Monthly Archives: December 2016

BIZARRO WORLD

bizarro_world

Who’s really pulling the strings in Nebraska?  It depends on how you set your stage.

My production is set heavy with USATF’s cast of characters.   Buddha knows my paternal tale  establishes gravitas.  Writ large, “USATF NEBRASKA LDR”.  From the mount I see the most curious manifestations.

Omaha has six active USATF certified 10K courses.  One active, certified 8K.  Two active, certified 5 Milers.  Five active, certified 5Ks.  Two active certified half marathons.  One active certified 10 Mile.  Three active certified marathons.
Lets make it the Omaha Metro.  Freedom Run 5K, 10K, and Half Marathon in Valley.  Craig Christians’ mile in Bellevue.  Werner Park 10K in Papillion, Papillion Half Marathon, Boxer 500, all active and  certified.

27 active USATF Certified courses.  Dozens more inactive, several expired (10 years) many my own from the early days.

The Lincoln Mile.  State Farm 5K and Thunder Run 5K.  Havelock 10K.  State Farm 10 Mile.  Good Life Halfsy.  Lincoln Half Marathon.  Lincoln Marathon.

8 active USATF Certified courses.

Arguably our strongest USATF Club is LRC Racing.  The Lincoln Marathon is USATF’s most generous and appreciated!  The Capitol City!  USATF  written all over the city’s running community.  Runner support the envy of many cities 4 times bigger (Omaha).

USATF course certification is becoming ever more important to our USATF Clubs.  To our USATF Nebraska Association LDR Championships program.  To  athletes that need legitimate qualifying performances, on active, USATF road courses to advance to bigger and better competitions.  For performances to be accepted into the record books.  The Real Record books.  The ones that future generations will look on and be inspired by.  Legitimacy defined by USATF, our sports National Governing Body.  It all starts with USATF Course Certification.

USATF Power sits at 12th & Q.   I often wonder what would have happened if I had moved to Lincoln instead of Omaha.

Bizarro World.

 

KNEE JERK

Big thanks to the fine folks over at GIKK Orthopedic Specialists.  I had my knee treated yesterday and Linda got hers today.  I’ve got left knee  torn medial and lateral meniscus resulting from the dog attack last May.  Linda  has  right knee medial  meniscus tear from running.  I’ve had both knees scoped previously, Linda’s first knee issue.

I was pretty insistent going in that the old trim job was just what I needed to get me  back on the roads.  Things have changed though.  Surgery is  the last option instead of top of the list.  Cortisone shot now batting lead off.  If 24 hours are any indication,  with outstanding success.

Linda will be able to run again,  but likely never at the USA Masters National Champs level.   I’ll be able to go for the occasional jog with little to no ill effects.  Running’s  final gift for all of our service and dedication to the sport.

 

SO LONG SOLDIER

Marcus Cargill was like thousands of other fine Americans.  My favorite cousin’s son.   He served a tour each in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Received the Bronze Star.  Wife and 5 kids.  At only 36, gone too soon.  Traveling his daily route outside Lawton Oklahoma.  A little too fast, loses control, tragic.

So hug everybody today.

Especially a soldier.

marcus-cargill-1481549384

PIONEERS

I’m on my feet almost all day everyday.  Just like always.  Where I used to daily fill 2-3 hours with running, those tick tocks, those energies, are directed to our Pioneer Lifestyle.

As Pioneer of USATF  LDR in Nebraska I  get tremendous satisfaction (even if I do grumble frequently) from the results of the last 15+ years.

I’m equally as proud of Linda and my Pioneer efforts at self subsistence and self sustaining lifestyle.

Take away all the noise, the clutter, the extraneous, the fluff, the soft, the botox, the implants, the nip and tucks, the designer labels, the must haves (!) of every sort and what is left?

The Real.  You need food.   You need shelter.  Shelter means plumbing and electrical and heating and unexpected breaks and repairs of every manner.  Our shelter is this 1935 farm house.  Full of drafts.  A maze of outdated/unused electrical wires and plumbing pipes crisscrossing through the old bones of the Bar None’s Big House.

I called my dad yesterday.  He’ll be 85 in a few weeks.  I thanked him for everything he has ever done for me.  And I apologized for not paying attention (rebelled actually) when he tried to pass on his life’s skills set.  Electrical.  Plumbing.  Construction.  Concrete.  Cabinetry.  He did/does it all.  And now I’m having to learn by doing, the Hard Way to be sure.

