Monthly Archives: November 2018


I occasionally am called elitist due to my advocacy for elite athletes.  It is true that I encourage and develop the excellence within all of us.  First to Last.  Top to Bottom.  Within and Without.  Nothing feels better than running to your potential!

I want you to feel ever so good about your performances too,  even if you don’t train your inner elite!  And towards that end offer the following free pass.  See, I’m a hell of a guy!





Deeming and dubbing.  Doing Business As.  Also Known As.  America’s Marathon.
The Alter Ego of our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.

Our USATF Nebraska Association LDR Chair checked in as the cock crowed this morning.  He’s jumped into his volunteer position with more energy than we’ve seen in recent history.  Immersed himself fully into the bigger picture, comprising all the scopes, local, regional, and national.  Giving up his time, energy, and dollars to go learn from the source.  This is the very best place to understand how the sport is bigger than any single athlete, club, ego, city, or agenda.  Everyone and anyone that cares the very most about our sport.  Those willing to do something.  So yeah, I’m digging the fact that he’s the first LDR Chair in six years to attend.

And here’s what else has me all giddy.  Tristan is honest, passionate, educated, and dedicated.  Very good at public speaking.  One of his main messages this coming few days?  He will insist to anyone within ear shot that the first sub 2 hour marathon in history will occur in Valley Nebraska.  That is the energy and hubris this Association was founded on.  Some will laugh, some will guffaw, some will challenge.  Many will appreciate.  Some will come.

Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.  AKA America’s Marathon.



Tests of Time.  The Clock, doc, tells no lies.

Aimee has subjected herself to my methods.  A veteran of 60+ half marathons who grew bored with the same old same old.  In the last 10 weeks we’ve knocked almost 2 minutes off her 5K  personal best.  An amazing improvement that surprises me not.  You too have a champion within.

Today is about another test of time.   I celebrate my 61st birthday.  And 6 years since Linda and I made our commitment to each other, an even greater thing, finding Real Love at 55.

Time is also the best test of Real Friends.  This old hard ass has been blessed.  Of the 47 kids in my Atwood Hammond High class of 1975, those still above the green grass have remained life long friends.  We keep in touch.  We reminisce and talk of the future.  We forged strong connections through our rural, uninterrupted by technology, youthful experiences.

Two decades plus in Texas.  The connections made in my young adulthood still strong.   Those relationships too more precious with each passing year.

Now nearly two decades in Nebraska.  I came in with that Texas size chip on one shoulder, bushel of hubris on the other.  Saw what was lacking and seized the opportunity to do something I truly believed in, setting up the USATF LDR program, and then Team Nebraska, and more.  During the wars of the formative years I insisted “I’m not here to make friends”.  And I sure didn’t!  Except, yes in fact I did!  Time has revealed them and I count myself fortunate.

My USATF colleagues, those from across the United States that have shared this passion of service to our sport, they are my friends.   I’ll miss them again this year, the USATF Annual Meetings begin today in Columbus, Ohio.  Our USATF Nebraska Association LDR Chair, Tristan Nelson, is on his way, the first LDR Chair to do so in  6 years.  Tristan, my friend, Giddyup!










Entry lists are up for this weekend’s USA Marathon National Championships in Sacramento.  California International’s “Downhill to Dowtown” will host runners from across the United States.  Most all proudly, loudly, and clearly stating their club’s  origin.  Leaving no doubt as to where these lads live and train and represent.

Runablaze Iowa
Illinois Track Club
Boulder Track Club
New York Athletic Club
Wisconsin Runner Racing Team
Colorado Springs Track Club Elite
Boston Athletic Association
Boulder Harriers
Philadelphia Runner Track Club
Atlanta Track Club
Cal Coast Track Club
Central Mass Striders
Columbus Running Company

And you’ve got the Famously sponsored that need no geographical identifier.
Hoka One One
Hanson Brooks
Asics Furman Elite
Skechers Performance
ZAP Fitness Reebok
Hudson Elite
Bowerman Track Club
Saucony Freedom Track Club
U.S. Army

Locally we will have Johnny Rutford (LRC Racing).  Regionally, Brogan Austin (Runablaze Iowa) has been enlisted for pacing duties.  Nebraska ex-pat Tanner Fruit (Colorado Springs Track Club Elite) also racing.

