VALLEY 7 LAKES MARATHON UPDATE

The water is down but our spirits are high!   All pre-registered athletes from this year have received instructions to roll over 19 to 20.   Regular registration will open the first week in August.  We are using a new registration platform, RunSignUp instead of active.com  Saturday April 25, the Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World!

Our technical/operational experts presented some exciting new innovations at last night’s meeting at the Bar None.  These young men and women bringing Linda and I into the 21st century.  Race Director Tristan Nelson doing double duty last night, sitting in with us while on conference call with the USATF Masters Committee.  My sage advice to Tristan is  “Raise your eyes son, look beyond your comfortable horizons, soar so high you leave nothing but the short hairs for others to chase.”

Our IT guy is working on the registration portal and revamping the website.  Many of you might know Matt Copeland as the top fixed gear bicyclist in the Midwest.  If you are a Gravel  Grinder, a Fixed Gearhead, or a Pedaling Masochist you undoubtedly know him well.   Sponsored by Nebraska Medicine.  One  of the best in the United States.  Matt is also a Certified Level II Fitter, this cat can figure all your riding ills by watching you sit in the saddle.   We welcome his fresh perspectives and insight.

V7LM has also partnered with the Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon, 10K & 5K (Run For A Reason!).   Run both of these events (full + half or half + half) and a world of wonderful prizes will be lavished upon thee.  Details forthcoming.

Our Wednesday Night Track Work is getting ready to kick off in June.  An outreach program of Nebraska Run Guru Elite, Inc. modeled after the fabulously successful program of the same name Linda and I conducted at Millard West for 8 years.  Not our first rodeo folks.  Both Linda and I are USATF Level I Coaches and I have my USOC Safe Sport Credentials.  We are also kicking off our weekend series of runs that will feature portions of the V7LM course.  Stay tuned for details.

That is all.  Thank you.

Matt is too cool for school Raul.  Brining a laid back style to our marathon efforts.

 

 

RACE RESULTS MONDAY

Hospital Hill in KC.  Dam to Dam in Des Moines.  Havelock in Lincoln.   But today’s  regularly scheduled column is being bumped in favor of what I personally consider to be the best news for Real Running in a quarter century!

With due respect to all the good work done on behalf of medical research everywhere.  The 25 year exercise in combining apples and oranges finally comes failed.

Regular readers know how I feel about the charity bastardization of our sport.  Utterly corrupting the word “Race” into an unrecognizable molasses mass of humanity.

Using my sport, your sport, and giving nothing at all back.  It started with the “option” to pay extra for chip timing.  In a race for goodness sakes, an entry fee and then another fee to be timed.  And even with that “extra” perk you were not running in a Real Race.  Your official time didn’t allow for recognition of excellence in running.  Overall Male or Female?  Nada.  Age group awards?  Not a chance.  No one cared enough about our sport.

So what’s up this Monday that has me so Giddy?  I’m celebrating Truth in Advertising.  The mustard duck that has been foisted on the national  (and right here in Omaha) running scene as a race has finally been revealed for what it has always been.  The “Race For The Cure” has officially changed to the “More Than Pink Walk.”  Truth.

Two of the biggest “races”  in the Omaha Metro have followed their true nature and landed as glorified fundraising walks.  The Omaha Corporate Cup failed as a race a few years ago, again too much pork up top, bloated admins with no experience or interest in Real Running.

Look, I loaded up Nebraska’s very best runners in both of those events for many years.  Fought the American Lung Association for opportunity and prize money, made it the most competitive 10K road race in Nebraska.

I believe that Nationally Competitive Athletics will make another appearance in the Omaha Metro.  I’m doing everything I can.

The 2016 Race for the Cure.  Grant Wintheiser, #956, ran 14:38 for the fastest USATF Certified 5K in Nebraska’s modern era.  The race failed to get USATF Sanctioning thus the mark is ineligible for the record books.

 

 

 

 

 

 

LET’S GET HIGH

Altius!  Today I celebrate the Omaha Sports Commission brining the Capitol District Pole Vault Competition to town July 31-August 1.   Set up by Lindsay Toussant and Jeff Hartwig at the Drake Relays.  America’s best jumpers including national champs and Olympians, reaching for greater heights in Omaha’s popular Capitol District.  A two day affair that will also provide instruction for developing  jumpers, including high school.  Bring a food donation for the Open Door Mission and get a free entry!
https://omahasports.org/capitol-district-vault

I’m especially happy with this effort.  Bringing national level talent to Omaha, to Nebraska.  Worth repeating here that Lindsay is a member of our Valley 7 Lakes Marathon Committee and former LDR staff member in Indianapolis with USATF.  A great addition to our athletics community.  We look forward to bringing national attention to our efforts on behalf of American athletes!

