Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Mason Ferlic Big 10 AOW

Mason Ferlic Big 10 Athlete of the week HERE

Saulk Center Invitational Results

Saulk Center Invitational boy's Results HERE. Girl's HERE

Chatfield Invitational Results

Chatfield Invitational results HERE

North Branch Invitational Results

North Branch Invitational results HERE

NNC Story on UMD Women

Northland News Center story on UMD women

Marathoners and Their Hearts

Pioneer Press' Richard Chin on the continuing debate over the impact of marathoning, endurance running on the heart.

UMD Women 4th in DII National Rankings

UMD Women fourth.  MSU Moorhead 27th, and Winona State tied for 31st

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Joe Klecker Ninth in Rocky Mountain Shootout

Joe Klecker placed ninth in last Saturday's Rocky Mountain Shootout 8K in 25:36.  He was the eighth man on the Colorado team. Full results HERE.  

Coach Mark Wetmore was asked what impressed him he said: “Immediately, Ryan Forsyth comes to mind. He looked really good. He would have not been a contender for our top seven a year ago and he looked like it today. The two freshmen that ran unattached, Johnny Dressel and Joe Klecker looked good enough that we’ll have a difficult decision on their redshirts. Connor Winter made a big step. Of the returning varsity guys, he came down almost 30 seconds from year ago. 

Victoria Lyons Invitational Results

Victoria Lyons Invitational boy's results HERE.  Girl's HERE.
Better organized HERE.

Carrie Tollefson Interview with Molly Huddle

Carrie Tollefson Interview with Molly Huddle HERE

Gopher Women Stay at 23rd in NCAA DI Rankings

Gopher Women Stay at 23rd in NCAA DI Rankings HERE

MIAC Teams Still Dominate NCAA DIII Regional Rankings

St. Olaf first, St. Thomas fourth, St. John's sixth, Gustavus seventh, and Carleton eighth in men's.
Women's: Carleton first, St. Olaf second, St. Thomas third, St. Ben's fifth, and Carleton eighth

Story Behind Rick Kleyman's Acting Debut

Kids City XC Meet Tonight at Como

UMD Women Still #1 in NCAA DII Central Regional Rankings

MSU Moorhead tenth in the men's Central Region rankings.
UMD 1, U-Mary 4th, MSU Moorhead 4th, and Winona State 8th in women's.

Mason Ferlic NCAA DI Men's AOW

Mason Ferlic NCAA DI male Athlete of the Week
NCAA DIVISION I MEN – Mason Ferlic, Michigan
Senior / St. Paul, Minnesota
In a field that featured the largest collection of nationally ranked teams in the country with more than a dozen top-100 finishers from the 2014 NCAA Championships, it was Ferlic who emerged the individual victor in the Greater Louisville Classic’s Gold race.
The Wolverine senior pulled away from the lead group in the final kilometer, powering down the final homestretch to finish the 8K course in 23:51.6, nearly four seconds clear of the rest of the pack. Among those he pulled away from: All-Americans Edwin Kibichiy of Louisville (runner-up) and MJ Erb of Ole Miss (fourth), and top-100 finisher Chartt Miller of No. 8 Iona (third).
The win is his second of the season, and the second in a row on this weekend dating back to a victory a year ago at the Notre Dame Invitational. He and the Wolverines take on the loaded field at the Wisconsin adidas Invitational on October 16.

First Timers Share the Experience

This is the final installment of our short stories on the high school standouts who did their first marathon at the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

McKenzie Merlander: Time: 3:01:57.  "Yeah, overall I’m happy with my race.  I wanted to run around 3 hours.  Obviously breaking that 3 hour mark would have been a little bit better but I’ll take it for my first marathon.  I think the hardest part was anticipating what I was going to feel like those last few miles of the race.  I knew the first part would feel easy so I tried to be a little more conservative early on, that’s why I had negative splits.  After mile 22, I definitely had to start digging. 

"One of the things I will remember is seeing my high school CC team handing out water.  I remember working the marathon as a high schooler, watching all the runners and wondering when I would run my first marathon. 

"I think I was pretty conservative with my training, so next time around I might try and adding a few more longer tempos or incorporating some harder pacing in my long runs. Glad to say I have one under my belt now.  I know I will do another one, but I need to let the soreness of this one wear off first :)"

Shannon Bergstedt: "Official time was 3:16:27. Pleasantly surprised with the time given the low (and slow) mileage leading up to the race. Really enjoyed the experience - beautiful course, perfect weather, lots of support from spectators along the way and especially from my family. I think they made it to six or seven different spots on the course, and my grandma was following along on her computer, constantly refreshing to get the live updates.   Calling my mom, etc.. "

A little sore now and quite tired, but overall a great first marathon experience. Look forward to doing another one (or many!) in the future."

