Monthly Archives: July 2014

SEE THE SHOW

Been busy as can be with the Freedom Run Half Marathon course.  If you’re interested we are having a preview run this Sunday morning.  We’ll meet at 7:30 at the Bar None (Everyone Welcome) and head over to the Valley YMCA.  Less than 5 minutes from the homestead, right in my back yard.  If you prefer to meet there, we’ll see you then.

I want to provide the opportunity for everyone that laces & races on Sunday, September 7th, to run their best.  No matter where in the pack, no matter the talent or speed, no matter the individual goals.

I think I can guarantee almost everyone that they will run their 20K personal best.  And perhaps their 15K too.  How so?  Because I included the 5K, 10K, 15K, and 20K splits as  measured and described points within the half marathon.  A real pain in the patootie but will result in nothing less than a boatload of age group and single age state records.  One of my favorite race distances for example,  20K,  is a distance I’ve never seen contested in Nebraska, but is quite popular elsewhere.  With the venerable Governor’s Cup the only competitive 15K on the annual calendar, look for those marks to be eclipsed too.  And of course the Half Marathon, with its zero elevation profile (truth in advertising: the elevation at the start and finish is 1137′.  The highest point of the course is 1138′.) should make everyone happy.

Regardless of ability.

I’m quietly (ha!) putting together a field that will show just how fast this course can be.  Some of the best athletes from Nebraska.  And at least a couple of old friends that live and train in Boulder.  And I’m just getting started.  Using the course records at the Lincoln Half as benchmarks:
Male 1:04:34
Female 1:15:10
Masters Men 1:10:16
Masters Women 1:21:05

With thanks to Emerson. Lake, and Palmer, Karn Evil 9, 1st Impression, Part 2

“Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We’re so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside
There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along

Come inside, the show’s about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you’ll get your money’s worth
Greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo
You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll, oh

Right before your eyes we pull laughter from the skies
And he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies

Come inside, the show’s about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
You’ve got to see the show, it’s a dynamo
You’ve got to see the show, it’s rock and roll, oh

Soon the Gypsy Queen in a glaze of vaseline
Will perform on guillotine, what a scene, what a scene
Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand
To Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Dixieland, Dixieland

Roll up, roll up, roll up
See the show

Performing on a stool we’ve a sight to make you drool
Seven virgins and a mule, keep it cool, keep it cool
We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
Were exclusively our own, all our own, all our own

Come and see the show, come and see the show
Come and see the show
See the show”

 

A MOMENT WITH PETE AND KYLE

Pete Kostelnick is running the “Toughest Race On The Planet” this weekend.  He is the toughest ultra runner from Nebraska right now, hardly anyone knows who he is, he’s never once bleated.  We all celebrated the effervescence that is Kaci Lickteig during her recent Western States accomplishment.  Today is your chance to learn about and hop on the Pete Kostelnick bandwagon.

*In the interest of and adherence to, the philosophy of the Late, Great, Hunter S. Thompson, I conducted this interview inebriated, in all due respect to our interviewee, the one, the amazing, The Badwater Bad Ass, Pete Kostelnick.

Will: Who are you?  Where did you come from?

Pete:  Pete Kostelnick–I grew up in Iowa, and went to college at Iowa State.  I went abroad to Greece for awhile in college, and at the top of Mt. Zeus on the island of Naxos, after fending off several beasts you only hear about in story or see while in a severe dehydration, I witnessed the oracle that foresaw that someday I would run thru spaces man is to be forbidden.

Will:  How did Badwater end up as a stitch in your life fabric?

Pete:  I read a magazine article about Badwater while I was in college, and told a girl I met that I was going to do something like that some day.  I wasn’t in shape to run three miles, nor was I intending to ever run again, and I think she got that impression as well.  But somehow I held true to my word, so here I am. (A lot has happened between now and then).

Will:   How are you keeping you’re head wrapped around the enormity of this pursuit?

