Running

Running and Racing

Background & Foreground

Mark has been an avid runner since he joined his high school cross country team, and ran his first half marathon during his undergrad in 2002. Since then, Mark has run or paced nearly fifty half marathons. In 2022, raising money to help resettle Afghan refugees in Nebraska, Mark ran the “Kandahar Marathon” in which supporters pledged him by the mile. He ran more than two thousand miles and five full marathons that year.

Mark was a cross country coach at Omaha North High Magnet School for eight years, four as an assistant, and four as head coach. In addition to coaching, Mark has been pacing half marathons for more than a decade, and has recently begun pacing full marathons. Also recently, Mark has joined the Achilles International team, guiding visually impaired runners throughout races in the Midwest.

Today, Mark races frequently, and is hoping to run every full marathon in Nebraska as well as completing the fifty-state challenge, finishing a full marathon in every state. Below is Mark’s race calendar for the coming year. Feel free to reach out if you’re running the same race, have questions about pacing, or are in need of a guide for the visually impaired.

Spring Race Schedule 2023

March 5: Napa Valley Marathon, Napa, California

March 25: Liberty Half Marathon, Liberty, Missouri

April 8: Early Bird Ten Miler, Omaha, Nebraska

April 16: Napa Valley Endurance Run Half Marathon, Calistoga, California

April 22: Garmin Marathon, Olathe, Kansas (PACER)

April 29: CCVI Trolley Run, Kansas City, Missouri

May 7: Lincoln Marathon, Lincoln, Nebraska

June 3: Hospital Hill, Kansas City, Missouri (PACER)

Fall Race Schedule 2023

August 27: Sioux Falls Marathon, Sioux Falls, South Dakota*

September 17: Buffalo Run 5 Miler, Lincoln, Nebraska

September 24: Heartland Marathon, Omaha, Nebraska *

October 21: Kansas City Marathon, Kansas City, Missouri

October 22 : Des Moines Marathon, Des Moines, Iowa

November 5 : Kansas Half Marathon, Lawrence, Kansas (PACER)*

December 3: Holiday Run 5K, Lincoln, Nebraska

December 10: Dallas Marathon, Dallas, Texas *

* indicates races not yet registered for but on the proverbial radar

Training and Support

You were born to run. So was I. When I coached cross country, my runners used to joke about my “TED Talks”–the lengthy speeches I’d give, often on this topic. There’s a whole raft of research to support my thesis, as well as anecdotal evidence galore. Humans are bad climbers, slow swimmers, even slower sprinters, and we can’t fly at all. We’re also the world’s only water-cooled animal with an achilles tendon, a neck that swivels 180 degrees while the body remains in forward motion, with a brain that can regulate our oxygen intake. In short, we would have died out long ago, save for the fact that we evolved to be the greatest endurance athlete imaginable. The opposable digits help, too. My point is, I was born to run and I know it. You were born to run, but you may not realize it–yet. And if I can help you, I want to do that. If you want to train with me or just need some tips, you’re always welcome to reach out. Shortest TED talk ever, right? I’ll see you at the starting line. 
                                                                            ~Mark

Pacing

I pace for a couple different teams, meaning I’m the guy with the stick setting the pace and encouraging you to meet your goals. If you want me to pace your race, reach out. If you want me to pace you in a race, same story.

Training Plans

Coming soon!

Guiding

I just got in touch with a group called Achilles International, and they’re amazing. From 200 miles away, I’m hoping to join the KC chapter…until we can found one in Nebraska, anyway.

Philanthropy and Fundraising

In recent years, Mark has turned his love of running into a way to raise money for causes that he champions.

Still I Run

Mark recently learned about an organization called Still I Run (stillirun.org) who champion mental health awareness–a cause close to Mark’s heart. Mark aspires to join this amazing organization of runners for the NYC Marathon in 2024. Stay tuned!

The Kandahar Marathon

In 2022, Mark transitioned from half marathons to fulls, running as many miles as his body would allow. Pledged by the mile, Mark raised nearly $5,000.00 to help resettle Afghan refugees in Nebraska. You can find the blog he kept about the experience elsewhere on this web page. 

Have an idea?

If you have a fundraising idea that involves running and want to invite Mark to be a part of it, please reach out using the contact link.