Hannah Borowsky: Time: 3:29:45.  "Oh em geeee marathons are crazy! I was having the time of my life for the first 15 miles.  Amazing people cheering, hilarious signs, fun music, beautiful lakes... and then, I would say around mile 16, it became a medium amount of fun.... 

"Those last six miles were rough. My mom and I ran the first 23 miles together. It was amazing to run with my mom! That lady is TOUGH! I definitely didn't realize how much it was going to hurt at the end..... All in all, I would say it was a character-building experience. I'm glad to have experienced the Twin Cities in this way and feel so grateful to have gotten to do this with my mom even if she did kick my ass in the end :) "

Hanna Grinaker:  While my hope was to be toeing the line on Sunday, I, instead, biked the various points on the course with my boyfriend cheering on friends and family. I don't know if it was due to the fact that I wasn't able to compete, or if I was just that inspired by all of the runners, but it was an emotional day for me. The marathon is a distance I both respect and am humbled by, and one that I hope to tackle one day--once this hip heals up! To all those runners who competed on Sunday, Congrats! No matter how you finished or how well you think you did or did not do, you accomplished an impressive feat and should be so proud of yourselves!

Perfectionist Young Athletes Risk Burnout

Young athletes who are perfectionists are more likely to be burnouts HERE.

"City Pride" for Foursome

Strib story on "City Pride" for Foursome HERE

Troublesome Issues in Youth Sports

Troublesome issues in Youth sports HERE

MN Daily Report on the Gopher Women at Louisville

Monday, October 05, 2015

NCAA DI Regional Rankings

Gopher women second, men sixth in Midwest Region

2015 Boy's Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1              Hopkins
2              Edina
3              Wayzata
4              Minneapolis Washburn
5              Stillwater
6              Eden Prairie
7              Mounds View
8              White Bear Lake
9              Willmar
10           Sartell-St Stephen
11           Minnetonka
12           Centennial

1              Jaret Carpenter, Wayzata
2              Owen Hoeft, Hopkins
3              Innocent Murwanashyaka, Como Park
4              Micah Mather, St. Paul Highland Park
5              Andrew Sell, Minneapolis Washburn
6              Jack Manderscheid, Edina
7              Patrick Roos, Edina
8              Sam Thomas, Edina
9              Matt Wilkinson, Minnetonka
10           Hamza Ali, Minneapolis Washburn
11           Reed Kurak, Centennial
12           Kevin Dado, Totino Grace

Other athletes receiving votes: Garrett Williams, Robbinsdale Cooper

2015 Girl's Class AA HS XC Coaches Rankings

1 Edina                                                                       
2 Marshall                              
3 Minnetonka                                    
4 Wayzata                                                                    
5 Willmar
6 Forest Lake                          
7 Lakeville South                    
8 Mpls Washburn                   
9  Shakopee                            
10 Red  Wing                                                  
11 Eden Prairie                       
12 East Ridge             
 Honerable Mention:  Alexandria , Duluth East, St Michael-Albertville                                            

1       Bethany Hasz, 12                          Alexandria                           
2       Megan Hasz, 12                             Alexandria                           
3       Emma Benner, 12                         Forest Lake                                          
4       Emma Christensen, 12                 Rochester John Marshall    
5       Emily Covert, 9                              Mpls Washburn                             
6       Claire Boersma, 11,                     Marshall                              
7       Sophie Whicher, 10,                    Minnetonka                                                         
8       Lauren Peterson, 9                       Farmington                             
9       Jasmyn Armstrong, 9                    Red Wing                             
10     Anastasia Korzenowski, 11          Chanhassen                                             
11     Mae Fullerton, 12,                       Benilde-St. Margret's                            
12     Sarah Conlon, 12                         Roseville                                           

Honerable Mention:  Sadie Hamrin, 10 Bemidji;    Maria Rickman 9 Edina; Tess Misgen, 11, Shakopee; Liesl Schreiner 9 Edina;  Amanda Mosborg, 11, Edina; Emily Kompelien, 10, Edina; Hannah Oscarson, 12, Mpls Washburn; Anna Fenske  12 Farmington;; Lizzy Heil,11, St Michael-Albertville                                             

