Monthly Archives: March 2016


These lads.  These mates.  My charges.  They’re serious.

Doing the good work.  My part is the easiest.  The Gathering and Inspiring and Motivating.

Whether it be the first, Clouston, Kostelnick, Morris, Anazalone, Doherty, Reilly, Frost, Delgado, Cummings, McGown,  Key, Shaw, Kunasek, Davy, Schurman, Erickson, Kray, Sargent, Olsen and Adams.   Or the  last, Wintheiser, Welp, Joerger, Prescott, Sypal, and Olberding.

Serious athletes all.  Never once chuckled at “In It To Win It.”  Nary a guffaw at “The Mind is The  Athlete.”

Tough athletes all.  Some of the toughest I’ve ever had the privilege of.

We’ll be sending our fleetest to Chicago and the Shamrock  Shuffle 8K in a few weeks.  I’ve charged them with a single task.  Regain the National Respectability Nebraska held from 2004-2012.  Wintheiser, Welp, Joerger and Cummings.  All due respect to every other team from every other state.  Each has its own reason for taking advantage of the Elite Club competition.

I’m declaring our intentions of going for a top 5 finish.  And challenge everyone everywhere to come get us.

These cats know I’m not a kidder when it comes to such things.

I’m serious.  And so are they.



Racing.  How we do love the challenges.  From within.  From without.  Ask yourself this simple question:  Do I prefer my challenges internal  or external.  Something to ponder on this Tuesday morning.

I made a Grand Tour of Douglas, Sarpy, and Cass counties on Sunday.  Started with 10th annual Ni-Bthaska-Ke business at Platte River State Park.  Flashbacks of 2010 and breaking my foot during the inaugural 4 miler.

Moseying back via  Springfield.  My dear sweet Linda and I reminiscing on the thousand and more miles  we put on the Mo Pac.  Over bridges and under shade trees.  Falling in love without even knowing it.

Bringing Q street all the way West to Waterloo.  Passing wide open spaces SW of Omaha  proper.  Thousands more miles on the rolling hills of that former Scenic Sarpy/Douglas dojo.  Some of my favorite runs, far reaching Buena vistas at every turn.

Everywhere roads and trails beckon.

I feel it in my bones and flesh and very soul.  Remembered Runs.  To the Tiniest Detail.  The Desire.

To Come Back.

To Run.

To Race.


One of those column titles that spring out from the deep, dark, sleepless night.

Sometimes a column builds before the header, but most often the words are shaped by the banner.

Feathers.  A good firm grip on the quill end will get you a lot of movement.  Brushing and turning and guiding with the gentlest of efforts.  All tickles and smiles.  Getting things going in the right direction.

Cudgels.  A solid hand on the end of a club is also effective.  I used to swing that sucker roundhouse.  Those that withstood the force rose to the very top.

But I missed some that way.  Those that needed not the brute effort.  Them that avoided the maelstrom.

Those that would rise and shine with just a breeze behind them.  The barest of incite needed.

These Nebraska Run Guru  Elite, Inc. athletes.  All feathers.

Kyle Clouston took the top spot at Saturday’s Run For The Bridges 10 mile.  Which was really 8.7 miles.

Colin Morrissey won the Shamrock Run 5K.  Which was really somewhere between 3.35 and 3.45 miles.

Somebody fetch me my cudgel.



I hope you get to be Old Fashioned.  Because that means you are getting old.  Which means you are still on the up side of the Good Mother’s Green Earth.  Beats the alternative.

You will see wonderful innovations. some will leave you agog.  There will be advances in your areas of expertise.  So many so that you may not recognize your life’s passion.

You may even build a road.  And find at some point that you’re not welcome to travel it.

Our Nebraska LDR community was built the Old Fashioned Way.  Constant promoting.  Fighting the Good Fight.  Body shots.  Head blows.  Promote, promote, promote.  Posting race bills and information and decals and personally handing out thousands upon thousands of flyers.  By hand and by foot, seeking word of mouth.  The Old Fashioned Way.

Today we all, to some degree or another,  enjoy the fruits of those labors.

I’ve been asked by an event to not put my race flyers on the windshields of vehicles parked inside a public park.



Complying with the request.  I don’t have to but I will.  In an effort to get along.

If you have an event after April 2nd, you are more than welcome to come out to Platte River State Park that morning and distribute your race flyers.    Knowing you are a non marketing degreed dinosaur like me and won’t say a word about it.





Ten percent of a hectacre.  One quarter of an acre.  Ten thousand square feet.  Its busted up, groomed, and ready to go.  Thanks to my neighbors for getting me off my mule.


The John Deere tiller on the back of Tom’s Farmall made short work of what I expected to spend a week on.  Neighbors being neighborly.


They’d been watching me ride my “mule” and pitched in.  The Girls in my wake, no worm safe.


Carl is 87 now.  The elder statesman of our little slice and my “oldest” buddy!








There’s an easy way and a hard way.  I’ve spent a fair bit of time behind the mule in the last week.  The harness goes both ways.  I tried busting that ass only to find my own dragging.  Especially  when Breaking New Ground.  Roots matted over generations.  Old habits are hard to break.

The hard way.  Brute Force.  Sheer Will.

The  easy way.  Finesse.  Letting the ass think its in charge.  Occasionally outside the lines but for the most part very acceptable work.  A bonus in the brays keep away all manner of predator.

