January 2018

River City Running Club


January Newsletter


Upcoming Races

January 6 Resolution Run 5m, 5k Onalaska, WI
February 10 Heartthrob Run 5m, 5k Onalaska, WI
February 10 Cabin Fever 5k Winona, MN


Please take a few minutes to complete the membership survey at:


If you have any additional comments, you can e-mail them toThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. orThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


RCRC Membership Report

Happy New Year. Thank you to all who have sent in club renewal memberships for 2018. Currently we are at 73 members.

We hope you agree that the River City Running Club is a definite asset to our community. If you have not renewed, now is the time. We usually have over 100 members in any given year, so we are missing some of you.

Please send your annual dues as follows:

$20 individual or $30 family, check payable to River City Running Club

Mail to: Kathy Moen, 2603 Baumgartner Drive, La Crosse, WI 54603

If you have any membership questions, please contact me at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . I will do my best to help you out.

Happy Running,
Kathy Moen, Membership Chair



 From the President

Happy New Year! Even though January 2018 has gotten off to a cold start, remember that lacing up and heading out to meet the running club for a group run is a great way to warm up and enjoy winter. Please take a moment to reply to this month's membership survey put together by our new VP, Michael Borst. It is an opportunity to provide feedback to the club leadership about what you wish to get out of being a member. 

Happy running! 

Sloan Komissarov

President, River City Running Club 


Meet the new Vice-President, Michael Borst



My name is Michael Borst and I am your new VP. Some of you may know me, but for those of you who do not, I wanted to give you some background about me and to tell you a bit about what I hope to do in my position.

I am currently a third year Physical Therapy student at UW La Crosse. I will be graduating in May of 2018. I also did my undergraduate studies at UW-L in Athletic Training. I have been involved with La Crosse running community since I came to La Crosse in 2011 by volunteering in various events, and then working at Grand Bluff Running later on. Now I am also one of the Co-Directors for the Hixon 50 trail race here in La Crosse.

Since coming to La Crosse and starting college I have competed in many races in the area primarily in the marathon and ultra marathon distances. If you are interested in a few past results here is a link to my ultra sign up page. (http://ultrasignup.com/results_participant.aspx?fname=Michael&lname=Borst)

I also work with RCRC member Jake Hegge in our online coaching business Trail Transformation, where we provide online run coaching to runners of all abilities. We plan to grow our services to include a Performance Running center in the current location of Grand Bluff Running focused around lifting  and mobility specifically for runners.

I am excited about my new position as VP for RCRC. I hope that I can continue with the great traditions that the RCRC already has, and also expand on them in an effort to grow the La Crosse running community. Currently, La Crosse has several factions of runners, and I hope to help to bridge the gap between those groups. I would like to see the La Crosse running community continue to grow and flourish.  It all starts with making  more connections in our great  city. So, in a hope to create a greater sense of unity I extend on invitation to the all RCRC members to attend a group run at the location of Grand Bluff Running (still open for runners, just not as a retail store)  on Monday nights at 6pm, or Friday morning at 6:30am. We will also be working to get more people to attend scheduled RCRC runs by being more present on social media. We will use the facebook page to post runs as you may have already seen. We also hope to be able add new runs such as a RCRC group run on Wednesday evening including some speed workouts to be determined each week.

