Monthly Archives: September 2019


A lot to cover this morning!

Berlin Marathon!  Kenenisa Bekele runs the second fastest marathon in history, 2:01:41.  Missed the WR by a slim two seconds.  In the same race 62 year old Joan Benoit Samuelson ran a stunning 3:02.  Lending plenty of credence to the notion that a pancake flat course, designed for lightning fast times, can indeed deliver same.

World Championships Marathon!  The women set off at midnight Doha time with temps hovering around 98 degrees, 109 heat index.  Kenya’s Ruth Chepengetich took the laurels in sweltering conditions in 2:32:43.  Following up her amazing 2:17:08 at the Dubai Standard Charter Marathon in January.  Both the World Champs and Dubai courses renowned as among the flattest courses in the world, designed to attract the world’s best runners.  First American in Doha was 41 year old mother of 3, Roberta Groner, taking an impressive 6th in 2:38:44.  I was contacted by the IAAF to travel to Quatar for a specific assignment but had to decline.  About half of the women on the start line agreed to ingest a pill that will provide important biometric feedback once retrieved.  My long history of dealing with shit making me the perfect candidate to dig through the piles.

More World Championships!  How about the new event, the mixed 4X400 meter relay!  The bros and babes competing together.  Lifeline for our sport that ranks near the bottom of spectator interest.  Look for more mixed events moving forward.

The Nebraska Marathon was held yesterday, kind of.  The marathon was cancelled due to flooding on the course, joining a growing list of 2019 events that had to be scrubbed.  Leaving the Good Life without a decent marathon for the year.     Yesterday’s event shortened and sent off amidst heavy rain, lightning and thunder.  Look, I’m old and set in my ways, but how in the hell do you start a race under such dangerous conditions?  Never run in lightning.

Flat Rock 50K in Independence, KS.  Tragically a runner was struck and killed by lightning as he was about to finish the race.

Local HS thinclads will travel to Kearney today to test themselves on the State XC course.  Linda and I making the trip to see a single runner.   Sam Runde (Jr. Burke) will be making his season debut, his first xc race since setting the freshman school record of 17:01- in the only xc race of his career there.    Here’s hoping the chronic injuries are now in his rear view.

The start under lights in Doha, Quatar.

Yesterday’s storm system, would you have rolled the dice and answered the starter’s pistol?  Or would you have sought shelter?  Safety first, last, and always!


2019, the year of the cancelled race.   It’s been a tough go for runners.  The biblical floods of this past March still vivid in the psyche of our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon committee.  We had to pull the plug on our race 30 days before the starting cannon.   Another local marathon the following week reached out and offered to accommodate our invited elite field only.  We passed on that offer,  all or none.   Further, I hoped other local marathons might extend an offer for our runners, silly Willie!

Monday morning V7LM reached out to the leadership of this past weekend’s Heartland Marathon on behalf of the affected runners.   Crickets but we press on.  Hoping this olive branch will help heal the disappointment of opportunity lost, something we know all too well.  We are working on the details and hope to have our special registration set up the first week of October.  Hey, we’re all in this together.

“The leadership of Valley 7 Lakes Marathon has agreed that we would like to extend a special discount to all 2019 Heartland Marathon and Half Marathon participants. Having gone through the same painful circumstances this past April we know how disappointing cancelling a race is. We would like to offer a special code that will provide a $25 discount for either our half of full marathon. Our race is set for April 25, 2020. We hope that this will help our running community and look forward to hearing back. Thank you.”

Yours in sport,

Will Lindgren
Executive Director, V7LM


A friend of ours runs a company that is putting on a contest where students form teams and can win cash and meet key government and industry leaders from across the state.  The challenge starts this week and runs for 7 days, only the first 500 kids get in.

For more details check out



Biggest and saddest news is the Heartland Marathon cancellation due to flooding on the course.  All of us at Valley 7 Lakes feel your pain.

The Quad Cities Marathon in Moline captured the non-American “C” level road performances of the weekend with the top 5 fellas going 2:17, 2:18, 2:19, 2:20, and 2:21.  Top 5 females all under 2:58:02, and hey now a couple of Americans sprinkled in!

Another Heartland Half Marathon in Jasper, Indiana, no significant results.

Jared Basset won the Prefontaine Memorial 10K (Coos Bay, OR) in 32:41, first female Heather Johnson in 37:21.

Laurels at the Bismark Marathon went to Cesar Mireles (2:32:50) and Jaidan Schuette (3:17:51).  Rob McLeod (1:28:41) finished 10th in the half marathon, not bad for being 60 years old!  In the accompanying 5K Jackson Runde (20:30) took third overall.  Not bad for 13 years old.   Using a few road races to sharpen up for All City XC coming up shortly.

