Monthly Archives: November 2014


I like to say that I’ve got race t-shirts older than most of you.  As I celebrate my 57th trip around the sun I realize that I’m probably older than most of your parents too.

What does that bring or mean?  It brings wisdom, filtered through my own life experiences.  It means that I’ve earned my opinions, hardened by years of struggles, honed by my own personal values.

Age entitles observation and comment on the world.  Same goes for everyone, not just me.  Its called respect.

The running day that was.  The Fremont Turkey Trot was yesterday.  Used to be a very deep and competitive race, now its Luka Thor and no more.  Feast and Feathers half marathon was yesterday, third annual and they’re still trying to figure out how to put this one on, runners getting lost on the course, still no results available, and the people love it.  The Joslyn Castle Turkey Trot was yesterday, again no results available.  Omaha Running Club had 200 turn out for their annual and free fun run.

And finally, so glad that I have Linda now.  My life is happier, more loving, sharing, hopeful and fun than ever.  Blessed to have her.

So raise a pint with me tonight.  A toast to free thinking, free ranging, free wheeling, free loving, free speech, and free to be me.








Everyone should know that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Mostly because I was born on that day in 1957, will celebrate my 57th with lusty gusto on Friday.  But also because the date hinges the history of a people changed forever.  While you are stuffing the stuffing, potatoes, and poultry in your pie hole please take a moment to remember the Original Americans, our Native Americans.  Especially if you are a Nebraskan.  Standing Bear, in my opinion, one of the bravest and greatest of Americans.

If you’re still looking for somewhere to burn of some post-gluttony, I challenge you to come out Saturday morning and race me at the Ashland Turkey Trot.  My old buddy Ivan Marsh is the new race director and we’re happy to support him and the Saunders County Food Bank.





Today’s quiz, Can you detect and overcome slothfulness?  True or False

1. A slothful man is one who really does not want anything out of life.

2. The main occupation of a sluggard is sitting around watching others work.

3. Because a slothful man skillfully gets out of work, he avoids pressures in life.

4. A slothful man will not usually work for somebody else, but will work for himself.

5. A slothful man will not work, nor will he give excuses for not working.

6. A slothful man is very aware that he is slothful.

7. One way to conquer slothfulness is to give a man the responsibility of having his own business.

8. A sluggard is a very weak-willed person.

9. The mind of the slothful is as sluggish as his body.

10. A sluggard likes to begin things but not finish them.

11. If a slothful man is to be helped at all, his food supply must be taken from him.

Evaluation score:
9-11 correct = You understand a sluggard
5-8 correct =    You do not recognize slothfulness.
0-4 correct =   You will have difficulty with slothful people

Answer key:
1) F, 2) F, 3) F, 4) F, 5) F, 6) F, 7) F, 8) F, 9) F, 10) F, 11) T


Found this gem for ten cents at New Life Thrift.  I bought it for the cover art but found some real good stuff on the inside.  Published in 1983 by the Institute in Basic Life Principles, as an adjunct to Men’s Manual, Volume II on achieving financial freedom.

Provides a paragraph or two justifying the answer table.  Some fun facts.  Challenges real men to be more like the ant, less like the sloth, the ant wins every time.  Mainly in the form of proverbs.

The sloth is the embodiment of idleness, may spend its entire life in a single tree.  Ninety nine percent of its life is spent hanging upside down, everything is right when upside down.  It has 23 pairs of ribs compared to 12 for man.  It can turn its head 180 degrees in either direction.  Too idle to clean itself, the sloth turns green from the algae growing in its hair.

On how to counteract slothfulness with hunger, the ever popular “If any would not work, neither should he eat” (II Thessalonians 3:10).  And to learn diligence the demanding “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest” (Proverbs 6:6-8).

God’s warning’s on sleep!   “How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard?  when wilt thou rise out of thy sleep?” (Proverbs 6:9).  And, “As the door turneth upon his hinges, so doth the slothful upon his bed” (Proverbs 26:14)


The running segment of today’s column.  This illustration from the book encourages man to be like the ant.  A leaf-cutter ant may carry up to 50 times its own weight over 100 yards.  That is the same as a 200 pound man carrying five tons on his back for 17 miles!  Slackers!!  Notice how the runner appears very fit and is even wearing spikes but still lags behind the superior worker.  There’s an analogy about Nebraska Run Guru Elite in there for those that will see.  Giddyup!