Pete:  I’m keeping pretty narrow focus on the race itself, as if it were any other race.  It seems that a lot of others running have many distractions, but I have none.  Having run RAGBRAI last year has helped me plan for this event as well.

Will:  How are you crafting your body to address the challenge?

Pete:  I’ve put it thru hell the last eight weeks–averaging around 130 miles a week.

Will:  Please describe a keystone workout.

Pete:  60 miles on the Jamaica Trail in the heat and humidity, with Kyle Clouston telling you to man up while you’re grunting to try and hold back from throwing up

Will:  Please describe a keystone week.

Pete:  20s after work each day, with two slightly longer runs on the weekend.  Friday off completely to fit in with society.

Will:  I’ll refer back to question # one.  No one outside of the cognesceti seem to know who you are.  You’ve been mentioned as an anywhere from top five to top ten.  Yet you are as calm as a clam at bloody mary tide.  Is preparation the key?  What gives here?

Pete:  I think I’m the only one mentioning anything close to potential top 10, but that’s fine. 🙂  I don’t worry about what people talk about, and typically train by myself and keep to myself.  I love the ultra scene and social aspect of the sport, but I participate in the sport foremost because I’m a very competitive person.  I’m more than happy to talk about what I think I can do, definitely not too proud to be one of those “oh, I just hope to finish” runners.  I think my brutal honesty about what I think I can do helps keep me level and motivated to fulfill what I say.

Will:  Tell me about nutrition and hydration.  I understand you eat McDonalds and pizza and canned soup and cabrito (young goats) for breakfast?

Pete:  …and lunch and dinner.  I can eat just about anything while running, which I think is important in an ultra.  So many people go too narrow in my opinion.  I’ll be putting down the likes of Vespa for burning the oil, all the way to Jolly Ranchers for burning the lighter fluid during Badwater.

Will:  Your wife Nikki was recently mentioned for Ascention, understandably and with immediacy, just how lucky are you?

Pete:  I have no clue what this means.  Hell of a lady.  She’ll be climbing Mt. Whitney during the race by herself, so I’m excited for her to get the chance to climb the highest point in the 48 states.

Will:  Anyone else you want to throw a bone to?

Pete:  Kyle has been a great resource and supportive fellow runner and teammate.  You and Linda have sparked my enthusiasm for running since I joined the team last fall, and I know I still have a ways to continue to improve.  Adam Gentzler with Spine and Sport Chiropractic has been critical to keeping me going these last couple months to help me get over a few hurdles with my legs.

And Pete’s bitch and burro for the weekend, Kyle Clouston:

Will:  Didn’t you play third base somewhere?

Kyle: Yes, in a strange time and place. From a running perspective, I’m a utility infielder. Not good enough to play shortstop or any other position on an regular basis but I’m thick headed enough and willing to take ground balls off the groin from anywhere you want to put me in the infield. Anything to get an at-bat.

Will:  Maybe it was a bowling alley?

Kyle:  In a bowling alley where everybody is guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

Will:  What the heck are you doing here?

Kyle:  I was sitting around in a middle school parking lot in Dixieland back in 2012. I see some asshole pull up in a stupid neon with a bike on  the top of his car. I’m thinking, no way this guy has a chance. Less than eight hours later I was wrong, picked up a another vice (ultra running)and this hairy dude from Iowa is the real deal.

Will:  You ran a 4:52 mile on Sunday through the campus of UNL.  Do you
wear a cape?

Kyle:  More like a skirt after that performance

Will:  You also ran the 100 mile Trail Run National Championships last
February.  Whaaaat?

Kyle:  Good question, I hate pain, despite my ability to tolerate it beyond all known parameters, which is not necessarily a good thing. In all seriousness though, completing this race was the most humbling and educational experience in my life.

Will: I hear you are Pete’s secret weapon, with the night vision and all
going on.  How did that whole thing come about?

Kyle:  The urban campers along the Lincoln trails early in the morning, “Man, I thought you’s was a train!” Pete’s got enough weapons without me, I’ve always looked at Pete like he’s Scott Jurek and I’m Dusty Olson.

