Yesterday’s comment of the Real Team Nebraska set off a firestorm of emails, some got it and some didn’t.  The dividing line across the board seemed to be tenure on the club.  Get this:  Original is synonymous with Real.

And before another word slips from substantia gresia to keyboard:  All due respect to all but a couple of the current athletes.  What I wouldn’t give to have young Colin Morrissey and Ashley Miller and stalwarts Eric Rasmussen and Luka Thor back under my wing.  And many others, they know me and know who they are.

Here’s why I didn’t sleep last night:  When I woke up yesterday and checked the results for the Des Moines Marathon, and saw where Luka ran 2:26, I immediately felt sick.  Confusion first, not really believing, then disappointment.

And then I saw this post by Megan Thomas on facebook   “Wow, Luka! Amazing job in your debut marathon in Des Moines! I am so glad Kelly D CrawfordYork Thomas, and I finally convinced you to step up to the marathon! You were so ready and you rocked it! Only you, Luka Thor, can run a fast marathon on a whim!”

Then I got upset.  And then I called Luka.  And got the straight story.

I’m calling b.s. on this.    It was not amazing.  He didn’t rock it.  He was not ready.

Luka’s longest training run going into this marathon he should never have run was 16 miles.  Glen, are you reading this?

I was bringing Luka along with kid gloves.  Doing everything right to make sure that when he WAS REALLY READY to run a marathon, that he would get the 2:16 Olympic Trials qualifier.  How was I doing that?

By insisting that he hold off racing 26.2 miles until he had achieved the sub 1:05 half marathon he is so very capable of, a time necessary to run a Legitimate marathon (legitimate relative to his vast talent level).

Contrary to Megan’s position, this Des Moines Marathon was not run on a whim.  Luka was underprepared.  He was not physically or psychologically ready.   Add to that the fact that instead of having an Elite Entry into the field he was assigned a regular (and he’s not regular folks) bib.  And even more inexplicably, it was decided that Kelly would drive Luka to Des Moines Sunday morning.  Three hours of sitting in the car, that early in the morning, before what should have been a Major Effort.

Are you starting to see why I was sick to my stomach?  Luka knew better.  But he has always been a team player and took some, in my opinion,  bad advice by the current “leadership”.

And before you assume that I’m piling on Kelly and Megan and York:  I’m not.  I’m describing the difference in philosophies.  I’ll refer back to my nearly 30 years of athlete development.  To my successful track record of bringing athletes along with their best interest at heart.  30 years experience being trumped by a couple of 25 year olds and a well intended if misguided president.

You can see now why, after I personally and mistakenly empowered them, they threw me off my own club.  And of course I’d be remiss not to mention Tim Langdon’s role (It’s in your best interest Weel).  Guess I’ve covered everybody now.

Which prompts me to offer the following:  Any athlete, representing any club, on either side of the river, is welcome to contact me with the promise of my utilizing my experience, resources and contacts to advocate for a better way.  If you are Really Ready, there’s not a marathon in the country that I can’t get you a hotel room, elite entry, meals, etc.   I gladly and freely offer this for those of you that dare to dream.  Agent of change.

Do you read me?  Loud and Clear.  Not Over, and Not Out!


Thanks to wandzi for the photo I lifted off of facebook.  Several of my former Team Nebraska runners (the three smiling) at this past weekend’s Governor’s Cup, part of the tallest team ever.  None still run for the club from the looks of their kits.  Interesting to see Craig Christians running for LRC.  A great addition to their masters corps.  He’s run the gamut from Team Nebraska to Ndorfnz, and now LRC.  Let’s hope its finally a happy fit.