I’ve allowed myself two Luxuries this year.  A 20″ Farm Boss chainsaw and a 22 ton log splitter.  I’ve spent the last 4 weeks felling, chopping, splitting, stacking.  This past weekend and into yesterday I was prostrate on the frozen ground under the back deck, learning all about galvanized steel and check valves and 1/2 horsepower sump pumps (must fit the 11″ pit, not the standard 15!)  Work better suited for summer and not at all in my control.

Still finding time to do USATF course certification for our upcoming Winter Series.  and carving out precious moments to get signed up for the health care market place.  Tomorrow is the deadline to get signed up.  I make no pretentions about my/our situation.   Happy to report that my monthly payment for coverage is a whopping $25.00.  Another $23 for dental and I’m all in at $48/month.  After going without any insurance at all for 3 years, this is a blessing.

#peasantlifestlye

How then, you may or may not ask yourself, can we be so happy?  Doing without so much.  Having relatively so little.  Because we have food and shelter.  And Real Love.  If you define your happiness and self worth and life only on your accumulated excesses, then it is a sad thing indeed.  All the riches in the world I would not  trade for the happiness Linda and I have found  as Pioneers.

 

 

 

 

OMAHA’S BAD MAN

Warren Buffet and I saw a fight Saturday night.  He sitting in the cheap seats with the rest of us, what a guy!  Bud Crawford, Omaha born, Omaha trained.  World Champion.  Omaha’s own.  Omaha.  Omaha.  Finally something we can hang our hats on.  No one looking down their noses from West or South or North.  All of Nebraska surely willing and happily able to claim Terrence as their own.  Omaha’s boy well received and celebrated by the entire state.  Everyone loves a winner!   Omaha’s  winner.  We’re happy to share him with you all!

He’s a bad ass.  I’ve watched the “sweet science” since Cassius Clay in the Olympics.  Watched some of the best of the last half a century.  This Omaha boy is a technician and a brute with speed and grace and all hell coming out of  both fists.  One of the best ever.

Omaha’s Bad Man.  Nebraska’s Bad Man.  Omaha.  Omaha.

terence-crawford-leads-pacquiao-sweepstakes

ARE YOU EXPERIENCED

With apologies to Jimi Hendrix.  Jumping in with both teeth this morning!

Linda and I had planned on being at the Hitchcock Nature  Preserve for the half/50/100 this past weekend, lots of our mates supporting the Greater Omaha Area Trail Runners efforts.  Linda’s handmade artistic invitations to Ni-Bthaska-Ke still on the table.  Congratulations to all those that started/finished.  Kaci was first overall in the 50, if anyone can find official results I’d appreciate the link.

Instead I spent 16 plus hours running.   Running new inside plumbing, sump pump, and outside drain.

Some crazy fast ultra running around the  U.S. with several women winning titles outright.  Sparking that age old debate, how long (or far) before women naturally begin to outrun men.  Tim Dooling can’t wait to hear your take!

Seth Hirsch 3rd at Footlocker Nationals.  Its going to be fun to watch his development in Badger kit.  Hope he stays away from LetsRun dot com’s trolls.  Discuss.
Joe Moore (8th, 29:32) led his KC Smoke to a nice 9th overall at Club Cross.  Brogan Austin (12th, 29:52) led Iowa Runablaze to 10th overall club.  Nolan Border (95th, 32:16) paced LRC to 23rd team and Cory Logsdon (100th, 32:22) led the Team Nebraska mates to 28th team.  http://live.pttiming.com/xc-ptt.html?mid=120

My old buddy Mitch Johnson may well be my son, with all due respect to his momma.  Snippets from his take on my state of USATF:
“USATF exists to promote a sport,  regulate rules and competition, and to develop world class runners for global competition.”
“I can find a mud run, or any other ‘epic’ events without having to pay a dime.  If  I  want to support a charity or other cause, I write a check.”
“It has to be a ‘real race’ for me to get my fix.  A ‘real race’ can be anywhere on any course, I just have to have competition.  For me to ‘succeed’ there have to be faster runners.”
“As for the comparison to runablaze, I think LRC/TN would probably beat them in a RAGNAR style relay if they teamed up.  Iowa has over 1 million more people, and two fewer clubs.”

 

 

 

BAREFOOT SLED PULL

I used to live next to unspoiled woods, those and Box Elder Creek separating back door and Lake Zorinsky Preserve.   Peace and quiet in the middle  of  West-O-Is-The-Best-O!  Trudging au natural (sans shoes) preferred pastime.   Foraging one day, coming upon a discarded marble slab, about a hundred pounds.  Good Scout always prepared, fashioning a quick harness out of a couple yards of sturdy rope.  Lashed stone to torso and began a pull that would  leave its mark in the anals of Omaha Running history.