2015 Boy's Class A HS XC Coaches Rankings

1.       Mora                                    
2.      Perham                                       
3.       Trinity of River Ridge               
4.       West Central Area                   
5.       Lake City                                 
6.       Minnehaha Academy                
7        Pequot Lakes                            
8.       Mankato Loyola                       
9.       Ottertail Central                       
10.      Lac Qui Parle Valley-DB           
11.     Belle Plaine                              
12      Redwood Valley Area              

1.       Conor Schank                            Howard Lake/Waverly/W
2.        Michael Mitchell                      Blake
3.       Michael Schwinghamer            Mora
4.       John Roth                                 Lake Crystal WM/N
5.       Carl Kozlowski                        Lake City
6.       Alec Sanbeck                           Mora
7.       John Hall                                 Milaca
8.       Mike Suda                              Pipestone Area
9.       Hunter Kjelshus                     Perham
10      Matt Steiger                           LaCrescent
11      Jake Paron                             CookCounty/TwoHarbors
12      Kurt Tebeest                          Montevideo

2015 Girl's HS XC Coaches Rankings

1.       Annandale                                
2.       Perham                             
3.       Trinity of River Ridge               
4.       Lac Qui Parle Valley-DB           
5.       Lanesboro/Fillmore Central      
6.       Blake                                       
7.       Fairmont                               
8.       Pine City                                  
9.       Holy Family Catholic               
10.     Minnehaha Academy               
11.     Luverne                                   
12.     Mora                                         

1.       Grace Ping                               Cotter
2.       Anna Donnay                          Eden Valley-Watkins/K
3.       Hannah Truninger                   Watertown Mayer
4.       Morgan Ritcher                       Breck
5.       Madison Schandelmeier         Luverne
6.       Erika Fox                               Car    lton
7.       Rebecca Wilkin                     Trinity of River Ridge
8.       Brynan Covington                  Perham
9.       Elizabeth Schlafke                 Annandale
10      Allie Bodin                            Holy Family Catholic
11      Brook Wedin                         Mora
12      Ellie Nelson                           Roseau

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Run for the Records

With near ideal weather conditions the top athletes in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and 10-Mile entertained thoughts of course records in the marathon and the equalizer bonus for the 10-Mile. Any man or woman who broke either Phil Coppess' 30 year old mark of 2:10:05 or Russian Zinaida Semenova's 14-year old women's course record of 2:26:51 would get $25,000 on top of the $10,000 winner's check(and an added bonus in the marathon of $2,500 if an American finished first).

The first runner off the starting line was the only one to take down a record.  In the 10-Mile, the women start first and the men took off about six and a half minutes after the women.  The first runner who crosses the finish line in front of the State Capitol wins their gender category and the "equalizer bonus."  Late entrant 2012 Olympian Molly Huddle bolted off the starting line determined not only to win the  race, but to make sure that none of the men starting later could make up the "handicap."
Molly Huddle said her strategy for winning the equalizer bonus was to get so far ahead
that the men chasing her could not see her on the horizon in front. Douse any incentive they
 might get from seeing her up ahead. Photo by Gene Niemi

Track fans who watched this year's 10,000 meters or the endless replays afterward of Huddle raising her arms in celebration of the bronze medal she was going to earn for placing third.  Huddle didn't realize that by slowing down with the premature celebration she allowed another American, Emily Infeld, to pass her to take away that medal.

Nobody was going to surprise Huddle on Sunday.  Huddle said after winning the race and the equalizer bonus that she thought running faster than Kara Goucher's course record of 53:16 would win the woman's race and the equalizer.  She also believed she was capable of running 52 minutes plus.  Her first miles were 5:15 and 5:10 up the steepest hill on the course.

She "negative split" the race running 26:01 for the first five miles and 25:43 for the second, averaging 5:11 per mile to break Goucher's record by a minute and 32 seconds with a time of 51:44.  That is the fastest 10 mile ever run by an American, but it won't count as an American  record because the TC 10-Mile course is laid out "point-to-point" going from a higher elevation to a lower one thus it is not "record eligible" because it has more downhill than uphill, which  means the performance could be deemed aided by the advantage given by the downhills.

The other hurdle to getting a record ratified is that the runner who ran a record eligible time must be drug tested soon after the race.  So, a testing crew was notified and was going to meet her at the airport to get a test done, just in case something was overlooked and further examination of the course reveals it to be record eligible and her time would replace Cathy O'Brien's record of 51:47 set in 1989.

