Monthly Archives: July 2015

ASSUME THE POSITION

But if you are not ready don’t.  In May 1992 I graduated from Northern Illinois University with a B.S. in Community Health  Promotion, minor in Health Ed., specializing in wellness programs.  Most of my upper level classes centered around program development and management.  If I excelled in both areas academically (3.98 gpa) it was the development side that really fired up my grill.

But I have had plenty of opportunities on the management side.  More than almost everyone on the  running side.    And every time I have agreed to grab a bull by the horns I’ve been In It To  Win It.  Passionate.  Committed.  My  resume chock full of programs that I’ve felt worthy enough to dedicate the necessary time and effort to make sure the successful vision of the venture is accommodated.  Programs that appear on my resume because they were So Much  A Part of My Life.  Enough so.

Whatever time.  Whatever energy.  Whatever sacrifice.  Whatever obstacles.

You don’t have time for a program because you have a life?  Well, hopefully we all find our passion in life that will allow us to dig deeper, and serve more, than we ever thought possible.  Mine has been running.  Who next will step forward for the mantle?

BON APPETIT!

Picked  a bushel full of the Bar None’s best yesterday morning and took it to one of our favorite restaurants in the Omaha metro.  Presented to the head chef and owner.  First gently poaching  him with talk of the rich and fertile lands that lay between the Elkhorn and Platte Rivers.  Basting him with descriptions of eons upon eons of silt deposits prompting Eden-esque abundance.  Simmering discussions of boutique greens and tender root vegetables.  We were grilled about our best organic practices.  Keen eye of a chef who has been featured on The Food Network.  And at the end of the meeting we had struck our first deal to provide direct to restaurant.  Look for our name to appear on their chalkboard soon.  You’ll have to go out and  dine at some of Omaha’s best to find us, it will be worth the journey.   Simply the best produce, Bar None! Nebraska Run Guru Elite is pleased to announce the addition of masters runners David Frost (Frosty) and Matt Olberding   Joining Kray Zeller, we’ll look for some master’s team competitions. I hope you all took the time to read the article yesterday on Tim Dooling.  A couple of quotes in case you missed it and my take on them if you did.  “It’s all in your brain, I’m telling you.”  Or,  The Mind is the Athlete.  “I know what I’m doing but I don’t want  to tell anybody.”  Or, you, to a person would never understand.  “I know  Jones thinks he’s better than me, but that’s in his dreams.”  Or, I’ve got the biggest balls in Nebraska.   When asked his occupation, “I survive.”  Or, its none of your damned business. I have sent out my Freedom Run Invited Elite offers.  If you received one I hope you will give it serious consideration, not many were offered locally.  If you feel slighted I’m sorry to have overlooked you, women with a sub 1:25 and men with a sub 1:10 are encouraged to get ahold  of me at runguru@cox.net   The field is starting to take shape and I’m hopeful that our 1:04:48 and 1:17:29 last exactly 365 days as the course records.

HOLY SMOKE

Breaking news!  USATF Elite Development Club program is alive and well in the Midwest!

The Kansas City Smoke sent 14 men to Ichan Stadium in NYC for this past weekend’s Club T&F National Champs.  Mostly distance runners but no relevant  Elite Development Club is without its field and/or sprint athletes.  Keifer Smith contributed 8 important points by taking 2nd in the Pole Vault.

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3rd Overall Men’s Team!  The Kansas City Smoke demonstrated its understanding and support for the Original Vision of our EDC program.  A vision  that once held sway in Nebraska.

As one of the  architects of our EDC Program I am damned proud that the Smoke gets it.  I truly believe that one day Nebraska athletes and clubs will return to our rightful place in the upper echelons of USATF Clubs.  I also  believe that unless our designated EDCs  support our Club National Championships, the program may be in jeopardy.

Locally our RRCA and USATF Road Mile champs were in Lincoln.  Connor Gibson’s 4:23.91 took the win, as did Erica Doering’s 5:18.65.  My favorite result was 49 year old Stacy Shaw’s 5:48.85, that age grades to a 4:47 which rates a National Class 82 on the WAVA tables.

History lesson.  Read this below.  A loyal reader pointed out last week that the names we are resurrecting over on our  LDR facebook page accomplished all their glories (70s & 80s) without the club system, sponsorships, USATF, or advocacy.  I was queried as to my thoughts on this.  Easy as pie my friends.  The vast majority of today’s generation have had a too easy time.  Entitlement.  And they have no  Real Fire.  Not like Tim Dooling’s fire.  Because the majority of today’s  runners are over socialized.  I’ve heard a local runner insist that running is “all about the relationships” she has made.  And yes, for a vast majority of runners that is all there will ever be.  Over Socialization of our sport.    Give me one Dooling and I will re-write our Nebraska history books, Again.

