Or, Once A Mate, Always A Mate.
We’ve all heard the story before. Inspiration washes over a soul or two, brought to shore by the most honorable of intentions.
The drummer, still working his sticks even though no record in the last 6 or 7 years. The lead vocalist, talents lately dormant awaiting the right sunrise to sing.
They decide to get the old band back together. To save the school or the community house or in this case, distance running in Nebraska. To kick some ass.
If I teased you with “Playing With Fire”, I’ll be less coy this morning. I’ve been in contact with three of the most solid runners and fine young men I’ve ever had the pleasure of. And the fastest.
We’re getting the old band back together. They’re joining our newest stars to literally tower over the athletics landscape. One has the greatest range ever (sub 4 1500, sub 2:30 marathon), one is a USATF Club National Champion, and one is a sub four minute miler.
Band On The Run. Band On The Run.
Once A Mate, Always A Mate!
Out of the blue moments are gifts from the gods. Manifesting amid gentle routine, sending this old heart on a merry pitter patter. Considering the possibilities. Right underneath our noses.
Willie’s Golden Tickets 2016 was the starting vision for NRGE’s competitive club division. In It To Win It, as is my want, young men fired up, to borrow a recent email header.
What could possibly have me singing on the inside this morning? Could have been week 6 of roadwork with Sam and Jackson, only one more track session before they are off to Houston and the AAU National Championships. Happy as I am with their progress it was not those chords being strummed.
What has me lilting is the sudden revelation that old fires still burn. Hotly.
I’d better get down in the basement and print up a round of tickets.
Both the Kansas City Smoke and Iow
Got a good nap after lunch yesterday, prepping for a tough row to hoe. Harvested nearly 80 pounds of fingerling potatoes between 2 and 4 pm. I’ve got this work to do. Dripping sweat and mud, each hill Christmas morning. Unique and tender as snowflakes. There’s gold in them thar hills.
Everything is way up. A cornucopia on the cusp of sustaining delivery. Early spring’s labors under the hoop house now promise realized. One hundred twelve tomato plants bursting with fruit, first blushes adorning their ample cheeks. Peppers out the wazoo. Even more eggplant. Leeks, celery, beets, carrots, cannellini beans, fennel, collards and kales and chards (oh my!), a field of basil, creeping sweet potatoes, new fall plantings scheduled schematically. To use one of my dear, departed mother’s favorite sayings, “A God’s Plenty”.
Ten to twelve hours a day, minimum requirement for field work. Canning and drying and pickling and freezing and fermenting, our own dime and time. Summer time and you’d better be ready to earn it.
Winter’s bounty, all the sweeter having been seasoned with Corn Sweat.
Re-Pete. The “W” and Course Record, just like he trained up for. 21 hours, 52 minutes. If my tracking was correct he led start to finish. Dude is from another planet when it comes to long stretches at amazing paces. Not sure there are enough superlatives. Pretty cool that Kyle got to share the experience, best seat in the house for the second year in a row. Mortals are left to marvel.
Fella isn’t finished yet this year.
Another generational divide I just can’t bridge. People walking around with their faces stuck in a Poke Hole. Lemmings, silly little rodents.
Iwankit Trump. Enough said, or at least nothing new said.
Russia. Dope. Dirty urine.
Pete Kostelnick, currently engaged in his historic rePete at Badwater.
And after it all, this is what I enjoy most about running. This morning’s workout the best yet with just two weeks to go until nationals.
Rode Hard and Put Up Wet. You can tell the horses that were out in the driving storms, dutiful beasts carrying exhausted riders, resolve both above and below the saddle. Dripping, steaming, tough, hand picked as best of their breed for this unforgiving life. Ready to do it again.
Our own Pete Kostelnick will be racing Badwater coming this next Monday. If Western States was a tune up for Badwater, his title defense starting in Death Valley is a rehearsal for his record attempt across the U.S.
I spent an entire day hilling potatoes. Missed Pete and Kyle and Kaci speak at the Lincoln Running Company about their Western States adventures. Good representation by the mates with Linda and Stacy and Michel and Jeff all showing up, all ears.
