Monthly Archives: April 2015


The Bar None is becoming a hill haven.  One of the lessons learned from last year is that raised beds are almost always preferred, at least for the tender and early transplants.  It is also old fashioned.  Because of the amount of manual labor required to build a single bed.  Twenty feet long by five feet wide.  I have a bunch of them.  I could use the tiller but prefer to be less disruptive to the communities of beneficial microorganisms existing down in the realm of  fat eyeless earthworms.  Their tunnels nature’s soil drainage system, perfected over a very long time.

Another benefit of raised beds is weed control.  Much easier to extract a spindly root than something substantial and firmly anchored.   My new neighbor Billy came by and asked to use my tiller on Sunday.  We loaded it up and took it down the street.  The previous owners had used black tarp for weed control and it worked like a boss.  Their individual plants the only thing poking through designated slits, the rest of the garden looking lacking though.  Billy agreed.

I need the soil.  Beneath my nails.  In the cracks of my desiccated fingers.  In my nose and even my socks somehow.  I’m compelled to be intimate in my work.  That is the beauty of the Bar None.  I’m seeing things on a much more microscopic level.  Starting everything from seed this year.  Our bees pollinate our plants.  And give us honey.  Our plants’ quality and production benefit from the pollination.  And sated by collected rain water only.  Filling bellies and  larders.  Garden scraps to our freest of range chickens.  And the worms after a rain providing a delicate treat, popping out of the ground, the classic battle the worm has never won.  Our chickens give us eggs.  And meat.  Self sufficiency, all with best organic practices.  The cycle of life in true and real glory.

With no city services.



Say hello to my little friend!  I keep my 3-Tooth Cultivator close at hand, easily loosening soil, perfect for bed preparation.  Work it up, rake it up, shape it up, level it up, plant it!



I still occasionally get my swagger on, always coincides with putting on a pair of cowboy boots.

Boots don’t always make the man but almost always.  Boots mean business.  And hard work.  If you get that you have my respect.

If you don’t well, you can always get waxed and botoxed at Life Time Fitness.  Inside the arena there are no hair gels or colognes or spandex, no shaved legs, no fitbits or garmins, no “beast mode”, no “woots” no “Wahoo Hotties.”

Only sweat and dirt and the aroma of manure.

Linda and I doubled dated with Jimmie and Mandy Sue on Friday night.  Went to the 21st annual Fremont Bull Riding Classic.  They called 30 young men for introductions before the meat of the meet.  One youngster only 17 years old.  All possessing that Cowboy Confidence called Swagger.

Clad in chaps and boots and Stetsons and armored with instinctive fearlessness, the only accessory a short length of sturdy rope.  Dreaming of 8 seconds to fame and fortune.  Most lasted between 3 and 4 seconds, those ticking by like an eternity.  Then one made the 8.  And finally another.  Two only before the last rider.  And he holding on for almost 5 seconds before being tossed hard.  And then a good stomp to the chest to punctuate the danger involved.  Necessitating an ambulance, it was hard for the packed Christensen Field to watch.

Give me those same 30 young men and I’d make champion runners out of 5 of them.  Tough guys, yeah.



It was a blustery Saturday morning in Lincoln.  I didn’t contribute by keeping my own hot air in Waterloo but sounds and looks like some decent racing over the top 10 or 11 places.  Every one of the minor placings knows what needs be done now, that’s what I love about racing, in your face honesty, here’s what I had today, at least I had the berries to be out on the line, I’m coming to get you and by the gods your ass is mine next time.   At least that’s the way I see it.  Number six Matt Heesch was the last person under my 10K personal best.  I would have loved to race this current crop of Nebraskans at my prime.  I hope you all look back 30 years from now and feel the same way, hope your fire never dims.

Lookie Here Now!  I declare the 2015 Novartis 10K my Bar None Running & Racing  Spring 10K State Championships.  A true road race with kits of many colors, the top 3 USATF Clubs all represented in the top 10 on the men’s side.  The depth of local quality reminds me of the old course Corporate Cup.  Congratulations to Vidlack and Easley on their laurels.

