Well turds.  Two weeks, two marathons, two major issues.  The HITS Marathon was a total mustard duck.  The Heartland Marathon (Omaha Running Club) was just barely better.  The top two finishers removed from the results.

The Heartland Marathon was conducted on an open course last weekend.  Primarily on sidewalks, on both sides of the Missouri  River.  Not a legitimate road course at all.  You all know  my position about running marathons on sidewalks.  Riverside Trail is not fit for Real Racing, no matter which side of  the  mighty  Mo.

An “Open Course”  means that you will encounter bikers, runners, and walkers on that sidewalk.  Going both directions.  Fluster Truck.  Why in the world would you offer such a product?

A whole lot more than logistical nightmares however.  The top two finishers in the marathon were removed from  the results.  Overall winner Chuck Engle was removed.  He is one of the most accomplished and prolific marathoners in America.  SUB 3 Marathon Wins all 50 States.  Veteran of well over 400 marathons.    50 States Sub 2:50.  Sub 3 all 50 2X.   How the hell does this guy get removed from the results?  Chuck has filed an appeal with the national leadership of RRCA.  With class and grace.

Second place finisher Tim Fry was removed.    Tim was caught up in an open course invitation to disaster.

The Heartland  Marathon served as the RRCA State Championships.  Tim was removed from the results, citing USATF rule even though the event was not sanctioned by USA Track & Field.  USATF requires a Referee and  Jury of Appeals.  RRCA I’m not so  sure about.   Just glad that Chuck will  get a Fair Hearing by those who  make  it their  business making sure things are done right.

Nebraska Marathon coming up October 14.  A survey of the course indicates the “Riverside Trail” will be used once again.  In the meantime, I sit here shaking my head slowly side to side.  Insisting to myself that Nebraska runners deserve a closed road marathon.  USATF Certified and Sanctioned.

Until then, Heartland Heartbreak.



In the 1980s and 1990s The Marathon consumed me.  Sixteen to twenty four weeks of 26.2 mile blinders.  Doggedly purposeful, fraught with all manner of risk.  Balls to the wall training.  That’s how it was.

That’s how it still is.  You don’t register for a marathon on a whim.  You don’t line up untrained.  We all, every one, make that same commitment to the marathon when we sign up.  To tilt at that windmill.  To give it our best shot.

There is a sliding scale, a continuum if you will, regarding natural talent in the marathon.  Ranging from just barely able to effortless.  The real beauty of our sport there.

You don’t have to be world class to have a world class marathon experience.  You just have to train up and run it.  In your own measure.  Acquit yourself with bravery and accomplishment!

The Valley 7 Lakes Marathon is offering you that.  Nebraska’s Only Completely Closed Road Marathon.  Offering all runners the opportunity to run to their potential.  The most beautiful marathon in the area.  Touring the seven deep water lakes.  Flat.  Fast.  Something new.  You deserve this.  Its Your Marathon.

World Class Race, small town charm!


I’m proud to see the Omaha running community stand up to piss poor race management.  Last weekend’s HITS Marathon seemingly did more for the cause than I’ve done complaining for the last 17 years.   Omaha, and perhaps all Nebraska, has had enough.   If you’ve an additional moment, you can read the  full list of rants here:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/79645897889/

My clif notes:
1.  No official  results posted now 72 hours post race.  Say  what?
2.  Every runner received the  same  medal and same t-shirt.  In my humble opinion you just don’t give a half marathoner a full marathon t-shirt or  medal.
3.  Disconnected race administrators.  A post out of  Saugerties, NY  indicating it was perfect weather for marathoning.  A vast expanse of miles separating runners and admins.
4.  Expectations are changing.  Runners  are understanding more than ever that “Because we’ve always done it that way” just doesn’t  cut it.  You either upgrade your product or risk  becoming a second tier event in Nebraska.

The Heartland Marathon is this coming Sunday.  I’ll bet they are paying close attention to last weekend’s HITS AND MISSES.




