Brits sweep Beijing masters exhibition races; Yanks 4th and 5th

 Sarah Louise wins 400 at IAAF worlds.

Sarah Louise wins 400 at IAAF worlds.

Running in late afternoon 84-degree temperature, British stars David Heath (800) and Sarah Louise Read Cayton (400) won the masters exhibition races Saturday at Beijing’s Olympic Stadium at IAAF worlds. David’s time of 2:00.92 bettered his M50 gold mark at Lyon of 2:01.93 but was short of his season best 1:58.72 on July 29 in a French meet. Sarah Louise clocked 60.05 as countrywoman Virginia Corinne Mitchell took second in 60.81. American M55 Anselm LeBourne was fourth in the men’s race with a 2:03.75 and W50 Renee Henderson, overcoming an early season injury, was fifth in 63.88. Results for the men’s race are here. See women’s results here.

Getty Photos covered masters races well. Here;s David leading 800.

Getty Photos covered masters races well. Here’s David Heath leading 800.

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August 29, 2015  8 Comments

Lou Lodovico dies at 91; recalled as inspirational masters runner

Lou looked frsh after a 5K race in 2012.

Lou looked fresh after a 5K race in 2012.

Lou Lodovico, who raced as recently as 2014, died a week ago in Pennsylvania, his local paper reported. he was 91. “I know he has run at least one 5K in 2014 since I found the results where he ran a 44:04,” one fan posted. His obituary mentioned masters running in passing, but his guestbook was full of references to Lou as a runner. ” it could have been a bitter cold day or a hot and humid race, always a kind word. I smile at the end of every race because of him!” said Emmett Santillo. Another wrote: “I’m just one of the thousands of people who met Lou through running and came away inspired by his humility and grace. He only gave me two pieces of running advice. Nothing about shoes, gadgets or pace. ‘Just keep moving’ and ‘just keep running.’ In running, there is no better advice. He was a world class runner and better man.” And Leslie Perry posted: “Lou was not only a great athlete but a gentle, kind man that will be greatly missed by all of his running friends.” His track club gave him a great 90th birthday party.

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August 27, 2015  One Comment

WMA counts 43 world records set at Lyon — nice but not quite

Peru's Hugo Antonio Delgado Flores also excelled at Lyon. Photo by Tom Phillips

Peru’s Hugo Antonio Delgado Flores was a Lyon sprint stud. Photo by Tom Phillips

World Masters Athletics has posted what it calls world records set at Lyon. Wish it were true. More accurately, it’s a list of marks that beat listed world records. But at least a half-dozen were short of marks set earlier this year. M50 David Heath has at least two sub-4 1500s, for example — better than the 4:01.54 he clocked in winning at worlds. And W55 Nicole Alexis has gone sub-13 and sub-27 — better than her Lyon sprint marks of 13.03 and 27.06. And W60 Rita Hanscom’s 6043 at U.S. combined events nationals was better than her 5989 at Lyon and likewise for Jean-Luc Duez in the M50 dec, where a year ago in Lyon he had a better score. (Also, Kathy Bergen cleared 1.22 in the W75 high jump before Rietje Dijkman did at Lyon.) So we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the better marks percolate up to world record status. Anyone spot other records in error, or not reported?

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August 24, 2015  3 Comments

Sorry about white screen of death: WordPress update downed site

Canada hosted 2010. How about a USA indoor worlds in 2019?

Late Saturday night, I installed WordPress 4.3 on this site, using the same process I always do. Then my wife and I continued our vacation, and I didn’t check my site (or email) until late Sunday night. Uh oh. The white screen of death appeared. I couldn’t even access my admin tools. So I gave a quick call to Pair Networks of Pittsburgh, my web host, and tech support diagnosed my problem. At least one WordPress plug-in “didn’t agree” with the WP update, I was told, and the site went down. My thanks to everyone who notified me! My apologies for not jumping on the problem for nearly a day. (But we got some GREAT shots on our trip.) Now I have to go through all my plugins to figure out which one is incompatible with 4.3. May have to wait. In any case, WMA is seeking bids to host 2019 indoor worlds. Maybe a return to North America? (Kamloops, British Columbia, was 2010 host.)

August 23, 2015  No Comments

Who should USATF nominate for world’s best masters of 2015?

Flo Meiler high jumps during WR heptathlon.

Flo Meiler, at Lyon hep, is among front-runners as U.S. pick for AoY. Photo by Rob Jerome

The Eurovets website is inviting nominations for WMA World Best Masters Athletes for 2015. The prize, of course, is a trip to Monaco for the IAAF Gala in late fall. Here’s what the Euros learn: “WMACS Lyon 2015 closed the final result booklet just a week ago. Now we are waiting to see who will be nominated as the “European Best Master 2015”. The procedure of the election must go through the national federation which should send the application form to EMA Secretary Helena Maria Pires de Carvalho and EMA Statistician Ivar Söderlind. The statistician group will nominate three candidates (male and female). EMA Council will check the proposals and vote for one male and one female athlete. These athletes will be European Best Masters 2015 and the candidates for World Best Masters 2015. This year we have many athletes who did excellent performances – it will be a difficult decision.” The U.S. picks (made by Mary Trotto’s awards committee) eventually will go to our WMA region, headed by Sandy Pashkin. Not sure how the region winnows down the nominees. In any case, who should USATF nominate for male and female Athletes of the Year?

