Here’s to you number 2
We’re looking to break you
That is true
Here’s to you number 3
For most mere mortals
like you and me
Here’s to you number 4
And to  y’all knocking
On that door
Here’s to you number 5
You can do this
That’s no jive

We can take you there.

A survey of our Nebraska marathons shows the following data:

Lincoln Marathon:  980 finishers.  226 (23%)  > 5hrs
Omaha Marathon:  243 finishers.  141 (58%)  >5hrs
Heartland Marathon:  117 finishers.  20 (17%) >5hrs
Grand Island Marathon:  125 finishers.  31 (25%)  >5hrs
Wabash Trace Marathon:  64 finishers.  14 (22%) >5hrs
Nebraska Marathon:  135 finishers.  34 (25%) >5hrs

If you are in that 17-58% of runners with a dream of breaking 5 hours.  Yes, the Valley 7 Lakes Marathon is for you.  https://www.active.com/valley-ne/running/distance-running/valley-7-lakes-marathon-2019?int=


Some really exciting news coming out of Western Douglas County.  I’ve never been one to sit quietly by, preferring to crow and chronicle efforts to elevate our sport.  In other words, I like to tell (teach).

Never ending meetings are part and parcel.  Flexibility on the fly essential.  Big Ears a must.  Another sit down with  Chief Smith and Sgt. Owens yesterday morning, ending with big smiles all around.  Glee surrounding our re-vamped course.  New map will be coming any day, if we were happy we are now giddy.  Tristan spending hours and hours and hours designing, tweaking, adjusting.    Making it even faster.  A 26.2 mile race track.  Holy Mackarel!  More appealing to those seriously chasing their potential.

And it is appealing to a lot of runners.  We’ve struck a chord with serious marathoners across the U.S.  Runners from Kansas, Colorado, Wisconsin, Florida, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Iowa and the Republic of Niger in Africa.  Towards that end  we are happy to announce our host hotel, the Residence Inn Omaha West.  We’ll be offering special rates for our friends traveling in for the race.  Right next to Village Pointe’s great restaurants, shopping, movies, and more.  Stay tuned for details.

Here’s what I’m digging.  So far entries reflect our purpose.  To provide marathoners the opportunity to run to their potential on unobstructed, wide open roads.  A Real Marathon.  Nearly twice the number registering for the full as the half.  Let’s be clear, the half is lightning fast as it comprises the first part of the full.  But the allure of  this event, the very foundation upon which it is being built, is relative marathon speed.  We’ve instituted a 5 hour time limit.  If you can’t finish 26.2 miles at 11:26 pace we strongly encourage you to run the half.  You can also enter your own relay team or get on the list with those seeking to put one together.

Something new.  Something different for Nebraska.  A Marathoner’s Marathon!

Our newly released logo.  Love it!  Make no mistakes, Run 7 Lakes!  www.Valley7LakesMarathon.com




Brittany Charboneau is a real gem.   Britt finished 17th overall  female and 10th American at this year’s NYC Marathon.  She’s also a professional comedienne which steers the tenor of today’s interview.

Brittany taking her turn at the front of the lead pack at this year’s  New York City Marathon.

Thank you again for taking a few moments for my readers.

Will: An Actress, a Comedienne, and a Marathoner Walk into a bar, please finish the sentence…

Britt: …and I ask the bartender for a double tall water on the rocks, hold the rocks. (That’s a neat joke, eh?)

Will: You had a nice stint leading the women’s race at NYC Marathon. 2:36:25 at the finish for 17th overall female, top 10 American. Transcendent moment?

Britt: The moment I took the lead in the race, I remember telling myself “You’re in a pack with the world’s best. But you’re running your race, too. I am not afraid.” This was huge — I proved to myself that I’m not afraid to make moves and run my race despite the pack of incredibles.

Will: Your competitive resume belies your whimsical personality. From where doth the competitive fire spring?

Britt: I grew up with two older siblings (ten and twelve years older), so it was compete to keep up or get left in the dust in anything we were doing. As I’ve gotten older, my competitive side just comes from striving for excellence in everything I do (let’s focus on the “striving” part as excellence is not always achieved!).

Will: You’ve hit the Women’s Olympic Trials “A” qualifying standard and will be on the line in Atlanta. Nice to have that in the bank, eh?