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IN MY SYSTEM

Three years ago this weekend.   Until somebody does something to trump it, the 2012 USA Club Track & Field National Championships at Burke Stadium represents the absolute high point of post collegiate athletics in Nebraska history.

And now, 3 years later, with the ever increasing USATF membership and clubs here in Nebraska, I declare success.  My beloved LDR program now embraced (if not fully understood).  

But, for the first time since 2008, Nebraska will not have a single athlete participating in the most important event of the summer.   Our USA Club T&F National Championships.  

Ask me why, you’ll get strong opinions and names.

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Athletes from 21 clubs across the U.S. gathered for a weekend of competition in Omaha.  An idea that took 3 years of hard work to bring to fruition, against many odds, making me the happiest of meet directors.

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A highlight was Matt Pohren, Matt Schneider, and Cory Logsdon sweeping the Steeplechase podium spots.

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“Passing The Baton.”  In a prophetic shot, the Lincoln Running Co Racing Team, passed Team Nebraska in the DMR,  and have not looked back since.

FAIR DEAL

It is with pure GiddyUpness that I see the Nebraska State Fair Marathon trumpeting the addition of an elite field to their event.  “Elite runners from New York and Colorado Springs.”  Promising a new course record with it flat and fast course.  I just had to post our 2014  Freedom  Run winners results on their page.  1:04:48, 1:17:41.  Fastest male time in Nebraska in over 30 years.

I made several drives out to Grand Island 6 or 7 years ago.  Meeting with the leadership of the then Grand Island Half.  Introduced them to the concept of a USATF Certified course.  Suggested they eventually add a marathon.  Mark Merritt and I rode many miles on our bikes scouting out various routes.   And now they are getting it on their own.  Good on ya State Fair.

Lincoln Half.  State Fair Half.  Freedom Run Half.  Good Life Halfsy.  I’d like to see those four halves unite in an annual Half Series.  All kinds of Good Things could come of that.

Mid-July 1969.  I was eleven years old.  Atwood, Illinois.  Middle of nowhere.  The only Real  Entertainment for us was the Moultrie-Douglas County  Fair, over in Arthur, seven miles away.  Home to the largest Amish community in Central Illinois.  We would go every day and night, rides, funnel cakes, etc.  Doing things 11 year olds of my time did, mostly on $2/day.  Included in the gate admission were the musical acts.

But that week in 1969 was something special, I knew it even as a small boy.

The fair opened with Carl Perkins & The Tennessee Three.  The next night was Tammy Wynette and George Jones.  The final show set me straight on the Man in Black.  Johnny Cash with wife June and the Carter Family.

This weekend The Marshall Tucker Band will be back in Arthur.  And I’ll be there in my mind, a far simpler time with music that shaped the country side of me.

 

2015 USATF LDR SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS

Very proud to announce our 2015 USATF Nebraska Association LDR Scholarship winners.  And honored that the award is named the Will Lindgren LDR Founder’s Scholarship.  Our panel consists of LDR Chair Peter Falcon, coaches Shannon Stenger and James McGown, and myself.   The $250 scholarship will be paid at the start of their second season of competition.   If you or your business would like to make a donation to this annual scholarship please contact Peter at trackstarp3t3r1@hotmail.com or me at runguru@cox.net.

 

 

MEN’S AWARD:  TY HANSEN, Fremont High
“I do have many thoughts after running in high school, but the one that sticks out the most is the relationship I made throughout being in high school. Through running I got to know my 2 mentors in life, my distance coach Sean McMahon and track coach Dave Sellon. They have taught me a lot growing up from being a little freshman to becoming a young man I am today. I got to meet my best friends through this sport and those friendships will last a lifetime. Winning  2 gold state medals and 2 schools records are nice testament to my hard work but it’s the little things that made this journey special for me. My future plans are to attend Midland University to run cross country and compete on track. My events will likely range from 800-1000-Mile ( Indoor) and 800-1500-Steeplechase (outdoor). I’m very honored and very grateful to be the first male to win this award.”

 

WOMEN’S AWARD, KATIE SPENCER, Millard South
“Thank you for the recognition; I am honored to be a recipient of your scholarship.  I very much enjoyed my high school experience as a whole.  As for my running career, I put in a lot of miles and I was lucky enough to have a body that responded.  I managed to improve every season and finally came out on top in the end.  I put most of my miles in with Dustin and/or the boys distance team.

I will be attending Oklahoma state this fall.  I am planning to study petroleum geology and will be on the track and cross country teams.  I was primarily recruited by an assistant coach and she has indicated 5k, 10K,….  However, the head coach mentioned concentrating on something a bit shorter at first.  I will have to wait and see how things develop.  Looks to me like they have a lot of depth at the 800m – 1600m and don’t have much in the longer distances.”

 

 

 

WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S

Or, my old buddy Joe.

Our little slice is populated with characters.  I know, because I talk to them all.  A luxury I had not in West Omaha, most neighbors far too busy with their ascents up social and professional ladders to take a moment and find out a little about the people around them.

