Monthly Archives: February 2015

MILLION WORDS

My first column under this banner appeared March 4, 2011.  Today marks the 1088th column during that span.   Between 2005-2011 I crafted at least 1200 columns under the Team Nebraska banner.   Trying always to adhere to a  500 word limit.

So on the light side I’ve crafted over 1 million words for your perusal, consumption, acceptance and/or rejection.  Ten years of “stimulating the running community to a more competitive culture.”  Have I succeeded?  Take a look around and the answer is a resounding Yes!  And I’ve still got plenty to say, as always.

But I’m feeling the need to slow down a bit, at least for now, maybe its the spring busy season at the Bar None.  Maybe I’m just in a little bit of a funk, not surprising after what I went through last week.  At any rate, re-evaluating everything.  Looking at what I’ve created in Nebraska, the more it grows, with just a few exceptions, the more it takes on its own life, the less it resembles my original vision.  It’ll be what it’ll be, with or without any of us.  Or will it?

How much more do I feel compelled to contribute?  And why?  When do I step completely away? When will I have had enough?  When do the personal costs finally outweigh the common good?  Those are questions I’ll be asking myself as the days grow longer and my toils are by necessity focused more on Our Little Slice.

Last week I was asked how many hours a week I spend working as Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC.  When I answered under oath, there was much chuckling and guffawing, shocking those present that I would dedicate so much time and effort, year round, for so little return.  “But its my passion and joy and I am my own boss” not buying me any sway, no, not with them.

But this much is still sure:  Nebraska Run Guru Elite, our athletes and programs, as long as desired, will still have my full attention.  And words.

 

ILK AND INKLING

Spent much of Monday morning in the bowels of Omaha, 16th & Capitol, the IRS office.  No numbers on the door, nothing tipping a hand except the 7′ tall young Clyde Drexler 6% body fat look alike, hatches battened with all manner of irritating to lethal security swag, unchallenged forever.  Me meekly asking if this was the place, the lilt in his reply revealing a happier, less foreboding inside.

Number 851, have a seat.  Ah yes, here are truly my ilk.  All religions, stations and complexions, in the same shoes with different perplexions.    In the Land of The Man.  Uncle Sam.  Big Brother.  They know everything about everybody or easily find out.  But you won’t see me out running with a colander or aluminum foil on my head.

Now for the lighter side!  The USA Masters 8K Road Championships are this weekend in Brea, CA.  The pancake flat, fast course should yield some eye popping times.  A glimpse at status of entries prompts a tale of course:

In 2010 I took Linda and Stacy Shaw to the USA Masters Half Marathon National Championships in Mellbourne, FL.  Got to see the last night launch of the Space Shuttle as bucket list gravy.

We’d been in the hotel only a short while when Linda headed off to the restroom, returning shortly with her new friend, Joanna.  Legs up to thar and obviously fit I figured her for an age group favorite, and at age 53 she did indeed win the 50+ national championship in 1:33:29.

A while later Linda revealed to me that Joanna was formerly an Olympic Trials qualifier from Canada.  And that she was transgender.  I had not an inkling.

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BIRDS AND THE BEES

My dear sweet Katie turns 18 today.  I was 39 when she was born and wondered how my third’s world would intersect with mine at this juncture.  I used to gasp that I’d “be close to 60” and sure enough I’ll hit 58 this November, Buddha willing and the creek don’t rise.  Her experience so far and away outpaces mine.  Just as I did my own dad’s.  And her’s will in turn.  Way of the world.  I grew up with a black & white television, 3 channels, ABC, NBC, CBS.  Saturday morning cartoons were the only true screen time.  Now they have the entire world, up to their ears and eyes and out the wazoo, bombarding their every moment.  An amazing time to live in but by growing up in it they/you  miss the wonder of it all.  But in turn, you/they too will marvel at the next generation and the perpetuity of life.  And feel less significant in the best of ways, hubris of youth and all that.

The good folks at the Waterloo post office called on Monday.  Surprising given they were closed.  Off Linda went to pick up our 50 chicks, they now ensconced and past Jedediah’s initial, unsatiable, salubrious attention.  Free Range, Farm Fresh coming this summer!

My old buddy Gunnar came by Tuesday.  Gave him the Bar None once over looking for the perfect spot to locate my hives in March.  I’ll have 8 hives coming in April, Bar None Bee Poop, I like the sound of it, Linda not so much a fan of it.

We had 50 people signed up for the Two Rivers event last weekend.    Representing 16 cities and 3 states, most logically Iowa and SD joining the fun.  I knew my 4 mates running and made a bunch of new friends.  Female to male ratio 4:1.  The demographic shift continues to gain momentum and I don’t see it slowing any time soon.  Girl Power!?

