Which way do you like it?
Linda and I lasted only two nights on the beauty rest. Downy, cushy, fluffy, pillowy, luxuriant. Couldn’t wait to get back to our firm, firmer, firmest in the rpod. Six and one half years busting our butts at the Bar None imbuing an ability and preference for the stotan lifestyle.
My way is the hard way, I feel blessed every moment of every day that Linda has embraced and accepted this about me. Even as she ameliorates the roughest edges.
The easy way to go through life is to go with the flow. Do what you’re told. Accept the status quo. Be compliant. Be soft. Get along or move along. I’ll always be a mover if getting along sacrifices my core principles. I’ve moved a lot over the last 7 years. I don’t agree with the status quo and am set on providing a better option. Huevos Mas Grande vs. Silky Shaven Legs.
Look at Valley 7 Lakes. ” America’s Marathon”, “Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World”. And the Nebraska Trail Run, “8th Most Challenging Trail Run in the United States.” Not hyperbole or garrulous banter. Cold Facts vs. Hot Takes.
Which way do you like it? Are you Hard or Soft?
Percy Cerutty leads a group of Hawthorn players and Club President Phil Ryan (3rd from right) over the sand dunes, Jan 11th, 1968.
84 days. Just shy of the three month mark. Linda and I have finally thrown in the towel and moved from the rpod into a spare bedroom here at the 2Lazy2. We awoke yesterday morning, the windows in our tiny camper ice covered, on the inside. Enough is enough! Pioneers yes, primitives no.
Ground scheduled to be broken for our new digs this week. A sight warm up will speed that along nicely. Our new acre located exactly 33 miles from Omaha. And exactly 33 miles from Lincoln.
Stirring these lyrics into this morning’s coffee-
“Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you.
Yes I’m stuck in the middle with you”
And you dear and gentle readers, hopefully get the intended tongue in cheek.
There’s a name to hang your hat on, and we did for a decade. Before transitioning to the much easier to pronounce Nebraska Trail Run. We believe it to be the longest consecutively held trail run in Nebraska, our 14th (15th?) annual coming next April 4. We’ve listened to the trail running community around the Midwest and are bringing it back to Platte River State Park for 2020!
A little history on the event-
Founded as a fundraiser for Team Nebraska in 2005, allowing us to send mates to competitions around the United States. A collaboration with local legend Tom Bombadil, I mean Ivan Marsh. His regular training ground, intimate knowledge of the trails guaranteeing a half dozen victories in as many years.
Linda and I have continued the race since Team Nebraska’s demise in 2012. In addition to the brutal 12K we’ve also hosted a 4 mile and a ridiculously difficult half marathon on the storied course. Our buddy and 4 time Olympic Trials Marathoner Patrick Rizzo taking the 12K & 13.1 titles in 2016 & ’17. Ingenue Kaci Lickteig joining Patrick for overall laurels in ’16.
Moved the race to Chalco Hills in ’18 & ’19, shortened to an 8K- both softly received, prompting our return to PRSP.
Cabela’s has been primary sponsor for the history of the race, complimentary mission statements. Always a well earned signature dish and beer garden in addition to some of the best age group hardware anywhere, Cabela’s cast iron cookware and more. And Bragging Rights for conquering what Business Insider Magazine dubbed the “8th Most Challenging Trail Run in the United States.” Bea Sides and Brian Wandzilak running every edition at PRSP, hope to have them join us once again.
We opened registration yesterday and are happy with the immediate response. https://www.active.com/louisville-ne/running/races/nebraska-trail-run-2020?int=
We would like to invite you (dare you?) to come out and challenge yourself on the extreme elevations. Find that sense of accomplishment that brings runners back year after year. Stake your claim to the Toughest Trail Run in the Midwest!
Its the course. Of course!
Thirty four Americans qualified for the USA Olympic Trials Marathon at the CNO Financial Indianapolis Monument Marathon and Half Marathon on Saturday. Here’s some highlights:
In the full my longtime buddy Dot McMahan (Brooks Hansons) led from start to finish turning in an “A” OTQ standard with 2:35:30. Not bad for 40 years old, eh? Nate Guthals of the KC Smoke led all the fellas with his own “A” in a fine 2:17:51.
In the half there were 50 men under 1:10. 25 runners under 1:05. Top 6 hit the OTQ mark of 1:04:00. Johnny Rutford of Omaha and LRC Racing toed the line and came away with a personal best of 1:04:52. Jay Welp (Iowa City, IA) continues his improvement under the RunAblaze kit turning in a fine 1:06:14
Its the course. Of course! Flat and fast draws American competition. Making next April 25th’s Valley 7 Lakes Marathon (America’s Marathon) a very attractive alternative for those seeking to run to their potential. It will be all the more important the next Olympic Cycle (2024) when the standards are tightened and qualifiers will be limited to performances on IAAF record eligible courses. V7LM fitting that bill. https://runsignup.com/Race/NE/Valley/Valley7LakesMarathon?remMeAttempt=
Why not kick start your new year by signing up for the 2020 Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series? We’ve set up registration for all three races. Individually, and new this year you can pre register for all 3 and receive some special swag after the Valentine’s Day 5K. https://www.active.com/waterloo-ne/running/two-rivers-winter-fitness-series-2020?int=
If you’re a Real Fan of our sport your eyebrows may have arched over yesterday’s New York Times opinion piece from Mary Cain. Or maybe, like me, you weren’t surprised at all. NIKE, the Oregon Project and Alberto Salazar blasted by the former high school record holder in the 800, 1500, and 5000. The toxic culture fomented by AlSal and cohorts leading the upper echelons of United States distance running into a mess.