August 22, 2015  9 Comments

Peruvians welcome M90 champion ‘like a hero’ — how about you?

Anyone in Lyon would recognize this gent. Hugo Antonio Delgado Flores, 91, wore a big watch and bigger gray beard. It didn’t hurt his sprints apparently. Now we learn from his home country media that “he arrived last Wednesday night at the airport of his home town of Arequipa to proud family members and fans, after winning gold in the 100m sprint at the World Master Athletics 2015. He was received the night of last Wednesday like a hero.” Most champions returning home don’t get the hero treatment, but wouldn’t it be nice if everyone did? World titles don’t grow on trees. How did YOUR friends, family and work colleagues treat you upon arrival?

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August 21, 2015  No Comments

Nearly 1,000 videos of Lyon worlds on YouTube keep spirit alive

Lyon's LOC Prez Marcel Ferrari  watches Stan hand WMA flag to Perth's Robert Schickert .

Lyon’s LOC Prez Marcel Ferrari watches Stan hand WMA flag to Perth’s Robert Schickert .

M105 Polish sprinter Stansilaw Kowalski didn’t make it to Lyon. (I don’t know why.) So the oldest entrant at worlds was Brazil’s Frederico Fischer, 98, who ate up the attention. He told media folks that he was a decathlete in his youth and was a national champion 400-meter guy. “Sports are the best doctors you can have,” he says in the YouTube clip created by Pierre Coquelle for the Lyon LOC. “I have run just for fun because seeing so many people is wonderful.” It’s one of nearly 1,000 videos posted from worlds — gotta be a record. Many were by athletes and friends, including American Linda Carty, who told me: “Between me and my super-cameraman/editor/producer Clinton Aurelien, we got some good masters stuff.” (See her YouTube channel.) The Eurovets site posted a shot from closing ceremonies, where WMA President Stan Perkins handed the WMA flag to 2016 LOC chief Robert Schickert, who said: “I welcome you all to Perth – come and enjoy the hospitality of Australia!” See the Lyon farewell video as well.

August 20, 2015  2 Comments

Angela Jimenez raising funds for ‘Racing Age’ book via Kickstarter

Angela appears in video posted with Kickstarter drive.

Angela in video posted with Kickstarter drive.

As many have noted, Angela Jimenez of Minneapolis took her world-class eye to Lyon and captured amazing images for The New York Times. (See the gallery here.) It’s part of her ongoing “Racing Age” series on masters track (which I first wrote about five years ago). Now I’ve been informed that Angela is using Kickstarter in hopes of raising $25,000 for a book of her work on masters athletes of retirement age and older. See it here. As with all Kickstarter drives, you get something in return — from a personalized post card (for a $15 pledge) to having Angela herself come out and shoot you (or another athlete) with her Hasselblad (for $2,500). Many pledgers will get her book as well when it comes out in 2016. Angela — like Rob Jerome, Alex Rotas, Tom Phillips, Doug Smith and Lesley Richardson — is helping spread the gospel to a mass audience. Angela says: “Help keeps these athletes’ stories, and spirits, alive.” She deserves our help as well.

August 19, 2015  No Comments

Team USA final count at Lyon was 160 medals (57 of them gold)

At 81, Flo Meiler was the oldest female steeplechaser at Lyon. Photo by Rob Jerome

At 81, Flo Meiler was the oldest female steeplechaser at Lyon. Photo by Rob Jerome

Bob Weiner and Mary Trotto, apparently with little help from the LOC, crunched the numbers at Lyon worlds and came up with Team USA winning 160 medals, including 57 golds. Flo Meiler at 81 is taking 10 medals home to Vermont, including golds in 2K steeple, short relay, vault, triple jump and hep, where she raised the WR. The Lyon site promises a medal count, but the best it can do is a tally from Aug. 12. The meet ended Aug. 16. I’m still waiting, waiting for any sign of the new WMA Constitution, approved at the General Assembly last Thursday. (I’ve written to people.) Some may still be on vacation — as I note from my Facebook feed, with lots of folks posting their French tourist shots. (But results appear to be complete, and I combined all the PDFs into one). In any case, congrats to all the Yanks for soldiering through tough conditions.

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August 18, 2015  9 Comments

Don Pellmann turns M100, may try for more records this summer

Don (in red) with family and fans at Levi Stadium.

Don (in red) with family and fans at Levi Stadium.

Ten years ago, Don Pellmann of the S.F. Bay Area was rewriting the M90 record books. When I asked him about his future, he replied: “I see the really old guys (90s and over) that still try (and) do so miserably, that almost any effort can win. I feel it is time to ‘Hang them up’!” Well, guess what? Don turned 100 last week, and he’s still looking for records to conquer. He might compete this fall at the San Diego Senior Olympics or the Huntsman World Masters Games in Utah. On Wednesday, his big day, family members took him to a Giants game and he also got a tour of Levi’s Stadium, the new NFL home of the Niners. Don is still listed WR man in seven jumps and throws. It’d be great to see him add to his legend!

Giants mascot gave Don and his son Ned a ride at Aug. 12 game (S.F. lost to Astros 2-0.)

The S.F. Giants mascot gave Don and his son Ned a ride at Aug. 12 game.

August 17, 2015  One Comment