Will:  We climbed Pike’s Peak together last month and you couldn’t find
your ass.  How have you prepared for this?

Kyle:  Yeah, thanks to Linda or I’d still be up there, Jeremiah Johnson style. All bs aside, I’m glad this is a road race, I have a long ways to go before I conquer the mountains. I’ve read everything I can get my hands on, will lay down in traffic for Pete and have been to the dark side enough in life and running. I’m confident I’m prepped and ready to help Pete get this done. I’ve never met the any of the other crew but I have utmost respect for these three guys  and what they will bring to the table. That being said, I think we will hold up our end of the deal.

Will:  Is this your cell phone laying on my counter?  Or Pete’s?

Kyle:  Jerrod’s. Thanks Dr. Gonzo, when others turned guys like us away, you took a gamble.

BAXTER & MILLER SHOW

The USATF Nebraska Association sent three athletes to the Club Championships in Tacoma, WA this past weekend.  Team Nebraska was the lone club represented.  Aubrey Baxter scored 30 points winning the “Baxter Hat Trick” as it should forever be known.  Hammer, Discus, Shot, Yawn.  Ashley Miller scored in the 800, 1500, & 5000 to contribute 21 points.  The two women did enough damage to finish 3rd overall ( and win $1000) in their division.  Peter Falcon was the single male from Nebraska to participate, ran 34:21 for the 10000, tough day, finishing 10th of 10.

The meet was not only poorly attended by the Nebraska Association though.  As evidenced by the Team Nebraska women’s 51 points being good enough for 5th overall in the combined men’s and women’s team scoring.  Complete results here: http://www.usatf.org/usatf/files/22/22093827-70a3-44bd-9208-08cc0b9ee2c7.pdf

Your top 3 USATF Elite Development Clubs were:
Central Park Track Club- 408 points.
Club Northwest- 319 points.
Kansas City Smoke- 141 points.  Way to represent our Midwest Region Smoke!

Our Association Championships “Road Mile” were held in Lincoln yesterday morning.  Some interesting results as Ivan Marsh (40, unattached) won the 40-44 in 4:59.  Shannon Stenger (35, NDORFNZ Racing) won the 35-39 in 4:46.  Ryan Salem (39, LRC Racing) was 3rd in the same age group in 5:01.  Paul Wilson (32, unattached) took 3rd in his division with 5:04.  Bob Garcia (59, unattached) was 2nd in the 55-59 in 5:32.  All used to run for me on Team Nebraska, glad to see they are still getting it even though they no longer run for me or the red and white.  Complete results here: http://onlineraceresults.com/race/view_plain_text.php?race_id=41021

It was great to see so many athletes Racing.   Representing their teams by proudly wearing  their club affiliation on their chest.   One of the recurring problems I had with TN back in the day was making sure Everyone understood how important it is to wear your Club Colors during Every Race.  It seems that problem is no longer and I couldn’t be happier.  Our NRGE President Kyle Clouston was in kit and ran 4:52, just two seconds off his lifetime best.  Damned proud of that effort considering what he’s doing later this week, stay tuned for that.

Our mate Stacy Shaw finally got her jaw wiring removed, she can now breathe.  Interestingly or amazingly she’d never run a 1 Mile Race before.  But we all know her to be the most versatile and talented female masters in Nebraska.   You can make arguments for several others (Jetensky, Kunasek, Erickson, etc), but if you look at the WAVA age grading tables, no one, NO ONE, age grades better.  Her 5:48, (48, 2nd O/A masters) age grades to 86.3%.  For contrast the overall masters time was 5:43 by a 41 year old, and while first across the line, age grades to a mere 78.47%.  The difference between National Class and Regional Class right before your eyes.  Stacy is just getting started, going to be a FUN Filled Summer and Fall with her.

