Charmaine Roberts: ‘Ran the race the way I planned’

Charmaine Roberts drew Lane 6 for the masters women’s 400 exhibition at the Boston open nationals last Sunday. Lane 5 was empty. That’s understandable, since Alisa Harvey had scratched to focus on the open 800 finals. Charmaine made the most of it, however, winning the race in just over a minute. Charmaine turns 41 in mid-April, and graciously consented to a quick interview. I began by asking if she had been hammered by the miserable weather, which forced a 2-hour delay in some events.

Here’s the Q&A: How did you get to Boston amid all the travel/storm hassles?
Charmaine: I flew in on Saturday morning and had absolutely no problems getting there from MD.
How were you and the other masters treated at nationals?
I didn’t expect or receive any special treatment. The officials seemed accommodating and helpful as they are at most other meets.
Any members of your family cheering you on?
Yes, but they did it from Mt. Vernon, New York. My husband and two daughters went to visit the extended family there. Unfortunately, they did not broadcast that race on TV! Members of Athena Track Club were also supporting me.
What do you do for a living, and what do your co-workers think of your track stardom?
I am a Special Education Teacher at Albert Einstein High School in Kensington, Maryland. Some of my co-workers do know of my exploits. I do get some admiration for being dedicated to the sport and to fitness in general.
Where do you live?
Beltsville, Maryland — just outside of College Park.
What’s your all-time track bests, and where did you compete as a kid?
I am originally from Jamaica and competed at St. Andrew High School For Girls. Participated in all-comers meets in Florida (no Penn Relays). I believe my best HS 400M may have been 56 seconds; I may have even done 55 once, but I’m not quite sure.. Track scholarship to Alabama A&M. 54 sec Open 400, 52 relay are all-time bests — I believe for college and a short Open career in NY. Can’t recall the exact times offand. 24 secs. for 200m college and Open. 2:16 800 open.
How did the Boston race develop? Did you lead from the start? Have any problem on the banks? (What lane did you start from?)
I drew lane six; lane five was empty. I just got out and ran the race the way I planned. I got out fast, relaxed, then tried to increase the pace and finish strong. I must have been leading from the start, because I did not see any other competitors. No problems with the banks.
Dealing with any injuries or other life “issues”?
No injuries, hoping to stay healthy and be able to cope with the demands of being a full-time special educator, wife, mother, friend while juggling the need for training to perform the way I’s like to!
What are your plans for the rest of the season?
I would like to compete at the indoor nationals at the end of March. Penn Relays outdoors. No other concrete plans just yet.

Here’s Charmaine during her Boston race, taken by PhotoRun for USATF:

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February 27, 2008

2 Responses

  1. Johnnie Blackwell - February 27, 2008

    Charmaine excels at the “wife, mother, friend” part (as evidenced by her own jovial demeanor and her prosperous, well-adjusted, and happy children and husband), as well as on the track.
    A friend.

  2. peter taylor - February 27, 2008

    Charmaine,you rock! What a pleasure it has been to announce you in Virginia, North Carolina, Maine, and wherever else I have called your races. Once you get that long, elegant stride in gear you are very tough to run down. Hope to see you in Boston.

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