There was no ambiguity in the men's or women's TC Marathon.  The only woman who had a fast enough PR to challenge Semenova's course record, Kenya's Sarah Kiptoo(2:26:31 PR), couldn't match or run faster than her best on Sunday and finished fourth in 2:35:25.  In front of her were two Ethiopians and a Kenyan, none of whom had broken two hours and 30 minutes for the marathon.

After the race, the woman's winner, Serkalem Abrha, from Ethiopia, sat on a chair in the press tent her head in her hands.  She wasn't weeping in disappointment, but with joy as not only had she won the three woman battle for first between her and runner-up Jane Kibii of Kenya, and Ethiopia's Simegn Abnet Yeshanbel, Abrha had run a personal best of 2:31:40, four seconds faster than Kibii and a minute four second gap to Yeshanbel. 

Yeshanbel could no longer keep up with Abrha and Kibii by mile 25 and lost all that time between her and the other two in the last 1.2 miles.  Kibii hung on until the final meters of the race despite a dodgy hamstring and late in the race, a pain radiating from the bottom of her left foot.  Kibii thought that the foot pain came from favoring her tight hamstring, and she felt she needed to wait until the very last strides of the race to make any effort toward passing Abrha.

By then Abrha had already started her kick and opened a gap that couldn't be closed.

In the men's marathon three Kenyans had run faster than Coppess' record:  The two  Grandma's champions, 2014 winner and course recordholder for Grandma's, Pius Dominic Ondoro, and his training partner, this year's Grandma's winner, Elisha Kiprop Barno, and Abraham Chelanga.  Neither Ondoro or Barno were willing to push the pace from the start out of fear that if they spent too much energy early in the race, they would pay for it later.

So the pace languished through the half marathon that the trio reached in 1:07:12.  Knowing that was 2:14 marathon pace, Ondoro went from running 5:04 miles to 4:52s. They maintained the 4:52 pace up the hills from the transition from the East River Blvd. to Summit Avenue. Chelanga was far back in the rear view mirror and when Ondoro cranked off a 4:36 for mile 23 he broke away from Barno and the race for first was over.

Despite a huge negative split on the second half of the race (1:04:04) and a 29 minute plus last 10K, Coppess' record survived another year. As Ondoro was resting after the race in the press tent he was asked if the delicate looking necklace with a crucifix on it was his good luck  charm.  "Yes, I am Catholic," thus his first two names, Pius Dominic.  Maybe he needs to say a few more prayers next year.   With their success at Grandma's and Twin Cities, both Ondoro and Barno spoke enthusiastically about running both Minnesota races again  and taking another shot at the record.

The Master: Mbarak Hussein Another Age Group, Another Record

If the Twin Cities Marathon ever starts a Hall of Fame one of ,if not the first, inductees should be Mbarak Hussein.  In the listing of Masters Age Group Records, Hussein had the records for the 40-44 age group and the 45-49s.  On Sunday he added a third, the 50-54 record formerly held by Norm Green of 2:29:11 will now be replaced by Hussein's 2:24:08 performance in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

Hussein set both of his other US Masters records at Twin Cities.  He's won the open men's title twice, and the US Masters title five times, also all at Twin Cities.  The only thing that kept him from number six was a great performance by a new Master, 40-year old Coloradan Clint Wells.  Sweat pouring off him in the press tent after the race Wells acknowledged that it took everything he had to hold to off Mbarak by eight seconds.

"I was dying," said Wells.  "All I was trying to do was get to the finish."

"You ran the whole race by yourself," Hussein said to Wells as the pair did a postmortem on their races.  Wells had opened a 48 second lead on Hussein by halfway and that lead expanded to one minute and eight seconds by 21 miles.  The lead was still a minute and one second by mile 24.  Those last two miles were agony for Wells and a  realization by Hussein that he wasn't out of the battle for first.

Wells was running 5:54 miles for the last 2.2 miles of the race, while Mbarack could see that he was gaining with almost every step.  Hussein averaged 5:29 for those final 2.2 miles, and as he was gaining, he said to Wells while chuckling: "I was saying 'don't turn around.' Then you turned around."

"Yeah," Wells said. "I knew you were coming. I could hear the crowd clapping and cheering and the cheers were getting closer, so I knew somebody was coming."  In the end, Wells held it together and Mbarak ran out of real estate.  "I didn't have confidence  in my fitness," said Hussein.  Wells may have had an inflated view of his, but was still able to "grind it out" as top tennis players often say when their game is off yet they still manage to win the big points and the match.
Mbarak Hussei and Josh Metcalf  passing from Lake Harriet
Photo by Gene Niemi

Just as impressive was the fact that Masters runners took five of the top twelve in the Open men's race.  Wells led the group to the finish in eighth overall, followed by Hussein, Josh Metcalf, Steven Muturi, and Jason Ryf.