Fun Facts:
100% = Approximate World-Record Level
90+% = World Class
80+% = National Class
70+% = Regional Class
60+% = Local Class

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Mike Wasson, also 48 and fast, was the Overall Winner at the Beat The Heat 10K.  His time of 38:09 age grades to 79.19, just missing the National Class mark.  Regional, regional, nanny nanny boo boo!  Watch him destroy things later this fall.

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Bob Garcia is in my age group for another 9 months, but who’s counting.  He had the second best time and second best bared chest of the morning.

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Shannon Stenger showing the form that made him the Most Versatile male in the history of Team Nebraska (back in the day he ran 2:29 at Lincoln and sub 4 for 1500.)

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My Dear Sweet Linda showing good form in her return to competitive racing.

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Stacy Shaw in full flight.  Five ticks behind the masters winner despite having an additional 7 years.  Just think of what’s coming once training returns to regular (able to eat and breathe normally.)

Lincoln Mile Race Photos courtesy of Gary Dougherty Photography.

FARM AID FRIDAY

I didn’t get the Omaha bus driving gig this year but will still be at Stir Cove tonight catching up with my old buddy Willie Nelson.  Now 80 years old and still “On The Road Again.”  Concert sold out long ago, Big Tips to my buddy Bill Weeks and his double secret connections at Stir.

Appearing with Willie is one of my all time favorite female songstresses, Allison Kraus.  It will be Linda’s first concert since seeing KISS back in high school.  I’m a veteran of over 100 shows including most of the biggest acts of the 70s and 80s.  All time favorite?  The Rolling Stones.  Favorites since moving to Omaha?  Lyle Lovett.  Bruce Springsteen.  Roger Waters.  Lucinda Williams.  John Hiatt.  You can tell where my tastes are.  Tonight will likely jump to the top.

There are a lot of reasons I consider Willie a Real American Hero.  Number one on that list is his work for the American farmer.  Farm Aid was founded by Willie back in 1985, his first show just down the road from the small agri community where I sprouted, Champaign, Illinois.  To date, hundreds of millions raised to support small, family operations.  God Bless You Willie.

Hope you all get out and Get Some this weekend.  The Lincoln Mile on Sunday appears to be the showcase event.  I’ll be there lustily cheering Kyle and Linda, and maybe you too!

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Beets, and the summer’s first pull of carrots and those lovely kennebec potatoes!  Going to be a busy weekend getting the beets canned and my oh my the parsnips are ready to go too.  100% organic, just like the Good Mother intended.   #FarmStrong indeed!

 

FINGER PIE

The buzz is starting to build about the 2014 Freedom Run Half Marathon, 5K & 10K.

While I’m tempted to continually trump how the course has been designed for state records, I’m more intrigued with the fact that it is the EASIEST half marathon you’ll ever run on Nebraska soil.  If you are a novice, this course is for you.  If you are looking to improve on a previous effort, this course is for you.  If you are a Stud or Studette, this course is definitely for you.  Same goes for the 5K & 10K.

Simple design, take a look at the course maps below and you can see that they were crafted with Your Personal Best in mind.  I’ll be posting the Half map manana.

Had two great track sessions yesterday.  In the morning I pushed Sam & Jackson to new heights, both physically and mentally.  In the evening Mike Wasson, Jimmie Doherty, Ashley Shurman, Jessica Pape, and Tammy Consbruck showed some great NRGE team running through a difficult set of 1Ks.  Our illustrious leader Kyle Clouston excelled with his 10 X 200 (:32s w/ :30 recovery), he’s coming to kick some Tall Tail at this weekend’s Lincoln Mile.

Got a nice email from Gary Dougherty this morning reminding me of when I coached him up for the Carlsbad 5000.  Must be 10 years ago now.  He was hitting (no, destroying might be the better descriptor) every workout as he pursued a sub 16 on the fastest 5K course in America.  Split 4:51 and 10:02 and had one of the worst crashes of his racing career, the fickle finger of sinusitis fate stuck directly up his nose dashing a dream, drats.  Thanks for the reminder Gary.

