Monthly Archives: December 2015


I resolve to keep my feet firmly planted.

I resolve to remain a beacon for excellence.

I resolve to walk a mile in your shoes and to offer you mine.

I resolve to meditate more.

I resolve to be a better listener.

I resolve to be a better speaker/writer.

I resolve to not run a step until I find out what is wrong with me knee.

I resolve to be more patient.

I resolve to do my best.

I resolve to continue working for national respectability of post collegiate athletics in Nebraska.






One of my dad’s most stern admonitions.  “Willie, you keep that up and you’re going to get a hard row to hoe!”  Or, “Willie, are you giving me a hard row to hoe?”  Dad will be 84 on January 5th.  I called on Christmas Day and found him on top of his barn, patching a leaky roof.  One of the last Real American Cowboys.

Life in general  is a tough row to hoe.  The tougher the row, the tougher the man.  I’m going to paraphrase something I saw on the www:  Man and several boys in a mid-day July cornfield.  Covered in sweat and dirt and labor.  A couple of the sweltering boys spy a watering hole and petition for a swim.  “Back to work!” says the man.  The man’s wife inquires later as to why no respite was given.  “Because I’m growing men, not corn!”

I’ve laid out a tough row for Nebraska.  Those that have done the work have turned to be the best men.  I heard from one this past weekend.

James McGown is now 41.  I was privileged and honored to coach him to consecutive US Olympic Marathon Trials, ’04 & ’08.  He’s going to be running the Lincoln Half for us, Once A Real Mate, Always A Real Mate.  I’ve been keen on his professional development, now the Superintendent at Brady HS.  The McGown family perfectly landed on 40 acres with an old  Victorian three story, a stocked sand pit, trails to run, room to hunt and grow and raise children the Right Way.  I had to tell him how much it means personally that he chooses to run with/for me.  His reply something so dear that it choked  me up a bit.  “I would have never kept running if it wasn’t for you Will, I’ll always run for you.”

The toughest row.  Bringing out the best in men.  I have a feeling my dad would get along just fine with James.


Maybe arbitrary but I hope you’ll agree that these were news and noteworthy from the past 12 months.  In no particular order of importance.

1.  Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. announces that the Lincoln Marathon has become a presenting sponsor.  Joins Stodden Physical Therapy and Nebraska Run Guru Events, LLC in the mission to establish excellence in Nebraska distance running.

2.  NRGE’s  Amber Sargent and Cameron Cummings are the top Nebraska club finishers at the Boston Marathon.  Both will run Lincoln 2016.

3. NRGE’s Pete Kostelnick and Jessica Pape are the top Nebraska club finishers at the Lincoln Marathon.

4. Kaci Lickteig takes 2nd overall at the prestigious Western States 100 Mile  Endurance Run.

5.  Pete wins Badwater 135, The Toughest Race on the Planet.  Follows that with an eye popping 163.5 miles in 24 hours on the track.

6. The Heartland Marathon.  Omaha Running Club’s response to those rascals from New York buying the Omaha Marathon out from under their feet.  Kudos to Tom Whitaker, Daren Konda and the entire ORC board and staff.

7.  Willie’s Golden Tickets.  NRGE Inc. adding the most talented crop of assembled young (22-23) middle distance runners in the history of Nebraska LDR (Messieurs Welp, Wintheiser, Prescott, Sanabria, and Joerger).  Their sterling credentials and debut at Living History Farms enough said.

8. Nebraska Association LDR.  Making strides with Logan Watley and Colin Morrissey demonstrating real understanding of what the program was founded on, what it should be, what it can be.

9. Pink Gorilla.  The professionalization of road race management in Nebraska.  Ben Cohoon and Zach Harsin, can’t wait to see what they come up with next year.

10.  The U.S. Olympic Committee adds a couple of minutes to the Olympic Trials Marathon Standard.  Rewards every hard working, In It To Win It, The Mind  is the Athlete, dreamer that gave it their best shot and just missed.


A lot of introspection this time of year.  I’ll be posting up my Top 10 moments as well as my New Year Resolutions in the next day or  two.  Ah, but today, today is special.  If you are prone to gastric reactions (you know who you are!) from my declarations of amore, please stop now.

This will end up being my best trip around the sun.  The Reason?  Linda.

Those of you familiar with my story, and hers, should celebrate Real Love with us.  I’m the first to admit that my first 10-12 years in Omaha were turbulent.  With my community, my programs, my  dreams.  Not offering excuses, just a declaration of why I was so unhappy, why it showed in my public persona.  No love.

