Monthly Archives: May 2016

PROPAGATING MY QUEEN

Boystown comes and goes with no change up top.  But at least there was a solid chase this year.  Seth Hirsch, age 17, (25:49) led the way with Nebraska Run Guru Elite’s Brandon Wissing  27, next in 26:28.  Cory Logsdon, 28, of Team Nebraska (27:11), Ivan Marsh (42, LRC Racing, 27:45, 1st-40+), Nate Swenson (28, unattached, 28:17) and Colin Morrissey (26, Team Nebraska, 28:47) rounded out the major  players.

Good to see the 3 top clubs represented on the men’s side.  For the  ladies it was Jen Freeman (35, Team Nebraska, 32:48) and Amber Sargent (28, NRGE, Inc., 33:27) the only two USATF Nebraska Association females in the race.  I was hoping to have a more  robust representation by our USATF clubs, no ladies from LRC or Women Run Nebraska.  Or any female masters at all.

Hey, its a start.

My bet (hope) is that we’ll see a whole lot more Nebraska representation and competition at this coming weekend’s Dam to Dam.

For those of you not friendly with me on facebook, at least a couple of you ; ), I’m recovering after my bad spill on the bike last Saturday.  Five hours in the ER and I’m all stitched and patched up.  Police reports filed, Waterloo CSI documenting the scene and my injuries.  The dog and homeowner soon to hear from my representative.

My buddy Bjorn Suneson is back and up to his transcontinental tricks.  Making his 5th traverse from west to east coast.

Our bees are the Italian variety, very docile.  I mow within a couple of feet of the 16 hives and not yet a sting.  Learned propagation last weekend.  Remove the queen and some workers from the hive, put them in their own box.  Pull the larvae tray and inoculate into special cells, put back in main hive, the remaining workers cultivate a new queen.  For every queen there is a hive.  For every hive there is honey.

Proud of not so little anymore Noah Kunasek.  Freshman at Burke.  Linda’s nephew.  Varsity letter in track for his work on the 4 x 800, pole vault, and hurdles.  Just missed a varsity letter in wrestling due to an injury.  And working hard to make this fall’s varsity football squad.  Stud.

 

 

 

SOME NERVE

Good.  Yesterday’s column struck one for many of you.  It was supposed to.  Silly goose.

I heard from an individual that annually passes half a dozen professional mandatory background checks.  Inexplicably challenged me to let him know when I pass that level of  scrutiny.  Well, when I become a Dr. of Medicine I will submit to same.

Same cat suggested that I call people out by name, some twisted logic that this will protect the innocent.  Give me a break.  Not sure what the agenda is but methinks he doth protest too much.  Show up at the annual meeting this September, that is all for you.

Here’s what you do need to know.  The Nebraska Association is in a shambles.  Background checks just the very important tip of the iceberg.

There are those of us willing to put up with all of the BS to make right.   By going to the meetings, by going to the mat.  By knowing the rules.  By putting up with these bold faceless critics.

Michael-Hajek Jones.   Logan Watley.  Linda Kunasek.  These people are trying hardest to save our LDR ship.

I raised holy heck when the sham of an LDR election was foisted on us in 2014.  We saw how that played out.  Those responsible, little did they know, little do they know.  Chicanery, subterfuge, hoodwinking, deceit.  Eloquent glibness without any sense of reality.  Smiles all round.  And now, this:

  1.  Laura Borman of the Ozark Association has been assigned to oversee the Nebraska election process this coming  September.
  2. All sport committees will be required to have published Operating Procedures.  Sport committees will conduct elections independent of the annual meeting and other committee meetings.
  3. The By-Law Amendments voted on last September are set aside.  New By-Laws will be put in place by  this September’s meeting.  The reason being that they were passed without proper notification, indicative of the cavalier endemic.
  4. All committee chairs will be elected to four year terms.  This is the standard around the rest of the USATF country.

To Michael, thank you for your tireless efforts.  To Logan, Linda and I and the rest of your committee are here and at your service.  We’ve made great LDR strides in 2016.

That’s not all folks.   The USATF National  Office has voted 11-1 to suspend the entire Youth  Executive Committee, including  its Chair, Lionel  Leach.  All 2016 USATF Youth events will continue  as normal.  Stay tuned.

Ombudsman.

SOME NERVE

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GOOD GRIEF

Good is good, grief is grief.  Sometimes grief is good.

Treading not ever so lightly this morning.

I’m calling for every single administrator in our USATF Nebraska Association to supplicate themselves to the very same rigorous scrutiny of background checks that I have.  Every Association officer, every club president, every coach.

The upside is  that our association would be above any charges of impropriety.  The other obvious and most beneficial result would be to ferret out those that should not be in positions of authority in the organization.