5K Map

 

10K Map

 

I’ve had my fingers in the Nebraska Running Community Pie since 2001.  Some stuff has been really good, some has been a struggle.  All has been worth it.  My original mantra when moving here was “Love All, Serve All.”  Today it might better read “Love Most and Serve Most.”

USA CLUB NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS PREVIEW

Going to start out with Big Tips to the KC Smoke.  They have experienced a revival after weathering some down years as an Elite Development Club.  A boatload** of talent headed to Seattle, four men entered into the 10000 alone.  I was there and saw politics nearly ruin that club.  Founder and good friend Shawn Love built it into a powerhouse.  He hosted the 2008 USATF Club Championships and the next thing I knew he was off the roster and that was that.  Of course, the athletes didn’t want to be involved in the drama, so they just let things slide.  And they did, downward.  In short order they no longer were seen dominating the local road and track scene.  No longer struck fear into the hearts of their competitors.  Became a shadow of their former selves.  The Most Serious of the athletes suffered the most.

So I’m really happy that they have the talent and funding and training and advocacy necessary to best serve the mission statement of our USATF EDCs.

Also glad to see that Team Nebraska is sending 3 athletes to the most important track meet of the summer.  Ashley Miller will be running the 1500 and 5000.  I’ve got her picked to win the latter and be in the mix for the former.  Peter Falcon will be contesting the 5000 and 10000 and has a great shot at a medal in the longer race.  Aubrey Baxter will be tossing the Hammer, Shot, and Discus.  Events she has won repeatedly over the years.

Aubrey will always be one of the best stories from my time as head honcho at Team Nebraska.  Only Aubrey, Bill Roe, Devon Martin, and Dave Oja knew how far out on a limb I had to go to get her counted as a scoring athlete for the Red & White.   Because I took up for her as an athlete first, geographical and procedural impediments be damned.  I saw her talent, was convinced she had the key ingredient, Potential Development, in her corner and I was not going to back down.  Sat in meetings convincing the powers that were to give this young lady the opportunity that she could get nowhere else.  I’ll always be proud of my success in that battle.

The rest, like me and Shawn, is history.

**Aaron Davidson, Drew Frizzell, Jeramey Jordan, Joe Moore, Jordan Umsheid, Justin Garrard, Kelvin Busienei, Kory Cool, Michael Alexander, Mike Hernandez, Randy Wasinger, and Tim Testa.

 

COUPLE OF PECKERS

But first, Living and Happy in the present.

My dear sweet departed mother used to threaten/pray “I hope you have one just like you!”  Well I had three and all possess traits, both good and bad, that remind me of when I was a wee guru.  I’m not making any threats or wishes on their progeny, in fact will consider myself quite lucky, after what they endured, if any of the trio choose to procreate.  Rather I’ll celebrate if they arrive at Peace Within, understanding what a difficult journey that is, making it all the better.  Because Life is full of sweetness and sorrow, the beautiful and bizarre.

Would you really want it any other way?  I’ve passed on mundane and mediocre, took the soaring highs and searing lows, been dealt love and stunning blows.  That my friends is Real Living.  If you’ve couched your lives in comfort, tsk, tsk, tsk.  Get out and live a little!  As my boy Frankie Beverly sang “Joy, and Pain, are like Sunshine, and Rain.”

Big tip of the sombrero to my dear friend and original coaching mentor, Jim McLatchie.  He originally shaped my style and philosophy, my way or the highway.  You don’t argue with success at that level.  Here’s a link detailing his work with Matthew Maton, whom he has  coached to a 4:03 prep mile in Bend, OR.  http://www.runnersworld.com/high-school-profiles/matthew-maton-learns-how-to-close-hard#.U7RJ7zGMZ0U.email

I’m doing my best McLatchie impression with my two young charges heading to the AAU Junior Olympics later this month.  Obviously very talented.  What is it that I can do to take them to the Next Level?  Just you wait and see.

