Monthly Archives: February 2015

NEBRASKA’S FINEST

All set and ready to go tomorrow morning.  Those that are fittest and hopefully fiercest.  Ready to test their mettle against the best of the rest.  This is no mere club championships, the USA Cross Country National Championships are the selection race to represent the United States at the World Cross Country Championships.  For the best of the best this race can be summed up in three words:  First, Second, Third.

But, if you are a card carrying USATF Member, with disposable income, you too can jump into the most prestigous domestic cross meet of the year.  Registration is at the Millenium Harvest House in Boulder, from 9:00-5:00 pm today.  How cool to line up and measure against the likes of Chris Derrick, Ben True, Dathan Ritzenheim, Garrett Heath, Ryan Vail, Bobby Curtis, Jacob Riley, Clint Wells, Joseph Gray, Sean Quigley, Patrick Smyth, Andrew Colley, Joe Stilin, newcomer Maksim Korolev,  ad infinitum.  Accessability to the great ones, thats one of the things that makes our sport unique and special.

My money for top midwest region finisher?  Joe Moore of the Kansas City Smoke.

Not a single woman from Nebraska entered into the meet.  What say you ladies?

LRC Racing is sending a couple of masters teams.

LRC Racing – Team A, 40+ Men
Ivan Ivanov, Tim Larsen, Darin Schlake, Jason Schmaderer, Thomas Woods IV

LRC Racing – Team A. 45+ Men
Kevin Burke, Craig Christians, Brett Daugherty, Jeff Hansen, Brian Kelley

Team Nebraska will challenge Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, Boulder Running Company/Adidas, The Boulder Track Club, as well as teams from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines in the Open Category.  Go get it fellas.

Team Nebraska – Team A, Open
David Bohlken, Cory Logsdon, Justin Mollak, York Thomas

Results Monday.

cross

NEWS UP TOP

Running and Track & Field.  How do I love thee?  Let me count the ways.

1.  Chase all the clouds from the Nebraska sky.
2.  Count all the bees in the National hive.

In 2007 I was fortunate enough to attend the USATF annual meetings.  Scheduling dictated that I spend my 50th birthday toiling away.  Assuaged by location, Honolulu.  One of my Biggest Victories in our Elite Development Club Council meetings was  successfully arguing for the inclusion of the 10,000 meters at our USA Club National Championships.  It was not an easy fight but the longest of our track races was contested between 2008-2014.  No longer.

I spent Tuesday afternoon on a conference call that included the principals from Icahn Stadium in New York City, the USATF National Office in Indy, and our brief EDC Club Council.  Brief because for the first time since the program’s inception in 2000, its original architect and my good friend and long time mentor (and former USATF President), Bill Roe, was not present.  He has stepped down to more fully address pressing concerns as our USATF LDR Divisional Chair, President of Club Northwest, and his coaching duties at Western Washington University.  That leaves me as the “elder statesman” of the Council.  With Bill, as always, just a call away of course.

We discussed/debated our USATF Club Track & Field National Championships.  Where it came from, where its been, and what the future holds.

Here are some of the major changes that we approved:  Beginning this year, the meet will be condensed into a single day (July 11th).  Lots of reasons ($) for this, including the $5500/day price tag at Icahn.  And the $10-$15,000 lost annually by the national office.  The meet, when contested in NYC, ends up costing ~$30,000 total.  I did it for half that in Omaha 2012- what, you think they keep me around for my incredibly good looks?

Back to the future.  Moving forward we will no longer (sniff!) contest my beloved 10,000.  The Sprint Medley Relay will also go by the by.  And likely the Race Walk too.  We are also tightening or eliminating some of the early rounds.

And more.  For the first time ever we will accept qualifying “Unattached” athletes, no club membership required.  Yes Andrew, they will need to have a USATF membership to play in our USATF games.  This will certainly elevate the level of competition.

And this.  We will also restructure the prize money (gasp!).  In the past the pay out has been, for each winning gender team, $2000, $1500, $1000, $500.  We have decided to reward excellence at the top by setting the new structure as $1500, $1000, $500.  With the $2000 from the top of each going into a pool of prize money that will pay individual event winners $100.  (40 events x 100 dollars).  Don’t be surprised to see the individual event winners take home burgeoning amounts via sponsorships, both for winning marks and performance incentives.  This is a good move in my never humble opinion because it goes away from rewarding depth of mediocrity.

And finally.  After much gnashing of teeth, tearing of beards, laments and wails, we have decided to move the meet into June beginning 2016.  This has been perhaps the most contentious and difficult portion of our deliberations since last December’s annual meeting.  In a nutshell, Club purists vs. Open purists.  What is always best for clubs isn’t always best for open athletes and vice versa.  And it is up to the Elite Development Club Council to formulate policy that best serves both constituencies.  I remain, proud and privileged to serve.

 

TOP TEN T-SHIRT!

