How do you grade the local organizers of Sacramento worlds?

Foreign athletes, used to more convenient public transit, were critical of the Sacramento shuttle system, and some were upset over the absence of showers at the stadia, according to a Sacramento Bee story and my own chats with entrants at worlds. With rare exceptions, athletes found the officiating and meet experience excellent and humane. (A rare exception was M70 Bob Ward, a world champ who asked for a refund after his throws pentathlon at Sacramento City College, which he called a “Three Stooges” movie.) But off the track, the LOC took some hits. So how did you rate the organizers?

Even with a sloppy handoff between Thad Wilson and anchor Ralph Peterson, the American M60 team set a world record of 47.93 seconds in the 4x100 relay at worlds — one of six relay WRs set Sunday. (Photo by Ken Stone)

Meanwhile, here’s the final wrap on worlds by Bob Burns of the Sacramento Sports Commission:

Sacramento puts on a good show for the world

The 2011 World Masters Athletics (WMA) Championships came to a roaring conclusion Sunday as nine world records were set on the final day of the 10-day competition.

The WMA Championships were one of the biggest and most complex sporting events ever hosted by Sacramento. The competition featured 4,800 entrants from 93 countries ranging in age from 35 to 97. The July 6-17 event consisted of 10 days of running, jumping, throwing, hurdling and walking at six different sites.

The WMA Championships provided the Sacramento region with an economic boost estimated to be between $12 million and $20 million.

Following Sunday evening’s brief closing ceremony, Sacramento Sports Commission executive director John McCasey called the event a tremendous success.

“We knew this was going to be an enormously difficult event to put on, and we were right,” McCasey said. “I can’t put into words how proud I am of everyone who worked so hard to make this a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I really think Sacramento put its best foot forward for this one.”

A total of 38 WMA world records were either broken or tied in Sacramento. Four relay teams from the United States set new world standards Sunday, as did a pair of Australian relay teams and three steeplechasers.

Ron Robertson, a 70-year-old from New Zealand, set three individual records over the course of the WMA Championships, including a new mark in Sunday’s 2,000-meter steeplechase of 7 minutes, 10.03 seconds. Robertson’s steeplechase time broke the previous M70 world record by a preposterous 50 seconds and was faster than the winners of the M65 and M60 age groups on Sunday. Robertson also set M70 records in the 5,000 meters (18:15.53) and 1,500 meters (4:52.95).

World Masters Athletics does not select an outstanding performer at its championships, but Robertson and Ed Whitlock of Canada would have been leading contenders for top honors in Sacramento.

Whitlock, an 80-year-old from Milton, Ontario who runs two hours a day in a cemetery near his home, ran faster in Sacramento than the listed world marks in the 1,500, 5,000 and 10,000 meters.

Robertson and Whitlock had plenty of extraordinary company in Sacramento. Hiroo Tanaka of Japan won the 100, 200 and 400 meters in the men’s 80-84 age group, eclipsing the current record in the 200. Canada’s Oleg Kotelko won nine individual gold medals in the women’s 90-94 division, breaking her own world record in the hammer throw. Australian distance standout Keith Bateman won four distance races in the M55 category – the 8,000-meter cross country event at Granite Regional Park as well the 1,500 and 5,000 meters on the track and the marathon on the road. Bateman set a world record of 4:12.35 in the 1,500 meters.

The United States contingent, numbering nearly 2,000 athletes, collected 389 medals overall, including 138 gold. The list of U.S. stars goes on and on, perhaps starting with Johnye Valien, an 86-year-old wonder from Los Angeles. Valien won six gold medals (pole vault, high jump, long jump, triple jump, shot put and javelin), setting a world record in the pole vault by clearing 4 feet 1¼ inches.

On Sunday, Lisa Ryan, of Sioux City, Iowa, and Lisa Valle, of Albuquerque, N.M., set back-to-back records in the 2,000-meter steeplechase. Valle set a W45 mark of 6:58.89, then watched Ryan break her W40 record with a time of 6:49.89.

A pair of Sacramento-area athletes claimed gold medals Sunday in the women’s 50-54 4×100 relay. Folsom residents Liz Palmer and Amanda Scotti ran legs on the U.S. team’s 51.88-second victory.

