Monthly Archives: June 2014


Spent last Friday with the Garden Guru, Steve Kunasek.  I learn much every trip, this week’s lesson was on the benefits of verticality.  He’s successfully growing things upward, tomatoes, squash, cukes, okra, any and all vining goodies, clear up to 10 feet in the air.  And no matter how good my garden may look I always come back feeling like a slacker with so much more to do.

Another lesson we picked up was not letting our fertility go wanting.  Once a crop is harvested you had better be ready for the second planting.  If not from things started indoors then direct seeding.  So I’ve done my duty by the beets and carrots and greens of all shape and size.  And am planning on the roster and replacements for the rest of the year, fall will be here before you know it.

You knew I’d eventually get here.  Nebraska Run Guru Elite is a second Nebraska sowing for me.  Better planned out, more carefully selected, forethought yielding a better product.  Keeping out the weeds and poor performers.  Not letting things get too crowded.  Accommodating the stars with everything needed to blossom and shine and yield greatness.  Patience when necessary, firm coaxing when called for.

Trevor Vidlak won the Laugh and a Half-Marathon in Norfolk this weekend, a yawner in 1:14:12.  Kyle Smith of Team Nebraska was second in 1:18:54.  NRGE mate Ashley Shurrman was 5th overall female in 1:36:55.

And from our friends at the Omaha Running Club:

Runners, get your 10k mojo on this summer
with the premier of   Beat the Heat 10k  on the Wabash Trace Nature Trail. Early registration prices of $26 for ORC members and $28 for non-members will remain in effect until 12:01 AM July 4. Then prices increase by $10. Online registration will remain open until  12:01 AM July 10 .  The race will be held on Sunday, July 13, 2014 and start at 7:00AM.
Beat The Heat 10k Race, presented by the Omaha Running Club, features an elevation decline on a certified course. This could be your opportunity to earn a coveted seeded pass for the Omaha Corporate Cup Race.
Beat the Heat 10k is a point to point foot race on the scenic and mostly shaded Wabash Trace trail. Proceeds will be donated to Southwest Iowa Nature Trails, Inc. (SWINT) is a private, non-profit organization made up of volunteers who are committed to recreational trail development. SWINT members organize all official activities on the Wabash Trace.
Competitors will run from near the Zion Cemetery (off 240th St. Pottawattamie County, IA) to the  Iowa West Foundation Trailhead Park in Council Bluffs. The post-race celebration & awards ceremony will be in the Athletics Building near Lewis Central Middle School.
Weather permitting, the race will start at  7:00 AM . Buses will transport participants, with the first bus departing  from the Middle School parking lot at  6:00 AM .  Restrooms will be open in the Athletics Building from  5:30 AM  & remain so until after the awards ceremony. Portable toilets & pre-race water will be available near the starting line. Water stations will also be appropriately spaced on the route.
Entry fee includes trail use fee, bus transportation for early registrants*, Beat the Heat 10k shirt and the fabulous post race celebration with food, drink, goodies, music & awards.
*Late and race day paper registration forms will be available at packet pickup events. However, late registrants are not guaranteed a shirt, nor are they guaranteed bus transportation to the starting line.
Register today at


Thankful that my dad is still kicking.  Eighty two years old and I respect him more every day.  His little homestead in Indiahoma, OK sustained recent hail damage to the roof and siding.  After getting bids he decided he could do it cheaper and better himself.  So he did.  He’s never met a mechanical or structural puzzle he wasn’t determined to solve.  I’m just now starting to scratch that trait, thanks for instilling it even if it lay dormant for 40 plus years.

Dad worked like a Real Man his whole life.  Never had a cushy desk job or a big salary.  He expected the same out of his hippie son back in the 70s, something I railed against.  Chose rather to take my own tack, a circuitous route that has finally brought me back to a point of appreciation I now wish I would have embraced much earlier.

My own fatherhood was wrought with being the vanguard of Stay At Home Dad.  I started the gig in 1992 and dealt with levels of skepticism, doubt, and even distrust.  “Why don’t you work?”  “What’s your Real Job?”  “How unfortunate for your kids!”  From the mouths of women that were doing the exact same thing as me, the very best for their children.  Gave me a different perspective and opinion of “Suburbia Moms”, those that would check the labels in my kids clothes, stand in their own group at the bus stop, change conversations to a whisper upon my approach.  Wrinkle their brow when finding out we didn’t have membership to the Country Club.  Not to mention the dominant, driven, overbearing, breadwinner that made it possible.

