Monthly Archives: October 2019


Linda and I make a point of getting off of the beaten path when traveling.   81 South, piercing the heart of the Central Plains states,  Omaha to Indiahoma.  The Real America.  Easy to ignore, hard to forget.   75 North on the return, that byway also revealing the hard truths of the American farmer and rural communities.  Be thankful for what you have.

The Indiahoma city building.  Showing decades of wear.

This property sits right  across from the city building.  Ironically the street is named Showcase Blvd.

We found this message while running just east of town.

Distressed properties, many still sadly inhabited.



Nebraska and Oklahoma State XC Championships were held Friday and Saturday.  Linda and I spent our weekend at the latter.  While we missed Nebraska’s I surmised a few points perusing the results.
Class A Boys champs Lincoln Southwest had 5 seniors and 2 juniors.  2nd place Millard West 2 seniors, 1 junior, 2 sophomore, and 2 freshman.  3rd team Lincoln NorthStar led by Liam Chot’s overall in 15:50.  4th place Fremont had 5 sophomores, 1 jr. and 1 sr.
The Class A girls race must have been a thriller.  Fremont Sophomore Ellie Dahl (18:35.56) an eyelash ahead of Lincoln East Freshman Berlyn Schutz (18:36.00) and a nose ahead of PLVS Jr. Kaylie Crews (18:37.1).  4th place was another Lincoln East Freshman Kylie Muma (18:46.8).  Big tip of the sombrero to Maddie Wilt of DC West on her 9th place finish (20:18), the first ever top 10 athlete for the Falcons, congrats Coach Maline!

Back to Oklahoma!  The venerable Tulsa Run 15K shook out like this:
1.  James Ngandu                  44:48
2. Raymond Magut                44:54
3. Panuel Mkungo                  45:02

1. Catherine Mwanzau        51:17
2. Gladys Yator                     52:18
3. Aminat Olowaro              52:55

Camille Herron of War Acres, OK won the World 24 Hour Championships in Albi France.  Set a new World Best with 167.843 miles on the track.  8:34 pace for 24 hours, don’t try this at home kids.

Had some kinfolk run the Oklahoma State XC Meet in Shawnee on Saturday.  Shelby Cargill holds all the distance school records for the Cache Bulldogs.  She used a ferocious kick to take 5th overall and led her mates to a 3rd overall team finish.

Kaci Lickteig won the Javelina 100 in 15:35, a new century personal best.  Darn proud for her.

Back to Nebraska.  Madison Scott won the under 8 USATF  Youth XC Championships in 9:02.  Giddyup!


All rivalries have their seed.  Think Pizzeria Uno in Chicago.  When the original partners Ike Sewell and Ric Riccardo split, Sewell opened Pizzeria Due a block down the street.  Two of the  most famous pizza houses in the  Windy City.

AWS Well Service in Mead had a split with co-founder Mr. Subbert.  He opening Subbert Well & Septic right  across  the road.

Woodhouse or Sid Dillon?  Chipotle or Qdoba?  White or Wheat?  Hashbrowns or  grits?

Each felt they had  something (or something better!) to offer the world.

Locally in the fall we have the Nebraska Marathon, the Heartland Marathon, and the Omaha  Marathon.  All within a few weeks of each other.  Competing for runners.

No one had seriously considered scheduling a Nebraska marathon in the spring until V7LM.  We surveyed the local marathoning scene and felt that we could offer a completely different  vision for 26.2 miles.  Something we believe to be better.  The last Saturday in April providing the most historically favorable weather conditions.  Nebraska’s only pancake flat, lightning fast, USATF Certified and  Sanctioned, completely closed road course.  Providing runners of all abilities to run to their potential.  A young and energetic race committee.  The small town of Valley.  All coming together to support our vision of the perfect marathon.

USATF Regional Course Certifier Gary Meyer and V7LM Race Director Tristan Nelson took a huge step towards making that dream a reality this past weekend.  Rides finished, numbers checked out,  maps in progress.  We’ll have our USATF Certification shortly.

Our efforts to create the perfect marathon in Nebraska.  Valley 7 Lakes.  America’s Marathon.

Each step a Measured Response.



Still some marathons this fall!  Des Moines featured a couple of fast friends.  Former NRGE mate and current Iowa Ablaze runner Jay Welp took the win in the Half Marathon with a sterling 1:06:31.  Quoting Jay, “Felt really good on a beautiful morning with a fast course.”  New buddy Will Henry  of the Kansas City Smoke happy with his fifth place 1:09:30, “Huge PR for me!”  In the full marathon it  was William Mutai (2:23:01) over a Sammy Rotich (2:23:26).  Omaha native Sydney Hirsch took fourth overall in what I believe to be her debut with a fine 2:53:19.