Wherever you are from, whatever your kit or colors, celebrate that you’ve earned a spot on the line.  Give it your best.


In an eccentric circle!

The Feast & Feathers Half Marathon at lake Cunningham found two familiar winners, Cory Logsdon in 1:20:24, and Kaci Lickteig in 1:31:51.  The Fremont Turkey Trot 5 Mile saw Nick Webber (26:31) and Kara Schlueter (31:20) first across in the 5 Mile.  In the accompanying 2 mile Christina Elder (11:59) and Jayden Kumm (11:18) were the quickest.  The Lincoln Holiday 5K featured Cole Marolf (15:42) and Sarah Fowler (17:43) as the top runners.

The Des Moines Turkey Trot 5 Mile saw a blazing 23:27 turned in by Conor Wells and 29:10 for Andrea Haus.  Fast times!  In the 5K Thomas Knobbe (15:31) and Maeghan Easler (19:25) were the class of the field.

The Kansas City Turkey Tot 8K Sam Murphy (27:39) and Hannah Hawks (33:51) and 5K Matt Turner (17:50) and Michaelea Hylem (19:08) garnering the titles.

Joplin, Missouri hosted almost 1400 runners with Hunter Blount (16:03) and Dora Eastin (18:04) taking the turkey legs.   Springfield, Missouri’s Turkey Trot 5K found almost 7000 runners on the line, Quinlan Moll (15:15) and Claire McCune (17:47) your winners.

St. Louis 8K Turkey Trot entertained 1,275 runners.  Alex Riba (25:09) and Marie O’Leary (32;09) best of the rest.

Bismark, ND lined up 830 runners for their Turkey Trot 5K.  John Fuller (17:22) and Amber Blackhurst (18:09) running in front of the pack.

The Duluth Gobbler Gallup 5K  warmed up fixins for 2,112 runners.  Boniface Kongin (15:00) and Aria Olewa (18:45) the first to  get served.

Madison, WI Turkey Trot 5K had 1,813 finishers.  Mike Treder (18:03) and Abby Lackey (19:44) wearing the overalls.

Cincinnati, OH hosted the biggest and oldest Turkey Trot.  Over 11,000 runners participated in the 109th annual Thanksgiving  Day 10K.  JJ Webber (30:14) and Tina Muir (37:23) the lead gobblers.




Math was always my hardest subject.  That’s why I took algebra.  That’s why I loved statistics.

What does the average runner look  like?  Based upon a sample of one race on one day I’ve come up with a close approximation.  Yesterday’s YMCA Turkey Trot 5 Mile in Fremont the race used.  The field of finisher’s data analyzed to find the elusive “Average Runner”.

There were 102 finisher.  The average runner finished in 42:40.  The average pace was 8:31 per mile.  The median runner (51st)  was 41:56. The average age was 34.

So what does the average Turkey Trot 5 Mile finisher look like?

I finished 53rd overall, just past the median.  Time was 42:18, :12 faster than the average time.  In 5 days I’ll be 61, 27 years older than the average.  Ran with Linda for the first half of the out and back course (22:14), returned in 20:04.  The final 2.5 miles dipping into the purifying reservoir, the Exquisite Threshold.  The moment of this photo capturing my definition, standard, and insistence for Real Racing.  In the final mile, body screaming it can’t possibly maintain.  The mind, insisting yes, yes you can.  You too can be average Willie!


The views expressed in this blog belong solely to the author and do not represent any other individual, organization, institution,  entity, company, business, or event.   Not Omaha, not Lincoln, not Linda, not nobody nowhere, just little old me.  

The Great State of Nebraska’s newest tourism ad.  “It’s Not For Everyone”.  Just like this blog.







NCAA Championships!

  Let it bleed, let it bleed!  Dani Jones overall victory leads the Colorado Buffalos to the NCAA Women’s  title.

