Monthly Archives: August 2015

THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

A whole lot to cover this morning.  I’ll start with a brief reminisce.  Year was 2000, my Brazosport Run For The Arts 10K, Official 10K of the New Millennium.  $3500 in prize purse.  And a whole lot of competition.  Kenyans.  Took all the money (top 5) spots for the men and 3 of the top women.  Fast times, 29:0something and low 34s.  The Brazosport Facts was a title sponsor and local newspaper.  When the reporter tried to interview the winners, all they got was smiles and repeated “thank you very much”.

I decided then  and there that All my efforts were going to support U.S. distance running.  Few have done more for American athletes since.

Of course, this is a preface to my take on the State Fair Marathon.  Loud trumpets heralding their field.  Full of C Level Kenyans from Coon Rapids, MN.  Same cast you’ll see trying to grab the cash at Lincoln, Des Moines, KC, and every other cherry to pick in the  Midwest.  The  first American male (Eric Dirth, 2:38:35)  beating the first Kenyan female (Pauline Mutwa, 23:38:41) by a whopping 10 seconds!

The Freedom Run Half has restricted  prize money to American athletes only.  With a 2015 USATF membership.  Because the race digs my notion of supporting American Distance Running.  With just over a couple weeks to the race I’m hoping more runners from Nebraska will realize the opportunity they are being offered.  We have no out of state commits, the prize purse is there for YOU.  We may ask for a few intelligible comments post race however.

The Peak to  Peak 10 Mile was also this weekend.  Four of the top 8 finishers women.  Debbie Carstensen, 38 and Christy Nielsen, 40 and Abby Knight, 31.  Abby was :09 seconds ahead of Stacy Shaw, 49.  Christy got Stacy by only :24.  Too much to do to check age grading but you get the idea. A fast mile in Houston this weekend.

My old buddy Sean Wade (49) still at it.  In my “fantasy” league he has already won our Nebraska Assoc. 5K.  This weekend he also won or at least tied for our 1 Mile champs,  running 4:23.  And another of my oldest buddies Ino Cantu topped that.  At 81 years of age Ino ran 7:19.

And with all of that, I’m  still sitting on the Biggest News. 20150830_075327 Had a group run at the Bar None this weekend.  They Might Be Giants.   Yes,  coming together quite nicely indeed.

A MOMENT WITH DOUG STOREY

Doug is an old buddy of mine.  He’s lived his life his own way, somehow, some way, in the heart of one of America’s largest cities.

Will:  We go back a long way.  Used to have some  pretty epic battles back in the day.  Any favorite memories from the wars?

Doug:  Yes, the Turkey Trot RRCA 10 Miler in Orange, TX.  I was running the race of  my life and after the turnaround I dropped the *(chase) pack.  I think you were in second but the first place person was some young kid from Lamar University.  You saw that you couldn’t catch him and apparently started cruising.  That’s when I saw I was catching you and I did which also apparently triggered an oh-shit moment for you because you put the hammer down and  smoked me.

Will:  You turned me on to Oban Scotch.  Some pretty high falootin liquor there.  Any other  favorites?

Doug; Yeah, Flour de Cana Rum.  The Arran Single Malt scotch (less expensive than Oban) and Balvene Double Wood scotch.

Will:  You’ve been known to enjoy good  cigars.  Any plans  to visit Havana soon?

Doug:  ASAP.  Tomorrow if possible.  I want to see it  unspoiled  by American Tourism.

Will:  I never realized you were an outstanding photographer.  When did this become such a passion?

Doug:  I got my first SLR because we were required to have one to major in Geology at Baylor University.  Bought it at the bookstore and had 3-years to pay it  off.  We had  a darkroom in the department which lent itself to lots of indulgences besides photography.  This was 1973 and the photographers eye developed from there.  There are many, many others out there that are much better than I am, though.

Will: My  favorite ones  are those that capture the true spirit of Terlingua.  Care to educate my readers on what makes  that part of the country so magical.

Doug: You said it…….It’s magic.  Few places on the planet where you can  get the differing climactic changes from the water around  the Rio Bravo del Norte,  to the deep desert ,to the high desert, to the alpine  areas of the Chisos  Mountains.  Not to mention, it is a Geologist’s paradise.  Fell in love with it in 1974 on a field trip put on by

Will:  Can you share a couple of your favorites?

Doug:  **See photos following interview**

Will: Please share your philosophy on life.

