picked the weakest of the three up and it expired in her hand.  Real Life Lesson.  It will stay with her longer than the supposedly dramatic inconvenience of a cracked screen on her I-Phone.

If the transition from West O to the farm has been my soul’s balm it has been less so for Katie.  Accustomed to the trappings of 68130, the starkness of the Bar None has been quite the adjustment.   We had five tvs on Ontario St., like most west’oers, didn’t need four of them.  We have one now.   Its been over 9 months since I’ve microwaved anything at all.  Didn’t need that either.  Listened to a lot of AM radio over the last few months, no COX cable and no stereo in the house.

Funny things happen when you exit the rat race.  First there are fewer rats and that alone is the bonus.  But life also slows down.  Real Life comes into sharper focus.  Distractions fade.  What’s really important becomes more clear.  Enlightenment comes easier.  Celebrating the emergence of a seedling or the birth of a chick.  Understanding that loss is sometimes the most important of lessons.

The Circle of Life.  That most powerful if most often ignored Reality that can shake even the most self absorbed from their sumptuous bliss.

Most people rightly accuse me of a degree of hyperbole.  But I don’t exaggerate when I tell you over the last two days I have seen tens and tens of thousands of birds migrating over the Bar None.  I had to look away from my “business” and look up to see them, streaming endlessly on high.

You need only take a moment to reflect on the Good Mother.  And yes, even your own mortality- that helps clarification of what is really significant.

No screen or a tweet or  post or social media of any kind is really necessary.  You’ve always had what it takes to be Really Happy.

All along, right there in the palm of your hand.

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And 45 years ago.

1969 NCAA Van Cortlandt Park, Bronx, NYC

1. 28:59 Gerry Lindgren (WA St)
2. 29:01 Mike Ryan (AF)
3. 29:12 Prefontaine (OR)
4. 29:17 Ron Bednarski (UTEP)
5. 29:27 Arthur Dulong (Holy Cross)
6. 29:37 Gary Bjorklund (Minn)
7. 29:28 Howell Michael (Wm&Mary)
8. 29:42 Charles Schrader (MD)
9. 29:46 Gregory Brock (Stanford)
10. 29:51 William McKillip (UTEP)
11. 29:56 Donal Walsh (Villanova)
12. 29:57 Sidney Sink (Bowling Green)
13. 29:57 Ken Misner (FL St)
14. 29:58 Ken Silvious (E. KY)
15. 29:59 Mike McClendon (OR)

JOSEPH ROBERTS

Finishing up some thoughts on the USATF Nebraska Association 10K.  While I’m not as speedy as I once was I was still impressed that I was able to muster a 9th in my age group.  Hats off to all the 55-59’ers that handed me mine.  It got me to wondering though, “Who are all these Joe Bobs?”  Looks like they came from near and far.  Peter, Don, & Kerry I’ve raced before.  I’ve got my work cut out for me.  Bob Borer you are next!

1 Peter Duryea 56 Omaha NE 6:27 40:07.00
2 Doug Trampe 57  Kearney NE 6:28 40:12.00
3 Paul Grinvalds 55  West Des Moines IA 6:30 40:28.00
4 Tom Osterbuhr 57  Grand Island NE 6:55 43:03.00
5 Kerry Mcdermott 56  Lincoln NE 6:58 43:19.00
6 Jim Kowalski 56  Offutt Afb NE 7:07 44:15.00
7 Don Seiler 55  Columbus NE 7:07 44:17.00
8 Robert Borer 55  Lincoln NE 7:16 45:10.00
9 Will Lindgren 56  Waterloo NE 7:18 45:26.00
10 John Whitcomb 57  Fort Madison IA 7:40 47:43.00

Yesterday was the perfect day to do a little clean up, exercising,  and it appears, exorcizing.

1796973_10203140496570371_694825649_oI’ve been waiting on a still, dry day to torch the burn pile.  A resulting haunting image that I’m insisting is the departure from my life of the demon that grieved/haunted/taunted me for the last many years.  Especially symbolic as her exiting form appears to anguish over the fact that I’m happier than now I’ve ever been.  May it ever be so.

 

LC10K REPORT CARD

A-

This past weekend’s Leprechaun Chase earns high marks from the toughest of critics (me).  Packet pick up smooth, instant results appreciated.  Course checked out, zero problems passing the lassies.  The times up front reflect as much.  Real Racing in fact.

