What’s the point? Travel across ocean just to run in the heats?

Some folks have been puzzled about non-Europeans being invited to compete in the late-March Eurovets indoor championships in Poland. Now it gets even more mystifying. A top masters official tells me: “I have had two explanations [about “out of competition” entrants] that do not answer the question, so I will summarize as this: Outsiders can enter [the Eurovets meet], but they will only be able to compete in the first rounds of competitions in lanes or field events [with] more than 8 athletes; they will not be able to compete in a final round in these events. In the long distance events where there are no heats they will be able to compete in two pools.” Say what? Sounds like complete absurdity. My source agrees, saying: “Basically they have not thought out the rules properly at the present time.”

December 19, 2014  No Comments

Renee Shepherd, in training run, removes Raschker’s WR in 60

Renee (right) edged Liz Palmer at 2010 Sacramento nationals.

Poor Kim McKinnon. She’s a sophomore sprinter at Monmouth University in New Jersey who lost to a 50-year-old woman Sunday in a 60-meter dash. (See results.) But chin up, Kim. It took a world record to beat you! Renee “The Jet” Shepherd (formerly Henderson) says she’s been doing “general prep work outside in the cold” of late but decided to try some speedwork inside. Not bad speed: Her 8.03-second mark beats the listed W50 world record of 8.05 by Phil “The Legend” Raschker in 1997, one of the oldest marks in the books. “I run, but my primary focus is my daughters’ basketball games,” Renee tells me. “Hoping to go to Lyon [worlds], but our family funds may be tapped out after Summer AAU basketball season.” Her daughters are Grade 6 and Grade 8 stars. “Last year, I was able to run in meets during the week. We were away at basketball games almost every weekend from mid-May till the end of July. We came to outdoor nationals after spending the entire week in Chattanooga,TN, for 8th-grade basketball nationals.” Renee has a half-dozen American records and a 4×4 WR in W40 with Charmaine Roberts, Jane Brooker and Jearl Miles-Clark. From the looks of Sunday’s meet, she’ll be adding more this season.

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December 18, 2014  7 Comments

Centenarians on fire on both sides of Atlantic: Three M100 records!

Stan wears his age on his chest, if not his sleeve.

The late Everett Hosack was just a kid of 100 when he ran 60 meters in 27.29 at 2002 Boston indoor nationals for a world record. What would he say of Polish sprinter Stanislaw Kowalski? Stan the Man is 104, and over the weekend he broke 20 seconds in the indoor 60 at a Torun meet. His 19.72 came alongside two other runners — just enough for a WR under the rules. (See the video making the rounds.) For an encore, he destroyed Everett’s listed M100 record in the shot of 3.66 meters (12-0) by tossing the 6.6-pound ball 5.08 meters (16-8). On this side of the pond, 100-year-old James Kale long-jumped 3-11 3/4 (a debut WR in the event), put the shot 11-8 and tossed the javelin 23-0. See results for him and others at the Florida International Senior Games and State Championships.

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December 17, 2014  2 Comments

Countdown to world records: Bernard Lagat turned 40 Friday

Bernard figures he can run a 3:55 mile soon.

Runner’s World notes that Mr. Amazing, Bernard Lagat, turned 40 last Friday. “Track fans expect him to eviscerate the masters world record books, including Eamonn Coghlan’s indoor mile mark of 3:58:15 and Anthony Whiteman’s outdoor one of 3:58.79,” the article says. “James Li, Lagat’s coach since the late 1990s, and Lagat estimate Lagat could run 3:55. … No one is willing to confirm it yet, but it’s widely assumed that Lagat will be in the mile at the Millrose Games at New York’s Armory Track & Field Center on February 14, and that’s when Coghlan’s masters record, that 3:58.15, could come tumbling down. (Lagat) has immense admiration and fondness for Coghlan, who was congratulatory when Lagat achieved his eighth Wanamaker Mile win to better Coghlan’s tally of seven.” Bernard is quoted as saying: “I should ask for his permission first (on mile record). I think he’s going to be happy for me, but it might be like, ‘Man, what are you trying to do? I thought you’d want to leave a few for me.’” Fret not, Bernard. EC will cheer you on.
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December 16, 2014  9 Comments

WR+WR+WR+WR+WR = Credibility for Bateman book on running

Keith’s recent selfie on Facebook.

Aussie runner Keith Bateman told me in 2010 that his short-term M55 goals were “world records for 1500, mile, 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000! Ambitious or what! :-)” Well, yeah. But he did it! In coming months, he set WRs in all five races. (See times below.) Now he’s come out with a book that aims to share his secrets — mainly avoid overstriding. That’s not a revelation, but he certainly has street cred for saying it. “Older Yet Faster” is just out. The website says: “Based on Keith’s highly successful technique-change sessions, this book deals with a runner’s number one enemy, over-striding. It shows what it is, what damage it causes, and how to fix it so you can run smoother, faster, and further.” Meanwhile, Margaret Webb is continuing to promote her book, “Older Faster Stronger. The video below shows W75 Christa Bortignon and other older superstars. Makes me want to write a parody called “Older Slower Sillier.”