The Second Wave of Stay At Home Dads different than me.  Those of the murse and the feminine affectations, set on gaining acceptance from the Play Date Set.  No less fathers, but maybe just slightly less men, catering towards and favoring that foreign and unknowable opposite gender.  Blurring lines that aught not be so.  You can be a Strong Dad and a Good Dad.

That is what I thank my dad for this weekend.   Leading By Example, Universal Truths that wear neither pant nor skirt.  For being a Real Man.  The one thing I hope my kids reflect upon when I’m 82.



No slight intended towards the Sandhills Marathon, the 8th annual being this past weekend.  I just can’t find the results anywhere, Andy, you got a link?

I want to thank Ben for the following email, proving once and for all that the competitive culture resides in us all if we will only heed it.

“Hey Will,

I participated in the Ni-Bthaska-Ke 4 Mile event in April. I’m pretty sure I was the last person to finish out of everyone out there. A little background – I’ve been running on and off for years, I’m a very overweight guy and I’ve lost weight and put it back on, been sidelined by injuries, but keep trying anyway. This is my latest effort. I’ve done plenty of 5ks, a 10k, and I attempted a marathon twice but never finished. My best mile is an 8:42. I knew the Ni-Bthaska-Ke was going to be very difficult. I never could have imagined just how difficult it was, and I couldn’t believe how long it took me. And it hurt. But it was still one of the most satisfying things I’ve done, and the course was impeccably marked. So kudos to you and everyone who put it together.

I was also really impressed with the other runners out there. The 12k runners doubled back on me, so I’d frequently step to the side so I wouldn’t get in their way. And it’s not an exaggeration to say that 3/4 of the 12k runners, from the leaders on back, offered words of encouragement. That’s some really good people out there.

Anyway…I periodically read your blog, and I just wanted to let you know how impressed I was with the event and the people. As a side note, I’m glad you love the Fifth Third River Bank Run because I lived much of my life in Grand Rapids and I also love that race. Hope you have a good start to your week, and keep posting pics of that great garden!

– Ben”


Kaci Lickteig was the Sandhills Marathon Overall, overall winner in 2010 (3:04:17),  2011 (3:05:15), and 2012 (3:02:01, Women’s cr).  Shown here in the good old days of 2011.  Paul Wilson holds the men’s course record of 2:52:18 set in 2007.



Thanks for the patience, I’m finally getting to last weekend’s race results.

The Havelock Charity Run 10K in Lincoln was a fast mix of the past and future.  Mike Morgan  (31:42) showed that at 34 years old he still carries the standard in Nebraska Running and Racing.  Right behind Mike was the future, Trevor Vidlak, in 32:04, he turned 23 just yesterday.  On the women’s side Michelle Paxton continued her locally stellar 2014 campaign taking the win in 38:44.  Michelle also has been around the oval a time or two with her 37 years.  I remember taking Michelle to the 2003 USA Women’s Marathon Championships in St. Louis where she was the only member of the Team Nebraska trio of ladies, on a very tough day, to not drop out.  I knew then just how tough she was, I’ve had the Right Read on her all along.  In the accompanying 3K Tanner Brown, age 20 of Phoenix, AZ, took the win in 9:12.  First female was 18 year old Gabi Jenkins of Papillion in 10:37.

Cameron Cummings ran what may well be his last local race, he’s represented NRGE with distinction as Nebraska’s fastest marathoner, both at Boston and Lincoln.  He tackled the seven famed and named hills at the Hospital Hill Half Marathon in Kansas City, finishing 5th overall in 1:15:29.  The event was conducted in an absolute downpour, could not have been fun for anyone.

NRGE mate Jeremy Morris won the Buffalo Stampede Half Marathon in 1:19:40.  Kaci Lickteig took the distaff crown in 1:23:12.  The Amherst Flash, Brian Bergt was 4th overall in 1:24:42, he’s in my age group and is my farming/running epitomy.

Bob Miyake, age 38,  won the NE 5 back here in Omaha in 29:18.  Second was 14 year old John Slagle in 30:21.  The Overall Female was Jessica Clem-McLaren, age 30,  in 37:30.

Jimmie Doherty made his NRGE racing debut a good one winning the Mission Impossible 10K in Papillion.

At the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile Mcdonard Ondara, age 29,  cruised the course in a very fast 51:18, damned fast for the altitude and mountains.  Aliphine Tuliamuk-Bolton, age 25,  did even better setting a new women’s course record in 55:55.  I expect to see both of these athletes next month at the BIX 7 as last year’s winner also used Garden of the Gods as a tune up for the hilly course in Davenport.