Coaching

“Make sure that team members know they are working with you, not for you.”
                                                              ~John Wooden

Runners

Mark has been an avid runner since he started running cross country in high school. Upon being hired at Omaha North High School in 2014, Mark became the assistant cross country coach. Four years later, when the head coach resigned, Mark took over the program, and coached track for one season in addition. In total, Mark coached cross country for eight years, and would describe them as some of the best of his life. Not currently coaching, Mark enjoys cheering on cross country runners–especially those from Omaha North.

Basketball

Mark spent nearly two decades coaching basketball. His first season was at Irving Middle School, followed by a season at Lux Middle School, both in Lincoln. From Lux, Mark spent two years coaching at Lincoln East High School, and was on the staff in 2005 when the Spartans won the state championship. From East, Mark spent three years coaching at Nebraska Wesleyan University. When head coach Amy Sander left for Minnesota Mankato, Mark took a job coaching at Scott Middle School the following two seasons. From there, Mark spent two years coaching the JV and Varsity teams at Omaha North. Mark made the difficult decision to retire from coaching basketball when his son was born in 2015, and while he misses the game and especially the players, he has never once regretted it. 

What’s Next?

Currently, Mark’s focus is on teaching and writing. When he speaks candidly, the idea of coaching in the Special Olympics often comes up. 

Past Races

NOTES:
* denotes pacing  |  (bold) denotes current PR  |  (PR) denotes previous PR  |  (v) denotes virtual race

Arkansas
Hogeye Marathon 2005 (4:27:45)

California
Napa Valley Marathon 2023 (4:10:49)

Colorado
Denver Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon 2012

Illinois
Chicago Marathon 2008 (4:33:52)

Iowa
Des Moines Marathon 2022 (4 :48 :03)
Des Moines Half Marathon 2018

Kansas
Garmin (Olathe) Half Marathon 2019*, 2021 (v), 2022*
Lawrence Half Marathon 2022*

Minnesota
Grandma’s Marathon 2022 (4 :10 :43)

Missouri
Kansas City Marathon 2022 (4:47:06)
Kansas City Half Marathon 2002, 2013, 2016*,
Rock The Parkway Half Marathon 2014, 2016,
Hospital Hill Half Marathon 2011, 2015*, 2016*, 2017*, 2018*, 2019,
Liberty Half Marathon 2020,
Longview Half Marathon 2022*,

Nebraska
Heartland Marathon 2022 (4:42:54)
Lincoln Half Marathon 2007, 2012*, 2014*, 2015*, 2016*, 2017*, 2018*, 2019*, 2021(v),
Omahalf 2021, 2022 (PR: 1:40:43)
Omaha Half Marathon 2011, 2012, 2013, 2017*, 2018*, 2021*,
Good Life Halfsy 2014, 2016*, 2017, 2019 (PR: 1:43.00), 2021 (PR: 1:41:07), 2022,
Heartland Half Marathon 2016*, 2018*,
Sandhills Half Marathon 2014,
Nebraska Half Marathon 2018*,

Tennessee
Saint Jude Marathon, Memphis, 2022 (4:13:50)

Ireland
Kilkenny Half Marathon 2019

10K Races

Missouri
Hospital Hill 2019 (PR: 51:06) 6th Place in Age Division

Nebraska
Heartland 10K 2019 (v)

England
Tower of London 2013

5K Races

Colorado
Gallup in the Garden 2019
Big Dog Brag Mud Run 2019

Missouri
Hospital Hill “ReRun” 2016, 2017, 2019,

Nebraska
North Bend 2019 (PR 22:31 – 7:19/mi)
Firecracker Flight 2019 (3rd in age Division)
Super Bowl Peak Performance 2022 (2nd in age division)

South Dakota
Nike Cross 2015

Other Distances
Bosnia
Jahorina Trail Run (30K/18 miles) 2022

Colorado
Manitou Incline (1 mile – incline) 2019 PR: 42:00

Florida
“For Kay” 4K 2008 (3rd place finish)

Kansas
Psycho Wyco 2010 (10 miles – trail)

Missouri
CCVI Trolley Run 2022 (4 mile)

Nebraska
Early Bird 2022 (10 miles)