I met with Pastor Josh Sawyer 5 years ago,  his insight into my particular situation was a revelation.  While I was passive with my oppressor at home, I took my anger and frustrations, like a cornered dog, out on anyone that opposed or dared challenge me.   And there was one/two that took my anger and used it.   I now accept full responsibility for allowing that, and everything else that transpired.  If I haven’t already, I offer all apologies.   And in a delicious twist, I especially and deeply thank the same one/two whose movements and words, much against well laid plans, has led to the happiest time of my life.

So in love.  Linda and I now spend all of our time together.  Every moment of every day.  Working together, loving together, building our life together.  Still can’t keep our hands or eyes off each other.  So very excited about our future together.  Real Living, Real Loving.

After all the accoutrements and trappings of the supposed American Dream, we have found Simplicity and Real Love in each other.  If you measure or define success by square footage or line 37, tsk, tsk.  Certainly not mutually exclusive but if you have to choose, Choose Love.

Thank you Linda for teaching me what the very most important part of life is.  Mutual respect and support and vision and love.  And for saving a wreck like me.

So in Love.





with apologies to Frank Capra

Scene 1:  The runguru, despondent over the state of long distance running, finds himself in a midtown bar.  On his fourth, two over his limit, he sees his primary antagonist, the one that has been trying for years to wrest everything dear from him.  A sneer, a beer, and all hell breaks loose.

Scene 2:  Runguru is headed back to Waterloo, approaching the Elkhorn River when a deer runs in front of his truck.  Big swerve to avoid and a crash into the deep ditch.  Driver stumbles out of cab, deciding to hoof the remaining couple of miles.  Gets half way across the bridge, stops to take a leak, slips and falls into the water.

Scene 3:  Underwater.  A life quickly flashing before eyes.   Voice over “Save yourself!”  But the water is cold and numbing and the lack of pain is sweet.  Again, “Save yourself!”  Now dreamily drifting off.  The voice again.  “You will lose Everything!  A life and a life’s work!”  Still, so sleepy…

Scene 4:  A body now to the voice, a winged Dooling.  Sitting next to the runguru, once again up on the bridge.  The archangel warns that giving up is the worst thing.  The cost will be dear.  At once the pair are at the finish line of the 2016 UnOmaha Apathy Marathon.  A single runner is confused, none are angry, the course cut short a full 4 miles because the race director (our antagonist) didn’t bother to put out a cone.  Woots abound.

Scene 5: Dooling and his charge are at the  2020 Trans Mississippi International 8K.  The 3 top USATF Nebraska Clubs are in casual reverie.  Team Aksarben, Lethargic Racing Club, and Not Really Good Either.  No one figures or cares for results because they all sport the same drab grey kit and all ran 35:30.  Amazeballs abound.

Scene 6: The pair are seated in the rear of the 2025 USATF Nebraska annual meetings.  Perfect teeth everywhere.  Our antagonist’s first order of business is dittos on naming BetterYou, Omaha’s premiere  Botox/Testosterone/Augment/Removal/Enhancement clinic as title sponsor with their offer of 20% Tuesday discount cards to all!  Awesome Sauces abound!

Scene 7:  General Mills, 2032.  Mike Morgan supervising the night shift, a position earned after only two years, covering the 16 block long warehouse like nobody’s business.  Thirty years on the production line.  Looks at the Wheaties Box, the Chicago Olympic Games 10000 Meter winner hailing from Anywhere Else, USA beaming with joy!

Scene 8:  The runguru and his saving grace are back on the bridge.  Runguru is lamenting “Not Mike!  He deserves everything he worked so hard for!”  “And what about David?  And Peter?  And James?  What of them?”

Scene 9:  The runguru is alone again.  Standing, and zipping his fly.

Scene 10:  At the Bar None.  Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. mates are celebrating their  2016 Christmas party and top 5 finish at the Club XC National Championships in Tallahassee.


I know you’ve all been the best you can be.  Most of you absolute angels I’m sure!  Check this stocking tonight before bed if you would like to see my annual Christmas Classic.  This might be my 10th annual, I’ve got 5 and believe 3 or 4 are lost forever in the ether.



The Bar None lives up to its moniker.  Everyone Welcome.  Bar None.

I’ve always had an open door policy.  When living in my richerville McMansion it was not unusual for 15-20 runners to show up every Saturday for the run and post race meal.  And the doors to the pantry, stocked full of Clif Product and Brooks shoes and apparel and sundry other running niceties were also thrown open for my mates.  There may be those that can give more but none ever gave more of what they had.