At the Columbus (OH) Marathon a different Sammy Rotich (2:15:05) and Elijah Rugut (2:15:05) tied it up, I doubt they were holding hands.  On the women’s side Fayne Gudato (2:34:29) for  the win.  In the accompanying half marathon James Ngandu (1:02:14) had the measure of Dominic Korir (1:02:17).  For the ladies it was Vicoty Chepngeno in an eye popping 1:10:24.

Locally we had the  GOATZ 50K, the Nebraska Furniture Mart Halloween 5K and the Sumtur Twilight Dash 5K & 10K.

Your guru’s Five Words To Run By:  In It To Win It.




Well how about that!

My right arm  is sore from tipping my sombrero since receiving news that the leadership of RAGBRAI  has  split from their  title sponsor.  Over Freedom of Speech.

The reason you readers check in to these musings is that I speak with such frankness on issues concerning our  sport.  I’ve been told I shouldn’t (almost daily by my dear sweet Linda).  Been told I couldn’t by a large event that used to sponsor my club.

I’ve used this column to point out deficiencies in our running community.  That prompted a well orchestrated coup of Team Nebraska in 2012.   It cost me sponsorship for Nebraska Run  Guru Elite, Inc. a year later.    If you’ve ever wondered who/why/how those circumstances played out, the folks across the river just couldn’t stand having someone else call the shots.  Just look at how Team Nebraska was dismantled and resurrected as LRC Racing.

My vision and words rise far above the constraints of  La Leche de Madre.

I’ll tie this into yesterday’s column.  Our LDR Chair recently received a scathing email from the leadership of LRC Racing, challenging how could we possibly  schedule our USATF LDR XC Champs the same day  as the Good Life Halfsy.  How LRC Racing will fully support the 13.1 mile tour of Antelope Trail (sidewalk) instead.  Are you freaking kidding me?

See, Freedom of Speech.  Not beholdin to anything but the Truth.  The RAGBRAI Principle.





Yawn!  Everyone is so worked up about Eliud Kipchoge’s covering 26.2 miles in less than 2 hours (1:59:40).  Regular readers will recall my predicting this over two years ago,  A BUCK TWENTY

Brigid Kosgei runs 2:14:04 at yesterday’s Chicago Marathon.  Breaking Paula Radcliffe’s 16 year old world record.  Yawn.  She could have run sub 2:12:00 at California International Marathon.

Just about every serious marathoner in the United States has laid it down over the last two weeks.  Twin Cities and Chicago.  A few or our big stars will line up November 3rd at the New York City Marathon.  Hey now, how dare they schedule NYC the same day as our USATF Nebraska Association xc Championships.

It is Fall and Cross Country is fast upon us.  Its on and its fierce!   Look, there’s a track season, road season, and cross country season.  I coach my athletes appropriately within each season.  For our local high schoolers this Friday is the District meet at Pioneer’s Park in Lincoln.  Then the big one, Friday the 25th, the State meet on the hallowed Kearney course.  Our USATF Nebraska Association Youth, Open, and Masters Championships are scheduled, as mentioned above, the same day as NYC, November 3rd.

Any serious xc runner would not combine marathon or half marathon training and racing into their fall cross season.  Unless their coaching philosophy is far different than mine.  Or trying to make an indefensible point, trying to have cake and eat it too, the ultimate nose in the air.

I really dig how we hold the Youth and Open xc champs here in Nebraska.  By joint hosting the youngsters get to see some of their heroes toeing the line.  The adults modeling excellence and sound training principles to the kiddos.  No costumes, no sidewalks, no shenanigans.

Wrapping up December 14th with our USA Club XC National Championships in Bethlehem, PA.

Jack Runde, finishing up his middle school xc career.

Angee Nott ran the USATF Masters XC Championships in San Diego this past Saturday!  One of the most decorated athletes in Nebraska history still representing the good guys.

Sam Runde continues his comeback, moving up to third Bulldog from 6th last week.  His training and racing spot on for a chase at sub 17 at Kearney.

Madison Scott at a young 7 years old understands the difference between seasons!


Please notice the new  tab up top, 2020 Winter Fitness Series.  Our 501 (c) 3 not for profit Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. has set these events up to help our Valley/Waterloo communities by providing healthy lifestyle opportunities for youth and adults.  And to show how we have recovered from this past March’s devastating flooding.  We are kicking things off on January 4th with the Rust Buster 5K  Then we’ll have a howling good time on January 18th at the  Full Wolf Moon 5K   Our series wraps up with the 8th annual Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K on February 8th, registration opening soon.

The 14th annual Nebraska Trail Run is set for Saturday April 4th.  Some very exciting news coming regarding our return to the storied Platte River State Park course.  Dubbed the “8th Most Challenging Trail  Run in the United States} by Business Insider Magazine.  We listened to our trail running community and are bringing back the pain and suffering that makes this a one of a kind event.  Did I mention the beer garden?

