2014 masters nationals in Winston-Salem, N.C., a 6-day meet?

Memo to self: Get in shape by 2014. That’s when I enter the M60 age group. No more excuses for not running the long hurdles, since I’ll be eligible for the 300-meter race that year. And just in case you’re updating your calendar: The 2014 nationals at Wake Forest are set for July 15-20. Yes, that appears to be a six-day meet, a departure from our normal 4-day nationals. Maybe it’s a typo. Anyone know? Here’s what the local paper reported, citing a press release:

From the News-Record of Greensboro, North Carolina:

Winston-Salem has won the bid to host the 2014 USA Masters Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The event will bring an estimated 2,100 athletes, coaches and support staff to Winston-Salem July 15-20, 2014.

“With the strong support of our local organizing committee, Twin City Track Club and in partnership with Wake Forest University to use their facilities, Visit Winston-Salem put forth an aggressive and convincing bid to host this prestigious athletic competition,” said Richard Geiger, president of Visit Winston-Salem, the convention and visitors bureau for Forsyth County.

Winston-Salem will host the meet for the first time. The event, featuring athletes ages 30 to 95, will include track distances of 100 meters to 10,000 meters and field events such as all jumps, shot put, javelin and discus.

“Having competed in the Masters Track & Field the last four years I understand the needs of the Masters community and what’s attractive to them in a host city and facility,” said Noel Ruebel, meet director and track coach at Forsyth Country Day School. “Visit Winston-Salem was outstanding in their efforts to incorporate several innovative ideas, such as adding events for our local youth and visiting grandchildren to compete in, along with our already attractive city. I’m excited to bring this championship event to my hometown of Winston-Salem.”

The 2011 championships were in Berea, Ohio, and the 2012 competition will be Aug. 2-5 in Lisle, Ill.

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December 7, 2011

15 Responses

  1. Noel Ruebel - December 7, 2011

    The press release should have read July 17-20 as per the usual 4-day schedule. I think the anticipation of vacationers arriving early got the best of the writer!

  2. Bonny Bernat - December 7, 2011

    Noel, thank you for providing the clarification. It is expected that officials, staff and some participants will be in town before the official start of the event, which is July 17, 2014.

  3. Ken Stone - December 7, 2011

    Thanks, Noel! And in a private email, Noel confirms that he will be meet director at 2014 nationals.

    He’s perfectly suited for this challenge, since he’s an experienced decathlete. Meet directors have to be expert in about 20 areas, so he’s essentially doing a double dec. Noel also pledges to use this blog as a mean of getting feedback on the meet.

    Thanks for the confidence in this community gathering spot, Mr. Ruebel.

  4. peter taylor - December 7, 2011

    Noel Ruebel and his crew are going to do a great job with this meet; I am sure of it. Noel has the experience and the knowledge base to succeed. In high school, as I recall, he went 7 feet indoors in the high jump, the first schoolboy ever to do that.

    That’s what I call getting a good start in the track and field world.

  5. Terry Parks - December 7, 2011

    I like the positive tone of the article. It is nice to read our championship being described as prestigious. I was in Winston-Salem last summer after running the Southeast Masters meet and I had a great time. I think that the 2014 meet will be well attended and well run.
    The old Salem part of Winston-Salem had some really good restaurants and hotels. The people were all really friendly and there is definitely a nice Southern charm to the city.

    The humidity and heat can be problematic though. It took me a couple of days to get use to it again last summer. I plan on taking an extended vacation in North Carolina for the championship to get use to the heat and to visit family and to travel around the great state of North Carolina. So the 2014 Championships will be a two week event for me!

  6. Tim Edwards - December 8, 2011

    I just have one thing to say. Remember Charlotte in 06. What a disaster with the heat and humidity

  7. Warren Graff - December 8, 2011

    Ken – even when the race drops from 400 to 300m, those last two hurdles still seem to grow taller at the end of the race! :)

  8. Noel Ruebel - December 8, 2011

    The weather at the 2006 National meet in Charlotte was an extreme situation that doesn’t happen very often and no one has any control over. Unfortunately, when it occurred, meet management wasn’t fully prepared or ready to adjust to the circumstances. We will have a split schedule, plenty of shade and water, and a willingness to adjust our plans to provide as safe and enjoyable an experience as we can. Winston-Salem is an hour and 15 minutes north of Charlotte, closer to the mountains, so we experience “extremes” even less often here.