Thanks to Pete for the link to last weekend’s Psycho Wyco:  https://enter2run.com/results/default.aspx?event=31854&term=undefined&r=9834

 

QUICK STEPS

The running world shook off some winter blues this weekend, like this:

Beranard Lagat set a masters WR at the Wannamaker Mile.  3:54.91.

Florence Kiplagat set a new women’s world record for the half marathon blazing a 4:58 pace to 1:05:09.  That time bests the fastest male half marathoner from Nebraska since Mike Morgan‘s 1:04:change many, many years ago.  By a couple minutes.  Fellas?

Heard from my old buddy Camille Herron this weekend.  She raised my curiosity by telling  me a girl that I coach (Ashley Miller) beat her in a local Oklahoma road race.  Of course I cleared things up with her but am still flattered that people remember and associate red and white excellence with my efforts.

Pete Kostelnick “Re-Peted” at the Psycho Wyco 20 Mile.  I, and my crack staff, searched high and low for deeper results, I know local Jason Zakaras was contesting the 50K with a good shot at that title.   Bad Ben, post ’em up!

Cory Logsdon continues to inch towards the sub 15 barrier turning in a fine 15:04 up at the SDSU Indoor Invitational.  I wonder if they allow him to ride in the same car these days?

Stacy Mangers Shaw was hoping for competition and she got some at yesterday’s Kicks & Kisses 5K in Lincoln.  From the youngsters of course.  Stacy finished 4th o/a in 20:46.

Kyle Clouston, Kathryn Carlson Merrill and Jessica Pape got their work done Saturday at our own Two Rivers 10K Valentine’s Day Run.

Alli Moy-Borgen continued her grapefruit league tutelage down in La Platte.

The Chiller Challenge was also this past weekend.  No significant times to report.  Well, maybe 63 year old Paul Braunschweiler running 33:56- age grades to 26:34- to finish 4th o/a.

Bowerman Track Club’s Lopez Lomong won the Millrose 5K in 13:27.60.

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Just because I can.  Long ago and far away.  Peter vd Westhuizen stride for stride with Bernard Lagat and Lopez Lomong.    Peter also sported the kit (representing the original and true spirit of excellence) in the Wannamaker Mile in 2011.  Yep, it used to roll that way.

 

TWO RIVERS 10K VALENTINE’S DAY RUN

Saturday, February 14, 2015
Two Rivers State Recreation Area
Waterloo, NE

Thanks to eveyone for warming our hearts and your soles this morning!  Official results for the 6.0 mile race below.  Thanks again to our friends with Nebraska State Parks & Recreation for opening the park and making this a day to remember!  The temperatures fell as fast as the wind speed increased, darned proud of everyone that braved the elements!   Thanks to our volunteers, Linda, Coach John, and neighbors Tom & Becky!  And thanks again to our community sponsors Baker’s Candies, home of the world famous Meltaways.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

1.  Kyle Clouston                                      35:21*  Nebraska Run Guru Elite
2. Kathryn Carlson Merrill                      40:22*  Nebraska Run Guru Elite
3. Jessica Pape                                          41:33* Nebraska Run Guru Elite
4. Jenna Tibke                                           44:02
5. Allen George                                        44:19
6. Elizabeth James                                   44:25
7. Charles James                                      44:26
8. Cole Tibke                                             46:12
9. Ritchie Meyer                                       47:17
10.  Tawnya Roberts                               48:03
11. Tom Maguire                                     50:44
12. Carie Maguire                                    50:45
13. Kelsey Fusselman                             51:10
14. Katie Gutierrez                                  52:19
15. Refugio Gutierrez                             52:20
16. Nicole Soles                                       52:53
17. Brooke Koehler                                53:14
18. Julie Selk                                            53:21
19. Mike McKay                                      53:25
20. Coni Meyer                                       53:26
21. Bill Weeks                                         53:30
22. Nevin Hayner                                   54:20
23. Brandee Soles                                  55:51
24. Amy Nelson                                      55:57
25. Sarah Norman                                 56:56
26. Marianne Toovey                            57:30
27. Karla Erickson                                  59:04
28. Holly Hafer                                       1:00:26
29. Jill Kroll                                             1:00:57
30. Jennifer Gibbons                             1:02:14
31. Sarah Soles                                      1:07:13
32. Jennifer Arp                                     1:07:41

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 All bundled up and ready to go!  Our youngest finisher Nevin Hayner fronting a formidable pack.

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 Our custom made awards, repurposed from vintage Bar None ephemera.  Adorning our unabashed mascot.

 

 

 

 

PIONEER SPIRIT

I’ve referenced my old buddy Tom Cotner before.  Head Coach of Club Northwest for umpteen years.  Holds a Phd. from both Harvard and MIT.  Brilliant!  One of the most profound things he ever told me was “There’s always two ways”.  To say things, to look at things.

