Horace Grant on Nolan Shaheed’s heels in SISU 800
Nolan Shaheed of Pasadena finally has some M55 competition. Yesterday at the SISU Foundation 800 Meter Challenge Race at Mesa Community College, part of the Grand Canyon State Games, Nolan, 58, had to work to hold off Horace Grant of Houston. In doing so, 2:07.48 to 2:07.77, Nolan collected the first prize of $500 for beating the All-American Standard by the biggest margin (17 seconds in this case.) Event organizer Doug Thompson, who reported these results, writes of the race: “It was a rousing success on several dimensions.”
- We had 20 participants in two heats, up from 12 or 13 last year
- We had at least four or five entrants from out of state – one of our specific goals
- We had world-class performances (more on this in a minute) – another one of our goals
- Three or four folks set PRs in their age groups
- The total value of our prizes was over $1,000, and we had “real sponsors” (Saucony and Performance Footwear)
- a good time was had by all
As you may recall, the winner of the event is the person that beats their All-American standard by the most seconds. Our winner, no surprise, was the amazing Nolan Shaheed, who ran 2:07.48, – over 17 seconds UNDER his All-American time. Second was Houston’s Horace Grant, moving up into the M55 age group this year. Horace was right on Nolan’s heels, at 2:07.77, also more than 17 seconds under the standard. Those two times are not only the fastest M55 times in the world this year, but would have also been the two fastest times all of LAST year as well, (excepting Nolan’s own two fastest races).
It was a thrill participating in the race with these and other great runners, but the most enjoyable thing for me was the post-race socializing. Everyone was very gracious and supportive, from the fastest to the slowest. I’ve learned that masters track and field athletes love to be around each other, and don’t have nearly enough opportunities to get together. As we think of the many ways we can improve and grow our event in the coming years, one thing we will keep in mind is ways to enhance and encourage that part of the experience.