1 Hunter Paris  29 Fort Collins CO 5:03  31:24.00
2 Colin Morrissey  24 Omaha NE 5:08 31:54.00Team Nebraska
3 Michael Rathje  24 Lincoln NE 5:12 32:23.00-Lincoln Running Co. Racing 
4 Peter Falcon  24 Bellevue NE 5:19  33:04.00-Team Nebraska
5 Casey Kear  25 Omaha NE 5:19 33:07.00Team Nebraska
6 Tim Meyer  33 Brookings SD 5:20 33:10.00NDORFNZ Racing
7 Ryan Dostal  24 Lincoln NE 5:22 33:23.00LRC Racing
8 Jason Zakaras  31 Omaha NE 5:25 33:44.00-LRC Racing
9 Andrew Jacob 27 Lincoln NE 5:27 33:56.00LRC Racing
10 Pete Kostelnick  26 Lincoln NE 5:30 34:13.00Nebraska Run Guru Elite
18 Kyle Clouston 28 Lincoln NE 5:50 36:15–NRGE
19 Mike Wasson 48 Papillion NE 5:51 36:23–NRGE
105 Michael Reilly  36 Omaha NE 7:14 45:02.00–NRGE
115 Will Lindgren Male 56 Waterloo NE 7:18 45:26.00–NRGE

 

1 Amanda Lee 24 Boulder CO 5:55 36:49.00–Oiselle
2 Michelle Paxton  37 Lincoln NE 6:01 37:28.00–unattached
3 Frankie Petersen 31 Lincoln NE 6:03 37:41.00–LRC Racing
4 Hayley Sutter 24 Lincoln NE 6:09 38:14.00–LRC Racing
5 Kaci Lickteig  27 Omaha NE 6:10 38:19.00–Pearl Izumi
6 Theresa Gosnell  42 Omaha NE 6:14 38:48.00–Team Nebraska
7 Jessica Pape  27 Omaha NE 6:23 39:42.00–unattached
8 Christy Nielsen  38 Omaha NE 6:23 39:45.00–unattached
9 Ashley Wiles 40 Omaha NE 6:25 39:57.00–unattached
10 Hannah Johnson  23 Lincoln NE 6:30 40:26.00–unattached
23 Stacy Shaw  48 Omaha NE 6:53 42:46.00–Nebraska Run Guru Elite
31 Tammy Consbruck  35 Gretna NE 7:08 44:23.00–NRGE

Observations:  Amanda Lee isn’t a stranger to Nebraska, she raced for Team Nebraska at one point in fact.  The fact that she waltzed in and handed our best their behinds paints a picture of work still to be done.  Same way on the men’s side.  I’ve got to tip it to Michelle Paxton, at age 37 still displaying the same tenacity we’ve come to expect when she laces up.  And a big surprise for this scribe to see Theresa Gosnell in a Team Nebraska uniform, very interesting and quality addition, surprising that she was the sole TN female entrant.  On the men’s side glad to see Colin Morrissey, Michael Rathje, Peter Falcon, Casey Kear, and Tim Meyer give winner Hunter Paris some heat.  Real Racing.

Ben Cohoon and Michael Rathje did a good job of promoting the USATF Grand Prix Series throughout the afternoon.  A table and announcements, plenty of competition (for the most part) between the clubs, bragging rights on the line.

There were a lot of Big Names conspicuous in their absence however.

No one was happier than Pete Kostelnick who ran another big personal best and had to outrun an always solid Brian Wandzilak for the final top 10 spot.  You’re next Andrew Jacob.

How about that Mike Wasson.  Raced early at the No Frills 5 Mile, came out to LC10K and still had enough left to hike his leg high on the young little nipper at his heels.  Sweet.

I was happy with my own race.  Ten days off followed by three weeks of averaging 25 miles, February wasn’t a good training month for me.  But the issues seem to be behind and while I didn’t make any progress I didn’t lose any either.  Still on for the Lincoln Half.

Got to see Greg McDermott’s final game Saturday night and it was a thrill.  Thanks to an old friend for the tickets to a little history.

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Way to get it Pete!

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The future of distance running in Nebraska.

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And its past still trying to hang in there.

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Amanda Lee took it out right away.   A see of green and blue and yellow but no red follows.

 

PHILOSOPHICAL FRIDAY

Half Fast.  But faster than the other half.  We all carry the same competitive burden.  Some choose to express rather than suppress.  Expression takes a lot of huevos, suppression none but it allows you to comfortably schmooze with like minded non competitors.

Today I’m nodding to those that were the Fastest, each in their turn.  Los hombres tienen heuvos mas grande de todos!

20140307_084808Any of these books are sure to inspire.  If you can find them.  All detail the best milers of their generation.   IN QUEST OF GOLD, 1984.  RUNNING WILD, The Gordon Pirie story by W.H. Allen, 1961.  A CLEAN PAIR OF HEELS, The Murray Halberg Story as told to Garth Gilmour, 1963.  NO BUGLES NO DRUMS, Peter Snell’s story by Garth Gilmour, 1965.  LOVELOCK, by James McNeish, 1986.  THE JIM RYUN STORY by Cordner Nelson, 1967.  THE MILER, Steve Scott’s story by Marc Bloom, 1997.  Gil Dodds, THE FLYING PARSON, by Mel Larson, 1945.  New Views of Speed Training, Runners World, 1971.  INTERVAL TRAINING, by Nick Costes, Runners World, 1972. Open book row three is THE HERB ELLIOTT STORY, as told to Alan Tengrove, 1961.   OVETT, by Steve Ovett, 1984.  SEBASTIAN COE, RUNNING FREE with David Miller, 1981.  KIWIS CAN FLY, by Ivan Agnew, 1976.  JOHN WALKER, CHAMPION, with Ron Palenski, 1984.  Row four open book is 2nd copy of RUNNING WILD, then a couple of my favorite fiction pieces, SLINGER SANCHEZ, RUNNING GUN by my old buddy Bruce Glikin and ONCE A RUNNER by my even older buddy John L. Parker Jr.  And finally OLYMPIC DREAM, by Henry Rono, 2008.