Doug:   The Dude Abides.  “Find you place on the planet, dig in and take responsibility from there”- Gary Snyder

Will:  You also enjoy a bit of notoriety as a hard assed coach.  Who instilled that in you?

Doug: Same as you:  Jim McLatchie.  However I also got my philosophies from Al Lawrence, Jon Warren, and Clyde Hart.

Will:  Favorite running memory?

Doug:  Probably the day I met my wife  at the Conoco Rodeo Run.  She ran a minute faster than I did and when she went by, my thought was “damn she looks good in those tights”.  My momma told me never to run with fast women but I never listened to my momma.  Close second was my 2:49:51 marathon at Dallas White Rock with Al Lawrence as my coach.  At mile 20 he told  me I  would not go under 2:50 unless I sucked it  up.  First time under 3:00 and second marathon finish.

Will: One big life goal you still have to achieve?

Doug:  See my kids succeed followed  by a canoe trip down the  Lower Canyons of the Rio Bravo del Norte.

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WELCOME!

This fine Thursday morning we extend a big bienvenidos to our newest Nebraska Run Guru Elite mate!

Drew Prescott is a third year pharmacy student at Creighton.  During his undergrad he garnered 4 varsity letters.  Originally from Urbandale, IA.  Drew contacted me several weeks ago, came out for a run and two way interview.  Left for a medical  mission to Nicaragua the next morning.  Bests of 1:55 for the 800, 3:58 for the  1500, 25:48 8K and  15:22 road 5K.

From Drew:
“I have a passion for running  to  compete for a greater purpose than myself.  I  believe  running teaches many things, but the greatest may be that you learn who you are as a person and how  your body functions during training.  It allows you to utilize every component of your God-given being and experience the unknown with each new day.”

Drew also enjoys golf, reading, and eating brunch  with friends and  family.  Please join me  in welcoming this fine young man to  NRGE.  And not  for the last time,

Giddyup!

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UGLY POLITICS

No, not the Donald’s hair.  But oh how I am enjoying all the ridiculousness of the 2016 Republican slate.  And as an equal opportunity skeptic, it matters not which clown ultimately fills the Commander In Chief bill, regardless of party affiliation, talking points, or  any other variable.  Before I turned 20 a copy of “NONE DARE CALL IT CONSPIRACY” landed in my  lap.  Gary Allen’s  examination of the power elite in Washington shook me into a life long distrust of government doing anything “for the people.”  You can take Will out of the free radicals but you can’t take the free radicals out of Will.

Back to local politics.  DC West Middle  School is a blemish (almost used the words crap hole) built in the 60s.  Last year a large portion of roof collapsed.  Several of the rooms are unavailable this year due to black mold.  Last election the bond issue aimed for repairs failed.  A majority of voters in the district are in the age group where there kids have long passed the halls of education.

Linda is in her 3rd year teaching there so we’ve got a stake.  Our newest students, representing the finest edge of westward expansion (We$t Shores, Mallard Landing, Curti$ Acre$, Valley Shore$, Blue Water) flexing their collective muscle now getting another chance.  The DC West Bond Issue will be voted on Sept.  15th.  In the  meantime district residents have received illegal mailings from the anti bond folks.  Signs have been vandalized.  The old guard is getting nervous.  The best part of ugly politics.

Congratulations to Michael Hajek-Jones.  He recalled that Jared Schurrmans  threw  the discus for me, and only once, at the 2012 USATF Club National Championships at Burke Stadium.  Silvers in both the Shot Put (16.48m) and Discus (57.90m).   Club Champs were my last hurrah as trail boss over my former club.  When the new wranglers took over the sprints and throws and jumps that helped make the team what it was were shelved.  Jared moved to Utah for his opportunities and has made the  most of them.

Interesting to note that the Legal Name, the name chosen when I founded the club is “Nebraska Running Club”.  Doing  business as Team Nebraska.

Molly Huddle.  I first worked with her in Davenport,  IA at BIX, 2009.  I draped the 7  Mile National Champion medal  around her neck.  She was a promising young runner, her AR in the 5000 now testament to hard work and determination.  Poor girl though.  Broke the Cardinal Rule of Racing.  Pulled up instead of running through tape.  Maybe instinct, unavoidable?  The urge to celebrate what seems certain.  Cost her a Bronze 10000 in Beijing.  Emily Infeld,  congratulations on racing the  race of your life, through the line, to nip your teammate.  One of the things that makes me cringe the most in road racing is the “flashing of the guns” either during a race or even worse, nearing the finish.  But the newer, softer me is ok with you if that is your schtick.

