My old buddy Scott Keenan directed Grandma’s Marathon for 30+ years. One of the Very Best guys, supported our American athletes like very few others, I’d put him in a group of three that includes Greg Meyer up in Grand Rapids. He was the very first race director to agree to host our then fledgling USA Club Half Marathon Championships, Team Nebraska’s women taking that title. That was in 2003. Scott retired a couple of years ago but his staff continues to provide opportunities to race the best.
So who ran well from around our region?
Best First. Tanner Fruit. The 26 year old from Ogallala and his group from Colorado Springs dominated the Half Marathon. Tanner’s 1:05:01 missed the Olympic Trials standard by a mere one second. Tanner finished 11th overall. Fastest half marathon by a native Nebraskan since Mike Morgan’s 1:04:andchange from Houston over 10 years ago. Nice.
On the women’s side Team Nebraska’s Shannon Suing continued her march toward the Trials with a fine 2:46:17 to finish 30th overall. Less than 200 seconds separate her from her dreams, she has a great shot this fall.
The Kansas City Smoke, man it has sure been a Great Turnaround for that longtime Elite Development Club. Joe Moore led the Smoke (22nd, 2:18:21) but wasn’t even the fastest from our Midwest region. That distinction went to 38 year old Eric Loeffler of Fargo ND, a damned fine 2:16:48 for 14th overall. Cory Logsdon ran a 2 plus minute personal best, tantalizingly close to the “Twenties” finishing 47th in 2:30:37.
The Smoke showed well in the Garry Bjorklund Half too. Justin Garrard finished 40th in 1:08:25. His mate Aaron Davidson was 45th in 1:08:49. He’s already committed to return to this year’s Freedom Run. Lincoln Running Company stud Michael Rathje was the first Nebraskan finishing 48th in 1:09:26. His mate Ryan Dostal was 52nd in 1:10:25. York Thomas was Team Nebraska’s top finisher finishing 74th in 1:13:42. On the women’s side, 25 year old Neely Spence Grace smoked a 1:11:25 for the win. Of particular interest to me was an athlete I worked with a decade and a half ago, 44 year old Molly Watke finished 11th overall in 1:18:34. Megan Zavorka Thomas was Team Nebraska’s top finisher crossing 34th in 1:24:34.
Locally Colin Morrissey took the Road To Omaha title in 15:50. Our Stacy Shaw finished :09 from the win, fighting hard for 3rd in 19:34. The mark for the 49 year old studette age grades to a 16:20, catch her if you can!
I’ll bet you a dollar Jeremy Morris won the Dizzy Goat 12 hour. He had an insurmountable lead when we left. Tried hard to find the results, they’ll pop up eventually. So did our Ashley Schurman. She covered almost 40 miles, leading by half a day over the second place woman and closing fast on the 2nd place male, when intestinal issues forced me to pull her from the race. You have no idea how tough this lady is. In It To Win It, it’s All and Only About That.