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December 15, 2014  10 Comments

Happy holidays from our poster girl for rehabbing masters stars

Iowa’s Kay Glynn is expecting her eighth grandchild as the year wanes. But never flagging is her spirit and sense of fun. As she recovers from hip and ACL surgery in the past year (which has sidelined her from the vault and hurdles), she sends her eighth seasonal greeting photo. She also posted a video to YouTube showing her recent exercises and jogging progress. The cornfield’s a nice touch, Kay.

Kay, 61, has made lots of progress since ACL surgery four months ago.

Kay, at age 61, has made lots of progress since ACL surgery four months ago.

December 14, 2014  8 Comments

Americans eligible to compete at Eurovets indoor champs in Poland

Wacław Krankowski and Jerzy Krauze are LOC poobahs with the 10th European Masters Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, the birthplace of Copernicus. They’re taking their history seriously. The Eurovets aren’t acting like the center of the masters universe. They write: “In order to meet numerous athletes queries from outside of Europe, and after a positive decision of the Councils: World Masters Athletics and the European Masters Athletics, LOC Torun would like to inform that non-European competitors will able to start in EMACI 2015 in Poland. In order to clarify, we would like to point out that competitors from the other World regions will be able to start under the rules ‘out of competition.’ The 10th European Masters Athletics Indoor in Torun will be held in March 23-28, 2015.” (North Carolina indoor nationals are March 20-22.) The Eurofolks point to their website emacitorun2015.com for timetables, accommodations, entry booklet, competition entry form and online registration.

Track is set for Eurovets indoor meet in 2015, week after USATF nationals.

December 13, 2014  6 Comments

WMA Best Athlete Lavinia Petrie vows to ‘keep trying to improve’

Lavinia with would-be IAAF President Sebastian Coe. Get him to join you at Lyon worlds!

Even when you’re 71, you can still think like a 17-year-old: always looking for a PR next season. That’s why I love this profile of Aussie distance star Lavinia Petrie, recently honored as top female masters athlete at the IAAF Gala in Monaco. “I still don’t believe I’ve reached my full potential anyway, I’ll keep trying to improve,” Lavinia told the Herald Sun. “What I love about running is that it’s just a way of life, it’s what you do when you get up in the morning. For me it’s just what I do every day, to me it’s not extraordinary.” Great rep for our set. She also reveals her Lyon goal: “I’ve only done a couple of worlds but I feel ready to do a World Championships. Hopefully I’ll do well there in the 1500m, 5000m and 10,000m and a marathon on the horizon at the end of competition.”

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December 12, 2014  No Comments

Correction: Tom McCormack’s masters honor was correctly stated

Tom is Kathy Martin’s male LDR counterpart.

Thanks to comments below and a note from Teresa McCormack, I’ve been corrected on a post that suggested a headline in the Johnson City (Tenn.) Press was wrong. Jonesborough’s Tom McCormack, Teresa’s hubby, was indeed an overall AoY for LDR. My sincerest apologies. But this still gives me an excuse to note a change in the masters track awards system. Awards Committee Chair Mary Trotto wrote the members (who also are being folded into the Hall of Fame Committee) “that the committee decided overwhelmingly to change the age groups to 30-39, 40-49, 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80+” In recent years, awards were given in the ranges of 30-49, 50-59, 60-74 and 75-plus. “Rather than having a set number of award places, we would have the top 3% of the total number of athletes who competed at indoor and outdoor nationals in each of the age groups,” Mary writes. To be eligible, “Athletes must compete in either an association, regional or national masters championships in order to be nominated for an age group award. They must also meet one of the following: A. set a world or American Record. B placed 1, 2 or 3 at Masters National T&F Championships. Or C placed 1, 2, 3 at WMA Track and Field World Championships.” Sound fair?

December 11, 2014  2 Comments

Lyon worlds set for 4 stadia: Study your schedule, maps carefully

It’s eight months until Lyon worlds. It’ll take that long to figure which events you can contest, given the four stadiums involved. At least the day-by-day schedule is out, color-coded by venue. We’ve begun to hear athlete fears about getting from Point A to Point B, and how far apart the cities are. Venues are detailed here. Although the main stadium is in Lyon, others are in the southeastern suburbs of Vénissieux and Bron. Here’s a PDF of the men’s schedule. And here’s the women’s schedule. Most world meets have travel issues. (Meanwhile, here’s hotel reserved for Team USA.)

Click for more details on daily schedules for Lyon WMA world meet.

Click for more details on daily schedules for 2015 Lyon WMA world meet.

December 10, 2014  10 Comments