The 36th annual Living History Farms XC run/race is this weekend.  One of if not the largest cross country race in the U.S., granted 90% of the limited to 7600 field are novelty runners.  It used to be one of my favorites.  I made sure the best athletes from Nebraska wreaked a bit of pre Thanksgiving havoc on our neighbors.  Brought Overall Team Titles this side of the Missouri for a few years.  And had a two time Overall Male winner.  Matt Pohren, dude simply would not accept getting beat there.  Wouldn’t accept it.  Dig?  A 14 high 5K guy, albeit hardened by years of steeple, going into the race against cats with faster 5K and 10K prs.  Refusing to lose.  The first of his consecutive wins came hardest with his car stuck in a massive traffic jam, half a mile from the start, starting gun ticking perilously near.  Matt finally pulls over on the shoulder, abandons it and makes the mad dash to just catch the start.  Unflappable.  Resolute.  Defying anyone and everyone to catch him.  Winner.   38:56 in 2011, 38:09 in 2012.   The latter a course record that will be tough until someone with his guts comes along, and that’s a rare breed.  As good a man as he is a fierce competitor, Nebraska could use a few more just like him.

Back in my day:
2005- Team Nebraska is 4th Overall and 6th Overall Men’s Team.  1st Overall Women’s Team.
2006- Team Nebraska is 3rd Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team, 1st Overall Men’s Masters.
2007- Team Nebraska 2nd Overall Female Team.
2008- Team Nebraska 4th Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team
2009- Team Nebraska 1st Overall Men’s Team, 2nd Overall Women’s Team
2010- Team Nebraska 1st Overall Men’s Team
2011- Team Nebraska 2nd Overall Men’s Team (Iowa RunAblaze topped the Good Mates by a total of 15 seconds in the team competition, the closest ever!)  Matt Pohren becomes the first ever Nebraskan to win LHF in a fast 38:56
2012- Team Nebraska 3rd Overall Men’s Team.  Matt Pohren becomes a repeat winner and sets new event record of 38:09.

There’s the bar.  Hope some of you whippersnappers from both sides of the Platte  make us proud this weekend.