Britt: Big time! When I ran that qualifying time in Spring 2018, my goal was to try and hit the “B” standards to be honest. When I crossed the finish line with a 2:36, I honestly couldn’t believe I had just done that! Now, I’m happy to have that benchmark ticked so I can focus on continuing to get my times down as 2020 approaches.

Will: Knock, knock. Who’s there?

Britt: Oprah. (There’s no punchline. I just think it would be sick to knock on a door and Oprah is there).

Will: What is your favorite beer?

Britt: New Belgium Cocoa Mole…which they don’t make anymore and it saddens my soul! Maybe I should do a comedy show solely about petitioning to have NB bring it back?

Will: I’m heavily recruiting you for the Valley 7 Lakes Marathon next April 27th, Flattest Marathon in the World with 21′ total elevation, small town charm. My question is, Berlin? London? Rotterdam? Dubai? Or Valley?

Britt: Is this seat hot or is it just me?! Putting me in on the spot! 🙂 My life goal is of course to complete each of the six World Major Marathons, so London and Berlin are on my bucket list. HOWEVER, I do love racing in the smaller towns for their charm, crowds and sheer ease of getting around. Any chance you have a half in early spring??

Will: Omaha’s Funny Bone is one of the hottest comedy clubs in the Midwest. Would you like a Saturday or Sunday gig?

Britt: Saturday!! I will look this up since my goal is to map out my 2019 race schedule and then build out my show tour schedule. Omaha will be on the list!

Will: Circus or office job?

Britt: Literally no question — circus any day of the week. My life as a full time runner, comedian, wife, cat-mom, and professional napper is basically that anyway.

Will: There once was a runner with a stride so fast, when you weren’t looking she’d kick……..

Britt: Your *. (Do you see what I did there? The smart folks will get it).



To every hard working,  serious, dedicated, in the trenches, giving it their all athlete,  here is  something told me by Phd. Sports Psychologist and 2:16 marathoner Andy Palmer:  “There is always someone faster.”

From the ol’ rule book:  Athletes may transfer between clubs within an association as long as they have not represented another bona fide club within 90 days at an association, regional, or national championships.   Good explanation as to why there was zero red and white on the start line at Sunday’s association xc champs.  The very fastest of soon-to-be former Team Nebraska athletes are hopefully intent on cracking the traveling squad for LRC Racing.  That was the point after all.  To combine the clubs’ top athletes into a “super” club that will represent the Good Life.   I couldn’t be happier and can’t resist drawing parallels to the Original Team Nebraska (’02-’12).  My old mates set a high bar and I wish LRC Racing all the best in their pursuits.

I raise this point for the sake of our USA Club National Cross Country Championships.   Spokane on December 8th.  I’m going to be the most vocal of cheerleaders for our Nebraska contingent, whomever that may end up being.  No entries yet but I’m keen on keeping up for you gentle readers.  I’m guessing only Peter Falcon will crack LRC’s top 5. Luka Thor and Colin Morrissey in the top 10.  Precipitous after that.

Here’s a little preview of what the course will look like:

I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that the air quality improves in California.  Early scuttlebutt has it that the  California International Marathon (Dec. 2) will mirror the Big Sur Marathon’s decision of last week to cancel.  Our USATF Marathon National Championships in jeopardy, 26.2 the cruelest mistress of all.  Status of entries currently showing nada.



A big sombrero tip to the 13 LRC Racing, 3 Club 402, and Run Guru’s Christina Elder.  Our USATF Nebraska Association XC Champs were held yesterday at storied Walnut Grove park in Omaha.  (Storied thanks to the 14:52 course record by high schooler Seth Hersch.)    The event held in conjunction with our association’s Youth Championships.  Modeling excellence for these youngster’s future.

Runners to your marks!

LRC Racing women’s team.  L-R: Sarah Fowler , age 23;  Kara Schlueter, age 18;  Laura Tarantino, age 23; Ashlyn Glann, age 22;  Katie Fitzsimmons, age 24;  Mary Hillis, age 24.  Young and fast.


The LRC women’s team tackling the muddy course as a pack.

Katie Fitzsimmons (L-2nd in 19:04.48) and Sarah Fowler (R-1st in 19:04.25) cruising in together with all smiles.    Nebraska athletics legend Coach Bill “Scar” Scarborough (far left) handling the finish line for the day.  Thanks Coach!

