Pardon All the Heavy Breathing

June 16, 2011 at 1:15pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in The Lincolnite Blog

After supper last night The Missus and I took the kids over to Densmore Park. While we were there we had the privilege of watching the Beginner’s Luck running class go by. Now, I had heard about Beginner’s Luck but I didn’t pay it much attention. I’m not exactly the target audience. Last night it was impossible to not pay attention. I’m a terrible crowd estimator, but I’ll low-ball it and say that at least 200 people came through the park. Lincolnite regular Fletch later informed me that was only half the class; the other half went a different direction.

There’s something cool and inspirational about several hundred of our friends and neighbors going out of their way to take part in a class that will ultimately have them run a 5K a few weeks from now. Among that many participants there were all kinds of personalities and body styles on display: grandparents and soccer moms and potential Biggest Loser contestants and more.

So kudos to the Lincoln Track Club and the organizers of the event (I saw the ever-ubiquitous Ann Ringlein out there). It’s great to see so many people taking part in a very nice program like Beginner’s Luck.

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Fletch June 16, 2011 at 2:03pm

It’s an Ann Ringlein production. She organizes it and puts the whole thing together. She’s awesome. Mr. W, you’d actually fit in fine - there are some runners that have already done a half marathon, and some “newbies” that look to be in better shape today than I may ever hope to be.

Last night was week 2 of the 8-week class. Before week 1, there were about 400 signed up - but many more signed up on night one and even more came last night.

On top of the 400+ class participants, there are 50 or more volunteers - those in the dayglo yellow and pink shirts you may have seen. All told, it has to be nearly 500 folks hitting the trail every Wednesday.

It’s broken down into 4 groups - ranging from “Beginner 2-mile” - think very new runners, maybe never having run before; all the way to “Intermediate 5-mile” - this crowd is maybe where you would run. This group will build to about a one-hour run by the end, and on Wednesdays the ones in front are probably sub-9 minute mile paces.

Most of the volunteers are marathon and half-marathon alumni and many are probably commonly found at most Lincoln Track Club races.

It’s a great program that I highly recommend to anyone!

MattF June 16, 2011 at 2:41pm

Found myself in the middle of this on my bike last night - I waffled between “I should find a different route” and “Hey, it’s a public trail”. I did try to be a polite biker - lots of “on your left” and slowing to allow oncoming runners to pass before jumping ahead of the group I was behind. There was a lot of traffic, though. Would be best to remember Wednesday nights for the next several weeks. At least between Densmore and Shopko and the south end of the Rock Island.

Fletch June 17, 2011 at 1:13pm

Hi Matt,

We try to do our best to keep the people from covering the entire trail. Ann discussed trail ettiquete right before the run, and the volunteers are supposed to be watching and yelling “BIKE” or “on your left” or something and getting them to move over. The worst clusters are right when we leave SW High, which is usually about 7:15 pm.

MattF June 17, 2011 at 2:52pm


I hit Densmore about 19:30, so that sounds about right. The volunteers were good, they certainly let people know I was overtaking. There were maybe a very few runners who don’t quite get what ‘on your left’ means, as I got no response once, and another person actually turned to her left - maybe she was focused on the water station. I really felt more like I shouldn’t have been there; bumping elbows is one thing, but tangling with a bike could really hurt.

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Fletch June 19, 2011 at 8:51pm


I love SPAM!

Free SPAM for all my men!

Happy Father’s Day to Mr. W. and all the dads and father figures out there!


Concert Diva June 20, 2011 at 5:59am

I also got inspired watching the Lincoln marathon runners running in the wind and rain they had to deal with in few years ago.  I haven’t stopped since!


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