Dating is hard.  Sometimes people get their feelings hurt.  Maybe a more attractive option comes along?  Possibly swayed by another’s siren song?  Grass is always greener?

I first met with Valley YMCA Executive Director Judy Argintean last January to explore adding a new event to the fall calendar, the Freedom Run Half Marathon.  The first Sunday in September, no locally competing events, always the Very First thing I look at.

The second person I talked to was Tom Whitaker.  Called him immediately after meeting with Judy.  Told him of the new event and petitioned support from the Omaha Running Club.  Let him know that we were planning on adding a marathon in 2015, same first weekend in September.   Tom let me know that ORC leadership couldn’t support the Freedom Run due to the fact the Buffalo Run in Lincoln was the same day.  Not wanting to sully the calendar, or relationships with the Lincoln Track Club, by competing against it.  Well, ok.

We have all now learned that ORC’s inaugural Heartland Marathon is scheduled for the first weekend in September, 2015.  Well, ok.

The dating game.  A rogue’s game.

No one has wanted a Real marathon for Omaha more than I, and glad someone else is doing it.  I’ve had membership, one tiny voice in ORC since 2001, and will do everything I can to support my new hometown marathon.

Out of respect to Tom, the Omaha Running Club, and the Heartland Marathon, the Freedom Run has been moved to the second weekend in September 2015.  And won’t be adding a marathon.  September 13, 2015, mark your calendars.  







The 36th annual Living History Farms XC run/race is this weekend.  One of if not the largest cross country race in the U.S., granted 90% of the limited to 7600 field are novelty runners.  It used to be one of my favorites.  I made sure the best athletes from Nebraska wreaked a bit of pre Thanksgiving havoc on our neighbors.  Brought Overall Team Titles this side of the Missouri for a few years.  And had a two time Overall Male winner.  Matt Pohren, dude simply would not accept getting beat there.  Wouldn’t accept it.  Dig?  A 14 high 5K guy, albeit hardened by years of steeple, going into the race against cats with faster 5K and 10K prs.  Refusing to lose.  The first of his consecutive wins came hardest with his car stuck in a massive traffic jam, half a mile from the start, starting gun ticking perilously near.  Matt finally pulls over on the shoulder, abandons it and makes the mad dash to just catch the start.  Unflappable.  Resolute.  Defying anyone and everyone to catch him.  Winner.   38:56 in 2011, 38:09 in 2012.   The latter a course record that will be tough until someone with his guts comes along, and that’s a rare breed.  As good a man as he is a fierce competitor, Nebraska could use a few more just like him.

Back in my day:
2005- Team Nebraska is 4th Overall and 6th Overall Men’s Team.  1st Overall Women’s Team.
2006- Team Nebraska is 3rd Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team, 1st Overall Men’s Masters.
2007- Team Nebraska 2nd Overall Female Team.
2008- Team Nebraska 4th Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team
2009- Team Nebraska 1st Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team
2010- Team Nebraska 1st Overall Men’s Team
2011- Team Nebraska 2nd Overall Men’s Team (Iowa RunAblaze topped the Good Mates by a total of 15 seconds in the team competition, the closest ever!)  Matt Pohren becomes the first ever Nebraskan to win LHF in a fast 38:56
2012- Team Nebraska 3rd Overall Men’s Team.  Matt Pohren becomes a repeat winner and sets new event record of 38:09.

There’s the bar.  Hope some of you whippersnappers from both sides of the Platte  make us proud this weekend.




Salon- “gathering of people under the roof of an inspiring host, held partly to amuse one another and partly to refine the taste and increase the knowledge of the participants through conversation.”

Last night introduced a touch of refinement around the edges at the Bar None.  Genteel intercourse about the state of running in Nebraska, and where NRGE fits in.  Or out. The pack pedigreed, this alpha more a mongrel.  El Jefe, riding less roughshod, steering onward and upward.  Steaming pot of leek/potatoe/carrot soup and great chunks of fresh bread.  Thanks to everyone for the beers from around the world and appetizer plates.  Those gathered all agreed, next year will be a doozy.