The Capitol District.  Part of what I’m proud of in Omaha.   Nice to see athletics joining the College World Series, Olympic Swim Trials and Olympic Curling  Trials as a marquee event.

STANDING WATER

I went out looking for a friend yesterday.  I’ve mentioned the ancient Native American before, a hermit living in a sparsely appointed bunker just off the banks of the Platte River.   We’ve met once before.   I wasn’t expecting success, the utter devastation along Campanile Road making the quest seem a lark at best.  Crestfallen as I found the unique cottonwood that marked his dugout abode.  The giant tree still standing but the cave and man were no where to be seen.  I wasn’t worried for him, certain that he if anyone, was in tune enough with the Good Mother and her River to survive.

As I made south along the river I  heard a faint Ya-Ta-Hey from the western bank.  After scrambling along a sand bank and traipsing through knee deep debris I found him.  The old man was in newer if less rustic digs.  His few belongings stacked along one wall, bedroll neatly folded and stowed.  He said he had been expecting Running Feather.

He raised, pointed a single finger and we were off.  Wiry and fit as the first time we’d met I followed him through the dense brush.  Silent in our movements and speech.  We proceeded until arriving at an exact moment that only he understood, precisely mid day.   Stooping and pointing to a pristine fountain, bringing forth clear as light sustenance from the Ogallala aquifer some hundreds of feet below.   He bade me sip which I did.  He then pointed east, west, north, south,  and  towards the heavens, passed the pipe, and said we would meet again.  His  final words or maybe they were thoughts, bestowed my new name, Standing Water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEBRASKA PUNK

If Linda and I haven’t slowed down we have at least redirected some of our boundless energies to more leisurely pursuits.  Music is now getting its due.  Bucks Bar & Grill is one of the top spots in the United States for country singer/songwriters, both up and coming and established acts.   My usual hyperbole may have you skeptical but the bands that show up insist same.  A classically trained chef (NAPA Valley Culinary Institute) bringing top notch food to this one of a kind Nebraska Honky Tonk.

Steve Kunasek  is the lead cat for South Omaha’s Prairie Gators.  Cajun/Creole music at its best.  If you ran the Swamp Stomp back in the day you heard his version of the Star Spangled Banner on the accordian.  Frequently accompanying on the drums is Steve Monson.  He also hits the hats for his own band, The Linoma Mashers.  Both bands played at Cellar 426 in Ashland as part of  a flood relief concert.  My first time to see the Mashers, entertaining.

But it was the feature act that kept us out into a Sunday evening.  Steve promised me Charlie Burton would be a hell of  a show.  And man Charlie was right in my wheelhouse.  A mix of rock and roll, rockabilly, and punk.  If you’ve ever seen him you know, if you haven’t you ought.  Charlie is also a member of the Nebraska Hall of Fame, he’s that iconic.  I can’t imagine seeing a better show this year, but we’ll try.

Jimmie Dale Gilmore will be coming to the Zoo Bar on June 3rd.  Incredible songwriter, haunting voice, country hippie.  Was integral to my playlist back in Texas where he performed with the Flatlanders (with Joe Ely and Butch Hancock).

Jason Isbell is playing the Waiting Room in Benson in August.  I haven’t seen him before but local expert Mandy Sue has guaranteed us an excellent evening of country music.

Get out and hear some live music this  summer.  And if at all possible be sure and  catch some Nebraska Punk.

 

 

FLYING FUR FRIDAY

A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

10 apples, 3 peach, 2 cherry, 3 pear, 2 plum, 1 paw paw, 2 apricot, 2 figs, 1 serviceberry.  4 grapes, a fence of blackberries, black raspberries,  red raspberries, white raspberries, 2 honeyberry bushes, 2 currant bushes, strawberry patch, rhubarb patch, asparagus patch.   Hops.  Smokebush, magnolia, pine, weeping willow, contorted hazelnut.  3 flowering dogwoods.  1 Pussy Wilow.  Wildflower garden.  Herb garden.   Inventory of trees, bushes, and fruits that Linda and I have planted, so far.  300 pounds of potting soil made, two dozen pots filled with bounty for next year’s cupboards.   All our own comestibles grown above ground  this year, something that can be done anywhere.  Gives us much confidence that we will be able to feed ourselves for the rest of our days.

Coming up on our 6 year anniversary here at the Bar None.   Bar None Beer Miles.  Winter Fitness Series.   Twin Rivers YMCA Half Marathon.  Valley 7 Lakes Marathon.  Seeds of another sort sewn.  #ValleyStrong

Repairs continue on our studio.  Lingering effects from the Great Flood of 2019.  Electric panel, hot water heater, well pressure tank, water softener, furnace, a/c all replaced.  Another huge thank you to everyone that contributed to our go fund  me page.