World Masters Athletics records set during
the 2011 WMA Championships, Sacramento

July 7
M90 80-meter hurdles – Ralph Maxwell, United States, 21.62 seconds
W50 heptathlon – Marie Kay, Australia, 6202 points
M90 decathlon – Ralph Maxwell, United States, 7069 points
W70 heptathlon – Erika Sauer, Germany, 5352 points

July 8
W90 hammer throw – Olga Kotelko, Canada, 54 feet, 10 inches
W85 pole vault – Johnye Valien, United States, 4 feet, 1¼ inches
W95 100 meters – Man Kaur, Indonesia, 1:01.87
M80 5,000 meters – Ed Whitlock, Canada, 42:39.95 (surpasses existing WMA-approved record; Whitlock has a faster pending time)

July 9
M80 10,000 meters – Ed Whitlock, Canada, 42:39.95
W65 300 hurdles – Marge Allison, Australia, 54.06
M70 5,000 meters – Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 18:15.53

July 11
W75 200 hurdles – Barbara Jordan, United States, 41.71
M85 200 hurdles – Hugo Delgado, Peru, 45.13
W50 weight throw – Oneithea Lewis, United States, 61 feet, 6½ inches
M75 javelin – Vladimir Porokhin, Russia, 146 feet, 1 inch

July 12
M65 10-kilometer race walk – Andrew Jamieson, Australia, 50:11.38
M70 javelin – Gary Stenlund, United States, 171 feet, 4 inches
M80 200 meters – Hiroo Tanaka, Japan, 30.78 (surpasses existing WMA-approved world record; Tanaka has a faster pending time)

July 13
M95 hammer – Antonio Fonseca, Brazil, 72 feet, 2½ inches

July 15
M55 1,500 meters – Keith Bateman, Australia, 4:12.35
M70 1,500 meters – Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 4:52.95
M80 1,500 meters – Ed Whitlock, Canada, 5:48.93
W80 throws pentathlon – Rachel Hanssens, Belgium, 4788 points

July 16
M60 20-kilometer race walk – Andrew Jamieson, Australia, 1:42:56.80
W50 20-kilometer race walk – Lynette Ventris, Australia, 1:42:19.35
W70 400 meters – Anne Stobaus, Australia, 1:16.63
W85 400 meters – Patricia Peterson, United States, 2:07.79
M65 pole vault – John Altendorf, United States, 12 feet, 7¼ inches
W50 throws pentathlon – Elrike Engelhardt, Germany, 4563 points

July 17
W40 2,000-meter steeplechase – Lisa Ryan, United States, 6:49:58
W45 2,000-meter steeplechase – Lisa Valle, United States, 6:58.89
M70 2,000-meter steeplechase – Ron Robertson, New Zealand, 7:10.03
W75 4×100 relay – United States, 1:10.19
M60 4×100 relay – United States, 47.93
W60 4×400 relay – Australia, 4:55.53
M50 4×400 relay – United States, 3:31.76
W45 4×400 relay – Australia, 4:08.32 (equals world record)
M45 4×400 relay – United States, 3:24.84

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July 17, 2011

43 Responses

  1. Weia Reinboud - July 18, 2011

    38 world records, nice score! No idea how that compares to other championships.

  2. Jerry Bookin-Weiner - July 18, 2011

    There is at least one error in the listing of world records above. Neni Lewis’s WR in the W50 Throws Pentathlon is 4800 points, so Ulrike Engelhardt’s 4563 (which BTW beat Neni by 3 points) is not a record. Here’s the link to the WMA record page showing Neni’s record at 4800 points: http://www.world-masters-athletics.org/records/outdoor-women

  3. Rita Hanscom - July 18, 2011

    After suffering a ruptured plantar fascia the first day in the heptathlon, rather than return home early and disappointed, I stayed and joined the happy spectators and enjoyed every minute. I was impressed with the care that had been taken to deal with the heat, which miraculously vanished after the first day, and the wonderful check-in procedure (no declarations required). The announcer at the Sacramento City College track for the heptathlon was terrific, introducing athletes, letting spectators know the order of events, and giving basic information about the meet. However, in the main stadium the spectators sitting under the shade tents couldn’t hear the announcer. Pete, your talents would have been wasted. I talked to an athlete from Perth who simply raved about the meet and the city of Sacramento. He was amazed at the friendliness of everyone, “We tend to be a bit reserved, with our British roots. But we love the American way of talking to everyone like you know them. Even the bus driver and the policemen have been welcoming and friendly! It’s lovely here!” Overall, I think the meet was a big success. Congrats to meet director John McCasey and his team for all their efforts.