 

FEEL IT TOO?

If you are wired anything like me the synapses are really firing this morning.  Triggered by the perfect temperatures.  Annual rite.  Reward.  All those runs you struggled through, sweltering, sweating, cursing that pair of Hs.  What a different response from my legs this morning.

No magical Runner’s World prescription to instant fitness though.  The low and steady hum of tread slapping asphalt over the last 6 weeks, hardly a scratch compared to years past really, still sufficient enough to prompt dreams of Real Racing.

I haven’t raced since Scottsbluff at the end of last September.  The longest such stretch since my running career began over 30 years ago.

I am happy we have, and supportive of, Women Run Nebraska.  Adeline Hohman has done a good job of providing a platform for some  of the fastest mothers in Nebraska.  I reached out to her immediately after losing one of our  top marathoners to them, congratulating on scoring such a good runner and better person.  She gets the competitive club idea.  So lots of good things for me to say about the group.

One of the things WRN is doing that is innovative if completely foreign to my ways of understanding our sport is their Fittin’ in Fitness 5K.  A “virtual” run that can be completed any time any where with anybody or even alone.  Pay an entry fee, submit your time and you get a participation medal  and a t-shirt.  Brilliant marketing ploy.  No competition.  I’ve just sunk another foot into the tar pits.

Quizzes!  What athlete in Beijing for the IAAF World Championships competed for me at the 2012 USATF Club National Championships?  Bonus points!  Why am I so paternal with “my era” of Team Nebraska, drawing a very deep historical line for future inspection?

la%20brea-SCIENCE

 

 

 

PROS AND COINS

Real Money or not?  I’m getting a Real Kick out of all those that are squirming over the Ashley Madison “affair.”  I see this morning where subscribers are being extorted, payment in bit coin please.  Names on the list from every slice of the population (with excessive income and interesting appetites.)  Hope you all have been Good Boys and Girls!

Real Money or not?  In an effort to try and attract some top tier runners from Nebraska, the Freedom Run has set the prize money so that we can reward those with a 2015 USATF membership.  In the form of non cumulative performance bonuses.

1.  $150 guaranteed, another $100 for sub 1:10:00
2.  $100 guaranteed, another $50 for sub 1:12:00
3. $75 guaranteed, another $25 for sub 1:13:00

WOMEN
1. $150 guaranteed, another $100 for sub 1:20:00
2. $100 guaranteed, another $50 for sub 1:22:00
3. $75 guaranteed, another $25 for sub 1:23:00.

I published our “invited elite” list  Aug. 16, “Pros and Cons”.    Shannon Mauser Suing so far the only commit.   The race, and prize purse, it would seem, are Wide Open.  Pros and Coins, who wants some?

Kudos to my old buddy Sean  Wade.  Forty Nine (49!) years old, just cruised a 15:16 5K, he would have been our association’s champ for that distance.
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He’s 20 years older than you.  And he’s faster than you!

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This picture sums up everything Lindgren.  Fearing no one, even Pre.  Never giving or asking for quarter, a fighter to the line.  And then, and only then, mutual respect.  The two greatest runners of their respective generations.  Don’t know that they ever claimed to be friends.

RAINBOW BRIGHT

On Prozac.  Sometimes all the feel good, we’re all special because we’re runners, its all about the relationships attitude wears me out.

I look back on 30+ years in this sport and celebrate the friends I’ve made.  Not the  four digit facebook followers, are followers really friends?   But the few Real Friends, those that know me best.   Those that understand my passions.  Those that share my visions.  I’ll never hinge my enjoyment or appreciation or celebration of running on how I  feel about others.  More importantly my Running Life won’t be dictated by how people feel about me.  As life has taught me, too many weirdos, wackos, and just pure evil in the world to try and cater to everyone.  Another big life lesson is that the more sympathetic and understanding you are, the more people you try to accommodate, the wider open you are to those same crazies.

Real Friends.  Few and far between.  Just the way I like them.

thXOM71F0P

 

COURSE OF ACTION

We’ve come a long way to get nowhere.  Omaha, the least runner friendly city I’ve ever lived in.  Maybe Brian Erb was right all along.  The lack of civic support has dulled local expectations beyond the point  of apathy.  What could and should have become a showcase for the City of Omaha, by the City of Omaha, instead shows the rest of  the country what an afterthought our city officials find the sport of running to be.  575 runners registered for the Heartland Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10K.  Sad.