Jeralyn Poe (Michigan State, nee Lincoln Northstar) top Nebraska finisher, 88th in 21:01 over the 6K course.

Morgan  McDonald took the win in 29:08.  Here he fronts two Northern Arizona runners, they would  take the team title.

Milo Greder of Iowa State (nee Omaha Westside), Nebraska state 1 mile record holder (4:09.6) was the top Nebraska finisher.  Milo ran 30:31 over the 10K course to finish 84th overall.  Shown just behind Milo is Seth Hirsch, now running for Wisconsin.

25 year old Adam Braun (35:21), 25 year old Leighton Becher (35:39) and 24 year old Paul Nordquist (35:42) were the top three cross the finish line at the 40th annual Living History Farms Race.  Good enough to win the Overall Men’s team title at the storied race.  Local finishers include Nolan Zimmer’s 4th overall (35:46).  The nicest surprise of the morning came out of South Omaha.  The Omaha S. Packer team took the high school title led by the amazing 17 year old Lilia Alvarez’s 5th overall (45:39).  52 year old Stacy Shaw of Elkhorn took the Grand Master and Master titles in 51:18.  Former Omahan Kurt Keiser (45) led all masters runners in 37:13.  Kurt was a USA Olympic Trials Marathon qualifier in 2000 while running for Team USA Minnesota.


Here’s to you number 2
We’re looking to break you
That is true
Here’s to you number 3
For most mere mortals
like you and me
Here’s to you number 4
And to  y’all knocking
On that door
Here’s to you number 5
You can do this
That’s no jive

We can take you there.

A survey of our Nebraska marathons shows the following data:

Lincoln Marathon:  980 finishers.  226 (23%)  > 5hrs
Omaha Marathon:  243 finishers.  141 (58%)  >5hrs
Heartland Marathon:  117 finishers.  20 (17%) >5hrs
Grand Island Marathon:  125 finishers.  31 (25%)  >5hrs
Wabash Trace Marathon:  64 finishers.  14 (22%) >5hrs
Nebraska Marathon:  135 finishers.  34 (25%) >5hrs

If you are in that 17-58% of runners with a dream of breaking 5 hours.  Yes, the Valley 7 Lakes Marathon is for you.


Some really exciting news coming out of Western Douglas County.  I’ve never been one to sit quietly by, preferring to crow and chronicle efforts to elevate our sport.  In other words, I like to tell (teach).

Never ending meetings are part and parcel.  Flexibility on the fly essential.  Big Ears a must.  Another sit down with  Chief Smith and Sgt. Owens yesterday morning, ending with big smiles all around.  Glee surrounding our re-vamped course.  New map will be coming any day, if we were happy we are now giddy.  Tristan spending hours and hours and hours designing, tweaking, adjusting.    Making it even faster.  A 26.2 mile race track.  Holy Mackarel!  More appealing to those seriously chasing their potential.

And it is appealing to a lot of runners.  We’ve struck a chord with serious marathoners across the U.S.  Runners from Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa and the Republic of Niger in Africa.  Towards that end  we are happy to announce our host hotel, the Residence Inn Omaha West.  We’ll be offering special rates for our friends traveling in for the race.  Right next to Village Pointe’s great restaurants, shopping, movies, and more.  Stay tuned for details.

Here’s what I’m digging.  So far entries reflect our purpose.  To provide marathoners the opportunity to run to their potential on unobstructed, wide open roads.  A Real Marathon.  Nearly twice the number registering for the full as the half.  Let’s be clear, the half is lightning fast as it comprises the first part of the full.  But the allure of  this event, the very foundation upon which it is being built, is relative marathon speed.  We’ve instituted a 5 hour time limit.  If you can’t finish 26.2 miles at 11:26 pace we strongly encourage you to run the half.  You can also enter your own relay team or get on the list with those seeking to put one together.

Something new.  Something different for Nebraska.  A Marathoner’s Marathon!

Our newly released logo.  Love it!  Make no mistakes, Run 7 Lakes!