Brad Barton having a son-of-a-gun great season, with Trials to come

Our honey-making friend Brad Barton is having one sweet season as a new M50. His American record 4:05.4 for 1500 on June 18 was matched by his son Garrett running a leg on Ogden High School’s national record 4×1 mile relay team (a 4:16 leg), breaking a 40-year-old record. But the best may be yet to come. Brad has qualified for the Olympic Trials masters 1500 on Sunday, July 3 — just minutes before Ashton Eaton runs his own 15. He’ll be going against guys in their early 40s. But no matter. He’s a force. Recently, Brad shared details on his 1500 AR. Here’s what he posted on Facebook.

Brianna Scroggins photo of Brad training for rtturn to the Trials. He made steeplechase semis in 1992.

Brianna Scroggins photo of Brad training for return to the Trials. He made steeplechase semis in 1992.

Brad wrote:

Oh the Joy!!!

June 18, Oregon City, Pioneer Stadium – 
The Portland Masters Track Classic – 1500 m run. (61° in light rain and wind)

This was coach Hislop and my one shot to run a qualifying mark for the US Olympic Trials Exhibition Masters 1500 m race. I needed at least a 4:08.01 to do it. 4:07.5 would make the meet for sure. 4:07.5 is 66 pace and that was the plan.

I was all alone from the gun. Couldn’t decide if I was fast or slow in the first 300 m. I figured slow. It was a real shock to see 45 seconds on the finish line clock instead of 49.5 at 300 meters as per race plan. I eased back a bit at that.

Tactically it was a near disaster. I was supposed to be at 66 pace at 400 m. I came through in a blistering 62.8 instead. Without any recent history with this distance on account of significant winter and spring injuries, I was worried this huge error could set me up for failure deeper into the race.

With faith in my training I regrouped mentally and settled in for the haul. I focused on staying relaxed and fast and came through 800 m at 2:09 which got me back to my desired 66 pace and three seconds ahead overall.

I was feeling fine at that point and tried to keep it honest from there with a 2:59 at the bell – one lap to go. A long way from the finish line I wasn’t confident enough to crank it down at all and my 1200 m split was 3:15.5 – still close to 66 pace.

The race was all about getting myself to the finish line from there. I still felt descent so I leaned in a bit then but it was a conservative effort. It was the right decision.

I began struggling coming off the final turn. The last 50 m were not pretty but I held in and crossed the finish line at 4:05.41, faster than I needed by roughly two seconds. The goal was to post one of the top twelve 1500 m performances in the country over 40 yrs old. This time puts me at sixth on the Masters miler list, and at 50, easily the oldest.

With more favorable circumstances I’m certain I can run faster – perhaps a lot faster…

Big shout out to my sponsor Get Air Trampoline Parks.

UofO, Hayward Field, Olympic Trials, here we come!

Also check out this recent profile of Brad in a local newspaper.

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June 24, 2016

7 Responses

  1. Curt Morgan - June 25, 2016

    Given some competition, I bet you’ll knock several seconds off that time.

  2. sean wade - June 28, 2016

    Great run Brad

  3. Brad Barton - June 29, 2016

    Thanks for your encouragement Curt. This should be fun.

    Sean, so sad to hear of your season ending injury. That has been my season’s story so far… I have been delighted to see of your amazing accomplishments and had high hopes to toe that line with you at Hayward field. Rain check…?

  4. Brad Barton - June 29, 2016

    As always, a huge thank you to Ken Stone. Not sure how you make time to keep up on every nuance of this terrific sport. You are my hero Ken!

  5. Brad Barton - June 29, 2016

    Ken, I just noticed that my Portland Masters Classic effort beats Ray Hatton’s listed American record of 5:05.80, July, 1982. Unless I missed something from Sean’s outdoor season doesn’t my 4:05.41 do the trick? It wasn’t even on my radar so I didn’t have a record form with me for signatures. Looking back, it was a sanction to meet and they did have FAT, cones on the turns, USATF officials, a printed program, plenty of competitors, etc. Am I missing something?

  6. Ken Stone - June 29, 2016

    Advice to Brad sent privately.

  7. tb - July 3, 2016

    If the advice was, “just run 4:01.77 at the Olympic Trials”, he took it.

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