I have a unique perspective. Chair of USATF’s Women’s Long Distance Running Athlete Development Program 1996-2002. Chair of USATF’s Women’s National Championships, 2002-2009. The only male on the WLDR Executive Committee 1996-2009.
My volunteerism on behalf of talented females across the U.S. has given me an insight into what makes them tick, how they tock.
The bottom line is that it takes women to understand women. Female coaches dealing with female athletes. Most especially at the elite level. —There is a percentage though that respond better to male coaches, no doubt about that.—–
I’ve coached dozens of women. The advantageous arrow in my quiver is Linda. Her experience dealing with America’s best, coupled with her own experience as a national level competitor, makes her the perfect sounding board. A perfect balance.
Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. I’m from Uranus.
A certain gravity has been tugging at me the last couple days. Signed up for social security on Monday. Something I’ve looked forward to for years. Three weeks until 62, still full of vim and vigor (piss & vinegar?). And now that it has arrived a bluesy vibe joins the celebration. Mortal reality replacing anticipation. Akin to opening Return Of The King. Excited for the final book of the trilogy, knowing it will be full of wonderous adventures, but an end nearer now. Hoping the chapter lasts another 40 years. Dad 88, an aunt 92, genetics in my plus column.
A lot of reflection this week too. On a life that has sped by. I’ve hurried to keep up and still have a lot to do. A bit more patient and focused. Sagacity replacing impetuousness.
Looking back on life’s work I carry a sense of contentment. A most important outcome, satisfaction. Trying my best, given human frailty, to hold fast to the credo “Love All, Serve All.”
Time slips away in the blink of an eye. Embrace it. Do Your Work. The Speed of Life.
Grandma Katie graduated 8th grade. She had 8 kids and a dead husband (dust bowl pneumonia) in 1939, Indiahoma OK. All 4 boys enlisted and sent their checks home. They barely scratched out an existence in the middle of the Great Depression. The smallest (not youngest) boy was Bill, my dad. When older brothers Ivan and Carl left for the service Bill, by default, became man of the house in 1941, age 9. The next 10 years spent whooping anyone and everyone that offended a sister or his mom. Attended school with no shoes. Earning reputation as the toughest s.o.b. in Comanche County, Bar None.
My mom was sent down state Illinois from her family at age 14. Had 3 kids before she was 20. An abusive alcoholic during my entire childhood (like the cliché my first marriage mirrored same). My sister had two kids before she was 20, plus one more. She is now a great grandma at 62 years old. Kids having kids. My brother left our hometown his junior year of high school and has never been back.
I graduated from Northern Illinois University in 1992 with a B.S. in Community Health Promotion, 3.97 gpa. Spent the next 20 years trying to raise my 3 children as a stay at home dad. Volunteering for USA Track & Field providing another important purpose, satisfaction of meaningful work outside the home. Advocating for others providing a deep fulfillment. Gulf Coast Windbreakers in the mid 80s, Brazosport Area Road Runners Assoc. in the 90s. Run For The Arts 10 Mile.
I was up to pace when moving to Nebraska in 2001. Established the USATF LDR program, Team Nebraska, Run Guru Elite, Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, dozens of more races over the last 20 years. Coaching too.
This is what I am. This what I do. This is what I have always done. This is what I will always do.
The Good Life Half(sy) showcased some top local talent yesterday. Top 12 fellas sub 1:10, top 11 women sub 1:25, nice. Applying cross country scoring to the fellas it was Lincoln with 52 (4-10-15-16-17) barely topping Omaha’s 59 (6-7-8-14-24) for bragging rights. https://jmsresults.com/results/2019/goodlife19b.pdf How about those finisher medals, as big as a manhole cover! Fun stuff!
New York City Marathon winners Geoffery Kamworor (2:08:13) and Joyciline Jepkosgei (2:22:38)flexed their Kenyan muscles for the wins. Both athletes beefier than your typical pencil thin distance runner.
Geoffery used a 4:31 24th mile to put away all challengers.
Joyciline made her marathon debut one for the ages. She is also the WR holder for women in the half marathon (1:04:51).
Our USATF Nebraska Association 5K XC Championships were held yesterday on the hallowed Walnut Grove course. LRC Racing taking the overall and team titles. Your scribe conquering hill and dale to take the Senior Grand Master title. My first time to race there, appreciating Seth Hirsch’s 14:50 course record all the more. Madison Scott took the 8 and under 2000 meter title in 8:42. The boys winning time 8:43, how about that!
First place, a very happy place!
Prequel to this Sunday’s cannon on the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
A quarter century ago I was inspired by NYC Marathon founder Fred Lebow. His book “Inside the World of Big Time Marathoning” reflecting a mirrored passion. Allan Steinfeld ( from 1993-2005) took over as Race Director when Fred passed in 1994. From 1997 until 2009 I worked closely, very closely, with the leadership of the New York City Marathon. Allan and I (& Linda too) working together at our USATF annual meetings. Volunteering the first weekend in December for Real Running and Racing. He considered one of the great road race management minds of our time. Allan my colleague for the 2008 Half Marathon World Championships in Rio de Janeiro. Mary Wittenberg ran the show from 2005-2015. The NYRR Club hosted numerous of our Women’s LDR National Championships. Providing great support and opportunities for our American athletes, was my privilege to be around that environment.
So get your run in early, get the hot cocoa and a blanket for the women’s start at 8:10 Central. Pro fellas at 8:40 Central. Watch the race and get inspired enough to sign up for Valley 7 Lakes Marathon “America’s Marathon!” Inspired by some of the finest. https://runsignup.com/Race/NE/Valley/Valley7LakesMarathon
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARio baby!