Monthly Archives: October 2015

THOUGHTFUL THURSDAY

My self imposed limit of 500 words hasn’t been scratched for awhile.  Big messages with fewer words.  Today’s no different.

Spent a good 90 minutes with two of the movers and shakers last night.  Face to face always the best.  Comfortable confines of the Bar None.  Topic largely  centered on what exactly is USATF.  As an organization.  What its goals are.  How what we do at the local level plays an instrumental  part, believe it or not.

The Olympic Podium.

Developing enough local, regional, and national talent to make dreams come true.  Sometimes it takes years.  It is worth it.

For everyone and everything else there is the Road Runners Club  of America.  The two should never be confused.

STATE RECORD

Lookie Here Now!  I do believe we’ve shaken some doldrums based on the amount of communication I’ve received over the last week.

Without lacing a flat or spike the discussion has been changed by prospect.  Dramatically.

I woke last night to the sound of thunder.  How far off I sat and wondered.  Started humming a tune from 2002, ain’t it funny how the night moves.

One of our boutique clients is on an amazing journey.  Due on Christmas Day, already a mom several times.  And a grandma.  She is 53 years old.  Our Medical Director, Dr.  Bill Weeks, has delivered over 750 babies- maybe some of you readers- over the years.  He informs me that this remarkable lady will likely set a state record for such a miracle.

NINE SECONDS

At the risk of offending tender sensibilities (stock & trade?) it is with bemusement that I Do Declare.

2015 Lincoln Marathon winner Edward Tabut ran 2:27:38 for the big payday.   At Sunday’s Chicago Marathon Deena Kastor finished as first American in 2:27:47.

Granted it is the flattest, fastest marathon in the Midwest.  And agreeing that Deena is one of the most consistent and talented of American women distance runners.

One of my frequent contributors recently interpreted my declarations on 49 year old Sean Wade as being “divisive”.  Holding up this aging stud against the best Nebraska has to offer just isn’t fair?  I wonder how he will feel about juxtaposing a 42 year old woman to our current state of affairs.

I feel bad for Shannon Suing.   Eye on the prize (sub 2:43), her back to back half marathons, so close to Chicago, bit her in the britches.   On a perfect day, her finish of 2:52:52 certainly not indicative of  talent and fitness level, she ran 2:46 at Grandma’s in June.

I didn’t check all the thousands of results.  But I did some digging and couldn’t find another male or female from Nebraska in the race.  Say what?

Let the emails begin……

SAMSUNG

SAMSUNG

In 2010 I took 7 women to Chicago.  Including a young (24) Kaci Lickteig who would run 2:49:20 on the day red flagged because of heat.  My dear sweet Linda managed a 3:39:43 to bracket the club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CORPS WORK

Yesterday found the conclusion of active recruiting for 2015’s Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  The last of Willie’s  Golden Tickets.

And with that I’d like to introduce Grant Wintheiser as our newest Good Mate.  A combination of serendipity, tenacity, and passion brings the 2014 DIII XC National Champion out of St. Olaf College in Minnesota  to us.  He’s got the wheels with a 23:48 8K personal best.  And a desire to be In It To Win It.  A first year medical  student studying in Omaha.  He’ll be here for a while.

Our group run Sunday morning, followed by Bar None Breakfast, was the culmination of a lot of work by a lot of people.  Not the least Kyle Clouston and his road dog Pete Kostelnick.  While they weren’t at the run, there is no  doubting that the club couldn’t be in this  great position without them.  Also our NRGE, Inc. Board of Directors.  And our sponsors, The Lincoln Marathon, Stodden Physical  Therapy, and Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC.

First up is bringing the Living History Farms trophy back  to Nebraska.  I’m only slightly altering my prediction of next month’s classic results.  I’ve already declared we’ll have the overall winner, I now boldly prognosticate the top 3 finishers will all sport our kit.  Is top 5 overall a possibility?  Oh yeah baby!

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L to R, Kevin Joerger, Grant Wintheiser, your scribe, Drew Prescott, and Jay  Welp.  These cats will rise head and shoulders above.  This is how we do it.

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Add in this fierce young man, Al Sanabria, and you have our Elite Class, 2015.

Jay, a Real Student of our sport, points out that we now have  DI, DII, DIII, and NAIA talent propping up the effort to rewrite the Nebraska distance running record books.

And me, I’d like to point out that we are not only  the most talented,  but also the youngest club with all 5 of these dudes in their early 20s.  Going to be a Very Fun 2016!

 

FANTASTICAL FRIDAY

In a world…….

A Race.  The Race.  No charity.  No feel good stories.  No popularity contest.  No virtual entries.  No novelties.  No costumes.  No headphones.  No fanny packs.  No GPS.  No hand holding.  No grab assing.  No farcical grand prix.  No cakewalk.  No colors.  No mud.  No obstacles.  No sparkles.

Dirty, Gritty Racing.  Balls to the wall.  In It To Win It.  Fair Competition.  No prizes.

Pride.

Would you run it?

If you answered yes, shoot me an email.

The final Willie’s Golden Ticket could be claimed this Sunday morning.  Stay tuned.

Great to hear from our international mate Walter Key.  Aboard ship somewhere in the  Pacific.  Training on a treadmill, a dance with the devil with the roll, pitch and yaw challenging every stride.  Sea legs.  Dedication.  That’s why  Walt’s a Good Mate.

Wherever you are racing this weekend, make it mean something.

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Linda and I got the Jump on this weekend’s Junk Stock.  Where country folk celebrate y’all city folk.

 

 

 

CHICAGO

Cubs Win!  Cubs Win!

