Continuing on yesterday’s theme of support for developing excellence in distance running.  I spoke with my old buddy Scott Keenan this morning.  He is the Race Director of Grandma’s Marathon and the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon, which serves as the USA National Championships for that distance.  Scott agreed to bring Luka Thor up next month under the Athlete Development Program.  Waived, seeded entry, three nights hotel room and a $200 travel stipend.

Most of our other champs races provide support for ADP, Grandma’s is the only one that offers 3 hotel nights and one of the few that offer the full $200 towards travel- some only offer $150.  But where Scott really sets himself apart is his insistence that each athlete receive their own individual hotel room.  His analogy to me this morning used a tennis professional being brought in for a match and asked to share a room with another netter.  He sees these athletes as True Professionals, treats them as such, and is hoping to raise the bar for other races around the country.

That is why I have been such good friends with him for the last 16 years.  His history of unrivaled support of our athletes, both nationally and our Team Nebraska mates.  (If you go to you’ll find a Team Nebraska athlete graces the cover of the race website, nice.)

The level of hospitality Scott and his staff have shown over the years made me promise him to one day come run Grandma’s.  That is why I selected this Great American Road Race as my 2012 marathon effort.  Fulfilling a promise to an old friend and getting to again enjoy Duluth is going to be my treat and I can’t wait.

Today was my dear sweet Alli’s last day of high school.  I could not be prouder of how she conducted herself these last 4 years.  Graduating with honors, distinction, and a very real sense of purpose for her future, she also takes with her nearly 40 college credit hours earned.  The fact that she rose above the myriad influences and remained her own person is a testament to what a strong individual she is, and in that regard, the fruit didn’t fall far at all from the tree.  I can’t wait to see what is in store as she forges the next chapter of her life, her future’s so bright she has to wear shades!