With that in mind…

We have heat back at the Bar None after 3 days without, outside of our wood burning stove at any rate.  In the last month I’ve installed a garbage disposal, completey rebuilt the Moen faucet, and over the last 72 hours gotten a fair bit of HVAC experience.  Electrical, the last frontier of my inauguration into self sufficiency.  Tracing wires, finding old splices that don’t resemble each other on the ends, retracing again, circuit boards and manuals tutoring.  Linda woke up with a bright bulb over her head last night!  “Maybe the ‘new’ batteries we installed into the old thermostat (before replacing, which yielded unexpected results- the A/C coming on instead of the heat) were no good.”   Brilliant!  Off to the store this morning, new pack of AA batteries did the trick, some times its the simplest of solutions.

Tom Cotner.  Brant Kotch.  Bill Roe.  Meb Keflezighi.  Deena Kastor.  Greg Meyer.  Dave McGillivray.  Alan Steinfeld.  Gerry Lindgren.  Bill Rodgers.  Lamine Diak.  Mr. Tanaka-San.  Keith & Kevin Hanson.  John Walker.  Scott Keenan.  John Conley.  Joseph Kariuki.  Hank Brown.  Nina Kuscik.  Jim McLatchie.  Henry Rono.  National Champions, Olympians, World Champions, World Record holders.  And more and less and more and more.  My passion has allowed me friends that otherwise I’d only have read about in books.   I’ve mistakenly been accused of name dropping plenty of times.  But each time you’ve read my stories and experiences you have been learning about the True Pioneers in running from my generation and into yours.  Trailblazers that have shaped the best parts of our sport as we know it today.  Mentors and colleagues that have also helped form my expectations of excellence in running.  And that trickled into Nebraska, no doubting it, many of you now enjoying the benefits.

Thank them, not me.

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In 1983 I was 26.  Founded my first running club, The Gulf Coast Windbreakers.  Would also direct my first race, the Channel Industries Sports Association 5K.  And was setting course records.  Had hair and a kick too!

 

 

 

LONG LONGER LONGEST

Caught the classic Boogie Nights a couple of evenings ago.

Our mate Pete Kostelnick will be tearing up Psycho Wyco this weekend, get some buddy!  A little tune up for the main event that will happen later this year.  Damned happy and proud that he has been accepted into Badwater again!

Pretty amazed how long and far (and fast!) this cat is able to keep his mind in The Game.

In appreciation and because I need to, I will be “performing” a 6 hour run this spring.  I’ll do it my way.  No back slaps, no woots, no awesome sauce, no entry fees, no t shirt to commemorate, no medal to boastfully bling, no bleating or braying, no support outside of a couple of the cognoscenti to witness and that will be the end of it.

It will be the longest I’ve ever run, satisfying my annual charge of doing something wonderful and remarkable, if not just a little bit crazy.

In the meantime, Pete, You The Man!

BECAUSE I’M HAPPY

Back in the early 90’s Dr. Clara Harris was my beautiful, Colombian accented, dentist.  I always needed an extra drool cup when I visited her.   The Andrea Yates family lived just up the road from me for a time too.  Clara ran over her husband, a bunch of times, in the parking lot of the Clear Lake City Hilton.  He was having an affair with a woman who had also been featured on the Jerry Springer Show (another tale completely).  Andrea Yates drowned her five children in a bathtub.

Think of the most sinister, conniving, evil, lying, contemptible, heartless, crazy, self centered, calculating, self serving, despicable, scheming, malevolent, heinous female (one or two right here in Nebraska!) you’ve ever met.   Put them all in a bowl and I have them for breakfast.

As a warm up.  For this afternoon’s battle royale.  Again.

Nearly five years after I filed and over two years since granted, I’m still not done.   She, committed to her vow that the attorneys would get every penny before I got a dime.   Me, only moderatley fazed, inured by 20+ years of abuse, neglect, and disharmony.

Because I’m Happy.  “Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth.  Clap along if you know what happiness is to you.”

This “test case” of mine matters for stay at home dads everywhere.  I blazed that trail and now must continue to dig (deep) to maintain it.   Can a former international business executive snub their nose at a judge?  I did mention contemptible didn’t I?  Would I even have this scheduled this afternoon if the gender roles had been traditional?

“Here come bad news talking this and that, yeah,
Well, give me all you got, and don’t hold it back, yeah,
Well, I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine, yeah,
No offense to you, don’t waste your time”

Documents gathered, resolve steeled.  I’ll make the appointed round.

“Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
I said (let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
Bring me down”

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Tomorrow:  Back to running.