Hussein is not only aware of what's happening in the Masters.  When the Griak Invitational was mentioned during a casual conversation at the TCM expo, he said how amazed he was to read the stories about 7th grader Grace Ping winning the High School girl's Gold race.  "A 12 year old winning that race, setting World Records," he said.  Ping's exploits impressed him, probably as much as his own would impress Ping.

Science: Nasal Strips

Gene Niemi's Masters Photo Album

Masters men's winner Clint Wells heading for the finish. Photo by Gene Niemi 

Mbarak Hussein trying to catch Wells. Photo by Gene Niemi

Third place Masters finisher Josh Metcalf
Photo by Gene Niemi

Jessica Monson(127) and Liz Turner
Photo by Gene Niemi

Gene Niemi's Medtronic TC Marathon Winners' Photo Album

Men's winner Pius Dominic Ondoro showing
the strain of a blzing fast last 10K.
Photo byGene Niemi

The race is on for first between Kenya's Jane Kibii(108) and Ethiopia's
Serkalem Abrha(132) Photo by Gene Niemi

Abrha won the final sprint to the line by four seconds.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Gene Niemi's Medtronic TC 10 Mile Photo Album

Molly Huddle in flight to a new course record in the TC 10.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Kara Goucher finished 11th
Photo by Gene Niemi

Meghan Peyton(20122)on her way to 17th place.
Photo by Gene Niemi

Tyler Pennel(center) tries to break away from Sam Chelanga(20004)
and Dathan Ritzenhein(20001). Photo by Gene Niemi

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Hanna Grinaker: "I'm in a Good Place"

This is the fourth of several short stories about Minnesota high school stars who have chosen to run their first 26.2 miler in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

Life is good for Hanna Grinaker,  She has a great new job that she likes.  Her relationships are good, and she has friends and family who care about her.

"I'm in a good place," she said, which may sound strange since she hasn't run for nearly a month,  and  a hip injury that did not respond to rest and treatment forced her to scrap her plans to debut in the marathon in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday.

 There will be other marathons," she said while watching the runners flow through the finish chute at last weekend's Griak Invitational.  And she's overcome setbacks like this before.
Hanna Grinaker at the 2015 Griak Invitational
It's not the first time she's had to come back from an injury.  A multi sport athlete in high school, Grinaker earned Big Ten XC Freshman of the Year honors at the University of Wisconsin in 2006.  Was an NCAA XC  All American in 2006 and 2007, her first two years as a Badger. Then it happened.  A pelvic stress fracture followed by a torn hip flexor.

The injuries were so bad that the doctor treating her said she might not be able to run 20 miles a week. A  26.2 mile race?  No chance.  It was not the sort of prognosis she wanted.  So she got a "second opinion."  Her  brother is a chiropractor and he started her on a rehab program.  Grinaker  learned that patience was a virtue, and adopted a new saying: "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

This was not an admonition not to plan anything, but rather rather that one has to be adaptable as life always throw you curves.   "Athletics really taught me to stay the course,"  Grinaker said.  Don't give up, push the boundaries.  Try to identify and understand how an injury occurred along with methods to fix it and come back stronger, or adapt by doing something different.
Grinaker running in Foot Locker in High School.courtesy of  Photo Run  

For example, Grinaker has recently begun contemplating going back to her multi sport roots. In high school she not only did cross country and track, she played hockey, basketball, and volleyball.  Her first love and best sport was cross country so she moved away from multi sports because DI sports demand specialization, putting all your time and energy into a single sport. 

Grinaker isn't going for any radical  shift.  She wants to try the triathlon.  Part of the inspiration for that sort of exploration gained momentum since her boyfriend is a triathlete. Another is an attempt to test the theory that more or the right variety in her training might help avoid serious injuries by strengthening areas of her body that may need more attention in training.

She's also learning from her new job as a registered dietitian for Lifetime Fitness. Grinaker works with the club's members to diagnose if they need to make diet changes or have a weakness or deficiency that needs to be addressed.  By helping others with their issues, Grinaker often picks up tips on what she may need to solve her own problems.