  4. Pam Immelman - July 18, 2011

    Well done Sacramento ! and well done South Africa !

    Does anyone have the final medal table, as the one on the WMA results page is definitely not the final one !

  5. Mary Woo - July 18, 2011

    I sgree that the announcing at Sac State was poor. HOWEVER, I believe it was due to a substandard PA system and bad acoustics. I also attended events at ARC and Sac City and the excellent announcers could be heard very clearly from all points on the track. The same could definitely NOT be said for Sac State, no matter which of the two (or three?) gentlemen were working the mike- it was a shame their comments were largely unitelligible. And as much as Pete was missed, I also agree his talents would have been wasted had he been announcing at the main venue. Also, I did hear comments about the lack of shuttles- weren’t they promised by the LOC? At any rate, I enjoyed volunteering and spectating very much- it was a wonderful meet!.

  6. Randy Wilson - July 18, 2011

    From throwers point of view:

    B- Facilities at Sac State. Extremely fast rings. Footing was an issue for many and saw and experienced many slips (needed lot’s of sweeping). Tight hammer cage. Never saw so many net throws. Probably 15-20% right net throws in my group.
    A- Officials. A few issues but overall outstanding. Helpful friendly and VERY low key.
    Wish they had a proper restrooms in throw area. Wish they had ICE anywhere.
    Great experience overall.

  7. Tommy Aunan - July 18, 2011

    I had a great time. Sacramento well done. Great job. Enjoyed every minute of it. Racewalks great location and well done. We do not live in a perfect world, small hitches here and there..so what..big deal.

  8. Francois Boda - July 18, 2011

    I thought the meet was well organized and more importantly, the races were ran on time which I am sure all athletes appreciated very much.

  9. Milton Girouard - July 18, 2011

    So did Bob Ward compete in the W.P at all? Ken wrote he asked for the refund after the event, but when I checked the results for the Men’s WP, 70-74, Bob is listed no where, not even as ND.

  10. Jerry Bookin-Weiner - July 18, 2011

    Bob Ward did not compete. He’s now in M75, not M70, and was upset by the large number of entrants in his grouping (a total of 21 since it was M75+). In fact only about 15 competed, which may have been what the schedulers were counting on. Turns out IAAF rules, which governed the meet, do not specify a maximum flight size. There were a significant number in the throws slated to include 18 or more, but almost all melted down to roughly 15 (or less) because of no-shows.

    Bob was also concerned that because at the venue where his throws pent was scheduled (Hughes Stadium at Sacramento City College) there was one cage used for the hammer discus and weight throws there would be significant delays. In fact the schedulers had taken this into account and delays, if any, were minimal (10 minutes or less).

    I would agree with Randy Wilson’s comments above. The circles at Sac State were like skating rinks, something that was pointed out to the LOC after the USATF Masters Outdoor Nationals last year. I guess the Sac State throws coaches and athletes aren’t bothered by this, but I heard no one last week who was happy with the circles.

    While there were a lot of throws into the netting in the hammer, I think that was the result of a lot of throwers not used to true hammer cages. We see a lot of those throws at meets on the east coast when a true hammer cage (as opposed to a HS discus cage) is used.

    Overall, as Randy said, a great experience.

  11. Mike Walker - July 18, 2011

    I thought that the meet was well run and the ofiicials did an excellent job and check in was well run too and went very smoothly.
    Personally I had a good overall experience in Sacremento but thought that locally it could have been better promoted and saw little media coverage which might have helped local interest but as a competitor had no problems.

  12. Stefan Waltermann - July 18, 2011

    At the Doubletree Hilton, we had athletes stating they were promised at last year’s Nationals that shuttles would run to the main venue. Athletes were unhappy and told me they would either have rented a car or stayed at the dorms if those promises were not made.
    Last year, we complained about the slick (fast) discus ring and were told if it’s good enough for an Olympic gold medal winner (Brown-Trafton), it should be good enough for us. Well, nothing changed. I felled sorry for some good athletes who could not even come close to meet their minimum expectations, a few bowing out with three fouls… I blame my own problems to inexperience, not to the ring conditions. Still, I liked the atmosphere, appreciated the officiating and the well run meet with events being right on time. I had a good time, I like Sacramento.