Linda is entered into this weekend’s Lincoln Mile.  At age 51 she is trying to recapture her latent speed that was so grotesquely interrupted by her shattered foot of 18 months ago.  Don’t forget that she earned a couple of USATF Masters National Indoor Championship medals in Albuquerque a couple of years ago.

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Yours truly with old buddy and masters stud Joe Melanson.  He ran 2:38:54 at age 44, 12 years ago.  He can still crank out a sub 3.  Pictured here at the 2000 Twin Cities Marathon with our Beaumont, TX (via Scotland) native Jim McLatchie.  Jim and I are alumni of the Lamar University Cardinals in Beaumont, aka Pecker Tech.

WHO WON WHAT

Well there were some races last weekend, at least some athletes toed the line and gave it everything they had.  The umpteenth annual classic Ralston Run continues to stay the course of minimum standards well received.  Two point nine seven (ish) miles through some big hills.  No results to be found, drats.

The Seward Optimist Club 10K showed better with Conor Wells running 33:59.  Overall female was Carrie Brox in 39:11.

A new event to Omaha, The Indie 5K & 10K, featured a rare twist with siblings Jordan (18:47)  and Shelby (21:57) Tucker taking the overalls in the 5K.  No noteworthy performances in the 10K.

Interesting results from the Brownville Half Marathon.  Fifty year old Todd Nott took the overall in 1:23:45.  Steve Cross (42) of Team Nebraska was second in 1:25:43.  Anne Marie Chappell (35) was 3rd O/A and first female in 1:26:46.  You might remember that Anne Marie is faster than you by virtue of her 2:45:12 overall win at the 2011 Lincoln Marathon.  Forty four year old Eddie Paden was 4th in 1:31:07.  NRGE masters studette Stacy Shaw (48) continues her return, yes, mouth still wired shut, by finishing 5th overall in 1:32:50.  She’s coming for you.  In the accompanying 5K one of my favorites Angee Henry (38) was 2nd overall in 22:50.

Our boy Pete Kostelnick ran 44 miles in 7:30 and then followed with 24 miles in 4 hours eighteen minutes.  No big deal?  He did it like this:  “Simulated the first 22 miles of up of Badwater on treadmill mile by mile at 0-10% incline. ~6600 vert feet.”  WARNING!  DO NOT ATTEMPT AT HOME, FEAT PERFORMED BY A PROFESSIONAL!

Linda and I had a wonderful opportunity to get trained up for BIX and its infamous Brady Street Hill later this month by attending the Midday Mile Repeats hosted by Cade and Molly Pearson.  A one half mile hill, killer grade, up and down, up and down, up and down, we called it a day after 10 of the buggers.  Angie Hodge and Krista Palm amazed us all by amassing 20 climbs and descents.

Riddle me this!  What’s the difference between Farm Strong and Pharm Strong?  Farm Strong is the by product of time, conviction, and hard physical labor.  Pharm Strong is as easy as knowing the right doc.  Farm Strong Leaves no Questions.  Pharm Strong Raises Eyebrows. Farm Strong is Real.  Pharm Strong is Synthetic.  Farm Strong is Proud Accomplishment.  Pharm Strong is for Cheats.  

I’m doing Elite Athlete Recruiting for the Twin Rivers YMCA Freedom Half Marathon.  Early commitments from some of the the top male and female athletes in Nebraska will help them in their pursuit of state record times.  And the attendant prize purse, sponsored by Gretna Family Health.  Competition, Kapiche?

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Peace, Love, Run.  The Pearson’s have a hit with their Midday Mile Repeats.

 

 

 

FLAT LINE FRIDAY

Fifteen done, twenty one to go.  I laid out the Freedom Run 5K & 10K courses yesterday.  I’ll spend a few hours over the weekend getting my maps drawn and paperwork filled out for USATF Certification.  And will knock out the half marathon route early next week.  For my 27 years of designing and measuring, this is my first 21 kilometer.  And by far the fastest trio of courses.  Zero elevation.  Flat as a pancake.  Flat as a board.  Flat as last month’s roadkill.  Hat’s off to Blaine Schmidt and Pat McCarville for their keen eyes and sense of import regarding a state record worthy tour of Valley and points west.  I think it may be their training route so they’ll have an immediate advantage at the gun.