Life is good despite the temporary setback, and now Grinaker has another year to prepare for the challenge that the marathon presents.  She's already shown her potential by winning the half-marathon in Fargo in May of 2013 in 1:18:34.  "Running is a gift," says Grinaker.  One that you often don't appreciate fully until you can't do it when you want.
Grinaker after the finish of the2013  Fargo Half-Marathon
Photo by Jill Ockhardt

TC 5K & 10K Results

5K Results are HERE

10K results HERE

Swain Invitational Results

Swain Invitational individual results HERE.  Team results HERE

Willmar Invitational Results

Willmar Invitational results HERE

Carleton Invitational Results

Carleton Invitational Running of the Cows results HERE.

Mason Ferlic Wins Men'sTitle in Louisville

Gopher Women 4th in Louisville

Friday, October 02, 2015

Shannon Bergstedt: From Minnesota to Menlo Park

This is the third of several short stories about Minnesota high school stars who have chosen to run their first 26.2 miler in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

About five days a week, Shannon Bergstedt gets dressed in her running closes and heads out through San Francisco's Presidio. The Hopkins High School stand out takes different routes, one has her going over and back on the Golden Gate Bridge with it's breathtaking view of the bay.
Bergstedt(192) climbing a hill at the front of the pack in high school.

A quick shower and breakfast, then it's into the car for the hour commute to Menlo Park in Silicon Valley, to the offices of Evidation Health, a health tech start up. Bergstedt was the second employee hired by the company that is backed by GE Ventures and Stanford Health Care.  In the past year as the company was getting ready to launch, she has worked in operations, payroll, marketing, and sales, to name a few "real world" tasks necessary for transforming a dream into a "living, breathing" enterprise.

Though it's demanding, it's also a welcome shift from mostly academic pursuits.  The road she took to get to Evidation.  Five years of under grad and grad school at Stanford, plus another two years getting her MBA at Harvard.  Mixed in with that was a stint at Cardio DX, a cardiovascular genomic diagnostics company where Bergstedt was an associate product manager.

 Just as in elite level track and cross country, the life of an entrepreneur can be all consuming.  Bergstedt feels she's at a time in her life when she could absorb those demands.  "No family to support.  Not tied to one place. Able to take the risks of embarking on a new venture in that part of the US that is the incubator for those willing to take that journey,

She brought her road bike to California, as well as a wet suit in case she wanted to take a dip in the Bay.  Sports/exercise have always been her release.  Running is easy, you just step out the door and there is a world to explore.  And she likes to compete.  "I started racing in 7th grade," Bergstedt said.

Running has taken on a new role now. It isn't a competitive outlet now, it's for fun.  A series of stress fractures quashed any thoughts of staying with high level competition.  Former Stanford coach Dena Evans had coached a Team USA type group that Bergstedt was a part of for awhile, but her body couldn't handle it.  Serious racing was not an option.
Running with the Stanford pack.

Doing a marathon some day remained a goal, however.  The stress fractures  left a fear that she couldn't do the training, the long runs necessary to make that 26.2 mile journey a comfortable challenge, rather than an exercise in pain management.  During the two years in Boston at Harvard, Bergstedt was able to watch the Boston Marathon.  She had been in the finish line area on the day of the bombing.

Bergstedt left that area about 15 minutes prior to when the bombs went off.  She became aware of what had happened when she started getting messages from friends asking where she was and was she OK as she rode in a cab back to the Harvard campus.  Some day, she does want to run Boston.

Her choice for attempting a first marathon though was Twin Cities.  Her parents and grandparents are in the area and will be out on the course to cheer her on.  "The goal is to finish," Bergstedt says.  "Finish and feel good and want to run another one when I can train a little more seriously.  Maybe run Grandma's or Chicago(flatter courses where getting a qualifying time for Boston is more likely)."

Bergstedt in corporate mode
Despite the workload of building a start up, Bergstedt felt that this yea the time was right to give the marathon a try.  She was back living in San Francisco.  Good weather for training.  She has been "healthy for some time," no major injuries. The weather on race day appears that it will be favorable. If all goes well chances are that Bergstedt will be smiling at the finish and already thinking about  the next one.