Registration kick off party this Sunday from 2 pm until 6 pm.   Hosted by our  Gold level sponsor, Thrive Space Business Campus. 800 N. Front St.  Waterloo, NE.  68069 www.thrivespaceco.com

If you are running the Heartland Marathon on Sunday, save enough strength to come on over to Waterloo and take advantage of our reduced entry rates, pizza, refreshments, and pick up on the buzz surrounding what we are all working towards, the best marathon in Nebraska and the Midwest.



The Flattest Closed Road Marathon in the World and the only completely closed road marathon in Nebraska.  Saturday, April 27, 2019.




Berlin Marathon
Eliud Kipchoge- 2:01:39 *WR

36th Capital Pusuit 10 Mile, Des Moines
1  Brogan Austin, 26,  50:32
2  Stan Linton, 24, 51:17
3 Johnny Rutford, 27,  51:19
4 Jason Thomas, 24, 52:19
5  Brent Ewing, 28, 54:52
9. Pasca Meyers, 32 (F), 58:20
13. Ashlyn Bagge, 23 (F), 1:00:01

Peak to Peak 10 Mile
1  PATRICK O’GRADY 57  1:02:29
3 TIM MCGARGILL 37 1:10:41
4 CARYN CROCFER 46 F  1:14:22
5  RONALD LAMPE 56  1:17:08
6  MEGAN NIESEN 26 F  1:19:06
7  DAREN KONDA 42  1:21:36
8 SARAH NEUBERT 37 F  1:25:02
9  DAN THOMS 48 1:25:03
10 BARNEY REMPE 62 1:25:45
11  MARK JONES 64 M 1:26:36

Harvest Hustle 10K, Elmwood, NE
1. Luka Thor- 33:04
1. Katherine Sheridan- 40:12


Thanking Nolan Zimmer and Emil Zatopek for this morning’s inspiration.  Nolan posted this picture and quote on facebook, duly credited.

Nolan Zimmer breaking the tape at last Sunday’s  Buffalo Run 5 Mile in Lincoln.

“It’s at the true borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys.”
-Emil Zatopek

I’ve danced along running’s razor edge for over 30 years.  Advocating for America’s very best athletes while trying to inspire and motivate and stimulate all the rest to run to their own personal potential.  It is far too simple a declaration to deem me elitist.

It is with certainty that I share Nolan’s feelings about what it means to push to your limits.   And Emil’s.  Emil Zatopek, three Gold Medals at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.  5000, 10,000, and Marathon.

You don’t have to be an Olympic triple  gold medalist.  What you do have to experience is that “true border of pain and suffering”.  If you delve that deep, find your own Exquisite Threshold, then you too have separated from those that merely put one foot in front of the other and call it good.  Truth!


Fast Times at the Fifth Avenue Mile in NYC.  Jenny Simpson is one tough lady.   Her 7th victory at the most prestigious mile in the  world.  Nick Willis running 3:54 at age 35, stud.

1. Jenny Simpson, 32, Team New Balance 4:18.8 $5000
2. Colleen Quigley, 25, Nike Bowerman Track Club 4:19.2 PB 3500
3. Melissa Courtney, 25, Team New Balance (GBR) 4:20.2 PB 2500
4. Emma Coburn, 27, Team New Balance 4:20.5 PB 1500
5. Alexa Efraimson, 21, Nike 4:20.9 PB 1000
6. Emily Lipari, 25, adidas 4:21.6 PB 750
7. Laura Weightman, 27, Nike (GBR) 4:21.7 500
8. Cory McGee, 26, Team New Balance 4:24.1 PB 250
9. Nicole Sifuentes, 32, Saucony (CAN) 4:24.2
10. Sarah McDonald, 25, Team New Balance (GBR) 4:24.5 PB $1000p
11. Shannon Osika, 25, Nike 4:25.2
12. Adelle Tracey, 25, Nike 4:25.5 PB
13. Katie Mackey, 30, Brooks Beasts 4:25.6
14. Steph Twell, 29, Team New Balance 4:27.2 PB
15. Kate Grace, 29, Nike Bowerman Track Club 4:28.4
16. Dominique Scott, 26, adidas (RSA) 4:28.7
17. Helen Schlachtenhaufen, 23, Saucony Freedom TC 4:29.4 PB
18. Sara Vaughn, 32, New York Athletic Club 4:32.0
19. Rachel Schneider, 27, Under Armour 4:32.9
20. Kim Conley, 32, Team New Balance 4:33.7 PB
21. Katrina Coogan, 24, Team New Balance 4:33.9 PB
22. Marta Pen, 25, SL Benfica (POR) 4:35.9