  13. West Coast - July 18, 2011

    F for the opening ceremonies. I am still attempting to figure out the message.
    D for the $50 party. Not enough food or non alcoholic drinks.
    A for the band at the party.

    A for a well run meet and easy check in process.
    A to the people of Sacramento for their hospitality.
    F for not ordering enough medals so everyone would be able to take their medals home.

  14. Cornell - July 18, 2011

    Just finished reading the results of the final day and I have one thing to say…”Job well done Team USA!” I’m extremely proud of each of you for representing so well. I truly wish that I could have been a part of it all. See you in 2013.

  15. Don Young - July 18, 2011

    A+ :The athletes competing. Amazing.

    A+ : The weather.

    A- Volunteers. They were great, except for the logistics comment below :)

    A :Facilities. Racewalking venue, Marathon course, Sac State and Sac city were fine, imo (I’m not a thrower)

    C: Meet spectating. Having the break mid day meant that when you finished at another location, Sac State was done-until nightime, when the transit stopped at 9. This was done with great intentions (heat) but made it tough to see some great performances. For example we went to Sac City to have my friend run the 10k-after his race it was ..ok, so that’s it for today here… uh let’s go to Sac State-uh everything is done there when the light rail will get there….. uh, let’s go back to the hotel I guess. That and the break day made it seem drawn out a bit-less days would make for better spectating maybe-again all done by folks trying to do the right thing with the heat. Maybe not having these meets in places that get to 100 degrees would be better… ;p

    D: Publicity-didn’t seem well publicised met many who would have been interested in going but didn’t seem to know about it. It would have been a challenge for them to figure out the schedule, imo.

    F: Medals/logistics. My wife was better informed at home than the medal stand folks. They didn’t have results in some cases over 4 hrs after they were posted on the internet(in “the Well” even). They also didn’t seem to learn from their mistakes as the meet went on. It became rather silly-telling people to be there at a specific certain time and 4 hrs later…..with nothing to watch in the heat. Also running out of medals. I’ll be checking the mailbox daily for that nice shiny team gold :)-podium and anthem would have been nicer though. Not the end of the world, but being honest-it detracted bit from the experience and wanting to do it again. It needs improvement.

    Overall: B+ The athletes and great volunteers made up for some of the problems and overall it was a great experience. The organisation could have been much better, though understanding that it is a huge undertaking and managing volunteers can be very challenging. Being honest as they need to know. Thank you to all who volunteered :)

  16. Tom Phillips - July 18, 2011

    Ken, your questions are too general. This was a mixed salad. I give A+ for officials and volunteers. Great bunch, fantastic to work alongside on track (I was photographing every day), knowledgeable and entertaining. Best memories by far.

    But I want to give an F- for the LoC’s failure to deliver simple things – like on site changing and showers, total absence of proper food on site, failure to attract in decent sales concessions (t shirt people were good, though), and the numerous other differences between what was described in the original details before booking and what we found on the ground.

    Biggest dissapointments were the almost total absence of any atmosphere in the main stadium, except on relay day, and the bizarre timetable of events throughout. M35 1500 final (a blue riband event) at 7am, as just one of many reprehensible scheduling eccentricities.

    The “Championships that had learned from the errors of others”? I think not. And running out of medals several days before the Championships ended, plus running out of diplomas on the final afternoon? Amateur and totally avoidable.

  17. Fun,but - July 18, 2011

    Official with the blue cane was as ASS.

  18. Jimson Lee - July 19, 2011

    How the f*** do you run out of medals?

    You count the events, the age groups, and make sure you order 4 for each relay and team event.

    The entry fees are high enough, so that should cover the cost of the medals.

    T-shirts are another story.

  19. Jerry Smartt - July 19, 2011

    Today, I’m mentioning one thing. The one item that was atrocious was the transit. We used it once. It took forever to get to the bus stop, forever to get to Sac State, and, when the bus stopped, it took forever to get from there to the stadium. “These legs were made for running.” We probably spent $300 on cabs. We’d take it to the stadium and then we’d call to get one to collect us. Lahti spoiled us. Smartty

  20. Mellow Johnnyr - July 19, 2011

    So glad to hear that the weather cooperated this year. I’ll never forget running the steeple last year at Outdoor Nats in 98 degree temps. Brutal.

  21. Mellow Johnny - July 19, 2011

    So glad to hear that the weather cooperated this year. I’ll never forget running the steeple last year at Outdoor Nats in 98 degree temps. Brutal.