RW on Elite Runner's Views on USATF Payment Plan

Runner's World article on elite runner's views on USATF payment plan HERE

Foley Invitational Results

Foley Invitational Results HERE

Buffalo Invitational Results

Buffalo Invitational results HERE

BlueGold Invitational Results

BlueGold Invitational results HERE

Richard Chin on M.A.S.H. for Marathoners

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hannah Borowsky: A Sunday Morning Adventure with Mom

This is the second of several short stories about Minnesota high school stars who have chosen to run their first 26.2 miler in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.
Hannah(left) and Iris Borowsky strolling in  Zion National Park
"I love running with my Mom," says Hannah Borowsky.  Not hard to understand if the venue is as compelling as Zion National Park(above) or the Most Beautiful Urban Marathon, which is where mother and daughter will be on Sunday in the shadow of a football stadium in construction to the majestic urban backdrop of the St. Paul Cathedral and the Minnesota Capitol(also under construction).

Hannah was an 800 meter runner at Hopkins High School.  As a senior she anchored their MSHSL runner-up 4 by 800 relay. Helped Hopkins win their second straight team title(2010 and 2011) with 81 points to 45 for runner up Alexandria.  Borowsky, who also finished third in the open 800,  contributed 18 of those points.
The 2011 Hopkins 4 by 800 team psyching up before the final

Borowsky runs 2:12.13 in the open 800 heats, edging eventual
champion Haylie Zenner of Fergus Falls. Hannah was third in the final
For a track runner to whom stepping up to a mile was a big jump, running a marathon is not a tiny step up.   It's more of a huge climb, and mom is no push over.  Hannah recalls when the pair ran a half marathon together, Iris ran with Hannah for eight miles before saying "See ya!" Rocketed off on her own to the finish.  "I didn't run(for the Harvard team) in college," said Borowsky. "There were so many things that I wanted to do...(Running) became a social thing. A really fun way to explore(her self, people, and places.

"I met so many of my good friends (through running)."  She keeps in touch with her high school teammates and made many new ones going for random runs.  A group will do regular runs at an often social media advertised  location.  "Meet at the statue," will be the invitation.  These group runs help her "evolve as a runner," challenge herself to go further, explore new things.  

Hannah points to Molly Barker's Girls on the Run program as the kind of "change agent" for young women.  Helping them become change agents themselves.  Health and wellness at the core, but often life changing for the young women involved.    Empowerment.  "Young people being change makers in the world," Hannah says.  "Being impactful."

Since July, Borowsky has been working for Ashoka in Arlington, VA as a Start Empathy School Engagement Manager.  The organization advocates social innovation, entrepreneurship, system changing ideas with empathy at the core. Behind the buzzwords is a movement that is "transforming the way kids grow up to prepare them to be the changemakers that our world needs." she said.

Her goal for Sunday is to make it through her first marathon.  She's done the training, the long(20 mile) runs.  Worked on the transformation of someone who understands she has "a track racer's mentality" that is not a recommended outlook for a 26.2 mile journey.  She'll take the lessons learned from her marathon experience and blend it into her goals at Ashoka.  That being to "work with elementary, middle and high school kids.  Teach empathy and change making.  Be a creative problem solver."  

On Sunday Hannah wants to go on a new adventure with her mom.  Learn things about her own limits and abilities.  Share those experiences with her new friends and acquaintances that she and her mother meet along the way. And she might even have a little fun along the way.

Travel Planning for the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon organizer Twin Cities In Motion advises Minneapolis and St. Paul residents to plan their travel ahead of time due to street closures for the 34th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and Medtronic TC 10 Mile on October 4.

On race day, motorists will also notice traffic restrictions in downtown Minneapolis starting in the early morning hours on Sunday. An area near the U.S. Bank Stadium site from 5th Avenue to 11th Avenue and from 6th Street to 3rd Street will be closed at 5:00 a.m. for start line setup, reopening at approximately 9:00 a.m.

Along the marathon course which runs from downtown Minneapolis, along the chain of lakes to Minnehaha Parkway, up West River Road to the Franklin Bridge, down East River Road to Summit Avenue, to the finish at the state capitol will prompt rolling road closures on the course itself and limit traffic across it to selected crossing points.The crossing points are listed on the Twin Cities In Motion website at
At the finish area on the State Capitol grounds in St. Paul, following closures are scheduled:

·         Summit Avenue between Ramsey Street and Portland Ave. will be closed from Saturday from noon and through Sunday October 4 at 6:00 p.m. Traffic will be detoured on Portland Ave to Arundel Street.

·         John Ireland Blvd. between 12th Street and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. closed Thursday, October 2 at 9:00 a.m.

·         Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Aurora Avenue will close Friday, October 3 at 5:00 p.m.