 

 

LIKE ME LIKE YOU

My dear departed mother had dozens of colloquilaisms.  None except one fit to print in a public forum.  “I hope you have one just like you!”  I ended up with 3 just like me.  Each one of my “kids” has traits from both parents, both desireable and not so much so.  But they are their own people too, thank goodness, there’s hope for them after all.

For all you professing to have “super families” I call bullocks.  It ain’t the real world, only a temporary phase if you are even telling us the truth.  Your kids will eventually pitch you fits.  They’ll spread their wings.  They’ll challenge you.  They’ll make the wrong choice to spite you.  They’ll argue.  They’ll say they hate you.  But they’ll really love you.

I’ve seen what coddling and indulging every whine and whim can do.  That, decidedly and early on, was not my parenting style, should have heeded that red flag 20 years ago.  And by Buddha, both parents better be on the same page on such a critical metric.  I fought that battle, the winner won’t be revealed until my kids are well into adulthood.  Will they choose to be self sufficient, capable citizens?  Or will they go through life feeling entitled to the satisfaction of every little desire and react accordingly when not immediately filled.  I’ve seen and dealt with it.  With my own kids and with my “running family”.    So my wish for you then is to have at least one that reminds you of you.  Good luck with that.

No doom and gloom today though, don’t take it wrong.  Humanity with all its fails and foibles is worth every beautiful moment, every glorious step.  And I do see well adjusted, well behaved, respectful young adults these days, just not many, not many.  You know who you are and I appreciate you.

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Peer review.  Creigh Kelley, Tracy Sundlun, Brant Kotch, and Bill Roe.  Creigh is one of the most recognizeable voices in our sport, calling dozens of major races a year.  Bill’s creds I’ve well documented.  Brant as Director of the Houston Marathon.  Bill & Creigh presented Brant and Tracy & Katherine Switzer for introduction into the Running USA Hall of Champions in New Orleans yesterday.  Creigh, Brant, Bill & I have a long and memorable involvement.  Tracy is the founder of the Rock N Roll Marathon series.  And if you don’t know who Katherine is you need to learn before calling yourself a Real Runner.  Congratulations to my friends on this fine and well deserved accolade.

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Ah, the good old days.  I didn’t like getting my butt whooped but deserved and learned from it no doubt.  No such lessons for so many of the pampered set these days, it will come back to play in unexpected ways.  Count on it.

 

 

 

LET’S RACE!

You can’t swing a stick through the weekend anymore without banging a half dozen or more “races”.

While some of the Very Best of the Very Best (!) Nebraskans were in Boulder, the rest of us mere mortals had plenty of opportunities to get some locally.  And some of us did indeed!

Starting with big tips of the sombrero to the Valley YMCA for taking the helm of the Valley Forge Winter Series on Saturday.  This allowed Nebraska Run Guru Elite the chance to clean up on some cold hard cash, and some sweet prizes too.  Pete and Kyle and Amber and and Stacy and Linda (in that order) walked away with pockets fairly bursting with mad coin, swag, and door prizes.   Dig this:  The Hickman Voice News has pumped over $100,000 into the Animal Run over the last 30 years.

Ivan Marsh won his Empyrean Ales 5K Saturday morning at Camp Carol Joy Holling.   First beer is on Ivan!

The Chiller Challenge was yesterday afternoon.  It joined a packed novelty weekend.  Lake Manawa 10K, Friends of the Dog Pound 5K, Prozac Recovery 5K, Whistling in the Winds 5K, Fictional Fractured Fairy Tales 5K, Super Secret 5K, and Imitation Sincerest Flattery 5K offering fun, super cool peeps of all ages, abilities, and affiliations the chance to play, perchance pretend, and enjoy the weekend.

Its come to this.

But the Big Show, the only Real USATF business of the weekend was in Boulder.  How about 50 year old Colleen DeReuck taking the Overall Masters title!  And Chris Derrick three peating in the Mens Open Race.  http://www.usatf.org/News/Derrick,-Thweatt-Take-Home-Titles-at-USATF-Cross-C.aspx

Local results from Boulder:

USATF Cross Country National Championships results
Boulder, CO  **4 required to score in the team competition**
Men’s 12K,  (96 finishers)

Team Nebraska
52. Cory Logsdon 41:07
79. York Thomas 44:17
86. Justin R. Mollak 45:40

USATF Masters Cross Country National Championships 8K,  (196 finishers)

LRC Racing
5th Team Overall 40+
13. Ivan Ivanov 28:09
26. Thomas Woods IV 29:14
58. Tim Larsen 30:57
82. Jason Schmaderer 32:14
94. Darin Schlake 32:38

LRC Racing, 50+
74. Brian Kelley 31:47
96. Jeff Hansen 32:42
124. Craig Christians 34:30
125. Kevin Burke 34:35
145. Kerry McDermott 35:53