LeBourne’s latest world record — and interview

Francis Schiro, the goateed guru of New York-based Sprint Force America, is a world-class M50 long sprinter. He also can write and report. And his latest missive — a recounting of Anselm LeBourne’s M45 world indoor 800 record over the weekend — is a doozy.

What I like: He tells you stuff you don’t know. And he gives Anselm, an otherworldy athlete, some down-to-earth qualities. Such as how dealing with chatty kids in the car took his mind off a WR attempt. And his appreciation for his rabbit — a sprinter in his late 50s.
Here’s Francis’ report:
Anselm LeBourne established a new World Record at 800 meters yesterday (3/20/05) at the Front Runners 7th annual Indoor Track meet held at the NYC Armory. Lebourne’s 1.56.28 betters Peter Browne’s former world mark of 1.57.32 which was set 10 years ago in 1995.
LeBourne, who established a new M45 world mark at 1500 (4:02.62) just two weeks ago at the Armory, was confident of a positive result.
“I have great confidence in my training. . . . I honestly feel if I am willing to do the very hard work needed, things will work out. . . . People do not see all the hard work and sacrifice that goes into these efforts” said LeBourne.
Alston Brown of Central Park Track Club, winner of the 400 and 800 at the Boise Indoor Nationals this year in the M55 group, agreed to “pull” LeBourne through a 56 opening 400. This he did perfectly with LeBourne’s first 200 timed in 28.30 and the following 200 in another 28.30.
LeBourne looked comfortable and in full control as he took the lead at 450 meters. He was smooth and confident coming through the 600 in 1.26.
“I peeked at the clock and knew I was perfectly on track. . . . My key now was to maintain form and go under 30 seconds for the final 200.”
This is exactly what LeBourne did.
I was a witness to this race and in his final 40 meters he was still relaxed and smooth. LeBourne was very thankful to Brown for his help and said in the future he would be willing to help Brown in a record attempt.
“Masters need to help one another for positive results. We are all in this sport together,” said LeBourne. “I have great respect for all the records.”
Rodney Wiltshire has been coaching LeBourne for 15 years.
“He knows me,” LeBourne said. “He is essential in developing and setting up my workout schedules” LeBourne also gave full credit to Donna, his wife of 17 years.
“She is the strong foundation of our family. She is totally supportive of my running. When I am away from home, I know she is taking care of all the things that need attention. She has been essential to my success.”
I asked Anselm how he felt on the short ride from Mapelwood, N.J., to the Armory and he said he was being distracted by his two children — Malcolm, 14, and his daughter Raena, 5, “and who knows — maybe that was a good thing. I was able to just relax.”
It was a special moment for the LeBourne family as Malcom and Raena stood in the infield and were able to watch their Dad establish a new World record.
LeBourne was very pleased to run in the Front Runners 7th annual meet at the Armory.
“It was an excellent, well-run meet. The Front Runners deserve our total support; they provide a great opportunity for all of us. . . . I also want to thank the director of track and field at the Armory, Ed Small, for continuing to maintain a world-class facility. This place is a dream come true.”
I asked Anselm what his plans were now and he said he will “take a few days off and let the records sink in” then return to hard-focused training with the World Championships in Spain this summer as his next target.
“I love challenges. I am not afraid to push myself. Another strength of mine that people may not see is I run smart. Running and training smart is as important as running fast, and in fact allows one to reach a higher plateau of achievement.
“I feel my results are not a gift from God. . . . Don’t get me wrong; God has given me a great gift — and that is my work ethic. The willingness to do the hard work has brought great results. I am blessed with a strong work ethic. and this is God’s gift to me.
“People see the results and they think it is easy for me. That’s not at all true. What makes it easier for me in a race is hours, weeks and months of hard work.”
After the meet on the way home with his two children, LeBourne reflected on his blessings.
“What more could I ask for? Today my children saw Dad establish a World record. I’m going home to a loving and supportive wife. I’m a very grateful man.”
(Note: Anselm was interviewed after his 1500 WR on Runner’s World Online.)
Here’s Anselm (on right) with his 56.0 rabbit, 56-year-old Alston Brown:

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March 22, 2005