Christina Elder (21:33) our only entrant.  Her first ever xc race!

Nolan Zimmer (15:56) led his mates to an uncontested team title.  LRC sporting blue singlets and yellow singlets and white singlets, all supporting a single vision.

Club 402 exec Tim Fry never one to shy away from a race!

The afternoon was also chock full of youth races.  Stimulating the running community to a more competitive culture!







The Omaha World Herald features upcoming events in their weekly  “Beer Runs and Rides” section, thanks for that.  With that impetus we have decided to offer adult beverages at our 2019 Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series.  Taking a little nip to hold off the cold, not a bad idea after all.

The Rust Buster 5K kicks off our 2019 Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series on January 5th.  10:00 am start.   In addition to the USATF Certified and Sanctioned run we will offer our famous home made participation awards, baked goodies, official times, door prizes, closed road course, hot chocolate, and now kahlua, schnapps, and more.  Perfect for first timers, those with New year’s Resolutions, or serious runners looking to test their fitness.  Low $20 entry fee.  Probst!  https://www.active.com/waterloo-ne/running/distance-running-races/rust-buster-5k-2019?int=

The Full Wolf Moon 5K is set for January 19th.  A Howling  Good Time!  Second in our series.  All of our Two Rivers events are conducted on a Closed Road, 1.5 mile loop course.  Our buddy Mike out at the park keeps the roads plowed for your best opportunity to stay upright.  Same long list of amenities for the low $20 entry fee.

7th Annual Two Rivers Valentine’s Day 5K.  February 9.  10:00 am start.  Come get that loving feeling!  Nebraska’s favorite Valentine’s Day run provides chocolates, wine, home made goodies and participation awards, door prizes, official times, and more.  USATF Certified and  Sanctioned.  Warming your hearts and soles!

Halley’s Comet 10K.  The final of our 2019 Two Rivers Winter Fitness Series.  February 23.  10:00 am start.  Same great amenities!  All the fluff and twice the fun!  A great way to wrap up your winter and a perfect kick off to your Valley 7 Lakes Marathon training cycle!

Nebraska Trail Run.  April 6.  10:00 am start.  The scenic Chalco Hills trails surrounding Lake Wehrspann.  Our 13th annual, the oldest consecutively run trail event in Nebraska!  https://www.active.com/omaha-ne/running/races/nebraska-trail-run-2019?int=

Valley 7 Lakes Marathon, Half Marathon, 5 Person Marathon Road Relay.  Big news!  The marathon race committee, City of  Valley and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Dept. announce our official cut off time of  5 hours.  We will provide a sweep vehicle to pick up athletes remaining on the course after the cut off.  If you are unsure if you are able to complete the distance in the prescribed time, please consider our half marathon or put a team together for the relay!

You can also sign up for email alerts and follow our progress at http://www.valley7lakesmarathon.com/

Drinks on me!


The Valley 7 Lakes Marathon is pulling out all the stops.   Our youthful race committee (6 members under 23!) fully buying into the vision of a World Class Race with Small Town Charm.

We recently sent Rocky Pryor (Communications Director) to Denver to shadow an old buddy, Creigh Kelley, perhaps the premiere race announcer in the business.   Thank you Creigh for your support!

Course measurement.   The most basic, most important aspect of road race management.  When only the Best Will Do, you call old buddy Jim Gerweck from Norwalk, Connecticut.  Jim is on a small list (includes Kevin Lucas, my instructor in 1987, San Marcos, TX) called Final Signatory Measurers.  From the USATF website:  ” can measure your course and they have the authority to issue certifications for courses that they measure themselves. They aren’t “Regional Certifiers,” so do not have authority to review and certify courses measured by others. However, many of them have served previously as a Regional Certifier or have provided other important services to the course certification community. These people can also give guidance on how to measure a course.”

We are making it well known that this course has been painstakingly designed to achieve Flattest in the World, 21′ folks.    We fully expect the course and  certification paperwork to weigh heavy among our USA athletes when considering where and when they will race.  Scrutinized.  Dissected.  And with Jim Gerweck, above reproach and destined to be lauded.

