Ashton Eaton (in red at right) pauses in hep to watch dramatic finish of masters menâ€™s 800.
Irelandâ€™s Joe Gough,
63, signed autographs and posed with fans at IAAF Portland worlds Saturday night. He hadnâ€™t won the race. But he won the hearts of nearly 7,000 fans at the Oregon Convention Center after bravely sprinting away from all but Britainâ€™s Dave Wilcock
(bib name was wrong) at the bell of the masters menâ€™s 800. Dave eventually reeled Joe in with 10 meters to go, leading to Joe making a spectacular lunge for the finish. His fall on the rough Mondo surface left him bruised and bloody. Joe, the M60 world indoor record holder, had perhaps gone out too slow. (Dave ran an incredible negative split race â€” a first 400 in about 71, followed by a 65-second final 400.) But Joe was proud of putting on a show at the sportâ€™s highest-profile indoor meet. And thousands of fans stood and cheered the County Kilkenny runner as he and his rivals took a victory lap to conclude the meetâ€™s morning session. Helene Marie Douay
of France, by contrast, led from the start to win the W55-plus womenâ€™s 800 in 2:37.30, holding off a strong challenge by Americaâ€™s Lesley Chaplin
, less than three-tenths of a second back.
Helene Marie Douay of France reacts after winning the masters womenâ€™s 800.
Winner Dave, ironically, wasnâ€™t part of the original six-man field. But when Nolan Shaheed withdrew (a leg strain, said WMAâ€™s Winston Thomas), Dave was elevated into the race along with a Frenchman, replacing another scratch.
I got home late â€” after my website-founding partner Dave Clingan and I went out for beers with Joeâ€™s wife and daughter. So Iâ€™ll be adding details later. But hereâ€™s a sampling of photos from the masters races.
Here are masters womenâ€™s 800 results.
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 902 Helene Marie DOUAY FRA FRA 2:37.30
2 901 Lesley CHAPLIN USA USA 2:37.57
3 900 Karen BROOKS GBR GBR 2:40.14
4 903 Julie HAYDEN USA USA 2:40.70
5 905 Deborah DRENNAN AUS AUS 2:42.69
6 904 Cheryl BELLAIRE USA USA 2:45.05
Here are masters menâ€™s 800 results:
POS BIB ATHLETE COUNTRY MARK
1 505 David Roy WILCOCK GBR GBR 2:15.90
2 501 Joe GOUGH IRL IRL 2:16.01
3 500 Oleksandr LYSENKO UKR UKR 2:17.38
4 502 Pierre FAUCHEUR FRA FRA 2:18.23
5 504 Marcellus Jacobus SCHOLTEN NED NED 2:18.53
6 503 Florio CLOK URU URU 2:18.66
A sequence of my shots â€” just the tip of the iceberg Iâ€™ll eventually share.
Masters menâ€™s 800 entrants pose before their race at IAAF Portland worlds.
Joe Gough waves to crowd during introductions of masters menâ€™s 800.
Ukraineâ€™s Oleksandr Lysenko led the field through a 70-second first 400.
Joe Gough leads Dave Wilcock by a couple strides on the last backstretch.
With decathlon great Ashton Eaton looking on, masters strain for finish.
Dave Wilcock works to stay ahead of a lunging Joe Gough in 800.
Joe Gough begins to fall at finish of masters menâ€™s 800.
Dave Wilcock finishes inches ahead of a falling Joe Gough in masters menâ€™s 800.
Runners avoid a collapsed Joe Gough at finish of masters menâ€™s 800.
Joe Gough lay on the track, exhausted, after giving his all in menâ€™s 800.
David Wilcock signals victory after edging Joe Gough in the masters menâ€™s 800.
A standing ovation greets masters menâ€™s field after stirring race.
British flags greet 800 winner David Wilcock on the backstretch of victory lap.
A nearly packed Oregon Convention Center applauded masters field.
David Wilcock gives his British fans in the Portland stands a thumbs up.
Joe Gough flies the Irish flag given him by his daughter Sarah in the stands.
David Wilcock describes his race to an interviewer in the mixed zone.
Helene Marie Douay takes final stride of womenâ€™s 800 ahead of Lesley Chaplin.
Franceâ€™s Helene Marie Douay is cheered by her rivals after winning masters 800.
IAAFâ€™s Cesar Moreno Bravo kisses Britainâ€™s Karen Brooks after her finish.
Lesley Chaplin, Julie Hayden and Cheryl Bellaire pause for interviews after race.