  22. Liz Palmer - July 19, 2011

    I was told that a second shipment of medals had been delayed in shipping and had not arrived in time for the meet. So the medal problem was one of timing and logistics, not miscounting what was needed. Guess I’ll have to be patient for my relay medal! Tom, I have to disagree about a total lack of atmosphere at the main stadium. I had several friends and co-workers attend the meet and every one of them commented on the excitement of the crowd. I ran on Friday afternoon/night and Saturday afternoon, so I imagine that anyone competing in the morning probably didn’t get that much of a “crowd buzz.” But I have pictures that were taken of the stands during my events, and they were full. There was a great casual restaurant next to the back of “the Well.” There were several signs posted in the warm up area and close to the clerking tent that directed us there, and the food was excellent, but we definitely could have used more food vendors at the track. The officials were fantastic!

  23. Tom Phillips - July 19, 2011

    Liz, I heard the second medal shipment was only ordered when the LoC realised it had not allowed for enough for the relays. However, they actually ran out late Friday, I’m told. Simple math fail, I think.

  24. Liz Palmer - July 19, 2011

    Then they should have used me for their accountant–
    I’m killer on a ten-key and I’m great at counting stuff!

  25. Bill Newsham - July 19, 2011

    I went to the photo truck to see pictures of the mens 5000m (Sac City)and 1500m (ARC) semi. There were none. Photogs said they were at neither event. Howsat? So they did the womens 5000 on Fri and didn’t show for the mens the next day? Nothing special about the marathon course..dull..many short ups and downs…twists and turns. Made it easier to have aid stations every mile..but it was DARK in the unlit treed section around 3.5M on the 1st loop..was just hoping there was still asphalt under my feet somewhere down there. Overall I had no major problems with the event, thought everything ran efficiently and on time. Information provided was good and accurate. The officials I experienced were not overly stuffy. I stayed at an Extended Stay in West Sac for $40/night for 9 days with a full kitchen and rented a car and paid zero for site parking.

  26. Jerry Smartt - July 19, 2011

    Earlier I wrote about the transit thing. The drivers, there was a relief during the one ride we made, were great. Very friendly. No probs there. They knew all about us coming. On the other hand, my hotel, Embassy Suites, didn’t have a clue about our transit passes. We’ll see how it goes in ’13. Smartty

  27. Dale Campbell - July 19, 2011

    A few thoughts about how Sacramento performed for the World’s. I think they did learn a lot from last year’s Nationals. The officals and volunteers performed very well. It was great having the tents to provide shade – even though for most of the time the temps were very mild. Some things they did not have control over. Mass transit in our country is poor compared to most other countries. Probably should have communicated that a little better. For a hotel to be on the list of sites to be used by the championships, they should have been prepared to work with transit schedules, shuttle schedules, personnel that are well versed on what is going on, etc. Locker rooms assess should have been provided for athletes at each venue.
    Overall, I think that Sacramento did a pretty good job!

  28. Mellow Johnny - July 19, 2011

    Glad to hear being a guinea pig last year paid off for you guys this year, Dale! (I know you were one last year as well)

  29. David Elderfield - July 19, 2011

    I very much agree with the comment from Tom Phillips about the scheduling. Hadn’t picked up on the M35 1500m final at 7AM (can that really be true?) – thought the 400m finals from 8AM was bad enough! Certainly can play a part in keeping the partially injured “maybes” at home. Timetabling of this sort should not occur, and as far as I know has not occurred in previous championships. It is not great to spend two or three thousand dollars traveling around the world to compete in an empty stadium first thing in the morning – you can do that at home for nothing! Very much hope scheduling like this never happens again. championships.

  30. Tom Phillips - July 19, 2011

    To David E. OK, the M35 was actually at 7.05am. It was the W35 at 7.00. I was there to shoot both. Almost empty stands, zero atmosphere. That evening, the stadium was used for 400m semis, with finals from 8am next morning. Would not have needed rocket science to put the 400 semis on early, let the stadium enjoy the 1500s in the evening, with 400 finals next morning. Better rests for all of the athletes too. Only one of several schedule nonsenses. What really got me was that on the final Saturday evening of the championships, the stadium was empty, locked, etc, with nothing scheduled.

