This spring will be epic in the MSP or the 612 if you wanna go in that direction. Finally... all the boys will be in town at one time for training (or for 'meetings' at the Happy Gnome) by March. This is easily the best group we have assembled in the 10 years the team has been in existence because each guy brings such a completely different set of tools to the thing. In honor of this I have either given each of the boys, not including myself, a nickname or have just piggybacked on an existing nickname with maybe a deeper explanation of the nickname.
LEHMKUCKLE or KUCKS. Stemming from a misprint on his driver's license that was in his possession for nearly 6 years before the Dept of Homeland Security stepped in. Special thanks to former teammate Andrew Carlson (our first male National Champion on the roads) for taking advantage of the gigantic Government spelling error and creating the derivative KUCKS.
My personal favorite nickname created by the man that all of us on Team USA MN aspire to be like at age 50 - Paul Giannobile. However, I will take full credit for helping to spread this thing like wildfire. Weirdly, often times I find myself screaming 'WHITE PINE' at the top of my lungs for unexplainable reasons. THE WHITE PINE. Stems from Moen's battle with Abdi 'The BLacK Cactus' Abdirahman at the TC 10 mile.
Not much is known about this young lad yet. As I mentioned he will arrive in March. Until then he will quite simply be known as the ROOKIE even though his performances and maturity level are well beyond his years. Look for a better nickname for young Smyth by June or so.
Our second and latest male National Champ. Ran what was probably a top 3 performance by any Team USA MN male in our ten years of existence at the USATF Half marathon champs down in Houston a month or so back. THE CHILEAN GAUCHO. Gaucho is spanish for 'cowboy.' And while Antonio speaks little....wait scratch that. Antonio speaks absolutely zero Spanish, even though his Chilean heritage proves he should. I personally only know 3 people with ties to Chile - Antonio, Antonio's father, and very surprisingly the elite athlete coordinator at TC marathon Rick Trueman.
SPARKY. Found out that SPARKY was SPARKY from Katie McGregor's neighbor back in like 2006. The neighbor said Dennis was a firece competitor on the MN road racing scene back in the 80s and the nickname was apparently fitting. Not to be confused with Clark 'Sparky' Griswold.
I am still waiting for my nickname. I am sure lots of things come to mind to the folks I know ha, ha, ha. I will wait until the boys of Team MN are all together dropping times this spring for mine. The anticipation, I am sure, will kill me.