·         12th Street from Wabasha to John Ireland Blvd. will be closed Saturday, October 4 from 5:00 a.m. to noon and on Sunday, October 5 from 5:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The Franklin Avenue Bridge crossing the Mississippi River in Minneapolis will be closed to motor vehicle traffic while the Medtronic TC 10 Mile passes the bridge entrance along East River Road. The motor vehicle closure is expected to last from roughly 7:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

Parking: Motorists are reminded to take note of any hooded meters  and no parking sign along and near the course. Finish line parking is available on the streets and in various lots around the Capitol grounds in Saint Paul. The Sears store, west of the Capitol, offers limited Event Parking near the finish line on a first come first serve basis for $20.

METRO Lines: Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon and Medtronic TC 10 Mile runners can ride the METRO Green, Blue and Red Lines for free on Sunday, October 4. To use the service, runners simply need to show their race bib when asked by Metro Transit officials. The offer is good for rides on the METRO Green, Blue & Red Lines.

More than 30,000 runners are expected for the 34th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Weekend which includes events on Saturday, October 3 on and near the State Capitol grounds.  For more information about the events, visit the Twin Cities In Motion website,

Gopher Women On the Road

Jaguar All Terrain Challenge Results

Jaguar All Terrain Challenge results for Varsity boy's HERE. Girl's HERE

ZMKW Invitational Results

ZMKW Invitational results HERE

St Charles Invitational Results

St Charles Invitational results HERE.

Goucher not ready to Challenge Course Record; TC 10 the beginning of OT build up

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"I Think It'sTime"

This is the first of several short stories about Minnesota high school stars who have chosen to run their first 26.2 miler in the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon.

McKenzie Melander(left) and Lindsey Anderson Solheim(right)
When McKenzie Merlander was asked why she was running Sunday's Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, she said :"I think it's time."

Like many of the male athletes who were her contemporaries, Melander began running in high school as a way to stay in shape for her first choice of sports, hockey.  She had the desire to be hockey player, but not the physique.  She was too small and by her junior year at Eastview HS she began to blossom in her second sport.

Melander finished third in the MSHSL cross country championships that year and went on to win a Big Ten championship in the 5K at the University of Iowa.  That caught the attention of Team USA Minnesota, who asked her if she was interested in joining their group.  She was intrigued about exploring the "professional runner" option, but was also committed to preparing for a more traditional work career.

Melander running in high school
" You have to get a Masters to be able to (get a job) as a speech pathologist, so I knew I had that ahead of me."  Thoughts of attempting to see where her athletic talent could take her weren't part of the equation. "I applied in the Fall (for the Masters program at the University of Minnesota).  I was living at (her parents') home, and I hadn't thought much (about a post-collegiate running career)."

When Pat Goodwin of Team USA Minnesota approached her about the possibility, Melander started to consider the about life as a pro runner: "Maybe this is an option," she said,  Shortly after joining the team Merlander qualified to run as a member of the US team that ran the BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Team Challenge in January of 2013.   That turned out to be the high point of her brief experiment at juggling a Masters degree program  and the training/racing demands of an elite runner.  

"Unfortunately with school I just had too much on my plate," Melander said.  Something had to go, and it really wasn't that tough a choice.  Masters degree or taking a chance on the "starving artist" route available to any aspiring Olympic athlete.      High school standouts, such as Alan Webb and Mary Cain, could parlay their athletic talent into a contract  big enough to pay for college and potentially beyond if they blossomed into Olympians and future Olympic and/or World Championship medallists Even for them, however,  the risk was high and the payoff minimal.  

If you won an NCAA individual championship, as did Elk River and Boise State's Emma Bates did in the 10K, the most one could expect is a spot in a training group and maybe a shoe company willing to invest for a short period of time in your athletic future.  Melander didn't fit either of those profiles. Faced with a choice Melander took the traditional career path, but didn't abandon running.

"My goal was not to run as much, but to do other things to keep myself fit," she said.  Yoga, bar classes, augmented with running, accomplished that.  She had a "training partner" in former Iowa teammate Lindsay Anderson Solheim, who wasalso completing a Master Degree in speech  pathology.  The pair lived near  Lake Calhoun.  "We could walk out and watch the marathon," Merlander said. " We did a lot of running around the Lakes, so we're familiar with that part of the course."

In July they signed up for the race.  "It's something different," said Melander, who was primarily a 5 and 10K runner in college.  She has a training plan set up by her boyfriend.  She's run three long runs(one 22 miler, the other two 20 miles each).  Melander has set a target time of around three hours, but she's not running for time, but rather to enjoy the experience.

College XC
"I still love running," she said.  And now is the time and the Twin Cities the place for her next running adventure.