Tim Seaman’s swan song a sizzler: WR in M40 indoor 3K walk!

Tim (shown in 2013) walked till he dropped his own M40 WR.

Nate Sickerson ran 7.14, the fastest 60-meter dash for an M40 American since 2009, in winning the masters exhibition at the USA Indoor nationals Sunday in Albuquerque, and Lisa Valle ran the second-fastest 1500 for a W45 American this season in taking that event in 5:12.45. But the best masters mark at open nationals (besides Bernard Lagat’s AR for 2K) was by Olympian Tim Seaman, a 41-year-old racewalk legend. He shattered his own M40 world record in the 3K walk with a winning performance of 11:40.75. Tim had extra incentive. He’s now retired. At Millrose, he was DQ’d in a mile walk on the way to a 5:55. Sunday, he avoided getting red-carded. Tim coaches distances at Cuyamaca College, a two-year school where I train. And before he left for Millrose, I told him: “Sub-11:50!” Mission accomplished. Anyone have links to videos from nationals? Or eye-witness reports?

Here’s how USATF reported and quoted Tim after the 3K walk:

In the men’s 3,000 meters, Tim Seaman captured his 14th USA Indoor title and fought off a final surge in the last 10 meters by Olympian John Nunn. Seaman announced his retirement prior to the final. After his storied career, he is the most decorated athlete in USATF race walking history.

Tim Seaman, winner
In the last race of your career, you don’t want to take too much risk race walking. I went out there, and I didn’t want to take the lead to make sure it’s a nice, fair, even race, and then John took the lead, and I was so ecstatic because he took the pace. It takes all the pressure off me. Nobody can sit and kick me. I decided I was just going to wait until I could push to the end. I made the push, and then he came back on me. I just put my head down and pushed my shoulders.”

Tim’s listed M40 record had been 12:08.65, but he also had a pending 11:52.31 from December 2013.

Results for our kids:

Men 3000 Meter Race Walk
Waterfall Start
American: A 11:16.30 2/3/1984 Ray Sharp, East Side TC
Meet: M 11:36.27 2/26/2012 Trevor Barron, NYAC
Name Year Team Finals
1 Tim Seaman N Y A C 11:40.75
2 John Nunn U.S. Army 11:40.95
3 Nick Christie Missouri Baptist 12:30.04
4 Alejandro Chavez Missouri Baptist 12:37.46
5 Michael Giuseppe Mannozz Shore A C 13:00.66
— Emmanuel Corvera Unattached DQ

Men 60 Meter Dash Masters
Name Year Team Finals
1 Nate Sickerson Southwest Sprint 7.14
2 Scott Wichman Unattached 7.18
3 Derek Pye So Cal Track Clu 7.25
4 Val Barnwell So Cal Track Clu 7.55
5 Gavin Thorne Unattached 7.64

Women 1500 Meter Run Masters
Name Year Team Finals
1 Lisa Valle New Mexico TC 5:12.45
2 Jennifer Hegarty Unattached 5:31.08
3 Susan Stine-Melgares Unattached 5:33.31
4 Jill Vollweiler So Cal Track Clu 5:42.01

Here’s a nice sendoff profile of Tim posted by USATF:

American race walker Tim Seaman (New York, N.Y.) will line-up one last time Sunday, Feb. 23, before officially announcing his retirement after USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Albuquerque this weekend.

“I think it’s the right time,” said Seaman, whose race walking legacy has been a history in the making. “I don’t think I could match my 2013 season of winning USA Indoors at 40-years-old and USA Outdoors at 41,” he continued. “I can’t top that, so I think it’s better to go out on top.

“USATF has given me the opportunity to travel across the world, to make great friends and to have unforgettable memories. Their assistance over the years has been irreplaceable. I set 12 American records in my career. I still have eight of them. The opportunity to wear “USA” across your chest is something that only USA Track & Field could have given me and that really means a lot.”

Seaman’s storied career began when his high school coach encouraged him to compete as a miler because the team needed extra points at an event on Long Island. Seaman accepted the challenge, laced up and set his race walking destiny in motion. The summer following his senior year, he became a 10 km Junior National Champion with a time of 49:36.14, and he received a college scholarship to the University of Wisconsin Parkside.

As a collegiate athlete, Seaman became the school’s first four-time NAIA race walk champion, propelling his career into the elite, national race walking scene.

At USA Championships alone, Seaman became a 13-time Indoor 5,000m RW champion, winning consecutive years from 1998-2007, and in 2009, 2010 and 2013. He is a seven-time USA 20 km champion, winning in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2009 and 2014, and he was the USA 10 km champion in 2010. In all, Seaman now holds an astonishing eight separate American records, and his 13 USA Indoor titles rank highest in the sport’s history.

Seaman competed in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, but his greatest performance came four years later when he surpassed the previous top American Olympic time, finishing 1:25:42 at the Athens 2004 Games.

“My first Olympics didn’t go exactly as I wanted,” he said, “but my second Olympic Games was the highest place for an American in the last 28 years. And for that, I’m proud.”

Transitioning into a role as a full-time coach has been bittersweet for Seaman, but he now sees his impact on the next generation of race walkers and takes pride in their success.

“The second fastest ever is Trevor Barron, whom I coached,” said an honored Seaman. “He walked faster than me in London, and he is the only American to ever walk faster than me. The pinnacle moment of my coaching career is knowing that two-thirds of the Americans in London in racewalking walked the fastest times ever by Americans at the Olympics.”

Currently also the coach at Cuyamaca Community College in San Diego, Seaman continues the final phase of his professional career with reminders of the journey.

“I’ve had a very long career, and I’m really happy for the opportunities provided to me by USA Track & Field and the New York Athletic Club.” He met my wife Rachel (Lavelle) Seaman at the 2006 IAAF World Cup in Spain, and he made many financial sacrifices to compete after college in addition to moving across the country and overcoming the setbacks of nagging injuries.”

Despite the memories and sentiments along the way, Seaman looks ahead remembering every voice of encouragement , especially his first. Even his faithful Coach Manhardt rode a bicycle beside him during Seaman’s final preparations for the last competition of his legendary career.

Print Friendly

February 24, 2014

4 Responses

  1. Nolan Shaheed - February 24, 2014

    Wow! walking a mile in 5:55!!
    Can you imagine racing a 10K and a guy is walking along side of you, pacing you?!

  2. Dexter McCloud - February 25, 2014

    I met Tim several years ago at one of the outdoor championships. We’ve been friends ever since. Through him, I’ve made several friends in the race walk community.

    Tim is a class act on and off the track. Even though he’s no longer competing, he will have a presence in our track family for a long time to come.

    Congrats to a great guy

  3. Ken Stone - February 25, 2014

    Here’s video of the men’s masters 60:

  4. Ken Stone - February 25, 2014

    Here’s video of the women’s masters 1500:

Leave a Reply