Monthly Archives: January 2019


The 7th annual Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K will be held at Two Rivers State Recreation Area on Saturday February 9th.  The most popular of our annual Winter Fitness Series runs.  Filling your hearts and  soles with that Loving Feeling!  And chocolates!  And a nice unassuming bottle of cabernet or pinot grigio!  Something special for the kids too.   As with all our Winter Series runs you’ll be treated to hot chocolate (with a splash if your 21), home baked goodies, door prizes, and Linda’s custom made participation awards!  Completely closed road, USATF Certified and Sanctioned course.  Official times.

Everything about our events reflects the local nature of our efforts.  The baked goods, door prizes, participation awards all originating right here at the Bar None.

We are seeing more “Race in a Box”, franchised events.   Garmin certified (there is no such thing folks), neatly packaged and presented, the same in every city.  Franchises purchased up front and a portion of your race entries going out of the community, way out.

We hope you will run local.  And invite you to come run with us at the Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K.


Andy Palmer gave sound running advice.  Phd in Sports Psychology.  2:16 marathoner.  In the early 80s he trekked across the United States, from Seattle to Boston, and pitched camp on the front stoop of Bill Rodger’s Running Store.  So he  could train with the  very best runners of his day.  He wasn’t the only intrepid athlete in the 80s, just the one that had the biggest impact on my coaching philosophy.

“The Mind is the Athlete.”  The single most important running truism.
“There is Always Someone Faster.”  The second most.
“You’re hardest miles will be your slowest.”  Are you disciplined in your training?

Messages absorbed during the Maine Running Camp in 1994.  Running two a days on the soft carriage trails of Acadia National Park.

As you train up for your spring marathon I invite you to think about Andy’s messages.  Keep inside your own head.  Don’t measure yourself against  others.  Don’t outrun your goals before you get to the start line.

Happy Monday.



I’ll dive deeper into our USA Olympic Trials Marathon in an upcoming column.  Today I tip my sombrero to Your own marathon trials.  I’ve had my ear to the ground for the last couple of years, listening intently to marathoners in Nebraska.  Your footfalls filled with determination, dedication, and perspiration.  I’ve coupled those echoes with my own experiences and expectations.

Our America’s Marathon-Valley 7 Lakes race committee the result of what you have laid down.  You work hard in pursuit of your marathon, as it should and must be.  It has taken a year of standing barefoot in the skillet, Douglas County and the City of Valley rendering answers.  We hope that serious marathoners in Nebraska and beyond will join us.

We are offering a 26.2 mile tour on the wide open roads of Western Douglas County.  Pancake flat, lightning fast.  Capped our entries at 500 runners for our first annual.  Have a 5 hour time limit.

We’ll keep our ears to the ground, listening to you.  Doing what we can for your own marathon trials.



Follow up to Hey Nobody just one year ago.  Today a cautionary tale to Generation Z.

Facial Recognition.  Voice Recognition.  Gesture Recognition.  Access Recognition.  Implantation Recognition.  Location Recognition.  Anticipation Recognition.

Robots.  Mobots.  Make the bed.  Make the bread.  Qiub to fold your clothes.  NanOScent to pick your nose.    Smart homes surrounding a hub.  Digital drivers delivering your grub.   Simulation, Virtual space.  Stimulation, Virtual face.    Impossible Burger tastes like real!  Synthetic bodies with a fleshy feel!  Voice commands, Real you’ll swear.  Artificial hands, Taking you there!  Kohler Smart to wipe your ass, all this tech a modern gas!  4G, 5G, 8G too. Electronics doing it all for you.  Completely connected, your lives directed.  No need to choose!  No Free Will blues!  So hard to make a choice?  Let the coffee grinder be your voice!

I called VSAthletics yesterday and ordered a hand held printing stopwatch to time our Winter Series.  Asked the person on the other end if Joe Rubio was still the owner (met him in ’03, his wife from Council Bluffs).  The same instant Joe recommended as a facebook friend on my computer.  Frikkin bizarre, frikkin scary.

And maybe it is only me.  Pining for the way it used to be.





The Super Blood Wolf Moon – the second eclipse of January and 2019 – is very unusual.   It will occur the night between January 20-21.  A supermoon combined with a total lunar eclipse, also known as a blood moon.  Supermoons occur when the moon is at its closest point to earth in its orbit.  Some actually believe it portends the end of days.  So you better get signed up for the Full Wolf Moon 5K on Saturday January 19th.  The forecast calls for another perfect day and it might be your last 5K ever!

My old buddy Al reminded me yesterday that I’m a walking omelet, that much egg on my face.  He rightfully pointed out that the Houston Marathon is Sunday the 20th, not this coming as reported.  Always the Sunday before Martin Luther King Day.  And, gasp, perhaps your last if you believe Nostradamus.

One thing that ends with certainty is tomorrow night’s early registration rates for America’s Marathon!  We had extended it to the 10th for the tardy and undecided.  Goes up a mere $10 so still won’t break piggy banks.