They know who they are.  Why else refuse to take a simple background check?  There are those in our association, in positions of leadership, that have never had the screening.  Steadfast refusal.  What’s to hide y’all?

I submitted for a two fold reason.  One of course being to work with the talented, ambitious youth of our association.  The second reason was to protect my name.  For all I’ve battled  over the last 10 years.  The character attacks, the lies, the vitriol.  More filed grievances than you can count on one hand.  Remember, grief is sometimes just for grief’s sake and not for any good.

So I call on you to call on them.  Find out what they are hiding.  Or insist they step down.

 

RUN THROUGH NOT TO

To the wall!  To the wall!  Let me take you there!

I’d given so much thought to yesterday’s column that it never made it to print.  Had been working on summary of the State Track Meet.  Crowning Milo The Conqueror.  My story of the weekend.  Two things jumped.  A huge personal best and a wall at 600 meters.

Made me reflect on my own racing career, relative as it may be.  Those epiphanous efforts where a death grip held the towel, refusing to let it drop let alone throw it in.  Those rascals I raced week in and week out, month in and year out, on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Forgive the geographical  disconnect but its the effort and the mind and the will that stars in this  tale.

Only 6th best.  That was my fate.  You knew the field, they were friends (mostly) as well as competitors.  The line, the gun, the chase.  I never gave up the chase.  Not once.  Here’s why:  They had talent, I had heart, a big one.  I’d run and run and run, watching their backs.  Awards ceremonies always included the Top 5 in each age group.   6th.  In retrospect accomplishments that now seem a little more favorable considering the size of Houston.

The most memorable races however were those where I absolutely refused to acknowledge defeat.  Unimportant whether or not I won  the race.  Knowing that I gave absolutely everything, had no quit in me, seeing stars at the finish line.  And in my log books there are happy stories where this was enough to carry me past better runners.

What am I saying today?  When you meet your wall, RUN THROUGH NOT TO.

 

 

 

 

HALF MAST

A lot of great stuff going to happen in the next 48 hours, just up Dodge, youngsters defining years and memories with athletic performance.  That’s what its all about at the state meet.  Best weekend of the year for pre-collegiate T&F.

I’m subdued however.  Saddened and shocked and just a little frightened.  I guess it can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace.  That’s why it is so important to live every single day with gusto, by your rules, celebrating each breath, each stride, each friend and smile and twinkle and especially family.

We think of our little slice as a sanctuary.  I like to say we may as well be 100 miles from Omaha.  Slower pace, no street lights, very little traffic, paved roads being the luxury we most appreciate.  We run these roads.  Alone and with friends.  With Jed.  Linda and I getting to know our Twin Rivers Homestead family on daily runs.  Peace and quiet.

That peace was shattered last night.  Don Fitzwater, 87 years old, astride his John Deere mower, something done thousands of times.  For reasons known only to the Big Guy (Good Mother), a lady driving a large SUV appeared on Don’s stretch of road, just an 1/8 of a mile long.   Another saying we have out here is if you don’t have business out here you likely have no business out here.  She had no business.  Preliminary reports indicate alcohol and/or drugs involved.  She didn’t see Don on his mower.  And we lost him.

I’ve lowered my flag to remember.  How tenuous life can be.  How fortunate, how blessed we are to share another day with each other.

WELL STATED

Excited for the kick off of tomorrow’s State Track & Field meet.  Burke, that gem of a stadium.   When I brought the USATF wigs in to tour they were struck by the hard wired details, rating it more favorably than most any other in the country.  The supporting staff, most experienced at the Junior Olympics Meet, execute with precision.

Our LDR Scholarship committee will be particularly keen on the distance races and the seniors therein.

Iowa’s State Meet kicks off today, metric bents making exact comparisons subjective, generally breaking along the Missouri River.

Adjusting my formulas, re-calibrating old expectations, inputting new data.  Running with my ears and eyes and heart and mind and soul.  Seeking my new Real.  Six months out from my 59th, figuring out how  I can maintain competitive longevity.  Dealing training runs like an old shark.   Now scheduled no closer than every other day, mileage creeping up from 15 to hover around 20.  With a lot of relative quality.  Today a 1.25 mile warm up and warm down, the middle a 3.5 mile benchmark (27:00) tour around our Richest Neighbors, West Shores.  “I say lovey, that gentleman’s speed has ruffled my cardigan!”

Thanks for the emails this week, good to hear from you!

 

 

HONEY BEE MINE

Or, the Spring of my Content.

Let’s kick things off wishing a safe and rewarding trip to our mate Grant Wintheiser.  Left on Sunday for 4 weeks to India on a medical mission trip.

Jeremy Morris and Alli Moy Borgen headed down to the Rock on Lake Perry 50K, he with the W (4:05:56), she taking 2nd female.