Well met and well remembered.

Kyle Clouston had the pleasure of meeting Nancy Hobbs.  Nancy is the founder and head of USA Track & Field’s Mountain, Ultra, Trail committee.  The most powerful person in the discipline in the United States at least.

An amazing remembrance occurred at around mile 4.5.  I was counting off the lead women as they zoomed past us on the out and back course.  “Seventh female, Eight Female, Ninth Female”, and number nine smiles very happily and says “Hi Will!”  I told Linda, that must be Sarah Glatt, but oh my how proud I was to see her running in the top 10.  She would move up to finish 8th in 1:09:17.  Sarah ran for me on Team Nebraska back at the 2008 USA Club T&F National Championships in Olathe, KS and demonstrated one of the gutsiest performances I’ve ever seen during the 10K on the track.  Sarah is now working as a pediatric dentist in Colorado Springs.




The adventure of my lifetime.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

First off a big thanks to Kyle Clouston and his mom Kim (she of the pluck, vim, and vigor) for allowing Linda and I to accompany, the trip was a Mother’s Day gift from son to mother.  When they mentioned Pike’s Peak I was immediately drawn to the challenge.  When I found out Garden of the Gods 10 Mile was the very next day, it got even more interesting.  What happened along the way has changed my life forever.

We began our ascent at 4:30 a.m., headlamps illuminating our first 30 minutes, the breaking dawn inspiring awe as Maintou and Colorado Springs were revealed below.  Our status as Flatlanders making even the first couple of miles something of a labor, but soon settling into what they call “good pace.”  Linda was the only one in the party with previous mountain experience, something that would ultimately save us all, and if possible, make me love her even more than I did the previous day.  A strong, confident leader when we needed her the most.

The first 6 miles up to Barr Camp were difficult and exhilarating.  I experienced vistas unimagined.  Continued up through the ever thinning air, learning to process and utilize what was available, slow even pacing the key.  A brief respite and snacks at Camp where we shared tales with others, both ascending and descending.  Reports of waist deep snow above the treeline not dampening our spirits or our resolve.  The ideal climbing month is August so the snow was not an anomoly, it would factor large a couple of hours later.

As we passed 11,000′ we came to the split that confounds us still.  The sign clear in its function and intent.  Why we chose the trail we did will never be known but makes for the meat and potatoes of the story.  Instead of the 4.8 mile section to the summit I somehow led us to the right, the shorter 2.4 mile trail, that would lead us into the Bottomless Pit.  We would find out over the next several hours why the moniker is so appropriate.

The Bottomless Pit is in a circ just above treeline.  We pressed onward and upward, the ever diminshing trail and lack of other humans no indicator that we had taken the wrong path.  The summit clearly visible, enticing, beckoning.  The trail now non existent we used the stacked cairns as our only guideposts.  Cairns that were set in the better weather last fall, now sporadic and questionable.  We negotiated snow fields, did some slightly technical bouldering, and finally arrived less than a kilometer below the summit, a sheer face, daunting and taunting.

Linda warned us that at 13000+ feet the mind can play tricks.  My own deliriums plunging me into a series of gullies searching for a recognizable cairn.  Easy going down.  Each one ever more difficult to climb out of.  And equal in their futility.

It was Then and There.  I for the first time in my life, confronted my Real Stuff.  We were running out of time, the regular and dependable storms already showing infancy beyond the ridges, promising a hardship none of us embraced.  After my third trip down, slowly crawling back up, one or two crawls and then pause for succor and strength, wondering if and how I would rejoin the “party.”  Linda imploring my efforts, me confronting every Doubt and Fear.

The gravity of our situation was not my burden alone, we each confronted our own mortality, plausibility slowly edging into certainty.

The Greatest Victory was that none of us lost our cool, on the outside at least.  We took solace and inspiration from each other’s determined countenance.  The rarefied air playing tricks on our memories of how we achieved our position.  “I remember this tree!”  “We had to have gone under this rock!”  “I remember that cave up there!”  All leading to dead ends.  Each time we would retrace our steps back to our LKC, Last Known Cairn.  After many attempts we finally relocated the bare wisp of the trail, completely changed in appearance due to snow melt.  We had been in the Bottomless Pit for well over 2 hours.  Distant thunder now driving us down with a compelling urgency.

