Bill Linse. Bill was working in the Twin Cities when the ITC was formed in 1969, but he soon moved back to his native Mondovi and joined the ITC, faithfully commuting from Mondovi to attend all meetings starting in 1971. Bill served as a race director for the Sawdust City 6-miler, helped with registration at many ITC races, and hosted winter training runs for the club from his home in Mondovi. He became the ITC’s second president in 1975. Bill served on the committee that drafted the ITC’s original constitution.
Known as the “Mondovi Buffalo,” partly for his hulking style, Bill weighed a fat-free, bone-and-muscle 180 pounds when tuned to prime running shape. But his massive platform (size 13 shoes) occasionally supported an increase of 40 or 50 pounds above his most efficient running mass. He did the 1971 Drake Marathon in 2:51 and was the first ITC member to run the Boston Marathon under three hours, coming in at 2:59 in 1972. He claimed a PR 2:46 at the Whitewater Marathon. Bill also won the first Syttende Mai Race (17 miles) held at Grantsburg. In 1972, Bill posted a time of 57:08 over the AAU certified Carson Park 10 Mile race course, an outstanding feat considering his size.
In 1973 Bill and Ken Van Es organized the 24 Hour Relay in which a team of ten runners alternated continuously, each running a mile on a quarter-mile track for 24 hours. That talented team included Bill, Ken, Jim Drews, Jim Vedder, Dave Kayser, and Gary Sasman. The group totaled 269 miles, a little over 11 miles per hour -- a pace of 5:21 per mile for 27 miles -- placing fourth in the world in 1973 as tabulated by Runner’s World magazine.
In the late 70s his roommate, Byron, who was fresh out of the Army Rangers, decided to train for something called a marathon. John, who by this time was a good 30 pounds overweight, was intrigued by his roommates training, and decided he’d try running again. He began by running to Carson Park one mile away, resting for five minutes, and then running back. This became much easier with time and Byron’s suggestion that John buy some running shoes - some crazy brand John had never heard of called New Balance.
This led to more miles, less weight to carry, and a desire to try a race. Once John determined he could run five miles without stopping (with Betty following in a car), he entered a 5-mile race that was part of the Scandinavian 10-mile that started at Fanny Hill. He finished but couldn’t imagine how anyone could run the 10 miler. Then he ran 10 miles, in five 2-mile increments, during a fun run from the YMCA, organized by a group of Indianhead Track Club members. That started his involvement in the ITC.
John has been a member of the ITC since the early 80s, has been a co-director of the Spring Fever Six (forgot to start the clock one year) and Carson 10 (tried to synchronize the start of the 10 and 2 milers using a cell phone - big mistake), was co-editor of the ITC newsletter for several years, helped organize the banquet for few years, and has proudly avoided holding any office in the club. He is currently the co-director, with Don Marjala, of the Beer and M&M run.
John can only remember three of his PRs, and all occurred many years ago.
Sawdust City 6 Mile - 32:25 Octoberfest Half Marathon - 1:14:30 Grandma’s Marathon - 2:48:30
He also managed to win one race, The 1985 Hodag Half Marathon, in a time of 1:15:04 (pictured).