Pick any city in the U.S. with similar metro statistical data and I’ll show you partnerships between civic leaders and the local running community.   And many cities much smaller than Omaha.  Why then is it so difficult?

It used to be Permits.  Road closures.  And yes, those are critical.  But the biggest hurdle Omaha faces is a mind set.  Another hurdle is how the city defines a successful event.  How much money is being raised for which charity is near or at the top of every official’s list.  Too many “race directors” that have never run a step in their life is another problem.  If the Corporate Cup gave a crap about the runners they would have come up with a suitable course to replace the former, which was the only popular 10K in the Omaha Metro.

How many more  “races” will Omaha city officials force onto the Keystone Sidewalk?   Again, how sad.

WACKY WEDNESDAY

More fun runguru facts!

I’ve been shot at for dancing with the wrong girl.   Outside the Fox Trap in Pasadena, TX in 1979.   And been beaten to a pulp for dancing with another.  Jumped as I left a dance club in Baytown, TX.  Three against one.   Disco was hard on me.

I got into a fight in the Astrodome circa 1983.  I was booing our Astros pitcher for throwing crap and the fella behind me told me to shut up.  Bigger guy used to telling people what to do.  We took it out to the concourse, he grabbed my collar and broke my Mr. T starter kit and Ray Ban Aviators.  The next thing I knew he was in a crumpled heap at my feet,  I really don’t remember how.

I was  beaten at a McDonald’s in Houston, circa 1987.  Westheimer Arts Festival.  Huge crowds, few porta potties.  Long queues of bladders full of beer.  A couple ladies ask me to watch the door to the men’s  room in MickieDs.  No one in that line and 20 in the women’s.  “Sure.”  In a moment, guy walks up, I tell him there are a couple of women in there and they’ll be right out.  He tells me he isn’t waiting on any ******* ***** to use the bathroom.  I tell him he has to.  He tells me ‘I can’t believe you are going to take a beating for those ******* *****”  And then he breaks my nose.  And beats it out of the door, he never did get to piss, ha!

I wrecked a brand new 1972 Ford Maverick when I was fifteen.  Not a good driver, worse after a few pulls from the bottle of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill.  Farm roads north of Atwood,  IL.  My buddy John (his dad’s car) and Jeralyn in the back seat.  Fast approaching a T in the road, oblivious.  We hit the ditch and the car flipped and rolled.  John’s broken back the only injury.  I remained grounded throughout that summer, fortunate to be alive.

As a young guru we played mumbly peg.  I’ve explained the game to some, not sure they believe it was real.  It was not the most dangerous game we played.

Howard and Butch Franz were brothers in my hometown.  Howard was the best all around athlete in 9 counties.  Talk of the decathlon and Olympics.  Our favorite water hole was the Lake Fork River.  The railroad trestle spanning the river the scene of many youthful adventures.  Including diving  when the water was high enough.  One day it wasn’t, Howard executed a perfect dive, broke his neck, and never walked again.

I grew up without A/C.  And now choose to live without it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KNOCK KNOCK KNOCKING

On Kevin’s door.  And Sam’s and Carl’s and a lot of others.

It takes a certain type of person (thick skinned) to go around knocking on doors.  Before setting out it is beneficial to understand that your realistic goal will be a 1% success rate.  If you really believe in what you are doing that is an acceptable return on your  energies.

How many doors, over the last 15+ years,  Have I knocked on for Team Nebraska, for the USATF Nebraska Association, for Nebraska  Run Guru Elite?  I’ll round it off to Bunches.  Not a single successful “Open Sesame.”  Passion and energy and courage required to climb each set of steps, advocacy is not for the weak.

I knocked on the doors of five of the best restaurants in town yesterday.  Shopping around Bar None Produce.  Athletes and produce have a lot of similarities as selling points.   The work necessary to become the best.  The most beautiful leeks you’ve ever seen, bell peppers the  size of a small boy’s head, heirloom tomatoes.  Scored one out of the five.  Happy to announce that Pitch Coal Fired Pizzeria in Omaha joins our Council Bluffs partner Dixie Quicks.  Returned to Pitch last night for supper, excellent.  Thanks again to the chefs that appreciate and support the efforts of local market gardeners!

And thanks to those of you that support developing distance runners.  No matter which kit they wear.

Knock knock!  Who’s there?  Probably me!