I got the cliff notes, Pete’s record attempt will require 70 miles per day. Six hours sleep nightly. Wow. You can bet he’s going to be Put Up Wet.
Or, Telltale of Two Cities. Mile races held on the same weekend. Lincoln vs. Eau Claire, WI. Who you got? And why or why not. Food for thought.
1. Kyle Johnson (31) 4:31.61
2. Wyatt McLeod (18) 4:32.45
3. Eli Horton (23) 4:39.44
4. Ivan Ivanov (46) 4:41.66
5. Andrew Jacob (29) 4:43.35
1.Taylor Johnson (23) 5:26.80
2. Alexis Altmaier (19) 5:47.15
3. Amy McCracken (42) 5:51.26
4. Stacy Shaw (50) 5:51.49
5. Kylie Cheetsos (37) 5:52.76
Water Street Mile, Eau Claire, WI
1. Patrick Treacy (19) 4:14.00
2. Don Lau (20) 4:17.30
3. Aaron Easker (25) 4:17.6
4. Geenie Senior (23) 4:17.8
5. Erik Rosvold (23) 4:24.30
10th- Mark Friedman (20) 4:30.8
- Mary Wirtz (29) 5:21.00
- Morgan Marek (19) 5:24.60
- Hannah Roeske (17) 5:25.90
- Courtney Shaffer (20) 5:27.90
- Bridget Schmitt (19) 5:28.60
10th- Emma Reed (19) 5:36.60
Why are the young fast people of Eua Claire so far ahead of Lincoln, Seward, and Omaha?
Might have something to do with the course of course. Might have something to do with competitive culture. Might be something in the water.
Kicking off Monday morning with personal nods to the Women’s 5000 Olympians. Small circles to be sure but plain as the nose on my face. Molly Huddle. I once draped a national championships gold around her neck, Davenport, Iowa and the BIX 7. Linda took Kim Conley to Chiba, Japan five and a half years ago. And Shelby Houlihan, her mom ran the Omaha Mile in 08. No big whup.
How about about NRGE’s Kevin Joerger? His journey, patient and long, continues. First Nebraska finisher (9th overall) at the 45th annual Midnight Madness 10K. His 32:55 besting LRC Racing stud Johnny Rutford (10th, 33:01). Kevin’s mate Brandon Wissing finished 13th in 33:55. LRC Racing’s Cole Marolf was 20th in 36:25. Zach Brown (LRC Racing) contributed a 22nd o/a in 36:38 to help the yellow and blue to a second overall team finish. Brian Bergt, unattached and age 56, still running sub 40 minutes finishing in 39:38.
Twenty five days until Rio. I’ll be regaling readers with memories from 2008. World Championships Half Marathon Team Leader, my final and best international trip as a USATF Cheese Wheel. Circles go round.
Frankly. From the Hip. Leave no doubt. Likely upsetting an occasional apple cart. Unabashed. In your face, but not so much anymore. Unfiltered.
Don’t you doubt for a millisecond that Sport is for the young. With only a trace of notable exception, the Olympic Trials have been provenance of the young, upstarts, apple cart upsetters. As it should be, as it will ever be.
Not your dad’s heroes. Not your heroes. Your kids heroes. Those they will talk about for the next 4 to maybe 8 years. And will reflect in 2024 how those names, giants they were, have now been full cycle, apple carts themselves.
I like the way Rupp finished his 10K. I don’t think he lays down for Mo this time. And 8 days later I’m picking him to medal in the marathon. And in 4 years, some kid(s) is going to kick his butt and we’ll all remember when.
Have to give some toasts and tips to our lads up in Minneapolis and the AAU Region 14 Champs. On Saturday Sam won the 13 y/o 3000 in a personal best 10:07. Later that day both he (6th, 2:18) and Jackson (4th, 10 y/o, 2:47)) ran prs in the 800. On Sunday both pr’d in the 1500 with Sam taking 2nd, improving his previous best by an eye popping :14 to 4:37.6, behind only the Sudanese fella from Ames. Jackson also prd running 5:43.27, and too good enough for 2nd, and finished with a 7th in the 400 with 1:15, yep, another pr. Right on schedule for Nationals later this month in Humble, Tx.