Bernice is an old German woman.  Works like mule.  At agge 73 she still runs circles around Linda and me.  Also walks 2 miles every day of the year.  We were headed out for a run on Saturday and decided to join her for a walk instead.  Got to hear about her family.  And more.

She shared tales with us that had my eyebrows steadily inching up. Tales of her old buddy Joe.  Her daughter in law is Joe’s Personal Assistant.  Joe sounds like a swell guy.  Lets Bernie and her kids use the “estate” at Lake of the Ozarks.  And his lodge and buffalo herd up in Montana.  And the penthouse overlooking Central Park.  And most interesting to me, how Joe’s boy Tom had them over to Chicago.  To a little playground they own called Wrigley Field.  And my Beloved Cubs.

So this old woman, that we see only covered in sweat and the Good Mother, has some strong ties to TD Ameritrade founder and president, Joe Ricketts.   And all his boys.  Including Pete.  I’m hoping she has the clan over to her house someday.  That will be one hell of a Weekend At Bernie’s.

GUESS WHERE?

Finally a lot of mature, sensible conversation going on over on our LDR facebook page.  Talk of fast races, state records even, all most fascinating to me.  While that ‘Ol Man River remains an almost insurmountable barrier, an interesting phenomenon seems to be shaking out.  All the Fast Races it seems are West, but many if not most of the records lie to the East.

Logan Watley is undertaking a big task, trying to gather the top marks in our state, both current and historical.  If the “Modern Era” starts and mostly finishes with me having some hand on the rudder, let’s not forget the fast people from previous generations when considering our best.

Tim Dooling.  Greg Carlberg.   The Erickson girls.  The Hall boys.  I know some of you old timers are regular readers.  Send me your suggestions, or even some of your best and greatest old War Stories, I’d like to feature some of your tales.  runguru@cox.net

So that we know.  And don’t have to guess where.

COCK OF THE WALK

I’ve got Good News and more Good News.  Went out to the coop recently and found a dozen eggs.  And so it begins.  I spent all the next day channeling my inner Bill Lindgren, circular saws, jig saws, saws alls, impact driver, tape measure, square, a couple of sawhorses and a big stack of reclaimed/repurposed lumber.  The resulting nesting boxes were neither pretty nor uniform, strict adherence to the principle that Perfect is the Enemy of the Good.  We’ll soon have 30 regular layers.  Maybe 14 dozen eggs a week.  That’s the first bit.

The second bit actually happened at the Fremont Farmer’s Market last weekend.  When the “Egg Lady” showed up with her new prices that reflect the dire state of big box commercial producers.  $5/dozen.

Our Golden Eggs Well Laid and Well Played.   Super Eggs as we call them.  Eat more spinach than Popeye, more grubs than Bear Grylls.

The daily tender loving care they receive makes them Poultry Most Fortunate.   I regularly croon to them the secret songs taught me long ago by El Gallo De Cielo (The Rooster From Heaven.)  Tell them tales of his adventures, first traveling with Phineas Taylor and His Dandy Road Show Boys and later founding the Cock Of The Walk High Level Training Ashram.  Highlights and lowlights of the entire cast of characters that inhabited both the land of REAL and the land of NOT (No Original Thought) REAL.  El Gallo, traveling easily and gaily between the two lands, separated only by a Dark Shadow.  And how eventually, it was he that revealed there are No Good Witches, whether from the West or the East and Her Horrible Spell was finally broken, pulling away the Sinister Veil to show we are all neighbors and friends.

The hens, rapt with understanding and attention.  So content and proud to be chickens after all.  Cozy in their new boxes, atop their perches and roosts, making Happy Chicken sounds, and me, the lone male, the Cock of the Walk home again.

 

HORSE’S OTHER END

I lampooned my speculation on Pete Kostelnick’s mileage last week.  Today I give it to you straight from the horse’s mouth.  I took Pete and El Jefe to a 4th of July party last Friday night.  Wanted Pete to meet my old buddy Andrew Katsaounis, the ultimate successful Greek immigrant story.  Went from loading Frito Lay vending machines  to pretty much owning half the world as far as I can tell.  Pete went to the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, so they had that in addition to being endurance athletes, Andrew having completed several Ironmans.

Those gathered at the annual fete include quite the cross section of people.  Old colleagues, old friends, its amazing how much people change when you only see them once a year.  But to a person they were all in amazement when overhearing Pete talk about his recent training block for Badwater.  Editors note here, Pete will wind up his maximum mileage this week and then begin Peaking for the Toughest Race in the World.  The numbers:
Mileage ending this weekend:  200
Mileage last week:                      200
Mileage prior week:                   190
Mileage week before:                190
And week before that:              190

And he works 9 hours a day as a financial analyst, has a house and a lovely wife.  Early in the mornings, late in the evenings, all day during the weekends.  Getting it done.