There was a host of other local running events including the Run-a-Hoo, TeamMates 5K, and ever popular Fish Fry 5K.  No significant competition or times to report.

Pete Kostelnick raced Brew to Brew, 46.64 miles right up his alley, repeating as champ and in a stellar time of 5:29:54, 7:04 pace, fast enough to win the above mentioned 5Ks 15 times in a row, just blows my mind.





Mobile,  San Francisco,  Des Moines, Chicago, Indianapolis, Albany, Akron, Houston, Reno, Grand Rapids, Parkersburg, Jacksonville, Charleston, Virginia Beach, Minneapolis, Spokane, Seattle, Honolulu, Duluth, Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City, Olathe, Portland, Euguene, Denver, New Orleans, Orlando, Bar Harbour, Providence, Louisville, Flint, and New York City.

Vera Cruz Mexico, Chiba Japan,  Yokohama Japan, Rio de Janeiro Brazil.

Running has taken me to more cities than I can probably remember but the above list is a good start.  I’ve been in or seen or put on more races than most will see in a life time.  Not as boast but mere observation.

One of the more competitive races of the spring should go down tomorrow at the Novartis 10K.  My mortal flesh won’t but my spirit will have a presence.  Good Luck, Great Racing, and Giddyup!  Best of luck especially to our Nebraska Run Guru Elite athletes.  May they kick your butts and/or pull you to great performances!


Every USATF Member Club president or otherwise listed contact in Nebraska and around the US receives the annual USATF Competition Rules book.  Every year.  For at least the last 15 years.  No exceptions.  No excuses.


The Rockin K 50 Mile was this last Saturday, NRGE ultra ace Jeremy Morris was bent on winning it for the umpteenth time, but hey, that’s why they run the race.  He will join our other ultra stud Pete Kostelnick at Free State on the 18th:

“Ended up 2nd in 8:40:10.  Took a nasty fall around 3 miles into the race onto some small jagged rocks that scraped up my left leg and arm pretty good.  My calves and hamstrings started cramping around mile 23 which was still on the first loop of the race.   I was still in the lead at the start of the second loop so I decided to go back out other wise I probably would have called it a day then.  I could jog the flats and the down hills, but had to walk the up hills as every climb made me cramp up.  I held on to the lead until around mile 44 or 45 when Todd Nott caught up with me.  He slowed down and walked and jogged with me until around mile 47 or 48 when I just couldn’t run any more.  Every muscle in my legs were locking up on me at this point, even when jogging the flats.  Was starting to think that I might not be able to finish the last few miles.  My legs were completely dead.  I just continued moving forward and was able to finish the race with a lot of walking and a sort of a jog that was more of a waddle.  Was kind of expecting to have cramping issues during this race, because my calves cramped up while I was sleeping 3 out of the last 4 nights before the race.  This is a rare occurrence for me to cramp in my sleep and I do not have an explanation for it.  Have not had a problem cramping this week at all.  This was definitely the most painful 50 mile I have ran.    Running the Free State 40 miler on 4/18/2015.  Hopefully my legs will feel better for this race and Lincoln. ”



Sometimes the mountain can seem more than the man.  During the very essence of pain, as Jeremy says above, “I just continued moving forward”, that is all one can ask.  Proud to call him a mate.



Blinks Fly
In the wink of an eye
Time’s the matter
For you and I

Mine has spent
Running now went
Trade not a moment
For any cent

Farm Strong now
New sweat to brow
Answer the questions
When and how

By foot by hand
Time will fly
Each day a blessing
That passes by


Well that was certainly a treat for all involved.  The best weather and best trail conditions in the history of the race.  And the closest finish!

Los Dos Andrews (McLannan and Palmblade) battled fiercely down the home stretch with a too close to call double breasted lean at the finish in the 4 Mile.  Omaha Running Club Pres. Tom Whitaker and I at the finish line unable to pick a winner.  I spoke to both athletes and they too were stymied.  Only the chip timing provided by Precision Race Results could cipher the microscopic difference with the nod going to McLannan.  This is what racing is all about!