Jennifer Wilson never ceases to amaze me.  More frequent flyer miles than the rest of us combined.  Strict training program with very little margin for error.  Lofty personal best  goals for 2016, mile to the marathon.  Running last Sunday’s Papillion Half.  Smashed personal best by nearly 4 minutes running a fine 2:08:43.  The same race saw Kaci Lickteig turn in a nice 1:22:26 on the hilly course.  One day after winning the Tails and Trails half with her favorite companion.

Jen Freeman (Team Nebraska) won the Brookings Marathon in 3:06:18.  Roy White (unattached) took first in the 50-54 age group in 3:14:31.

The Medtronic 1 Mile in Minneapolis served as our USATF Road Champs.  Ben Blakenship (3:55) and Heather Kampf (4:34.2) take the laurels.

Excited to announce that Amber Sargent will be racing the Boystown 5 Mile on Memorial Day, our USATF Nebraska Association Champs for that distance.

Guy Clark, rest in peace.  Cold dog soup and rainbow pie……

The Texas State Track & Field Champs last weekend.  Reed Brown of Southlake  Carroll and Sam Worley of Comal  Canyon.  Both broke the decades old 3200 meter state record.  Brown in 8:50, Worley in 8:51.  Earlier in the 1 mile it was Worley (4:04.59) and Brow (4:04.82).

Both are juniors.  Shades of Seth!  Went for a run yesterday afternoon with a new friend.  He expressing deserved amazement at the young wunderkind.  Me reminding that I’ve seen it all before, listing similar talents from each of the last several decades.  At the very top of that list, Gerry Lindgren.

Proud to announce the two newest additions to our Merry Band of Racers.  Coralie Eilers is Kevin Joerger’s girlfriend and former teammate at Loyola Marymount.  She debuted at the half marathon with the “W” (1:35) last month in Valpraiso.  Brandon Wissing has also joined us.  His training with Jay and Kevin has been solid as evidenced by the “W” over Colin Morrissey at the Berkshire Hathway 5K.

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This swarm of bees made a dash from our hives, landed in our neighbor’s tree.  The lower 50 degree temps had them completely docile.  Used my pruning sheers to clip the branch on either side and gently lowered back into its new box.  We started with 8 last year, added two in the fall and another 6  this week for a total of 16 hives.  Honey, Bee Mine!

 

 

 

I’LL BE DAMMED

Saturday, June 4th.  On top of the Saylorville Dam.  You want some of that?  Yes!  A preview of the 2017 Midwest Champions Series.  Competition with a Capitol C.

Big tips to Cal and his staff.  I’m expecting representation from Team Nebraska, LRC Racing, Kansas City Smoke, Iowa Ablaze, and Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc.

While most of the field has been set, we pulled the trigger yesterday.  Waited to see who raced well at Lincoln, and more importantly, who recovered well.  Jay Welp, Kyle  Clouston, Kevin Joerger, and Drew Prescott (making his 13.1 debut) for the fellas.  Michel Davy, Coralie Eilers, and Stacy Mangers Shaw for the ladies.

Dam to Dam gets competition.  Housing, travel stipend, waived seeded entries, transportation to the start, and competition with more $$ going to the fleetest.  Real Racing in the Midwest.  I’ll be dammed.

 

 

YOUTHFUL APPEARANCE

Running.  It keeps you young at heart.  And in mind.  Hope.  Potential.  The Future.  A good preface to today’s major announcement.

But first, a flashback to 1991 and the Illinois State T&F 2 Mile Champs.  I was coaching a young  lady named Jenny Lisy.  Dramatic improvement over that spring led to a 7th overall and school record in 11:19.  Lifting her from poverty to a DI scholarship.

Fast forward 25 years.

Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. has expanded to include a youth component.  We are now officially a Nebraska Association Youth Club as well as adult competitive club.  I teased a couple of weeks ago about getting my USOC Safe Sport Certification, now you know why.

I’ll be coaching Sam and Jackson Runde, our third  summer together.  This year though, they run for NRGE, Inc.  Sam pointing things in the right direction last Thursday when he won the All City Mile in a windy 5:15 (he’s already run 5:06 this spring), the fastest 7th grader in OPS.

Our Youth component will be small and exclusive with one on one coaching.  Goal is to be competitive on a state and national level.   If you have or know of a highly talented athlete that might benefit, runguru@cox.net

Prayers and meditations go out to Craig Donnelly.  Incredibly talented runner,  suffering from epilepsy his entire life.  While on a recent training run he had an episode, falling and sustaining severe head trauma.  This  required  removal of his left cerebellum.  He is now in rehab.  Craig was self employed as a coach and was uninsured.  A go fund me page has been set up to assist with his medical bills.  http://bit.ly/1TAl1Kc