1. Jake Wightman, 25, Team New Balance (GBR) 3:53.5 $5000
2. Nick Willis, 35, adidas (NZL) 3:54.2 3500
3. Neil Gourley, 23, Unattached (GBR) 3:55.3 PB 2500
4. Eric Avila, 28, adidas 3:55.5 PB 1500
5. Sam McEntee, 26, Unattached (AUS) 3:56.0 PB 1000
6. Chris O’Hare, 27, adidas (GBR) 3:56.2 750
7. Charlie Grice, 24, Nike (GBR) 3:56.6 PB 500
8. Craig Engels, 24, Nike Oregon Project 3:56.8 250
9. Johnny Gregorek, 26, Asics 3:56.9
10. Riley Masters, 28, Nike 3:46.9
11. Ben Blankenship, 29, Nike Oregon TC Elite 3:57.1
12. Ben True, 32, Saucony 3:57.3 PB
13. Sam Prakel, 23, adidas 3:57.6 PB
14. Sam Parsons, 24, adidas 3:57.7 PB $1000p
15. Andreas Bube, 31, DEN 3:58.8
16. Matthew Centrowitz, 28, Nike Oregon Project 4:00.2
17. Graham Crawford, 25, Hoka NJ-NY Track Club 4:00.3
18. Lopez Lomong, 33, Nike Bowerman Track Club 4:01.3 PB
19. Rob Napolitano, 23, Hoka NJ-NY Track Club 4:02.1


Life in stages.  Rough childhood, foggy adolescence, rebellious early adult.  Nine jobs from 1978-1987.  Not cut from that cloth.  Twenty years an ostensibly single, stay at home dad to three.

The last six years with Linda the best.  Starting the rest of our lives together.  Building Bar None Produce into a singularly excellent entity.  Vision and effort reminiscent of the original Team Nebraska, simply the best, nothing less.

I’ll be sixty one on November 28.  I thought I’d be tearing up the age group, I’m hardly running these days.  But I do still plan on getting fit and racing, sooner now rather than later.

I announced last week that I was retiring.  Lots of laughs all round.  “From What?” was the obvious question.  We will always keep  a garden.  Big enough to continue feeding ourselves.  And a few friends, boutique  customers, and a couple small CSA’s.  This year’s 16,000 square feet being downsized next year to a mere 5,000.  Just right.  Our work bringing completely chemical free produce to farmer’s markets done.  No more back breaking days under the sweltering summer sun.

The Valley 7 Lakes Marathon will fill much of our time.  But not all.

Touched up the reserves last week for this 2018 F-150 Lariat XLT.  Has the Eco-Boost V-6 and fully tricked out towing package.  We’re going to need it.

This 24 foot Coachmen Freedom Express will be our new home away from home.  Off to see America.  Like my dad, retired before my sixty first birthday.  Linda only 55, our future’s so bright we have to wear shades!




Linda and I volunteered at the DC West Invitational XC meet last night.  Our community, our team.  We’re getting to know these young thin clads, I’m old enough to be grandpa to most.  There is a new excitement at DC West.  These kids understanding they are on the brink of something special.

The Valley 7 Lakes Marathon will directly benefit the XC team.  Six of our race committee members volunteering.  Our goal is new uniforms, shoes, and eventually much more.  38% of the DC West Falcons receive assistance.  Some of them run cross.  All are deserving.  And dream of running to their potential.   Ka-Kaw!

Devin Hall heads up the middle school program.  You will be hearing a whole bunch about Ellie McCarville (181) and her teammates over the next few years.  She will be joining freshman sensation Maddie Wilt next year to make the Falcons a real contender in the Class C division.  Devin is also our 7 Lakes Marathon graphic design committee chair.  High school head coach Dan Maline is our sponsorships chair.  This Falcon community.  Our community.  Ka-Kaw!