And the Chicago Marathon is this weekend.  Wishing Shannon Mauser Suing all the best as she goes for her Olympic Trials qualifier.

I hope she isn’t the only one from Nebraska with such aspirations.

TWENTY STRIDES

Joy and Pain.  Sunshine and Rain.  Good with the Bad.  Or, those who can’t do, teach.  Dress it up in any idiom you like, not running is less fun than running.

Passed the 4 week mark yesterday, right knee not good at all.  Made it to pain free a couple of days ago but then had to scamper to intercept Jedediah on his way to the chicken coop.  No more than 20 strides.  My running life flashed before me eyes.

The first five steps the stuff my dreams are made of.  Powerful and immediate, covering a midrace move, instantly at full speed.   The next five strides continuing to turn the clock back to days of a fleeter guru.  Five more and Reality began to set in.  Stride sixteen losing the elasticity and length of youth.  Seventeen a hint, eighteen a hammer.  Nineteen the familiar bone on bone grind.  Twenty, I now realize, perhaps the final step I’ll ever run again.

Not a sad day though.  I’ll limp my way through this Grand Design.  Count all the bees in the hive, chase all the clouds from the sky.

And live by those words of inspiration:  Don’t Dream It, Be It.

KUNASEK TUESDAY

Linda Kunasek.  Not sure what I ever did to deserve her.  We fit together perfectly.

We attended a hastily arranged Kunasek family reunion this past weekend.  Bohunks all.  Sauerkraut, pork ribs, ham, two kinds of dumplings.  A Bohemian feast to be sure.  And rabid Husker fans to the man.

Prompting the get together was patriarch Carl Kunasek in town for his 65th class reunion at Creighton Prep.  Kind of the lead character in a cast full of them.  BS in Pharmacy from Creighton, class of 1955.  Former President of the Arizona Senate, a state representative before that, a total of 16 years in the legislature.  Tabbed by George Bush in 1990 as the Commissioner of Navajo and Hopi Relocation.

Music is a Kunasek trademark with only Linda lacking the lyrical ear.  Her brothers Steve and Mike  the heart and soul of local Prairie Gators Cajun band.  Brother Dan gifted with self discipline enough to learn every instrument he picks up.  And at the reunion, cousin Roger, jumping on the grand piano and belting out Leon Russell’s “Nothing From Nothing”.  Cousin Steve an accomplished drummer.  Their brother Vince, our host, a builder whose house was as functional as it was extravagant.  We could have easily all been gathered somewhere in South O from the friendly atmosphere.   Reminds me that Linda’s dad Steve was honored a couple of weeks ago at half time of the Gross football game.  Taught and coached there for 30 years.  A south O icon.

Catholics, every single one of them.  Tracing their heritage back to the old country where they  owned a castle, a bar, and later a church.

That’s my Linda.

 

I DON’T FEEL TARDY

Engaged in commerce this morning hence the late start.  Monday mornings spent picking and delivering to Dixie Quicks over in Council Bluffs.

Some great results from our Nebraska Run Guru Elite runners this past weekend.  Start off with the ladies up in Minnesota.  Jessica Pape (3:15:21) and Bree Adams (3:19:30) both ran solid marathons.  A beginning and an end.  This was Bree’s debut and is very encouraging for her developmental arc.  This was Jessica’s last race for us, we wish her all the best of the rest.  She will remain a favorite and we’ll always remember her as the artist behind our logo.

The Arkansas Traveler 100 held a surprise for me.  I didn’t even realize that Pete Kostelnick was running with his mate Kyle.  Pete (16:55:50) went on to a 3rd overall finish, breaking the 25-29 age group record that had stood since 1991.  Kyle (25:08:48) soldiered to some well earned hardware.

Race for the Cure, Omaha’s 2nd biggest run behind Corporate Cup.  No significant results.

Market to Market (actually, Aksarben to Market) saw LRC Racing owning the local landscape again.  The Co-Ed team results were interesting  to me as it contained some unattached runners, and runners from both Team Nebraska and LRC Racing.  Whoever dialed that one up gets a kudo.

 

 

SHAKE OR HUG

Stories, y’all know I’ve got a million of them.  Jumping in the way back machine this morning,  dialing in Twin Cities 2008.  USA Women’s 10 Mile National  Champs held in conjunction.  This year too by the way.

Pouring down rain.  The 10 Mile goes off an hour prior to the marathon, nearly completely dark.  I’m in the lead vehicle, passenger rear, window down, listening to the breathing and rhythmic slap of flat to macadam.  I learned early on that it is forbidden to encourage, or even acknowledge, athletes between gun and tape.  Nothing to distract or disrupt the focus and task.  That’s right, when you are in a lead vehicle, you may not communicate at all with the runners.  I have however done some live feed radio broadcasts from the point at several of our champs.

At the end of the quick morning Kara Goucher (53:16) stood atop the podium.  Followed by Katie McGregor and Kelly Liljeblad.  Because it is my style I will point out here that Kara’s time would have won the Overall at this year’s State Farm 10 Mile, besting Eric Rasmussen’s 54:15 by almost a full minute.  “Yeah, but she’s national class” says Linda.  “Yep” I agreed.  I think our top Nebraska men should be able to routinely beat our national class women.  Just my opinion.

Back to the podium, outdoors, still raining lizards and horned frogs.  As was my privilege for so  many years and events, I’m called up to present the USATF National Championship medals.  Drape them carefully over bowed necks.  Shake of the hand.  But Kara, she opts for the hug.

2008 Twin Cities Marathon and related events

The stuff stories are made of.

Wherever you are racing this weekend, GIDDYUP!