Jim shown here at Sunday night’s farewell party for NYC Marathon Race Director Peter Ciaccia.  His contributions also include being a hell of a writer.  One of the really good guys in our sport.

Race Director Tristan Nelson, you have to love this kid.  He will insist that the first sub 2 hour marathon is going to happen right up the road in Valley.  Such Hubris, imagine that!

Word is spreading, we’ve got entrants from 6 states and a runner from the Republic of Niger.

World Class Race, Small Town Charm.


They say you can’t know a man until you walk a mile in his shoes.  I’ll add to that.  You can’t really know a man until you’ve been similarly clothed.

I’ve finally decided to pull the trigger.  A story now ready to be told.

Thirty five plus years in our sport.   This Running Life depicted, square by square, a patchwork effort consolidating and displaying my personal history.

I’ve done multiple go throughs.  Carefully selecting those dearest, each recalling a chapter or a race.  Have culled it down to 50.  The only important ones missing, 1992 Chicago Marathon, 1995 Run For The Arts 10 Mile and the ’07 & ’08 Omaha Mile.  Lost to antiquity.

I’d honestly forgotten how many marathons I  ran.  Finished 2nd overall at the 1986 Galveston, one of my 7 attempts there.  Six Houston Marathons.  Boston.  The 1983 Houston and Freedom Marathon (Monticello, IL) reminding I’ve been running marathons longer than most of my readers have trod the Good Mother.    Olympic Torch  Run, Lamar Intramural Champions (2.5  Miles in 12:39).  These and the rest being submitted to our neighbor Becky, seamstress par exemplar, who will craft a quilt that details my travels across the U.S. and the world.  My Life, In Stitches.


Cordial, lightly formal, heartfelt.    I lifted this closing salutation from Carol McLatchie over 20 years ago.  I lifted this press release yesterday from the LRC facebook  page:

“Omaha, NE— 11/5/18 — Lincoln Running Company Racing along with Team Nebraska
have announced a proposed merger, effective January 1, 2019, that will establish multiple
programs open to the entire running community of Nebraska.

“There are operational and financial synergies that can be created through having
essentially just one team in the state, which is the main driver behind the change,” said Logan
Watley, President of Lincoln Running Company Racing.   President of Team Nebraska, Tim
McGargill added, “Being unified as one organization will help us focus on athlete development
and compete among the best in the nation”.

The newly established program system will incorporate all runners, regardless of
location, age and/or ability. Additional details will be posted to the organization’s website in the
coming months. We would like to thank our sponsors, Lincoln Track Club and Lincoln Running
Company, for their continued support”

I want to wish all the best to this new venture, the team, the athletes, and especially  the administrators.

Lincoln flexing its muscles across almost the entirety of the state.

In response to “essentially just one team in the state.”  A gentle  reminder that Run  Guru Elite is still here.  Nearly undefeated in 2017 with some of the fastest times in 30 years.   And “No Ways Tired”, we continue to recruit and develop talent.

Congratulations to Pete Kostelnick, one of Run Guru Elite’s most famous ex-mates.  Completed his legendary trek across the North American Continent yesterday.   Pete and my old buddy Kyle shown here at Western States 100 a couple years ago.

On behalf of the original Team Nebraska, my Team Nebraska, the athletes that ran for me from 2002-2012, those athletes whose names color the state record books in a sea of Red and White,
Yours in sport





Team Iowa Ablaze runner Brogan Austin won the Indianapolis Monument Half in a blazing 1:02:38.  Punching his ticket to the 2020 USA Olympic Trials Marathon.

Craig Christians’ former training partner, Emily Sisson, took the USA 5K National title in NYC on Saturday.  Emily ran 15:38 for the win.

The GPAC cross country meet was held at the North Bend Golf Course.  Pancake  flat!

Anne Knevelbaard (Dordt) leads Alli Higgins of Morningside.  They  would battle the entire 5K and finish in this order 18:25 to 18:30.  Third went to Heidi Hennings of Hastings (18:49).

The men get ready to roll.

Eventual 2nd place finisher Tony Patton of Morningside took it out early.

I awarded my “Biggest Balls” award to Concordia freshman Wyatt Lehr.  Took his turn at the front and set his reputation with me.

Dordt Freshman Eric Steiger used a furious kick to pull away down the homestretch.