From the  Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, the top 5 men ran under 2 hours and 5 minutes.

1. Desisa Benti, Lelisa (ETH)                        2:04:05
2. Shifarew Tolcha, Berhanu (ETH)          2:04:48
3. Tola Woldegeberel, Tadese (ETH)       2:04:49
4. Negesse Shumi, Endeshaw (ETH)        2:04:52
5.  Kiprop Koech, Bernard (KEN)            2:04:53

All reports indicate that the course was IAAF Certified so it counts.  Can you imagine training for and running an uncertified marathon?   So once again in my book, Certification is the First Degree of Real.  And without that first degree to legitimize your training and racing, regardless of distance, well….   Excepting of course trail marathons because by definition they don’t utilize acceptable (for record keeping purposes) course measurement protocol.

It has been great having a regular training partner over the last 8 years.  Linda has gotten me out the door many a day that I might have otherwise bagged a workout.  And motivated me to give it my best once started.  It breaks my heart that someone that cares so much about and does so much for our sport is sidelined now, maybe even for the next several months.  She won’t be twiddling idle thumbs however, keeping busy with her administrative duties on the national level.

Loneliness of the  Long Distance Runner.  It will be an easy switch for me to run alone.  Until meeting Linda I had always preferred to go solo.  While I founded Team Nebraska on a group training philosophy there is no disputing the effectiveness of getting out and getting it on with your own bad self.  It is the little voice in your head after all that must be challenged, reconciled, and triumphed over in order to be a champion.  All those solitary miles building strength and character.  Self reliance being the Second Degree of Real.  That is one of the fundamentals of running after all.

The Gate River Run in Jacksonville, FL has hosted our USA 15K National Championships for many years.  A bunch of years ago they pioneered the “Equalizer Bonus” where the women are set off with a 6:00 head start, the men give chase, first across the line gets a nice bonus of several thousand dollars.  This year they have added a team challenge for spectacular spouses called the “Till Death Do Us Part” Challenge.  Combined times will be used to determine the fastest couple in America, and a little extra cabbage for the winners too.  Wish we had something like that here in Nebraska, oh wait we do, Two Rivers Twosome 10K Couples Run.

Who will become Nebraska’s fastest couple?   We’ll find out on Saturday, February 9th.   Its a USATF Certifed Course so its Real and it Counts!  We are also of course scoring individuals as well.  I’m encouraging all of our mates and everyone else that wants a flat, fast, legitimate 10K test of fitness to come out and giddyup!  If you know of any other USATF Certified 10Ks, 5 Miles, or 5Ks  please let me know and I’ll happily promote those here! just days away………