Bob Lida to Usain Bolt: Keep it up, and you can run masters, too!

Bob Lida is as quick-witted as he is fast. Three weeks ago, he was accepting his award as IAAF Best Male Masters Athlete of 2012 at the 100th anniversary Gala of the IAAF. Let Bob take it from here: “So there I was in Barcelona, at the IAAF Best Athlete of the Year Awards — and this young kid from Jamaica comes up and asks if he can have his picture taken with me. Well, anybody who knows me knows I like to encourage kids, so I said sure, come on over here. Told him that someday, if he works hard, be might be in the Masters, too. At least I think that’s how it happened — could have been the other way around. There were groupies everywhere. I just never figured I’d be one of them.”

Can you tell 2012’s best masters sprinter apart from the world’s fastest man? Oh, the gray hair.

Bob continues:

But I couldn’t resist Allyson Felix. She is one of the nicest, most gracious people you’ll ever want to meet. Seriously, Ken, thought I’d send you a few of the pictures taken at the awards. (See them here.)

I have been in the marketing business all my life, and have attended scores of worldwide conventions, meetings and shows.  But I have never attended one that would equal the Gala put on in Barcelona.  It was flawless. 

I felt, and I believe Lyn [Ventris] did too, that masters was a definite part of the program.  I realize that the masters aspects of the programs has not always been so inclusive in the IAAF presentation –w hich makes me particularly grateful to the hard work and persistence of [WMA President] Stanley Perkins and [WMA Secretary] Winston Thomas to give masters greater status in the event.  It’s clear they have made a substantial difference, which I believe is very important to masters’ athletics worldwide. 

To be on the same stage, and in the same pictures, with the best open athletes in the world is amazing.  It certainly makes the general public understand that masters track and field in more than a hobby.  I felt like a kid in a candy store among all the greats – past and present. 

To meet and have interesting conversations with people like Peter Snell, Sebastian Coe, Kip Keno, Allyson Felix and Edwin Moses is priceless.  Where else could one do this?  There were no egos in the room, including the Prince of Monaco who turned out to not only be very nice, but very down to earth and interested in the masters program.  I only wish we would have had more time to meet more of the people.


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December 15, 2012

8 Responses

  1. peter taylor - December 16, 2012

    One-sentence description of Bob Lida: Looks young and runs fast.

    Will be nice to see Bob doing his thing at the next nationals (Landover, Maryland, in March).

  2. Doug Smith - December 16, 2012

    Great story, great man, great athlete, and proud to call Bob a friend. Doug (USA)

  3. Doug Spencer - December 17, 2012

    Great story !! You are the MAN Bob !!

  4. Paul Edens - December 18, 2012

    Good looking group. I hope you gave that tall young kid a few pointers on how to become a successful athlete…;-) If anyone knows how, it’s you. Congratulations Bob. You are a winner!

  5. Craig Davis - December 19, 2012

    Bob: Now That’s Funny !!!! Maybe it’s one Legend offing advise to another. Very proud and honored to be a team mate. What a year and it looks like the out door times are in jeopardy again this year.
    “It’s what I came here to do. I’m now a legend, I’m the greatest athlete to live,” said Bolt.

  6. Steven Bowles - December 19, 2012

    Congrats Bob .Am pleased to be your friend . You truly have no equal . You look like a fit 50yr old .

  7. Roger Pierce - December 19, 2012

    Bob…but can he run a 400m? Bet you would have him in an age graded race!!!! Way to go…

  8. Bill Bittner - January 18, 2013

    Been chasing you for over ten years and still can’t get close-you’re in a class of your own-see you down the road.

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