That is just the beginning of our efforts!  The 2019 Valley 7 Lakes Marathon course was wiped out by the floods.  We’ve set the 2020 Valley 7 Lakes Marathon date for Saturday April 25th and  are hitting the ground running!  Douglas County has resurfaced the scenic country roads with a nice soft asphalt finish, perfect for 13.1 or 26.2 miles of running.  Registration is open:

Our recovery winds up with the Valley Days 1500 Meters, Nebraska’s only Metric Mile.  Saturday August 8th.  Proceeds will benefit the Valley Days Foundation established to help further the recovery effort for those that have lost the most.  Registration coming soon.  Thank you for marking your calendars.


Good morning United States of America Track & Field fans!  Be sure and check in tomorrow for some exciting news!

The World Championships wrapped up in Doha Quatar.  The men’s marathon a showcase for the Ethiopians, Gold and Silver.  The men’s Steeplechase won by one hundredth of a second, race of the games, Kenyan dominance uninterrupted.

Some fine American performances and American records in the sprints and throws.  Shelby Houlihan ran an American Record 3:54 in the Women’s 1500 meters for fourth overall.

Biggest shocker of the games for your scribe was no false starts and no baton drops.  I’m old enough to remember every single edition of the World Championships, the first in 1983.

The USA 10 Mile National Championships were held in conjunction with Twin Cities Marathon.  31 American men lined up, top 5 shook out like this:
1.  Futsum Zienasellassie                46:55
2. Abbabiya Simbassa                      46:57
3. Connor McMillan                          46:58
4. Marty Hehir                                   46:59
5. Agustus Maiyo                              47:05
Johnny Rutford  (49:07) of Omaha finished 24th and ran the fastest 10 Mile by a Nebraskan since Mike Morgan’s 49:29 in 2005.  Nice work Johnny!

36 Women toed the line and top 5 were led by everyone’s darling Sara Hall
1.  Sara Hall                                       53:11
2. Makena Morley                            53:17
3. Katy Jermann                                53:44
4. Bridget Belyeu                              53:47
5. Annie Frisibie                                54:00

The White Light Mile in Fremont was a barnburner Saturday night, if you haven’t run this gem before be sure and get it on your schedule for 2020.  Nolan Border used a furious kick at the end to nip Will Henry of the Kansas City Smoke  by .25 of a second.  Fourteen year old Britt Prince took the women’s title.  Forty three year old Angee Nott (Run Guru Elite, Inc) used the race as a final tune up before next weekend’s USA Masters National 5K champs in San Diego.
1.  Nolan Border                  4:22
2.  Will Henry                        4:22
3. Kyle Johnson                   4:28
4. Matt Fayers                     4:36
5. Thomas Taylor               4:36

  1. Britt Prince                    5:25
  2.  Angee Nott                   5:51
  3. Kristen Griffen              5:57
  4. Emalie Clement            6:12
  5. Ayva Darmento           6:15


Linda and I have passed the 6 week mark living in our rpod.  Sixteen feet long, six feet wide.  Take away the bed and bath and we’re at 10’x6′, 60 square feet of living space.  And Desi makes three.  Its been nothing but lovin, huggin, and squeezin.  A little chilly last night, add snugglin.

How about you and your significant other?  Could you be this close?  Could you stay this close?  This testament to how much we love each other, the ultimate test of respect and even adoration.  Our buddy Ronn Baker joked during the first week that our “life in a box” would close in on us, shrinking digs testing even the most committed.  We giggled then and are giggling this morning.  Me maybe a little more than Linda.  She always races with elbows out after all.

I grew up dirt poor, decidedly lower class.  Five people in a slightly bigger box in Atwood, Il.  Linda grew up with 4 brothers in modest middle class digs.  We took our turns living in Richerville (West-O is the Best-O).  And chose austerity and happiness instead.  Working the land at the Bar None, the peasant lifestyle.  Turned that sow’s ear into a silk purse.  Wiped away by the Great Flood of 2019, we’re starting over.  Bought an acre, West of the Platte!!  On a hill.  Small charming community.

Linda’s cousin Vince Kunasek is one of the top architects in Nebraska (and a Cross Fit beast of a man!).    He’s designed a Modern Mountain home for us.  Our forever dream home.  New buddy Tim with Quality First Construction also on board.  We pulled the trigger yesterday, hoping to break ground before month’s end.

We looked in Wyoming, we looked in Colorado, we looked in South Dakota, we looked in Iowa.  But our hearts and soles remain in Nebraska.  We’ll spend the next 6 months or so traveling and researching material for “Phineas Taylor and His Dandy Road Show Boys.”  My great novel that will celebrate and lampoon everything.  (Any similarities between the characters and any living people purely intentional).

Don’t cry for me Argentina!