I still  give much of  myself.  In counsel.  The front door of the Bar None, if well guarded by big, proud Jedediah, is always open.  Conversation, preferably face to face,  a necessary part of proper and decent living.

The Red Road.

If the front door doesn’t exactly spin it has had its share of visitors.  Me welcoming anyone with questions.  Three hours with Logan Watley.  Five hours with Colin Morrissey.  Doing my best to explain the Original Vision and Mission of USATF Nebraska Association LDR, from the Founder’s Perspective.

I’m darned partial to yesterday’s guest.  My old buddy, Once A Real Mate, Always A Real  Mate, Matt Pohren stopped by for the better half of a day.  The Red Road.  Matt travels with me.  I think almost all of you readers know him.  If you want a truthful and honest opinion on me, I can’t think of a better reference.   I love him like a son.  And ladies, he’s single.


Do what you want to do.  I  can’t tell you who to sock it to!

But what I can do is offer you the chance to do your thing.

Our 2016 Winter Fitness Series is my thing, its what I want to do.  Check our banner up top for dates/distances.

Spent the last two days measuring and doing requisite paperwork.  We are proud to offer for the very first time in the Omaha Metro area, a USATF Certified series as part of your winter training.  We feel it important to offer legitimate distances.  Period.

It took 3 plus hours laying the courses out on Sunday.  Another 5 hours doing the paperwork and map drawing Monday.  Eight hours, that isn’t too much to ask.  If you are interested in offering a quality product.  I’m not saying events that choose to use a non certified course indicates apathy or taking advantage of participants but I am saying that if a director chooses to certify his courses he is going the extra mile for you.  I’ve heard a lot of reasons for not certifying, laziness being at the top of the list.  Real Times are worth the effort.

Interesting reading last week that less than 25% of all race directors nationally do it on a volunteer basis.  The bar has been raised.   Constantly working to improve your event, certification being just the tip of the iceberg, always finding better ways to accommodate the paying customers, even if its just a couple of bucks.  For us, well be offering hot chocolate, home baked goodies, and official times that actually mean something outside of Waterloo.


Will Lindgren’s  Festival  of Races.  1 Mile, 5K, 8K, 5 Mile, 10K.  USATF Certified courses for $5.  Keep fit, have fun, and Giddyup!




I knew something was in the pipe.  Submitted a pre race interview last week to Pete Kostelnick and he deferred, sequestering himself in his complex shell of solitude and silence.  This explains how the mild mannered, unassuming, ultra distance enigma flies so easily under the radar here in Nebraska.  Put him in a room full of studs, mortals, and everything in between and 99.99% of you would not be right on your first guess which man is one of the Best Ultra Runners in the World.

Pete first came to us on the heels of his epic run across Iowa, matching the pedalers of RAGBRAI from the Missouri to the Mississippi.  Then came a Life’s Crowning Achievement, the Badwater 135 title this year.  Pete isn’t like you or me though.  He is just getting started.

Which put him in the Desert Solstice 24 Hour run this weekend.  On a 400 meter track he did the unthinkable.  Six hundred fifty four laps.  Pete covered 163.54 miles.  The mark puts him at No. 2 in The World for the 24 hour run this year, and the 40th best mark ever recorded in the history of the event, anywhere.    And launches him to the top of selections for the USA 24 Hour Team.  Giddyup!


Big tips of the sombrero this morning to one of our presenting sponsors, Stodden Physical Therapy.  Mike and his staff of professionals are a key part of Nebraska Run Guru Elite as well as the Elkhorn, Gretna, and Omaha metropolitan area.  Amber Sargent, Drew Prescott, and Kevin Joerger have all benefited from Stodden’s attention to each athlete’s specific needs.  Our 2nd overall Team at Living History Farms would not have been possible without him, look for us to be healthy and In It To Win It in 2016!  Mike has recently added Functional Dry Needling to his bag of fix its.

From Drew:  “Stodden PT helped me out a ton with my Achilles. They put in the time to understand my injury and then provided strengthening exercises to work on each day. They also used the ultrasound which was helpful in recovery”

Kevin adds:  “They have a wide set of training and tools, and they look at your issue from every perspective to determine the best treatment for you. I came in with what I thought was a hip flexor strain, and Mike found the underlying issue was my misaligned hips. He gave me stretches and exercises to strengthen and realign them, and monitored my return to running on the Alter-G. Additionally, he found a knot in my hip which he was able to treat with Dry Needling. I’d never had this treatment before, and was amazed at how effective it was. The thin needle was completely painless, and relief was almost immediate. Within 1 day my pain was gone and my range of motion significantly increased.”



Get back to your personal best by calling Stodden Physical Therapy today!