Lost a couple of T&F V cards already this year.  First time to the Drake Relays.  First time to the Nebraska HS State Champs at Burke.  Some very impressive performances.  Something sticking in my craw from last weekend.  The boys 100M time of 10.53 was disallowed due to the gusting southerly winds.  The boys 110 hurdles run within the same small window, flags a flying, Darius Luff’s 13.69 record was allowed.  I mean I know what I saw, somebody splain this to me please.

Love him or hate him, Parker Stinson (1:13:47) got the  American Record for 25K in Grand Rapids a couple weekends ago.

I’ve stepped almost completely away from the USATF Nebraska Association.  Here’s something though:  The LDR program is to receive a portion of every LDR membership in the state, rough estimate is anywhere from 1500-2500/ year.  The LDR program is to also receive a flat fee for every sanctioned LDR event in the state.  Rough estimate around 1500/year.  As far as I know from the previous chairs the LDR program has not received a penny from the association leadership over the last 3 years.  Prompting your scribe and program founder to wonder where the hell this money has gone and why there is no flying fur.

 

 

 

 

BIG OLD GOOFY WORLD

In some sense writing feeds my soul.  A lifelong exercise in wordsmithing leads to a deep appreciation of Excellence in Prose.  Today’s space is from John Prine, one of the Great American songwriters.  Snippet of  lyrics from the song in today’s title, a good way to start your day!

“Kiss a little baby
Give the world a smile
If you take an inch
Give ’em back a mile
Cause if you lie like a rug
And you don’t give a damn
You’re never gonna be
As happy as a clam”

 

FATHERS OF THE GRIND

An overdue nod of the fedora to the young lads and lasses over at LRC Racing.  Lead dog Nolan Zimmer has dubbed their A team “Brothers of the Grind.”   I can dig it.  Nebraska’s current generation of excellence in long distance running.

All children should aspire to be better than their forebearers.  All parents should want their kids to do better than they themselves.

Fathers of the Grind.  Shannon Stenger, Evan Knight, Michael Beatie, Nick Suing, Matt Schneider, Matt Pohren.  Dustin Llewellyn, Paul Wilson too.

The 10 year anniversary of my generation’s Excellence in Athletics is fast approaching.  Team Nebraska Brooks really was one of the top USATF Elite Development Clubs in the U.S. from 2004-2012.    My version, my vision.   I’d like to offer the following TNB performances up to Nolan and his mates, you’ve got all summer to take these times down:

2009 USATF Club T&F National Championships, Ichan Stadium, NYC
Men’s 800 meters:  Nick Suing @ 1:52.75, Evan Knight @ 1:54.29, Michael Beatie 1:56.68
Men’s 3000 Meter Steeplechase:  Matt Schneider 1st O/A @ 9:16.00, 1500M @ 3:57.96
Men’s 4 x 800 Relay: 7:44.11 (2nd O/A) Stenger, Knight, Beatie, Suing
Men’s DMR: 10:17.58 (1st O/A) Stenger, Knight, Suing, Schneider

The USA Club T&F National Champs were held in Olathe, KS in 2008.  Nebraska’s first venture into competing against the best clubs in the United States.  Their contributions to excellence in athletics should never be forgotten.

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Linda and I were headed to a graduation party yesterday, I posed the following:

“If you could at this point,  give advice to your high school self, what would you say?”

Easy to ask, harder to answer.  Based on my own experiences here is some sage counsel to Will, Class of ’75.

  1. Be nice.  Treat everyone with kindness.  I know people that live this way and they seem to be the happiest.
  2. Be respectful.  Everyone deserves their due, opinions aside, dovetails with number one.
  3. Patience is a Virtue.
  4. Find your passion and life will be wonderful.
  5. Redefine your sense of moderation.  A recalibration of over indulgent lifestyle from 1975-1983.
  6. Know when to walk away.
  7. Know when to Run.
  8. Cherish every day.
  9. Find Humility.  A daily pursuit.
  10. Be Thankful.  For what you have.

 

 

L-O-L-A LOLA

“Well I’m not dumb but I can’t understand
Why she walks like a woman and talks like a man
Oh my Lola”

The Nebraska State Track & Field Championships are not awash in gender identity issues.  Tick, tock, do.

“I’m not the world’s most physical guy
But when she squeezed me tight she almost broke my spine
Oh my Lola”

We are a little insulated here in the Good Life, takes things a while  to move center from the coasts.  If you pay any attention at all to our sport, most especially the high school and collegiate level, you know that gender identity  is taking center stage in state meets and college rankings.

What say you?