Becoming one with the labor.  The first time without training wheels.  The moment you mastered that big wave.  When you stopped fighting.  And became one.


One of the things at the top of my list for last Saturday’s LDR Committee meeting was bolstering the annual scholarship amount.  Katie Spencer and Ty Hanson were the first awardees of the “Will Lindgren LDR Founder’s Scholarship.”  An honor bestowed a few years ago by outgoing LDR Chair Matt Pohren.  It becomes more and more of my focus now that we have capable, young blood taking up the Good Fight.

I asked the LDR Scholarship Committee for a sneak preview on seniors to watch this spring.   Out west, James McGown is keen on John Shields of Lexington.  Shannon Stenger offered up Andy  Vasquez of Burke, Zach Lundberg of Omaha North, Josh Klein of Millard West, and Wyatt McLeod at Lincoln Northeast.  Logan Watley will be keeping close eyes on Austin Yardley and Renata Valquier-Chavez from Elkhorn High and Erin Circo of Elkhorn South.

And me, I’ll be watching them all.  And working on trying to build on the modicum of support we currently  offer.



Nebraska’s biggest green beer race went off under perfect weather Saturday.  Those LRC lads Michael Rathje (32:50) & Neil Wolford (32:55) showed the way among men with an inspiring battle between team mates, our own Jay Welp (33:42) debuting on Nebraska soil in 3rd.  A single runner headed them all, The Indomitable One, Michelle Paxton.

The Race of the Day was between the boys but the Race of the Day was really a solo effort by Paxton.  Her 37:32 (6:02 pace) on a very challenging course, at age 39, made a solid statement on what to expect this spring….all you want and maybe more.  Our NRGE ladies Amber Sargent (41:07, 2nd 25-29),  Michel Davy (41:38, 2nd 35-39), Stacy Shaw (42:14, 1st 50-54), and my dear sweet Linda (48:38, 3rd 50-54) all brought home hardware.

Jeremy Morris took the top notch at the Stampede 50K.

I put almost 800 Ni-Bthaska-Ke race flyers in windshields Saturday.

We also had a 90 minute meeting prior to the gun, our Nebraska Association LDR Committee now taking a more unified and dedicated stance, work to be done.

My buddy Randy Wasinger of the KC Smoke was in Albuquerque for the USA Indoors Masters Champs.  Busy weekend as he took 40-44 Golds in the 800 (1:58.97), 1500 (4:05.77- a :06 personal best!), and 3000 (9:12.12).




Places I remember.  Races I remember.

Or, round round get around I got around.

My message for you today is to live your life with gusto.  The happiest people are those that learn to rise above the day to day, ho hum, humdrum business as usual.  Those that  define their own joy.  It doesn’t hurt to surround yourself with like minded people.  But there will be plenty that won’t share in your reverie.   I once heard a dear sweet friend of mine receive a dire warning (threat?), “You’ll be judged by the company you keep!!”  As it turns out, not such a bad thing if you choose the right crowd.

I’ve had privilege of company.  Worked with some of the best and brightest and ambitious and hardworking and respectful and decent young people to aspire to running potential achieved.  Had the bad egg or two to be sure, but no bad apple’s going to spoil my whole bunch girl.

How many now?  In my fifteenth year in Nebraska.  The faces.  The places.  The races.


And here are a couple of my favorites.  My dear, sweet Linda and that Nebraska Legend, Ivan Marsh.



I once certified a 5K course that started on Tiki Island, immediately in front of City  Hall.  The finish was at the front door of the Galveston Daily News.  And in between?  The Gulf of Mexico.  Three quarters of the  race was contested on the Galveston Causeway.  When laying out the course I had a police escort, still one of the  scariest rides of my life.  A major span, four lanes in each direction, the only artery and evacuation route for Galveston to the mainland.  My task assigned the inner most lane.  Traffic whizzing by at posted speeds.   Real Cowboys,  their gun racks and legal open containers, last vestiges of the wild, wild west, the Houston city slickers heeding beckoning beaches, the pick up beds full of hopeful youth, a constant SPF bouquet , the clunkers with their bamboo cane poles headed to harvest the jetties.

The Fred Hartman Bridge is another massive span outside of Houston.  Underwater tunnels were more prevalent 30-40 years ago.  I drove the old Baytown Tunnel  many times cutting my teeth in road race management at the Baytown Heat Wave 5 Miler every 4th of July.  The old tunnel  is now closed and the magnificent Fred Hartman stands shoulders above anything for miles.

The Verrazano Narrows Bridge, start line for the NYC Marathon.

Take me to the bridge.

Omaha’s own Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge.  3000′ long, 15′ wide, 60′ above the Missouri River.  Five years ago I  designed and measured the first ever USATF Certified event over the Pedestrian Bridge.  My old  Big Blue Run 5K, a pet project to raise funds for prostate cancer awareness.  Back in the day I prefaced my measurement effort titles with the name of my former club.   Though never paid by them for measuring a course I did extended this as an attempt to elevate its presence.   I now claim things as my own, ala Will Lindgren’s Festival of Races.

Several events now utilize the Pedestrian Bridge, including March 12th’s Shamrock Run 5K.  Starts down at the Dubliner, crosses the bridge and back.  Same course I believe as the one time held Run For The Diamonds.