    Word on the street is that Sac State held the LoC to ransom for megabucks for use of facilities, the TIC in particular – hence no warm up track during the afternoon, no changing rooms or showers unless individuals paid, and probably why no events that Saturday evening. But even if that is so, it does not excuse access to the medal ceremonies on the first two days being only available to those eligible to walk on the track. The gates to the ceremony area were locked. I was one whose complaints got one gate unlocked, but holding the presentations outside the TIC, opposite the Call Room, where there was a mass of space, would have meant so mabpny more visitors could have seen our best people get their medals. Until the medals ran out, of course.

    Those referring to full stands are kidding no one. The finish straight stand was never anywhere near full, let alone the rear straight stand. The event had the atmosphere of a moderately well managed large meet, but IMO, that is just not good enough. This was our World Championships.

  31. Kathy Bergen - July 19, 2011

    I had an odd experience. After a long drive on Friday, July 8, I wanted to loosen up a bit on the practice track about 2PM. There was no one on the track and no one in any of the throwing venues. After about 5 minutes an official said the track was closed. I asked if I could run on the grass and he said no.

    I don’t recall seeing anywhere that the practice track would be closed. What is a practice track used for if not practice?

  32. Doug Smith The Junior - July 19, 2011

    Had a great time…competing and shooting on the track. The Officials were great. Personally, I don’t look for change facilities when the hotel (and pool) is 15 minutes away. Knowing we were going to be in California – the home of the car – I didn’t even consider transit and always had a full rental going back and forth to the track. We really lucked out with the weather. My 5000m was close to Noon in a sun bowl – but race day it was just fine.

  33. Scott Bickham - July 19, 2011

    Organizers: D. How cannot a serious international meet not require declarations and reseed heats appropriately given the early entry deadline? Many heats had half the listed number, and they were all ran anyway as schedule. It’s much more efficient to ask for declarations 2 weeks in advance and reseed/reschedule the heats based on who’s showing up.

    Officials: A+. They were great!

    Facilities: B. Lack of toilet paper was a common complaint. At least one portapotty at ARC was not revamped after filling up and running out of supplies. It was gross, and I don’t have to sit down.

    Weather: C. I read Mary Harada’s complaints about the potential for hot weather, and I diligently trained in the heat. Lo and behold, I could have used long underwear and gloves! Please make it hotter next time! 55F is too cold for us old guys to get warmed up for short races. If possible, please also reduce the wind speed.

  34. Jeff Mann - July 19, 2011

    Scott,
    Agreed on the heat seeding, except for the two week notice. They had time after the 50 minute check in to reseed heats. It’s not a big deal. I know, because I do it for high school meets, with only a 30 minute advance check in.

    For the 1500 semis, they did reseed at least one section (I believe it was M40), but none of the others. However, personally I was happy they didn’t reseed the 1500 because I was happy to be in the last heat.

    “A” for officials otherwise, and the volunteers I spoke with. ARC was the only place I saw that had issues with portable toilets, partly because it’s always open to the general public.

  35. Karla Del Grande - July 20, 2011

    Can someone explain why there was no declaring followed by reseeding of heats? Did it make sense for M40 100 m runners, on Fri.July 8, to have 11 heats with 46 competitors and 21 shown as DNS? There were heats with 1, 2 or 3 runners only, and others with 4, 5, 6 or 7. Qualifying was on the basis of time, not place, so the fastest runners made it to the next round, but it seems much more efficient and sensible to reseed so no one comes to a World Championship and runs a heat by him or herself!

  36. peter taylor - July 20, 2011

    Karla, I know that you are an astute observer of the masters T&F scene, but I still had to check it out for myself. I found, for example, that one Joseph Blackman journeyed from points unknown to Sacramento for his M40 trial in the 100-meter dash, then ran it by himself. At a world championship!!! Yikes.

    “Hey, Estelle, who’s that guy running down the track? Isn’t the track closed except for competition right now?”

    “No, Barney, that’s some guy in the meet. He’s running by himself.”

    Wow. Couldn’t the clerks have noticed that there were multitudinous scratches and then combined the heats?

  37. Kiwi - July 20, 2011

    Tom I’m not trying to fool anyone. When I say stands I am not going to nitpick and say finish straight or back straight. The stands that were canopy shaded for benefit of the spectators were full at many times throughout the meet. Sitting in the unshaded stands of the back straight in the heat and direct sun would be dangerous to health which may explain why no one was there.