We also entertained on Monday evening.  Guests, including a star athlete,  for dinner, my world famous meatloaf, chock full of hidden micro-diced vegetables, mashed potatoes and fresh roasted beets.   Evening’s theme the importance of proper nutrition and high level training.  You can run on cheeseburgers but you will doubtlessly run much better on a variety of fresh, non processed foods.  Does it have a bar code on it?  Skip it.

And we were entertained on Tuesday evening.  I heard from an old friend/adversary recently.  Kray Zeller and I go back several years.   Had our share of “disagreements” back in the day.  He as or even more fiery than yours truly.  Both of us ready to whup the world, and each other, for our causes.  Fast forward five or more years and Kray is guest at my dinner table, burgers, candied carrots, again with the roasted beets.  Drawn together now through a random act of kindness.  He shared with us many interesting tales of his youth and life of running.  I sat listening for over two hours, understanding some through our shared experiences, in awe of so much more.  Few could walk a mile in his shoes.

This week’s free exchange of knowledge and humor will conclude with tonight’s more formal business, something about long distance racing next fall.


Salon Bar None.  Where the elite meet to eat meats and beets and discuss the sweet beats of our feets out on the streets.


Macro, meso, micro.  What do you have on tap for 2015?  That’s one of the topics we’ll be addressing at tonight’s Nebraska Run Guru Elite team meeting.  Planning for the year, the season, the race.  Establishing windmills to tilt.  Difficult ones, worthy of Honest Pursuit.  Individual.  Team.  We’ll get that done and go into some super secret, metaphysical, whirling dirvish, chanting, pistol squatting frenzy, appeasing the gods of giddyup!  Banding together with roadmap to success.  This way chosen, Truth our only Real Challenge, Honesty the only Real Answer.

We’re bad ass that way.

I’ve seen every NRGE mate race.  The grit of their teeth.  The damned if you’re passing me countenance.  Never complacent, never thrilled with a performance, always knowing that little bit extra is still out there somewhere.  Always looking ahead, never behind.  Pissed if you finish ahead and looking forward to the next try.  And more.  We’re so fortunate to have these men and women believe in this club.  And equally what we  represent outside of the physical training.  The ability to turn an athlete’s eye inward.  Ask the Hardest questions.  Settle for no less than the Deepest Truth.  The Mind is the Athlete.  That’s what they’re all in for.

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We’ll be charting out 2015 tonight.  You can learn much and keep motivated by keeping a record of your daily, weekly, monthly, and annual training and goals.  This past weekend I used a log to track my log useage in the wood burning stove.  Learned I could stretch a single log into 2 plus hours of heat.  This handy chalkboard reminds me daily of what is most important in life.


Its the coals that keep the heat, wise management of resources ensuring plenty of wood for the winter.  Wise distribution of running energies during our frigid months ensuring plenty of racing next spring.  A little of this, a little of that.


We’ve been at the Bar None for 18 months, no microwave necessary.



Standards for consideration into the California International Marathon elite field, courtesy of their website

“Elite entry is available for those who have achieved a recent sub 2:25 marathon/1:09 half marathon for male athletes and sub 2:52 marathon/1:20 half marathon for female athletes.”

Prize moolah like this: $10K, $5K, $2.5K, $1K, $.5K, Masters $500, $250, $100.

And even more incentive for our U.S., and Nebraska, marathoners:

  • In 2014, the CIM will offer an Olympic Trials bonus for any American achieving the A Standard (2:15:00 men/2:37:00 women) or B Standard (2:18:00 men/2:43:00 women). The payout will be $2,500 for an A Standard or $1,000 for a B Standard.
    No druggies allowed: “In order to apply for elite entry and race for prize money at the CIM, athletes should have a clean drug test record.  The CIM will immediately disqualify any athlete that tests positive for using performance enhancing drugs, and CIM will no longer recruit that athlete for future races. Prize money and incentive bonuses will not be awarded to athletes that test positive for performance enhancing drugs. Athletes returning from a drug suspension will no longer be actively recruited, and they will not be offered food, lodging, and travel assistance to the CIM or any other Sacramento Running Association events.”
  • CIM has traditionally yielded numerous Trials Qualifiers.  It features a net 340′ drop along the point to point course.  Being the last quality marathon of the year is also a big enticement for those looking to run fast times.  Nothing more comfortable in 2015 as knowing you’ve got your qualifier in your back pocket.
  • But don’t rest on those laurels!  Fun factoids- 1) CIM produces more qualifiers than any other marathon.  2) At the 2012 Trials Josh Cox was the top CIM qualifier with 13th overall  fastest in 2:13:51.  On the women’s side Erin Moeller of Iowa at 36th overall fastest qualifer with her 2:37:33 at California International.  3) Cox ran nearly identical at the Trials running 2:13:50 for 14th, Moeller doesn’t show in the Women’s Trials results.
  • Josh and Linda were all smiles after his 2:13:50 down in Houston ’12.