First day of fall.   The seasons are changing.  Apropos of marathoning in Nebraska.  Expectations starting to shift.  The idea of a completely closed road marathon starting to set in.  Runners now asking, “why not?”  Catching up with the rest of the United States and the world.  Valley 7 Lakes Marathon leading the way here in the Good Life.  Saturday April 25, 2020.  With all the courtesy and respect due.  #ValleyStrong  #NebraskaStrong  Registration is open.







Runners!  We’re a motivated group by almost any standard.  Each of us puts one foot in front of the other for our own deeply personal reasons.  Running for health.  Running for camaraderie.  Running from demons, legions of them.

I’ve spent the last forty years running.  When queried about my motivations, “Its the one thing no one can tell me when to do, where to do, how to do, whom to do it with.”  Running for me is the ultimate expression of personal freedom.

And Racing!  Part of what moves my feet is the chance to test myself.  Against myself.  Against you.  Conquering demons of inadequacy.  Measuring my self worth by the amount of suffering I can endure.  Yeah, it runs that deep.  What about you?

Who is driving you is another question all together.  And the crux of today’s column.  Linda and I took a ride with Dr. Weeks last week.  His invitation to “Let Elon drive us” a chance to take a stride into the 21st century.  We hopped in his shiny new Tesla.  Acceleration incredible.  But it was on Hwy 92 that my few remaining hairs turned a lighter shade.  The self-driving mode engaged,  white knuckles the rest of the trip for your scribe.  I resisted the urge to reach over and grab the wheel, trying to have faith in technology.  A complete loss of control the worst part of the experience.  I felt like an Amish in New York City.

That might be the future but I don’t like it at all.  Driving is second to running as an expression of personal freedom.  At least it used to be.  Linda and I travel with a paper map, our comfort zone.  Not trusting or believing that a signal from the sky can deliver us.

I’ll keep driving myself.  On foot and wheels.

I know what drives Jack Runde.  Shown here at yesterday’s xc meet at Northwest HS.  He would dispatch his challenger on the second loop on the way to yet another victory.  Perfect running form.  And In It To Win It!









The USA Track & Field Nebraska Association had its annual meeting last Sunday.  Did anyone at all from our Long Distance Running community attend?  My guess is Mike Hajek-Jones was the sole person at the table.  Our LDR Chair wasn’t there, traveling back from a triathlon.  Linda and I didn’t go, my boxing gloves retired to a hook in the closet.

I did however receive a phone call prior to the meeting from Scott Rainbolt, our Association President.  Boy did he get an earful.  I’m quite upset that not a single penny from our Nebraska memberships and road and cross sanctions has been returned to LDR in over three years.  Where the hell has all that money gone?  Why hasn’t our LDR Chair been reimbursed for his travel to the 2018 annual meetings?  How can we expect him to commit the time and effort to attend Reno this coming December 5?

But my main message to Scott was if he wants anything at all done on behalf of our USATF LDR program it has to go through Lincoln.

Look, here’s the conundrum, USATF is NOT RRCA.  USATF is for athlete development and excellence, geared toward USA National Championships, World Championships,  Olympic Trials and the Olympics.
RRCA, Road Runners Club of America, is the social side of running where we are all winners.  Both have their niches, rarely do they sync.

The Lincoln Marathon fully embraces RRCA.  The Lincoln Running Co. Racing team is USATF.  The marathon sponsors LRC Racing.  Man it gets sticky right here.  How do you get a club that relies on RRCA to participate in USATF Nebraska Association Championship events.  How do we get the athletes in our association to support USATF?  We had zero LRC representation at our USATF 1500 Meter Road Championships in Valley a couple weeks ago.  Not a single athlete could deign participation.   And that is only the most recent example of a long line of USATF Nebraska Association Championship races that have not been supported.

December 14 is our USATF XC National Championships in Bethlehem, PA.    Our Nebraska Association athletes (LRC) will load up several teams for the annual boondoggle.   Support at the national level but not the local association.  That is why the real power must be relocated to Lincoln if our LDR program is to survive.  Logan Watley?  Nolan Zimmer?

USATF Nebraska Long Distance Running used to be one of the most respected in the United States.  Now it is a joke.  Says the program’s architect and founder.

Quote of the day- “If you want something done fast, do it yourself.  If you want something to last have the group do it.”







A lot of Nebraska races to choose from this past weekend.  And Iowa.

