Your standards.  Excellence before your very eyes.  From a time when men were forged by the heat of a Greater Will.

Go chase these.  Compare and contrast.  And be humbled.

Thanks to Gary Dougherty for digging deep and getting my numbers in line.  I’ve got a better handle on some data than others and appreciate the historical records Gary has compiled at

This will mostly be relevant to my Omaha readers, specifically anyone that has ever toured or trained at my former dojo.   And a challenge to current and future generations to get out there and put up your best time, see how you compare against these legends I’ll describe.

It has been over a year since I “painted” the USATF measured points out at Lake Zorinksy.  Two or three times a year I’d get out and mark the west loop every 1/4 mile, the east loop every half.  Certified points included the 5K on the east loop as part of the full 12K, the 10K by the ball fields, and 12K.  One of the biggest hurdles I had early on was trying to convince/persuade/educate locals on USATF Course Measurement protocol.  Of course I realize now that their protestations and barbs were merely for deflection and entertainment purposes but I stood rail straight in defense of Reality vs. GPS, a fight I continue today.

Just the facts ma’am: Tracy Lokken actually ran the certified Lake Zorinsky 10K on August 26, 2007 in a time of 32:17 (5:12 pace).

Brian Erb ran the entire Lake Zorinsky 12K in 40:37 early 2008.

On November 15, 2008 Peter vd Westhuizen, Paul Wilson, Levi Ashley, Shannon Stenger, and Tom Nichols all gathered at my command (there’s that LEADERSHIP thingy again) for a  Lake Zorinsky 12K time trial as preparation for the 2008 USA Club Cross Country National Championships in Spokane, WA.- an epic road trip that deserves its own column.

Peter the Great took the overall in a fast 39:49 (5:20 pace).  Paul was next in 40:00.  Then Levi in 40:50.  Shannon followed in 40:52.  Tom ran strong the first half but faded to 42:47 to round out the group.

I’ll have to get Craig Donnelly and Luka Thor together (maybe Trevor Vidlak and a healthy Colin Morrissey?) to try and bump two or three of those off the top 5.

For perspective my personal best for the dojo’s 7.495 miles (12K) was 48:45 (6:32 pace, age 50).

And the 2008 USA Club Cross Country results for Open Men:
26th Overall – Team Nebraska Brooks total time 2:54:04
Points, Name, Age, Pace, Time
71 Levi ASHLEY 25 5:22.1 33:23
130 James MCGOWN 34 5:31.5 34:22
162 Paul WILSON 27 5:38.5 35:06
183 Tom NICHOLS 26 5:43.3 35:35
185 Brian WANDZILAK 28 5:43.7 35:38
190 John NICHOLS 26 5:45.8 35:51
229 Ben SANDY 33 6:06.1 37:57

Hey how about that!  Seven open men all the way to Spokane!  And Craig Christians as a master (38:50 for 28th in the 45-59) and me in 45:20 (41st, 50-54).  Fully funded, via my race management efforts and support from the Lincoln Marathon, that’s how it rolled before all the panties got bunched.  Will Nebraska have even one athlete entered this year?  I can only hope so.