    A long list of people were “concerned” that Sacramento Worlds in July would prove to be deadly due to the heat – it didn’t happen. Several were “concerned” that the altitude in Albuquerque would ruin the experience for anyone running longer than 400m – it didn’t happen. I’ve been to Joplin, MO in June of 2008 & 2010 for the National Decathlon Championships – almost exactly one year later in 2011 they experienced a toronado – will that deter me from attending the next Championship event held in Joplin? Absolutely NOT! I’ll be there in a heartbeat because of the wonderful people, their hospitality, and the care they take in conducting a great meet. Please don’t condemn us by linking Winston-Salem 2014 to Charlotte 2006 with your “one thing to say.” We’ve earned this opportunity and look forward to welcoming our Masters Track & Field friends to Winston-Salem, North Carolina in 2014.

    Noel Ruebel
    Meet Director

  9. Old Timer - December 8, 2011

    Noel, # 7 –well said and very true! Looking forward to 2014.

  10. Terry Parks - December 8, 2011

    The evenings in Winston-Salem, North Carolina can be a glorious thing. Here in California it can get down right cold on a summer nights, but I enjoyed the warm nights in Winston-Salem last summer.

  11. Mary Harada - December 9, 2011

    Noel #7, I agree with what your write about summer heat and that Charlotte hada heat wave, but absolutely NOT about the issues with altitude in Albuquerque for runners in events over 400m. As a middle distance runner I found it very difficult to run the mile and even the 800m. I did not attempt to run the 3k as I knew it would be very difficult for me. Some of those who ran the 3k had very slow and painful runs. Perhaps for younger masters there was not a problem but for some of us older athletes – altitude was a distinct problem. Not everyone who lives at or near sea level adjusts easily. And there are plenty of studies that show the difference in performance for elite athletes in middle to distance events when they compete at altitude but do not train at altitude.
    The weather in Sac was not as hot as for the outdoor nationals the prior year. However for those of us who ran the 8k x-c heat was an issue, and for those not fortunate enough to run early in the morning in the 5k and 10k – again heat was an issue. I realize that there were some complaints about the cold for the very early morning events -but those of us who run road races should be accustomed to cool to cold morning temperatures. However for field event, jumpers, and sprinters -I understand the dislike of cool temperatures. OTOH – you cannot please all the people all the time.

  12. Tim Edwards - December 18, 2011

    Mr. Ruebel

    Sorry I have not been on this site for a couple of weeks to reply. With all due respect, I hope the 2014 meet is a huge success because it is only good for Masters track if it is.

    First of all when the heat related things at Charlotte were not forecasted or foreseen like thunderstorms with high heat and humidity, that is like saying it is not going to be over 100 degrees here in Phoenix in July.

    As a thrower I will gladly throw in a cold blizzard or a hurricane, I could care less. But when there is something weather related in a meet the first athletes that are affected are the throwers as many of us spent thousands of dollars and time off work to go to Charlotte, and the day of the meet they cut us down to 4 throws. Did they cut the runners heats? did they cut the 400 meter dash to 300? no.It was more important to have the annual Saturday night bbq for the officials than to accomodate the throwers so we could get 6 throws.

    So when I look at the July temperature averages for Winston Salem compared to Charlotte and there is not much difference, I’m sorry if I feel apprehensive about dishing out all that money again.

    As recently as this last September when Hurricane Irene went through NY City (Who would have thought) before the World Police and Fire Games.Guess what events got cut? You guessed it, the throws, and we only got 4 throws.

    It sounds like lessons have been learned from Charlotte, and you are well prepared for the worst, and willing to adjust to the temps. It’s just that many of us throwers are still bitter about being short changed 6 years ago.

    Good luck,

    Tim Edwards

  13. jerry lyons - December 16, 2013

    am saving my nickles in order to attend. will the university offer rooms on campus?
    when will the schedule of events be presented? surgeries put a dent in pocket book. need to be frugal.
    thank you,
    jerry lyons

  14. Noel Ruebel - December 17, 2013

    There will be a limited amount of rooms available on campus. The schedule of events is dictated by USATF and we don’t have that in hand as of yet. We plan on having meet and entry information available at usatf.org by January 15.

  15. jerry lyons - December 17, 2013

    thank you for your nice response.
    jerry lyons

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