I’m partial to the Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon, 10K, & 5K.  We had a record turnout in numbers if not results.   We’ve worked hard to offer the flattest, fastest USATF Certified & Sanctioned half in Nebraska.   Shannon Mauser-Suing taking the Overall in 1:27:01.  Birthday boy Michael Bickley won the 10K and Jack Runde took the 5K title.

The Wabash Trace Marathon & Half Marathon.  Cory Logsdon (2:46:18) continues his unbeaten streak.

The (S)HITS Marathon & Half Marathon, 10K & 5K.  Marathon won in a very pedestrian 3:14.  Say what?  Craig Halverson finishes 2nd in the half (1:22:29) and wins the 5K (18:19) and 10K (46:08).  WTF?

Lincoln Running Co. Racing opted to skip Nebraska’s offerings and travel to Des Moines for the Capitol Pursuit 10 Mile.

Its the xc meet at Walnut Grove last week that has me most fired up.  Liam Chot of Lincoln NorthStar, truly a man among boys, won as usual, this time with some shady circumstances.  *This based on eyewitness reports.*   Chot was off with the gun, gapping the field.  Somewhere between miles 1 & 2 he was joined by two dark, shadowy figures (running ninjas?).  Running with Liam through the wooded sections.  And then disappearing just as quickly, not on the course after 2 miles, not finishing.  Whether bandits or pacers, I would have raised hell.


The Twin Rivers YMCA Runs feature the most inspiring start line in Nebraska.  And course records of 1:04:48  (Zach Hine) and 1:17:19  (Whitney Bevins).




White and Fluffy
Skittering and Puffy
Sky and Horizon Filled
Good Mother’s Beauty
Delivered as Billed

Rain Soaked Roads
Greet Heels to Toes
Lanes Between Field and Bush
Each Stride a Cushy Cush

Thankful For Our Health This Day
For Fitness and For Play
Linda and Desi Making Three
As Happy and Grateful As Can Be


An update for the curious.

Linda, Desi, and I have hit the three week mark with the rpod as our home.  It has been every bit the expected adventure.  We’ve explored new running routes, incorporated walking and biking sessions, strict adherence to consistency the primary denominator.  Hills and  more hills, some gargantuan.   Occasional two a days, easy sessions intended towards capillarization.

The question comes up “What are you doing these days?”  Our pat answer is “getting fit.”  I haven’t felt this good in over a decade.

We’ve explored Branched Oak Lake north of Lincoln.  We’ve trespassed for views of pristine Johnson Reservoir.  We’ve taken every minimum maintenance road encountered.  On foot, on wheels, moving at a vagabond’s pace.

We’re plugged in at the 2 Lazy 2 Ranch in Yutan.  15 amps trickling in enough juice for refrigerator and television.  We need 30 to run the air conditioning, a luxury we’ll appreciate when provided.  We awoke last night to a downburst, 65 mph winds rocking our little trailer, visions of Dorothy and Toto running through my mind as I threw my body over Linda’s.

I am still filled with excitement and wonder over our future.  Not completely sure what we’ll be doing once the Big Chill arrives.  Do we go south?  Do we winterize and hunker down?

We’ll map out some plans after this weekend’s Twin Rivers YMCA runs.  We have our biggest ever field signed up, build it and they will come.

These three greet our daily excursions.  Sorry the Ass on the right, his brays joining the cock’s crow to greet each day.  Country living at its best.


Two of Nebraska’s oldest consecutively run events were this past weekend.  The Buffalo Run 5 Mile in Lincoln and the Omaha Corporate Cup 10K, long in the tooth and venerable.

Johnny Rutford led all finishers in Lincoln, the top 5 under my lifetime pr of 27:12!   The fast guys, living in Omaha but representing Lincoln.  Can you dig it?
1 Johnny Rutford Omaha NE 28 M   24:52     4:59
2 Nolan Zimmer Omaha NE 25 M    25:29      5:06
3 Eric Noel Lincoln NE 32 M              26:42      5:21
4 Matthew Cornell Lincoln NE 27     26:56     5:24
5 Tim Meyer Lincoln NE 38                26:57     5:24

Austin Post (34:01) was the first across the line at the Corporate Cup, just off my 33:55 personal best.  That event a mere shadow of its former glory, from the fastest 10K in the state to a fundraising afterthought.  So goes our sport in Omaha where there is zero advocacy for elite level running, and more is the shame.  Living in Omaha but running for Lincoln.  Can you dig it?

The Omaha Corporate Cup in 2010.  When elite level running had a foothold in Omaha.  My how times have changed!