Linda’s handcrafted participation award, Bar None ephemera, collect the whole set for your award display or next year’s Christmas tree!




Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Half Marathon this weekend.  Race Director Brant Kotch has done more for Nebraska athletes than any other national level race.  Since 2001 Brant has accepted all of our best and aspiring runners.  American Athlete Development at the very heart of his race.   Flat and Fast and Loaded.  Please forgive if I gush a little, Brant being one of my oldest and most respected buddies.  We’ll have Good Life representation this weekend, Giddyup Y’all!

The City of Houston rallies around their marathon like few others.  Full civic embrace offering runners unparalleled support to Run To Their Potential.  The 26.2 mile tour through America’s 4th largest city (~2.5 million people) a proving ground for every serious late winter marathoner.
My marathon debut (3:11) there in 1983, hard to believe 36 years have flown by.  Made the start line 10 times, the finish line 8.  Personal best 2:46:56 set there in 1995.  Cherished memories.

More importantly is the race shaped my expectations of marathon road race management.  The Houston Marathon, incubator of excellence.  The very race that our own America’s Marathon is modeled on.  We are approaching 75% sold out, athletes seeking a Boston Qualifier or Personal Bests.  Our elite field growing as well.  America’s Marathon.  Nebraska’s Launch Pad.





Hi, my name is Will and I’m a runner.  More specifically a life long running geek.  The hundred or so individuals at Saturday’s  Rust Buster can testify.  Completely jazzed about our top five finish times.  Equally so for the middle five and the final five.

Clarion call to personal excellence, regardless of talent, echoing between the Elkhorn and Platte River Bluffs.  Two Rivers State Park beckoning runners to “Come Run To Your Potential!”

The pancake flat, lightning fast 5K course, designed with serious intent.  Two laps of the closed road course offering everyone the opportunity to test their fitness.  Or to simply enjoy the scenic surroundings and shared camaraderie that makes our sport.

Nolan Zimmer led his LRCN mates to a top 5 sweep, setting a new USATF Certified and Sanctioned 5k Nebraska state record of 15:02.  A fine time that the best will put squarely in their sights.  I’m just as gleeful over Aimee Hough’s :03 personal best, I’ve busted her butt for the last 12 weeks, great progress as we head to April 27th’s America’s Marathon.

America’s Marathon.  Designed as two 13.1 mile loops, Gary Meyer and Tristan Nelson spending all day Saturday measuring Nebraska’s Only completely closed road, USATF Certified and Sanctioned marathon.  IAAF Record Eligible.  The Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World.  By design.  For all of you.  Half Marathon too.  Right here between the  Elkhorn and Platte Rivers.  Three more days to sign up at our early registration rates.




Thank you to everyone that shared the morning with us!  Special tip of the sombrero to Mark, Denise, Sam, and Jackson Runde for volunteering!  Lots of personal  bests today and even more fun!   Results below.  Thank you to Gary Dougherty and Dordio Photo for capturing the morning’s efforts!


  1.  Nolan Zimmer          15:02
  2. John Cleary                 15:25
  3. Tim Meyer                   15:26
  4. Cole Marolf                 15:32
  5. Nolan Border              15:34
  6. Michael Bickley           17:56
  7. Craig Halverson           18:09
  8. Ethan Zaborowski       18:24
  9. Jake Ridpath                 18:36
  10. Elizabeth Starbuck      18:39
  11. Tim Fry                          18:52
  12. Chris McBratney          20:01
  13. Brian Detweiler            20:25
  14. Porter Bickley               21:11    age 12
  15. Eli Bickley                     21:12     age 9
  16. Michael Robinson       21:23     age 15
  17. Erika Vardarl                21:32
  18. Anthony Obermiller    21:37
  19. Emily Udell                   21:46     age 16
  20. John Brady                   21:49
  21. Carson Reynold           21:50   age 14
  22. Robert Borer                22:56
  23. Kelly Perry                    23:01
  24. Brandy Sampson        23:09
  25. Aimee Hough              23:28
  26. Felipe Pinales              23:33
  27. Calvin Tomcak             23:46    age 11
  28. Raya Dzingle                23:55     age 15
  29. Kristine Tomcak           24:00
  30. Chad Dzingle               24:16
  31. Lauren Udell                24:37   age 14
  32. Bill Udell                       24:48
  33. Korban Fry                   24:49    age 9
  34. Adam Sylvan               25:10
  35. Bruce Newton            25:16
  36. Stephanie Fritson      25:28
  37. Katelyn Fisher            26:02
  38. Mark Farrell                26:09
  39. Kyra Fry                       26:09   age 12
  40. Lucas Bortholomew  26:23   age 12
  41. Jabin Moore                26:31    HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
  42. Jessica Jackson           26:33
  43. Mike Manna               26:37   age 71!!
  44. Jesse Richardson       27:02
  45. Bill Weeks                   27:03
  46. John Coop                   27:31
  47. Carl Butler                   27:44
  48. Kate McGee                 29:27
  49. Kameron Harrison     29:28
  50. Jackie Manna              29:30
  51. Danielle Crawford      30:18
  52. Anne Koerten              30:29
  53. Rebecka Schafer         30:54
  54. Niki Figard                    31:04
  55. Kelsi Anderson            31:48
  56. Kim Hansen                 31:49
  57. Heather Lauterbach   31:50
  58. Wayne Matychuk        31:51
  59. Megan Robinson        32:09
  60. Austin Becker              32:15
  61. Scott Wilson                 32:29
  62. Rachel Bowers             33:05
  63. Anthony Bowers          33:14
  64. Jade Moss                     33:15
  65. August Goelz               33:34
  66. Eulalia Fritzen              37:01   age 9
  67. Amanda Cuddeford    37:40
  68. Regina Johnson           37:45
  69. Noah Macapinlac        40:55   age 11
  70. Lara Robinson             42:09
  71. Bonnie Menks             45:24
  72. Linette Nelson            49:32
  73. Jessee Leatherwood   52:08
  74. Jacqueline Bart            52:47
  75. Andee Hoig                  55:11