Proud and happy to have our Ni-Bthaska-Ke Trail Run t-shirt artwork honored by Runner’s World as one of the Top 10 Best in the U.S.   Pairs well with Business Insider Magazine’s designation as one of the most challenging trail runs in the U.S.  And a nice bracket personally as my Run For The Arts Poster (by Christopher Cudworth) was similarly recognized by RW a decade ago.
beth-kavan

http://www.runnersworld.com/photos/10-awesome-race-participant-shirts

Thanks to Beth Kavan for the submission, this is what keeps me in the business:

“One of my proudest achievements; I’ve completed the Ni-Bthaska-Ke 12K trail run three times, ‘The Toughest Trail in the Midwest.’ Looking at this shirt is just a constant testament to what my body is capable of.” – Beth Kavan

Original artwork credited to Mark Weber, aka locally famous troubadour Shakes Rockwell.  An amalgam of a photo from 2006, Mark drug the mud to correspond with the elevation graph, so graciously provided by the impeccable garmin of my former director of road race operations, Jody Green.  She parlayed that experience into an executive role with the Goatz, they’re lucky to have her.

Quite the token of esteem to be included in the above list.  Also included is one of my oldest and dearest colleagues, Hank Brown.  His “Haunted Half 13.1” in Kingsport, TN also made it.  Hank and I spent over a decade tramping about the U.S. conducting our National Championships program.  Insiders tip:  He got all the nice knocks, I got the hard ones.  1964962_10203101141640656_7222648759517666969_n
Hank served in most of the same national capacities as I did, with hair and a better smile.  His road race management chops include the Crazy 8s 8K Run.   Crazy 8s is home of the womens’ 8-kilometer world record (Asmae Leghzaoui, 24:27.8, 2002), and held the men’s world record (Peter Githuka, 22:02.2, 1996), until it was broken in 2014.

Grand Prix prize money update:  I contacted our Association President yesterday morning.  Laid things on the table.   Three months condensed into a single phone call.   Expect your checks, hopefully by week’s end.  Can you dig it?

running

 

This poster was a Top Ten choice back in the late 90s.  Even though the race was held on the Gulf Coast of Texas it had a decided midwestern feel, testament to Cudworth’s roots in Illinois.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ENOUGH

The newer, softer Will has waited and waited and waited.  Long enough.

Disclaimer:  Today’s column in no way reflects on or is directed toward our current USATF Nebraska Association LDR Chair.   I like Peter Falcon and continue to support him in any way possible.  Including today’s words.  He doesn’t deserve to carry this burden any longer, so unceremoniously and unprofessionally dumped in his lap.

My/Our beef is with the cat(s) whose place he took.  I will maintain my ameliorated paradigm by not mentioning any other names.

What was decided back in January of 2014, amidst many shenanigans, secrecy, fakery, distortion and fibbery, was that our Association would conduct a Grand Prix Series, replete with a few shekels for those that scored most and best.  The Grand Prix ended last October.  So far there have been no prize money checks issued.  The 2014 LDR Chair bailed on the program after serving only a portion of his elected term.  But I’m giving everyone every possible benefit of the doubt here, I’m sure there were Good Reasons.  It remains, in my opinion, his duty to clear up this mess, but hey, I know how much some of you value my take on such things.

But that still leaves many of our Association athletes that chose to focus on and participate in the Grand Prix, still waiting for the Promised reward.  I’ll only speak of the Overall Grand Prix winner, Kyle Clouston, Pete Kostelnick 2nd O/A, the Overall Masters Female Grand Prix Winner Stacy Shaw, and 3rd Overall Masters Female, Linda Kunasek.  They run for and with me so I feel comfortable speaking on their behalf.

Where’s the money?  There is over $13,000 in our LDR coffers, more than ever.  Why hasn’t the few hundred dollars been paid out to those that earned it?  There have been a dozen emails trying to get the checks issued, not through lack of effort then.

At least one of the top finsihers has refused to renew their USATF membership because of this. And with that, I’ve had ENOUGH.

I won’t allow Peter, or our association’s progress, to suffer a black eye over this.  I’m taking it on personally, and today.  And to those that walked away,  we didn’t need you in the first place.

Expect an update this week.

 

COOLER HEADS

Prevailed this weekend.  Yesterday’s Chiller Challenge and Super Bowl 5K were postponed until this coming weekend.  The Valley Forge Winter Series needed no such game time decision and went off Saturday in relatively balmy conditions.  Casey Kear used it as a solo tempo and set a new men’s mark of 16:37 for the USATF Certified course.

The USA 100 Mile Trail Champs did after all yield a National Champion from the Nebraska Association.  Jeremy Morris, in trademark style, went out hard from the gun.  Was clear of the field the first 20 mile lap and crusing at 8:00 pace through 40.  If the marathon is a fickle mistress the 100 mile must be the most merciless of dommes.  It turned not Jeremy’s way and he opted for wisdom over valor.  So the day belonged to Kim Mulligan Moore.  Fresh with her USATF membership card she toed the line and the Treynor Iowa native won the 45-49 age group (27:17:25) and brought home a National Champion medal!  Nice work Kim!

Cory Logsdon ran another 4 second pr on the boards this weekend, I think he’s down to 15:13 now and bent on sub 15.  He’d join a mighty short list of current athletes to asterisk that on his resume.

Some good Nebraska Association representation showing on the entry list for this weekend’s USA Cross Country National Championships in Boulder.  This is the Open Championships, not to be confused with the USA Club Cross Country Champs held last December in Pennsylvania.  Top finishers this weekend will represent the USA at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Guiyang, China on March 28.  I’ll be doing a full column leading into the race.