  38. buzooti - July 20, 2011

    Peter,

    Joseph Blackman actually ran in Heat 4 with three other competitors. The results, however, split the heat and show two Heat 4s(Heat 1 also reflects such a split). That said, it wasn’t a full heat by any means and reseeding certainly made sense.

    The M40 200M prelims at ARC were reseeded. If I recall, were went from nine down to seven heats.

  39. Andrew Hecker - July 20, 2011

    I’ve made numerous comments about stuff like this as it relates to same day registration. I will continue: there is only one time you can properly seed an event, that is following check in–when you know who is there and is intending to run. That would occur at final check in at a major meet like this. You can’t draw lanes until you know. All the other legwork you do before that moment is based on theory, a guess. At the WMA meet the attrition is extremely high. I chalk it up to the unreasonably early registration deadline. Folks of a certain age can’t predict how their bodies will hold up over the remaining couple of months but the organizers don’t care if they no-show, they’ve already collected their money. In my last event, the M55 Long Jump, the attrition was almost 50%, unfortunately including me. 25% seemed normal throughout the meet. Essentially that is income with no services needing to be rendered. Pure profit.

    The inflexibility of the computer (actually the Hy-Tek software) and sporadic unwillingness of the operators to adjust for the circumstances, made for some poor races competitively and aesthetically–the varying sizes of the field across multiple heats in the same division. And that is not fair to the athletes who had to qualify. Small fields made a place advancement easier. Non-competitive seeding made it made it harder for some to qualify by time. And the liars poker game of participants submitting their own marks still makes it impossible to get that perfect anyhow. When they took the time to redraw the heats, we had much better, fairer races. I have yet to figure out the logic of why some were redrawn and others were not. Maybe there was no logic and it only depended on who was on duty at the time.

    When I had this kind of analysis at the meet, I was asked how they could keep the meet on schedule if they didn’t know who was coming. By doing exactly what they did, plan the schedule to run events slowly, lots of time between races and schedule events based on the past history. Uh, this meet has been put on now 19 times. The number of athletes entered in each event is not going to change exponentially from year to year. They are not going to pull up a bus and suddenly have 45 entrants in the M95 100 meters. You know its going to be a small field–more than two in the race would make news. But don’t criticize the clerks and officials on the ground. The ones I met were astute in what was going on, but executive decisions prevented them from fixing the problems.

  40. Ken Stone - July 20, 2011

    I, too, noticed that nobody had to declare at this worlds — just show up 50 minutes before your event to check in.

    The tradeoff for this convenience was many sprint heats had to be reseeded (including my M55 200s at ARC). The reseedings caused a slight delay, but I was just happy to be there period.

    When declarations are required, it sometimes leads to athletes being DQ’d for forgetting this step or not being able to declare because of logistics/travel issues.

  41. Mellow Johnny - July 21, 2011

    Does the WMGs take the effort and time to redraw all the heats?

  42. don schaefer - July 24, 2011

    My wife Betty ran, but these comments reflect both our feelings..Great Job Sacramento !! We both officiate at Hayward Field in Eugene and we know a good meet. the Clerks tent with the multilingual officials was perfect. The explanations for the runners prior to the event, time to report, correct alignment out to the track, and the humor provided to make all entrants at ease was much appreciated. To have a meet with that many events run on time is a logistics miracle. Well Done ! The volunteers were knowledgeable, the officiating was outstanding, and everyone even though they had to be dead tired at the end were extraordinarily friendly and helpful!! thank you all for a wonderful experience ! Don and Betty Schaefer Oregon Track Club

  43. H - July 26, 2011

    For me, one thing that gets an F is the transit pass. The initial information implied that (like all other championships) it would be included in the entry fee. After I had booked my hotel, I found that I had to pay around $36 more for it (because I wasn’t in one of the ‘official’ hotels). What would any ‘accommpanying persons’ get for their fee, if the transit isn’t included? As spectating is free anyway, the answer must be nothing (other than a card to hang around their neck). Yet when I used the transit system, the ticket inspector told me that they were letting anyone with a green identity card use the system for free as they had provided free transit to all competitors. It seems I had paid unnecessarily.

    Also, when I tried to use the buses on the first free day (Sunday) most buses were not running and I could not get to my intended destination.

    I can also only give an F for the showers and changing facilities – I was shocked to find that there were none. These facilities are fundamental to athletes.

    I can however give an A to the field event officials. They were the most efficient I have experienced at any world’s.

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