Familiar landmarks now more frequent and finally back to our Point of Departure from the main trail.  Humans again, mostly flying down the trails as they train for next week’s Pike’s Peak Half Marathon.  Denizens of the mountain, pound for pound better than 99% of the endurance athletes I’ve met in my life.  You think you’re a goat?  Go to the mountains!  Twenty two miles in eleven and one half hours, I saw my legs take a hardened hew and stance, something I’ll be using to kick some ass the rest of this summer.

And an Absolute Assurance that I am able to Survive under the most dire of circumstances.  Something Kyle and Kim and Linda and I will always celebrate and share.

What could possibly top this Epic Adventure?  How about lining up the next morning for the Garden of the Gods 10 Mile.  The most gorgeous race course I’ve seen in my life, 7000′ up in the sacred lands.  We ran from the back of the pack, sharing laughs and tales and somehow looking at life with a brand new respect.  And feeling like we just can’t wait for the next Grand Adventure.


This stock photo shows where I led our party astray.  Most of the Search and Rescues on the mountain occur in the Bottomless Pit.  We were damn lucky.  And we are better people for it.

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I have loved her much and now have a  new found respect and admiration for Linda.  Sealed with a kiss!

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The mountain is unforgiving in its beauty and difficulty.  Looking down on the cloud tops offering a perspective that changes you deeply.

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Kyle & I at our upper terminus.  Only a kilo of technical climbing kept us from reaching the summit the Hardest Way.  Our NRGE President now like a son to me.

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Our adventure concluded with Sunday morning’s 37th Garden of the Gods 10 Mile.   Kick starting a summer season and making memories for a lifetime.



*Editor’s Note—The story of the most amazing thing I’ve ever done in my life will wait until tomorrow.  Preempted by something even more incredible.

We stopped in Paxton on Friday morning to show my dear sweet Katie Ole’s Restaurant, that Nebraska institution.  Fate is funny that way.

Today I share the tale of Bjorn Soneson of Stockholm, Sweden.  Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, a retired economic reporter for the largest Swedish daily.  Sixty six years old and the most amazing runner I’ve met in my life.  At the end of my interview I asked, for the very first time ever, the question.    “May I please have your autograph?”


Bjorn began his coast to coast trek in Los Angeles in April.  Running 30-35 miles a day.  Every day.  Always visits the American namesake of his birthplace, Gothenburg.


Bjorn reached Gothenburg yesterday morning, in a mere 45 days, a Swedish National Record.  Completely self contained in this little stroller.  Walking the uphills.   Usually (weather permitting) starting at 9:00 in the morning and often running until 6-8:00 at night.  His one rule is no dark running.  The reason is a cultural one.  In Europe people are outside, walking or working.  In America, they are in their cars and in a hurry.  Another difference he noted is that during daylight hours, “People are so encouraging.”  And he likes people.  And trusts them.  In fact, insisted that he “must trust everyone so that fear doesn’t take over.”

There have been others to traverse the United States.  I think at least one or two Nebraskans may be on that list.  Bjorn respects them and they serve to motivate him.  But none can touch this iron man of endurance.  And speed.  Still running a 3:34 marathon at age 66 with eyes on 3:20 in his next.

Bjorn is in the process of crossing the United States for the Fourth Time.  This will be a new world record, he will be the first and only person to accomplish the feat.  Another amazing runner however, Jessica Goldman is trying to also be the first to achieve the remarkable.  You know they are keeping their eyes on each other.  She is a few days behind him right now, this is going to be an interesting next few weeks.  He will wind up in NYC on August 1st, a 100 day crossing.

Another thing that makes him so simply amazing is he ran the first three times completely solo.  No sag, no swag, no nada.  And outside of the occasional curious, he’s done the same this time.  One other person has done the trip 4 times, an American, but with a support crew.  His biggest support?  His wife back in Stockholm.  And his 5 kids.  Three of which will meet him in NYC and run the final 30 mile leg with him.

Here are my favorite quotes from the interview.

“I’m completely unsponsored.”  When asked what he learns about himself on these trips, “There are solutions to every problem.”  And, “This is a mental thing, not physical, absolutely.”

When asked what motivates him to do this, “Searching for Freedom.”  “Struggle every day is hard, but get back to the hotel and forget everything.”  “Logistics are the most difficult, weather and mechanicals with the stroller.”  “Running is easier than being alone.”  “You must like to be alone.”  “You must have very big confidence, I never worry or doubt that I will make it.”  Even if some days he is “Like a zombie.”