The 12K found Brian Wandzilak as our 2015 champion.  His Lincoln Running Co. Racing mate Darin Schlake took the runner up position as well as capturing the Masters title.  On the women’s side Becky Henning of Kansas City bested Emily Steenson by just 2 seconds for her first Ni-Bthaska-Ke title.  Again, this is what racing is all about!


But Ni-Bthaska-Ke is more than just racing.  It is the trail running community coming together, from 8 states!,  to enjoy one of the most scenic runs of the spring.  And most challenging.  My mantra for the day was that the party is great, the awards are cool, and the people are quite hip, but what will always remain with the participants is the incredible sense of achievement and accomplishment that they will have for the remainder of their running days.  That is what Ni-Bthaska-Ke really is all about!

Complete results at

Photos popping up on facebook.  Paul Nye was in town from Ankeny, IA and caught some great shots at 

Great big thanks to our sponsors Cabela’s, Omaha Steaks, and Regal Printing.  And to our contributors, Zipline Brewing, Upstream Brewing Co., Rotellas, Peak Performance, Precision Race Results, LLC, Subway, and Gretna Family Health.

And to our volunteers!  We are fortunate to have support of the Omaha Running Club’s vast resource of people that enjoy helping others get the most out of their race morning!

And most of all to you the participants!  Mark your calendars for Saturday April 2, 2016 for our 10th edition of the Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest!




This one’s for my tall, fast buddy Chad Sellers.

I got up yesterday at the usual 6:30.  Made our breakfast, provided for Jed’s morning constitutionals.  Made Linda’s lunch replete with “Will + Linda” artwork on the paper bag.  Dropped her off at school.

Back at the Bar None, brought the layers, now over 6 weeks, from safe house out into their yard.  Over to the cornish coop, they set out in their own run.  Then to the barn for morning greetings of our adult layers.  Feed the lot of them, now numbering 52.  All three watering cans given the once over til spic and span.

To the hoop house, water all the flats.  Give the spinach beds a good soaking.  Out to the garden, remove the mini hoops from the lettuces, swiss chards and carrots (dilly dallying in their germination as always.)  Give them a good watering too.

Back in the Jeep and at Platte River State Park by 9:00.  Spent the next three hours in the rugged ATV , learning each and every trail under the expert tutelage of Park Superintendent Joe.  Doing some revamping of the Ni-Bthaska-Ke courses, taking notes and  photos of critical points, detailed  discussions on how to ensure that even Stevie Wonder could not get lost.  A few changes this year that we think will be very well received.  For the first time in 9 years I know the course like the back of my own hand.

A few operational items cleaned up at the park office and then back to the Bar None by 1:00.

Race day instructions composed and sent out to the couple hundred trail runners we’ll entertain.

Spent the next two hours reinforcing against last night’s expected high winds.   Rebar replacing many of the wooden stakes, that should do the trick (and it did.)   Too much work and growth already underway to lose anything to a slippery knot.  Re-tarped the coop, I’ll finally get it shingled after this busy week concludes.

From three until five spent getting igloo coolers washed, slow cookers cleaned, counting t shirts, inventory awards, all manner of race day details considered and prepped.

Five thirty they start arriving.  Those select few that now comprise my Wednesday night coaching group.   Nebraska Run Guru Elite membership the only golden ticket.  No more public broadcasting of the workouts.  You’ll see the results.  One hint, my other tall buddy Andrew Jacob may just get what he wished for earlier this year.

The next hour plus spent doing what I love most now in running.  These cats that brave my heat now tempered to another level.

Seven thirty and I’m back in the kitchen.  Supper prepared, served, cleaned and stowed. I’m amazed that Linda keeps as busy as me in her own realm of responsibilities.

Finally a much deserved shower at 8:30.  Pour a shot and a half of Knob Creek Single Barrel Reserve over ice.  A  chapter of my current read, ANNAPURNA.  Round up a few emergency supplies in case the power goes out, turn down the sheets and out go the lights.

A day in the life.  The Good Life.