Category Archives: cross country

Even the losers get lucky sometimes

Thomas Earl Petty was born Oct. 20, 1950, in Gainesville, Fla., the first child of Earl and Katherine “Kitty” Petty. Petty had a difficult relationship with his father, and cited a particularly brutal beating he received at age 5 that … Continue reading

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Not the retiring type

In the middle of the first mile of a 4.5 mile run the other morning, my body was not exactly cooperating. Everything felt sluggish and slow. In fact I was trundling along at 11:00 per mile pace. Things eventually improved, … Continue reading

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Drawing on years of experience

I’ve been a runner basically since I was born. Skinny. Energetic. Can’t sit still. Love to run. I’ve also always been obsessed with art all my life. Sketching. Painting. Love to draw. Along the way in life, these two interests … Continue reading

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Taking inspiration where you find it

That’s me in the lower left of this photo with the buzz cut and the happy grin. That’s because I was a basically happy kid in fourth grade. My teacher was an amazing person named Miss Kegerreis. She was blonde, … Continue reading

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Glenn’s labor of love

Glenn Lyle was what he characterizes as “a decent runner” in the years just before Frank Shorter’s won the 1972 Olympic marathon and set off the first running boom. Lyle graduated from the Elgin High School cross country and track … Continue reading

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And it was good.

  At the age of 12, having moved with my family from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to the small town of Elburn, Illinois, the world felt like it was upside down, or inside out. Even the soil in Illinois looked different from … Continue reading

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The legacy of Kent Finanger at Luther College

  This week my college cross country coach Kent Finanger celebrated a birthday. Kent always encouraged his runners to appreciate that day in their life. “This is your day!” he’d egg us on! “Wow Fun Wow!”   That was one … Continue reading

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When the autumn light leads to inner light

The last few days have been so pristine and beautiful here in Illinois it almost takes your breath away. The skies have been clear. Hardly any breeze. That led me to take a run in the forest preserve where the … Continue reading

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The Biggest Loser

  Through the third week of the high school cross country season during my senior year in high school, I had not lost in a series of dual meets and triangulars. Then came the first invitational of the season, a … Continue reading

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Gotta Love A Locker Room

The timeworn cliche of a rough old coach on the playing field calling an end to practice by yelling, “Hit the lockers, boys…” may not be what it used to be. Times have changed. Some kids refuse to use the locker … Continue reading

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