I’m going to set up a facebook page for you to follow Bjorn and he is inviting everyone to join him for some miles.  He is running 32 miles today, from Lexington to Kearney, all on route 30.  I’ll have his complete schedule later today and will post it there and here.   NRGE will be running with him as he nears Lincoln and moves East.  I hope you too can spend some time and miles with the most remarkable runner I’ve ever met in my life.

Our facebook page where you can track Bjorn and join him for his World Record attempt!  Thank you for liking and sharing this incredible man’s feat!

Here is Bjorn’s personal link where you can track his progress:  Be sure to click the English flag in the upper right hand corner to read in English.

And for those even more interested in the Coast to Coaster’s,




Good Luck, Great Racing, and Giddyup to everyone lacing them up for either Havelock or the NE 5 this weekend.  The weather gods seem to be smiling down with a couple of cooler if potentially wet mornings.

Thanks to my buddy Russ for the rain barrels.  We’ve now got 6 food grade, 55 gallon drums well positioned to collect all the free water we can use.  I use my 5 and 10 gallon buckets to then transfer the H2O to our large holding tanks out by the barn.  There it will stay until made available to all manner of dry stuff.

We’ve filled the 330 gallons twice already.  8.3 pounds per gallon, so between 40 and 80 pounds per haul, no more than 40 meters or so.  120 pounds the way I like it, a bucket in each hand to balance out, trip after trip after trip.  Over a ton and a quarter all together, not counting our smaller barrels gracing either end of the front porch.

 Having a libation with Steve Stender and Melissa Gwartney Wednesday night.  There were no finish banners in sight but I did throw up my right gun when the conversation turned to strength.  Melissa immediately hollered “He’s Popeye!”.  I think Steve was a little surprised too as we’ve known each other for 6 or 7 years and he’d never seen the buff version.

And I’m just getting started.  Linda and I both have been blessed with Good Genes when it comes to body type, metabolism, and energy.  Its really not necessary to hit a lick to keep a reasonable semblance of fitness.  But we do hit a lick and a lot more.

That is what amazes me about a lot of the mid to back of the pack marathoners, triathletes, and endurance participants.  Take a look at them and you can see they were not blessed with form but still somehow function, albeit on a far different temporal schedule.  In fact, it proves that you need not even be an athlete to complete just about anything you set your mind to.  And that is the Beauty of Their Accomplishments.  Overcoming the non athletic build to become one anyway.

Now I’ve got some water to haul.



We were very near to poor growing up.  Well below that mark by West Omaha standards to be sure.  There was no allowance, my meager weekly change the bounty of scouring the neighborhood for empty pop bottles to return.  Some weeks I’d find none and I would sorely miss the penny candy and the “coke to go” from the local drugstore, 12 cents for the coke, 13 cents of jawbreakers and taffy and bit o honey and bazooka joe bubble gum.

It was during those “lean” times that I would awaken early, creep into the kitchen, stealthily  remove my mom’s billfold from her over sized purse, unsnap the hinge (ever so quietly) to the coin pocket, and gaze upon the treasure of pennies and nickels and dimes.  And if I was lucky, a quarter or two.  I was bold and would always go for a quarter, if there was one, even if it was mama’s last.  She always made sure there was something in that coin pocket, don’t doubt for a moment that she knew she was subsidizing my weekly delight.   Not a ton of fond memories of mom but I just shared one.

I really busted everyone’s butt at Wednesday Night Track Work last night.  We are getting trained up for the Lincoln Mile and speed work is on in earnest.  Not a Killer Coach workout, not a McLatchie workout.  A little something I cooked up to introduce stresses specific to running at 92.5-95% effort for 5280 feet.  Kyle killed it.  So did Ashley.  Jimmie sticking his blade into the fire, now being tempered by a Hotter Heat.  The ever patient Tammy moving up throughout, showing strength and maturity.  A dozen athletes giving more than they ever thought possible.  Because I insist on it.

After a series of 400s and 200s it all came down to the final quarter mile effort.  I was holding little Ruby, all eleven months of her existence channeled into a mother missing shriek.  Group A off with my command, Ashley among them.  Me promising Ruby, “This is mama’s last quarter!”

Good luck to Paul Meyers.  After working for over 20 years in the Nebraska Athletic Department he has left to pursue “other opportunities.”  In other words, how the hell did he not get the AD job?

Rusty Lord became my new favorite local weatherman this week.  As much for his informed, concise, well spoken, descriptions of weathergeddon as for the fact that he and Jimmie Doherty could be brothers.