Genius often ridiculed when first presented.  Hard sell by the “crazy guy in the woods”, pulling  granite sled, blazing new trails, up the hills, around the lake.

Many years ago.  The west side of Lake Zorinsky, before The Encroachment.  Before they hewed the 200 stately pine trees lining West Center Road between 168th and 180th.  Before Legacy.  Before Walmart.  Before the warrens housing the lemmings.  180th Street south of West Center a single lane road in 2001.  Little between Oakview Mall and Lanoha’s, some 4 miles.

That was the beauty I considered my backyard.  Dead Deer Trail, Duder’s Loop, Tall Grass Island, Meditation Lodge, Lover’s Hole (old letters found describing forbidden fruit!), all part of the unexplored, untainted playground.  Hours every spring, me and mine cleaning the discarded excesses,  always first sign of coming white man, testament to remoteness.

So many barefoot miles.  For a lot of years I loved my old dojo.  Had a Real Spiritual connection.  Good memories.

Feeling it again out here on Our Little Slice, making Bar None memories.   Linda and Jed and the chickens and the cats.  With Real Love this time.

WEEKEND UPDATE

Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtain.  Kyle and Will.

I report the news.  Sometimes making Kyle squirm in the co-anchor chair.  Yesterday he glanced to his right,  “Will, You Ignorant Slut!”  Kyle gets to do that because he has demonstrated a Real caring, has made Real contributions, has earned enough Real chops for me to respect his opinion.  He’s on a pretty short list.

His sage posit:
“Aside from the various issues, do you think part of the problem stems that the pool pf athletes in Nebraska is watered down based off the number of  ‘true quality’ runners?  For example, if you took the best 2-3 off the three clubs and put them through a well organized selection process, do you think  a better product (result at club cross) would be produced?

Also, to answer your  question about what USATF means to me.  Right or wrong, my personal passion (outside of my own racing) is to try to get the competitive landscape in Nebraska back to where it was in the late 80s and early 90s.  I’ve heard countless examples of Lincoln Track Club races where the time I would  run would get me 50th place 25 years ago.  Even though its a shot to my ego, I love hearing those sort of stories.

So my passion and/or what USATF means to me personally is working/promoting/coaching with ‘B-D’ level athletes to raise the competitive bar and get the depth back to where it once was.  USATF for me is a mindset to instill  on these athletes that even though they may never be ‘A’ level athletes, they can transform into Real Runners/Racers.  By promoting this depth, it will raise competition as well as drive USATF memberships.  Does it help win the USA more gold medals, probably not but its a service that I  can help provide to get my generation out of the ‘Jock Nowins’ mentality and into the Bill Rodgers/Pre mode.”

Here is my response to the question in the first sentence.  Right now Grant Wintheiser and Johnny Rutford and Luka Thor are the class of club running athletes in Nebraska.  Three athletes, three teams.  Al Sanabria must be mentioned in the same breath.  So four athletes, you need five to score folks and at that level you’d better have someone at least as fast as the above 4 to be truly competitive.  Truly Competitive.  Bad Ass.  In It To Win It.

I’ll  take it further.  When I founded Team Nebraska I had all the state’s best athletes at my disposal.  And was never able to get, in my opinion, my top 5 dream team.  Real life.  Injuries.

But now, because of the opportunity and exposure of our state’s top athletes, inspiring and motivating,  there is an ever expanding talent pool.  Enough to staff 3 USATF Competitive Clubs.  And ideally drive competition between the clubs.  Which is the essence I describe.  Instead of putting them all the talent together I’d rather take the next 5 years developing the competition between the clubs, that will drive more and better and more enduring.

Or I’m just an ignorant slut.

snl-104_5

 

FECUNDITY

My fourth column in less than 24 hours!  I’ve been working on my annual Christmas Classic for the last week or so, going to be good.

Going to stick with this week’s theme of USATF.  I hope yesterday’s two  columns give you a sense of from whence I come.  Speaking as one of the founders, among  the  handful of architects, of our USATF Elite Development Club program.  And as founder of the  Nebraska Association LDR Program.  And founder of Team Nebraska.  And Nebraska Run Guru Elite.  And Nebraska Run Guru Events.  If you think those creds are of significance, entitle me to opine on the current state,  continue reading, if not, now might be a good  time for you to flip to the funny pages.

USATF.  What does it mean to you?  Like so many things, two  ways of  looking at it.  For many of you, it is what can you get out of it, without making any real commitment to the program or your club.  Do you take advantage of the free entry into Lincoln and nothing else the  rest of the  year?  Do you line  up for the Club Cross National Champs teat without supporting your  local championships?  Yes, some of you do.  Shame.