Or, “For The Love of Pete!”

Pete Kostelnick, nee Boone Badass, nee Badwater Badass, The All Day Man.  Few in the ultra circles can circle a circle like our mate.  Went down to Wichita,, did his thing like no one else does, covering 123 miles in 23 hours and change.  Waiting on confirmation as a new Kansas state record for the 24 hour run.  Nebraska’s most accomplished male ultra runner of the year.  Representing the most accomplished ultra running club in Nebraska.

Ashley Schurman continued her arc into the ultra scene competing in the accompanying 6 hour run.  Feet bloodied and butchered, emotions and hills both on rollercoasters, pain and suffering and doubt and tears and more suffering and more pain.  To a podium finish, third in around 38 .something miles.  We saw her feet after winning the Goatz 50K a couple of weeks ago, somebody needs to name an award after her little piggies.

El Jefe also made the trip.  He is completing Level One of The Training Program.  Has to serve 1000 hours crewing/manservanting for Pete to be considered for Level Two, Sherpas and Altitude.

So as the year, at least the competitive calendar winds down, Nebraska Run Guru Elite is still in a good place to be.  With all our balls in the air.  Top ultra and trail cats, emerging and formidable women’s marathon team, potentially the top 5-10K guy in the state.  That’s the way I see things.


You’ve got to get up pretty early to catch Ashley and Kyle and Pete.


Kyle’s arduous training includes subservient tasks such as packing the champagne, (shown here doing a temperature check) ministering to blisters, driver, head cheerleader and all around obedient guy.   Appearing soon on an upcoming episode of “Breaking Amish” with Vanilla Ice.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne hundred laps behind these big boys, juevos mas grande do todos!   For Pete’s Sake!



Single digits got nothing on me.  Flannel is a farmer’s best friend when the mercury plunges.  On my way to the favorite thrift store this morning, looking to score some lined britches for a song and dance for my pants.

Our mates Pete Kostelnick & Kyle Clouston & Ashley Schurman will certainly be needing some warmth at this weekend’s 24/12/6 Hour Ultra Runs at Buffalo park in Wichita.  A 1.232 mile USATF Certified loop, again and again and again and again.  Pete is hitting the 24 hour with a goal of 123 miles covered.  That will be his 3rd 100 miler this year.  Kyle and Ashley tackling the 6 hour, expect all our mates to come back heavily decorated.

Did you know that the GLH has a benevolent side?  Raised and donated over $10K to local chairities.  Fine job men!

As Linda and I were driving in town this week to interview a potential new mate I made the following statement.  “I don’t care what her prs are as long as she is an athlete.”  We’d been contacted by this young lady and I was excited, sight unseen.  As always, if you read this column and still reach out to me, well that says a lot about your strength of character.  If you withstand the flame thrower of my standard queries, indicate you are willing to face the tempering without questions or critique, I can build a competitive reputation on that cornerstone.  With that NRGE would like to welcome Allison Moy-Borgan.  I’ve taken this recent Portland, OR transplant and former collegiate soccer player under my developmental wing.  Because she is an athlete and has indicated a willingness to work hard and committ to the program.  At 23 years old I’ve issued her first pair of sunglasses, her future’s so bright.

Thanks to the many of you for the emails this week.  Always a treat for me to realize there are regular readers, from across the map and competitive spectrum.  About half agree and the other half not.  I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Still time to register at our lowest rate of $40 for the 9th annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Runs set for Saturday, April 4th.  Prices will increase by $5 on December 1st.  And as always, active military will enjoy a constant $25 special rate.