My favorite weatherman above and my favorite Valley, NE native and my favorite girlfriend of a Valley, NE native below.



First off a big tip of the sombrero to the fine engineering folks down at the Omaha Sewer Department.  Yesterday’s deluges must have taxed the infrastructure to its maximum.  Nice work Craig Christians!

Thanks also to a couple of our good friends in the national running community.  The Race Director for Hospital Hill was kind enough to provide a waived, seeded entry for Cameron Cummings, he’s going to Get Some this weekend.  Beth Salinger and I have been friends for many years, long enough to know me Better.

And got to speak with one of my favorite race directors anywhere earlier this week.  Gary McNamee was the unexpected conduit.  Gary has one of the best innovations in running that I’ve ever seen.  OUTSIDE INTERACTIVE is a virtual, real time, application that you hook up to your treadmill which allows you to experience a race course as if you were actually running it.  He’s worked with my buddies Dave McGillivray (Boston Marathon, Beach to Beacon) and George Regan (Freihofer’s Run For Women), capturing the real essence of the races for others to enjoy.  I met Gary once a long time ago, when I was a more difficult guru, at the Upstream in Omaha.  I’m much nicer now.

Here is a link to a brief sample for the Falmouth Road Race:

And here is how it works:

It wasn’t Dave or George that I had the pleasure of catching up with though.  It was Ed Froehlich, RD for one of the great American road races, BIX 7.  While introducing Gary over the phone Ed invited Linda and me back for the race.  Linda finished 2nd Overall Master the last time she raced there, 2011 I believe.  To none other than Joan Benoit Samuelson.  Ed and I have a long and colorful history going back to the mid 90s and I couldn’t be more appreciative of the offer to spend that weekend in Davenport with him and his.

The Freedom Run Half Marathon, 10K, & 5K has none other than Kaci Lickteig gracing the flyer and poster. She won the 10K overall last year and not just the women’s division.  It would be pretty cool if she comes back for the half this year.

Getting everyone trained up for the Lincoln Mile and Downtown Run Around 5 Mile.  The next couple of events on our USATF Championships series.  If you feel the need for speed, we’ll see you at Millard West tonight at 6:00.  Going to be a Perfect Evening and I promise to work your butts off!


Ashley Miller of Team Nebraska raced at BIX last year.  I’m hoping to line up with her in July!



Auspicious week with notable reminisce.  Linda and I moseyed in to the Bar None one year ago this week.  Report Card is A+.  The most necessary improvements have been made, i.e. wood burning stove.  Some blown insulation and new windows and last winter’s hardships will be an amusing anecdote in Bar None lore.  Our vision of genteel stewardship for this 3 acres of the Good Mother, if not fully realized, well ahead of any sensible person’s predictions.  But we love to Work Hard.  The Synergy is amazing, the results bountiful.  The Real Love we have for each other, the stuff of story and song.  And no microwave for a year.

Cameron Cummings is hoping for top level competition at this weekend’s Hospital Hill Half Marathon.  This is why he wasn’t kicking ass at Dam to Dam last weekend by the way.  He’s very good at running hills and the 7 famed and named climbs in Kansas City suit him to a tie dyed tee.  With a sub 2:30 marathon personal best it is unique that he will be making his Half debut.  Go get some Good Mate!

It was also 10 years ago that the USATF Nebraska Association realized its first Men’s USA Club National Championship.  (A women’s team representing Team Nebraska won the 2003 USA Half Marathon Club Championships in Duluth the previous June).  The Men’s race was at the same Hospital Hill Half Marathon.  I had entered a Very Strong 7 member team, one by one they began to drop until it was only Mike Morgan, Nick Rector, and me.  Very exclusive list is the one that joins Mike as mate on a Club National Champion.  Thanks for the memories Mike and Nick.  I’ve detailed before how in Portland 2004, at the USA Club Cross Country National Championships, I introduced Mike and Nick to Gerry Lindgren.  The former World Record holder would become our host, tour guide, and taxi driver for the weekend, a memory I am glad I could give them.

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Mike Morgan was on the cusp of establishing himself as the most successful distance runner in Nebraska history.  Proud and privileged to have been a mate and advocate.



Then.  The old rotten barn door one of the first things we replaced.



Now.  With an eye on expansion next year.




Gerry Lindgren was one of the few people in the world that could beat Steve Prefontaine.  He also held the American Record (13:44) for High School 5000 meters for over 40 years before Galen Rupp (13:37.91) finally broke it that same year of 2004.    And taxi driver.