I  surveyed the selection processes of the Kansas City Smoke and Iowa Runablaze.  Unlike Nebraska, neither association hosted a Cross Champs this fall.

Our friends to the east employ the Nebraska model, simply raise your hand and you get to go.  Just that easy.  Did you race this fall?  No?  OK, its cool.  Have you done anything at all this year to earn a spot?   No?  Ok, its cool.  Fortunately for Iowa their depth pool allows them to pull it off and still finish in the upper echelons against the nation’s best.

I’m more in line with the Kansas City Smoke.
You meet the Elite Standard (14:15/30:00/1:08) and you are in.  If you are an A level athlete (15:30, 32:15, 1:10:59), AND race well leading up to November 1st, you are in the  pool of potential selectees.  Very competitive process with several talented athletes remaining in KC to cheer from afar.  Will it surprise you when the Smoke finishes head and shoulders above any other Midwest club.

Entitlement vs Earning.  Again, a good time for you to flip to the funny pages.

Team Nebraska
Josiah Belzer*
Cory Logsdon*
Michael Hoffman
Pierce Tallichet
Peter Moises

LRC Racing
Nolan Border*
Andrew Jacob*
Michael Rathje
Ryan Regnier
Trevor Vidlak

*participated in Nebraska Association Cross Champs.  WHAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN THE MANDATORY QUALIFYING RACE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR TRAVEL.  You may or may not agree and I respect your opinions.  But as original author and architect of LDR in Nebraska it WAS NOT MEANT TO BE THIS WAY.  I hope you can respect that.

Those of you that have created the current climate of entitlement have strayed so far from my vision that I feel compelled to pen today’s response.

This weekend’s race results will speak volumes about the current competitive state of Nebraska’s three Very Well sponsored USATF Clubs, mine included.  But will anyone hear or care or do anything about it?  Or will they simply wait until next year and raise their hand?

 

 

 

WELCOME MIKE & GREG

USATF Men’s LDR Committee Scott Hamilton Award is presented annually for work done at the Association level,  The Marjia Baker WLDR Contributor of the Year is awarded for service at the national level.

Congratulating Mike Blackmore and my old buddy Greg Meyer on their awards from this past weekend’s USATF Annual Awards Breakfast.  Honored and feel extremely privileged to share company with them.  For the real running geeks you can click the link to see the full historical lists.

Scott Hamilton Award
2004- Will Lindgren
2005- Bob Latham (Oregon Assoc. current Men’s LDR Champs Chair)
2006- Keith and Kevin Hanson (please tell me you know who they are)
2007- Tyler Abbott (Pacific Association)
2008- Richard Bolt (Mountain Ultra Trail Council)
2009- Jack Leydig (Pacific Association, scoring system development)
2010- Tom Knight (Road Running Technical Council- course measurement/certification)
2011- Jonathan Marcus (USATF High Performance Middle Distance Coordinator)
2012- Tracey Russell (Founder, Competitor Group- parent company of Rock-N-Roll Marathons)
2013- no data available
2014- Tom Derderian (Coach Greater Boston Track Club, Boston Marathon author)
2015- Don Kardong (1976 Olympic Marathoner, founder Lilac Bloomsday 12K)
2016- Mike Blackmore (Bowerman Track Club, sub 4, elite master)
http://www.usatf.org/statistics/Annual-Awards/Administrative/Men-LDR/ScottHamiltonAssociationLeaderAward.aspx

Marjia Baker Contributor of the Year
2002- Kathy Nary (International Competitions Chair)
2003- Will Lindgren
2004- Kim Keenan Kirkpatrick (current WLDR Chair)
2005- Joe Vigil (please tell me you know who this is)
2006- Irene Herman (Pacific Association, WLDR Law & Legislation)
2007- Pat Goodwin (President, Team USA Minnesota)
2008- Frank Porter (President, Boston Athletic Association)
2009- Elizabeth Phillips (Past WLDR Chair)
2010- Elva Dryer (2 time Olympian)
2011- Mickey Piscatelli (WLDR Executive Committee)
2012- Houston Marathon Committee (my old buddy Brant Kotch!)
2013- no data available
2014- Doug Alread (Race Director, Gate River Run, Jacksonville, FL)
2015- no data available
2016- Greg Meyer (1983 Boston Marathon winner, Elite Athlete Coordinator/Ambassador)
http://www.usatf.org/statistics/Annual-Awards/Administrative/WomensLDR/ContribOfTheYear.aspx

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