Time to lace up and get in gear!  Nebraska’s first official race of 2019 is tomorrow morning’s Rust Buster 5K.  USATF Certified #NE16012GM and Sanctioned.  IAAF Record Eligible.

We will be shutting down online registration around noon today but you may still register tomorrow morning for the same $20 entry fee.  And you will be included in the official results.

Out at the park marking the course yesterday, it and the weather, perfect.  Here are a few things that will make the morning even better:

Thanks to everyone for registering for tomorrow morning’s Rust Buster 5K!   Two Rivers State Park is located at 27702 F St, Waterloo. Packet pick up and race day registration opens at 8:30 at the park office.  The park office will be open.  We encourage carpooling as you will need either a day or season pass to enter the park. We suggest a season pass so you can take advantage of our Full Wolf Moon 5K, Valentine’s Day 5K and Halley’s Comet 10K.  We  encourage you to bring your own water bottle, helps us to keep the event green. Parking will be just to your left as you enter the park proper, alongside the Cabooses.

Starting gun at 10:00 sharp.

The 5K consists of 2 loops that will be clearly marked. The course is in great condition.  Hot chocolate, home baked goodies, and door prizes will be post race at the finish line. Each runner will receive a hand crafted participation award, be sure and get yours when you finish!  Official results and photo links will be available later Saturday at the website on the bottom of your race number,   Please pin your race number to the front so we can capture your pull tag upon finishing. Special note, please do not affix a safety pin to the pull tag portion (very bottom) of your race number. This will help our finish line volunteers process you through the finish chute.

Thanks to our friends at Two Rivers State Recreation Area.  Thank you to our volunteers, we couldn’t do this without you.  And thank you to our sponsor, Bar None Produce!

Looking forward to a great morning and run. Giddyup!




Omaha has one.  Lincoln has one.  Nebraska has one.  Boston, Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, Des Moines, Kansas City, they all have one.  And many more.

This was the topic at the table yesterday with our Race Directors Tristan Nelson and Linda Kunasek.  We have fully transitioned to the name that most accurately reflects our efforts, our course, our passion, our experience.  American athletes.

Linda spent over 10 years as USATF Women’s Long Distance Running Athlete Development Coordinator, had a seat on the WLDR Executive Committee.  Learning from the very best advocates for American athletes.  She earned podium spots in both Road and Track USA Masters National Championships.  Linda was the USA Coach for the 2010 Chiba International Ekiden in Japan.  She knows running and racing and what it means to  those that are the most dedicated to our sport.

Tristan Nelson is only 21 but has already demonstrated a rare depth and breadth of commitment and dedication to our sport.  Nebraska’s USATF Long Distance Running Chair.  His 5 days at last month’s USATF Annual Meetings prompting this “My brain grew 35 years in a week.”  He will spend all day this Saturday with USATF Regional Certifier Gary Meyer, measuring America’s Marathon for Certification.

For our newest readers.  I’m a Veteran, US Navy.  Runner for 40 years, a couple National  Championship titles.  Thirty five years road race management experience.  USATF WLDR Athlete Development Coordinator, 1996-2002.   WLDR National Championships Chair, 2002-2009.  WLDR Executive Committee member.  USA Team Leader, 2000 World Championships Half Marathon, Vera Cruz, MX.  USA Coach, 2002 Chiba International Ekiden.  USA Team Leader, 2006 Yokohama International Ekiden.  USA Team Leader, 2008 World Championships Half Marathon, Rio de Janeiro.   Founder USATF Nebraska Association LDR program in 2001.

Your three founders of America’s Marathon.  Dedication to American athletes.  That is the answer.  Why America’s Marathon?

Linda and Tristan joining Mayor Smith of Valley and me.  Inviting you to come run America’s Marathon.  We have extended our early registration rates through January 10th.  Hope to see you there!