Tag Archives: cross country running

A walk through the old running grounds

Yesterday was a wonderfully dank November day here in Illinois. I needed to pick up a prescription at the Meijer store in Geneva and drove up to the corner of Route 38 and Randall Road. Our dog Lucy came along … Continue reading

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Realistic and unrealistic goals

On the day after Christmas, I think back to a request for a gift that my father granted me far back in time. It was 1971 or so, and my best friend in the little town of Elburn, Illinois was … Continue reading

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Life tectonics in a sweet season

This is the fifth in a series of articles about the Sweet Season of 1978, my college senior year when our Luther College team placed second in the nation in NCAA Division III cross country. To follow the chronological narrative … Continue reading

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One Sweet Season: Volume One

This will be the first in an installment of eight blogs about a cross country season forty years ago. Over the next eight Thursdays, I will recount a most significant period in life,¬† entering a senior year in college. That’s … Continue reading

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Summer lovin’ 1972

Those formative years of distance running remain special to me because everything was still so new. The sensations wrought from running farther than I ever imagined possible were both stimulating and daunting. Coming off a freshman year cross country season … Continue reading

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A watershed moment at the football locker room door

This morning’s Chicago Tribune had a long story about the dropping levels of enrollment in youth football leagues. We say “enrollment” as if kids were signing up for dance class. Football is a type of dance, you might say. Yet … 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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An inside look at an elite collegiate runner

Zach Plank is a central Illinois boy living in the suburbs of Chicago. That’s where he attends school at North Central College studying actuarial science, and where he continues a successful running career that included a cross country team victory … Continue reading

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Freshman hopes and dreams

It’s the light this time of year. So many strong associations of late summer training with warm days, rich twilights and cool nights. It always meant the¬†start of school and training sessions two times a day. One can’t help draw … Continue reading

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