4th Annual Freedom Run

COME RUN WITH US

4th Annual Freedom Run
TWIN RIVERS YMCA
Sunday, September 7, 2014

Come run your personal best on this fast, flat course!

Order of Events:
Registration 6:30-7:45am
Opening Ceremonies 8:00am
5K, 10K & Half Marathon begin at 8:15am
1 Mile Family Fun Run begins at 10:00am
Child watch available 7:30-10:30am

All race events are USATF Certified

Event Pricing:
1 Mile Family Fun Run: $10 per person
5K $30; 10K $40; Half Marathon $50
Police/Fire/Military Personnel $25 (any event)

Contact Judy Argintean, Executive Director, with any questions. 402-359-9622 or jargintean@metroymca.org

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Glad to see the event has partnered with GetMeRegistered.  Precision Race Results will be handling timing and results too.  Whispers I hear coming out of the Y are that a 42 kilometer is being added next year.  I hope I land that measurement gig too.

Have a safe and happy holiday.  I expect to see 10 fingers on you all next week.

THIS RUNNING LIFE

I used to be so full of Hubris (sh*t) that I proudly proclaimed I’d never change a thing about my life.  I’ve finally grown enough to accept, without remorse, that I could have and should have done a few things slightly different.  But then again that would be tinkering with Fate and whatever trails brought me to my dear sweet Linda were worth the traverse after all.

And to this Fine Point in my life.  At least in this season, doing exactly what I want and feel the need to do.  Working with runners.  Working for runners.

Last night drove that point home and this morning really capped it off.

The dozen runners that showed up for Wednesday Night Track Work rewarded me by paying the difficult toll demanded.  Four different workouts going on simultaneously.  Kyle capping his arduous evening with the last four 200 meters all at :32.  Ready for a personal best at next weekend’s Lincoln Mile, our USATF Nebraska Association Championship.  Jessica hitting her 1 Mile effort at 9:40 and then backing it up with a 2 Mile in 18:35, no less impressive to the group.  Everyone pushing toward the searing satisfaction of complete Honesty.  And Linda’s Kids Fit Program, sponsored by Gretna Family Health, chock full of little munchkins getting some fun and fitness on.

We’ve been sharing the track with the Omaha Racers.  http://omaharacers.webs.com/coaches.htm Head Coach Leigh Officer has been kind and courteous allowing our faster runners the use of lane 1, and we in turn have reciprocated as necessary.  The combined attendance at the track must surely turn heads along Q St.

Which leads me to why I’m feeling in my Sweet Spot this morning.  I was approached by a woman at the Boystown 5 Mile.  Asked me to consider working with her two boys as they get ready for the Junior Olympics in Des Moines at the end of this month.  We had our first session this morning, at a location that will remain a mystery to prying eyes.  Eight years and eleven years old.  Their heroes?  Steve Prefontaine and Seth Hirsch.  Their goals?  The Truth.

I’ve seen the way some kids are handled on the track.  Badgering, berating parents.  Pushing, pushing, hollering and always with the more pushing and the more hollering.  Yeah, that’s some way to keep your kids in the sport.  Or not.

I’m using a completely different tack with my two young charges.  Bringing the benefit of my 30+ years of knowledge into the next 3 weeks.  Positive imagery, encouragement, finesse.

Handling their young flames with kid gloves so as to not burn them out.  Or injure them.  After the interview process with mom I was nearly sure she’d opt out, I had even recommended the Omaha Racers as a fine alternative.  But she reads this column and recognized that this is what she believes is best.   I thank her and the boys for their confidence.  And can’t wait for Des Moines.

Rest in peace Luis Zamperini.  Can’t wait to read your biography and see your movie!

Picked dark cherries off the tree yesterday afternoon and my lover baked me a pie last night.  That’s what I’m talking about!
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