Thank you

Michael Borst


 Along the First Marathon Course

Dave Bange
Prior to setting off for Athens, Greece, I sort of thought that I might write an essay about my experiences along the race course.  However, I can’t say that anything all that interesting, humorous, or noteworthy happened to me along the route.  It was a fairly hilly course -- although not beastly hard -- and the weather was ideal for running.  A great many spectators lined the route, shouting “Bravo” and “Vamos” (roughly “Keep going”) and accompanied by hundreds of youngsters wanting to slap hands with the 18,000 runners streaming past hour after hour.  And I need to say that both Maureen and Kathy turned in commendable performances -- so be sure to commend them.  As for me .... let’s say that I did not run quite as well as I had hoped, but about as well as I deserved, given my level of training.  Oh.  My time, you ask?  Keep asking.  
Nonetheless, several things about the Athens Marathon itself are worthy of mention.  It is by far the most historic marathon course in existence.  The Olympic Games have been held in Athens exactly two times: the very first Olympics in 1896, and more than a century later, in 2004.  The start line is on the track of the stadium that was built for the 2004 Games.  And, the finish line is on the track of the stadium built for the 1896 Games!  How cool is that?  The Greeks don’t make a habit of tearing down historic places to make space for another shopping mall.  We could something learn from them.
The marathon course itself is almost identical to that of the very first marathon -- a new running event invented for specifically the Olympic Games.  Although the ancient Greeks are rightly credited with creating the concept of a once-every-four-years athletic competition back in 776 BC, none of the events was a marathon run.  They probably had more sense than that -- after all, Pheidippides reportedly dies after running from Marathon to Athens.  All of the events in the ancient Greek games were held within a stadium in Olympia, Greece.  Yep, that 3000-year old stadium still exists, and you can run in that stadium today!  The Greeks really do not tear down historic sites.  Kathy, Maureen, and I can honestly claim that we have run in all three of the Olympic stadiums in Athens.  Cool!
Why did I write in the preceding paragraph that the current Athens Marathon course is almost identical to that first one?  A history lesson is needed.  The organizers of the 1896 Olympics agreed that the marathon course, to honor Pheidippides’ run, should follow the road from the city of Marathon to the Olympic stadium in Athens.  And the distance would be 40 kilometers.  A nice round, metric number.  Very sensible.  The marathon run in both the 1900 (Paris) and 1904 (St. Louis) Olympics were also intended to be 40 kilometers, but both were marred by so much controversy and confusion, no one knows for sure how far the runners actually ran.  
And then in 1908, the British got involved.  Like Americans, the Brits measure distance in miles, not kilometers.  Further, somebody thought it would be a splendid idea to start the marathon at the royal viewing box within the private grounds of Windsor Castle. This  would make the marathon run “about” 26 miles in length.  But so what?  It would still be a very long run, which seems to be all that mattered back then.  Again, the marathon ended in mass confusion and more controversy.  Sigh.  No wonder those ancient Greeks kept all their events inside the stadium.   It was not until 1921, that the official, international, once-and-forever length of a marathon was declared to be exactly 26 miles, 385 yards, or for you metric fans, 42 kilometers, 195 meters.
Enough with the history.  Back to the Athens Marathon course.  Like many cities, in 1972 Athens decided to hold an annual marathon.  But now the historic course was a tad short of the required length -- over 2 kilometers in fact.  Something had to be done.  Unwilling to move the start beyond the city of Marathon (after all, Marathon is where the Greeks defeated those nasty Persians), they opted to insert a loop of about 2 kilometers around a section of the ancient battle site itself!  Clever.  And that short loop is appropriate, celebrating the history the Greeks are so proud of.  In fact, I think the loop is one of the nicer features of the course, coming at about 3 kilometers after the start.
I’d like to wrap up this long essay with a recommendation for any one reading this.  If you become interested in running 42.195 kilometers on this historic route, I recommend that you contact the folks that organized the tour that we used -- Apostolos Marathon Tours, based in Denver.  They’ve been operating this tour since 1994, and they do a great job of seeing to the needs of the marathoners and their travel companions.  I understand that Kristie Shappell is going in 2019.  She’d surely welcome company on her adventure.
2017 Athens Marathon
RCRC Greece

Race Results

December 2, YMCA Jingle Bells Run, Onalaska, WI

5 Miles      
Jake Hegge 27:54 (1st Overall) Dan Wilhelm 41:12
Chris Erickson 30:40 (2nd 30-39) Dorothy Nichol 41:21 (1st 60+)
Brian Dahl 30:58 (3rd 30-39) Sloan Komisarov 42:25
Jamie Mannion 33:42 (1st 60+) Judy Schmidt 45:16 (2nd 60+)
Sergey Komisarov 33:58 (2nd 40-49) Jilayn Karr 47:57
Josh Wolcott 34:32  Randy Krainock 1:09:31
Lila Planavsky 36:13 (3rd 30-39) Larry Schmidt 1:09:39
Laurie Enos 41:02    
Aaron Puent 19:39 (2nd 15-19) Shari Hegland  29:13
Jerry Reuteler 22:21 (1st 60+) Kes Houston 41:09
RJ Miller 22:45 (2nd 50-59) Torin Houston 41:18
Scott Nichol 25:31 (3rd 60+) Dennis Houston 41:19
Kevin Hegland 27:46