 

 

 

REWIND

In yesterday’s column I declared incorrectly that the 2005 Swamp Stomp was the very first USATF Nebraska Association Champs.  It was, but for cross country.  The Lincoln Half Marathon actually holds the distinction for road races.  As a primer and educative tool I offer the following reprint from the OWH:

Omaha World Herald
Wednesday May 4, 2005
LINCOLN PUMPS UP PURSES OF RACES
-The marathon was the USATF Nebraska Association’s first championships event.
By John Martin Fey

When Mike and Gina Morgan were awarded trophies as winners of the Lincoln Marathon half marathon, the siblings also collected some nice prize money.

The former Nebraska Wesleyan standouts each won $500 for being the fastest on the 13.1 mile course.  They also benefited from the race being the first championship event in the USATF Nebraska Association’s Grand Prix Series.

The Lincoln Marathon chipped in $2,500 in prize money for USATF Nebraska members.  The Morgan’s each pocketed an extra $325 as USATF members.

They also earned an expenses-paid trip to Grand Rapids, Mich., to represent Nebraska at the national 25K championships on May 14.

Making Lincoln’s marathon the first state championship event was the brainchild of Omahan Will Lindgren, USATF Long Distance Race chairman of the Nebraska Association.

“Lincoln gave these athletes an opportunity to elevate their commitment to the sport,” said Lindgren, who is also chairman of USA Track & Field’s Women’s LDR Subcommittee.

Lindgren said the support of the marathon’s race directors, Nancy Sutton and Gary Bredehoft, exceeded his expectations.

“It was equal to anything I’ve ever experienced–even on the national level,” Lindgren said.  “These people are committed to distance running in Nebraska.”

Lindgren is also the founder and president of Team Nebraska Brooks, which is made up of some of the top long-distance runners in the Midwest, including the Morgans.

Team Nebraska Brooks took home all but $300 of the $2,500 prize fund.

“I was very proud of the finishes of Mike and Gina,” Lindgren said.

Lindgren said USATF members aren’t necessarily elite runners.  He said the sate association added new members at the Lincoln Marathon’s exposition the day before the event.

To learn more about USATF, go to www.usatf.org.
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So to all you cats that are out there training your butts off in hopes of fine showings at the Lincoln Marathon and Half Marathon, I’ll be watching and smiling.  And hoping someone, anyone, can duplicate Mike’s 1:05:48 and Gina’s 1:21:11.  Giddyup!

 

 

FAST FORWARD

The 1st annual Swamp Stomp was a treat.  October, 2005 out at the Zorinsky Boat Ramps, my first and maybe favorite cross country course in Omaha.  It was also the Very First USA Track & Field Nebraska Association Long Distance Running Championships.  I paid out prize money to the top 3 overall male and females and top 3 masters male and female.  Over the next many years every event I put on hosted the association champs for whichever particular distance and discipline.  Always provided free entry for the Team Nebraska mates, who would win the prize money and also enjoy the proceeds of the event.

I tried to right the rub among the general running community  that you could indeed have Real Racing and fun, novelty running combined in the same event.  I have to tell you though it was thought that a running club wasn’t a worthy charity, plain and simple.  And while few have tried harder than me to make that work, it never really took off.

But times have changed and so have the players and the approach.

Big tip of the sombrero to Ben Cohoon.  Ben started out the right way.  Building quality events and only then incorporating an elite aspect.  This weekend’s Leprechaun Chase is a perfect example of how smooth he has made it.  Reaching registration caps.  And then offering free entry for Elites.  And prize money.  And hosting our Nebraska Association 10K Championships.  Kind of reverse of what I tried and far more successful.  Good on ya Ben.

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Mark your calendars!  Wednesday Night Track Work will begin its 7th year 3 weeks from tonight!  6:00 p.m. at Millard West, get ready to get your fit and fun on!

 

 

 

FAT TUESDAY

One of my favorite celebrations over the years.  Used to revel in the annual debauchery in Galveston, TX.  But not before we got some good hard racing on at the Galveston Mardi Gras 15K & 5K.

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One of the few awards I’ve kept over the years is this duffel bag I won in the early 90s.

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The requisite beer mug.  Does this make me a hoarder?

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In 1998 the USA Women’s 12K National Championships were hosted by the Mardi Gras Run.  I redesigned and measured the course, the only time it was run as a 12K.  First time to ride in the lead vehicle doing commentary but not the last.  Pictured in the lead pack, left to right: #6 Carmen Troncoso, #4 Laura Mena-Call, Susannah Beck (number obscured, winner in 40:50), #3 Shelly Steely, and far right Nicole Woodward.

20140304_091104This cool poster from 1994.  Some of my art collection is only indirectly running related.

Lassiez le bon temps rouler!