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Sun May 04, 2008 11:19 pm

Master Masters Athlete
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Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 2:06 pm
Posts: 192
Location: San Diego

In the May 2008 issue of National Masters News, former USATF Masters T&F Chairman George Mathews wrote a column that contained a GREAT idea.

In the course of recalling his Clermont-Ferrand worlds stay in a chain related to Motel 6, he talked about sharing a room with Bob Sager, a friend from Montana. George wrote: "Sharing is the way to go for the future with the costs of transportation and lodging being what they are. I think the Masters Track & Field Committee should have a 'Sharing Bulletin Board' on"

Well, within 20 minutes of reading that, I created this new Forum area. (It would have been faster, but I had to take Buddy our golden retriever out to the back yard for his last pee of the night.)

Waiting for USATF is like waiting for Godot. Don't expect to see him on the next bus from Biloxi.

So here's the deal: When you need a roommate or someone to carpool with, specify when and where, and indicate how you want to be contacted. Folks who register with this Forum can use the PM (private message) function. Or you can just give an email address in the sneaky way to avoid email spam. Give your email address like this: TrackCEO (at) This helps foil "spiders" trolling for email addresses.

Of course, Forum members have been seeking rides and looking for housing here for several years. But now I've made it official: You can network via this Forum for any legal purpose.

This also would be a good place to post travel tips, tourism info and the like. If you hear about a low-cost chain near a meet venue or a great deal on air fares, share the secret. We're all in this together, after all.

Don't be shy. If you could use a ride or a roommate, let your fellow masters know. The money you save could be your own.

Ken Stone

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Wed May 28, 2008 7:44 am

Master Masters Athlete
Joined: Tue Oct 03, 2006 1:47 pm
Posts: 71
Location: sarasota, florida

I found lodging at $55 per night in Spokane reasonably close to the track at . They have a pool, regular rooms, efficiencies and apartments. Small homespun type motel but looks ok! Just thought I would share the info. See you there!

Jimmy Broun

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Sat May 31, 2008 9:54 pm

Master Masters Athlete
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Scottsdale

I am looking at hotels on line and none seem near the track. All are "downtown" about 4 miles away. I really don't want a rental car though. The hotel headquarters (Red Lion at the Park) does not seem to know if they have a shuttle or not Anyone know of a place to stay near the track? Am I just better of gettiing rental? Will the Headquarters hotel have a shuttle?? Thanks

M46, S Wright

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Wed Jun 18, 2008 8:53 am

Master Masters Athlete
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:12 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Scottsdale

No shuttles. Have to get a rental. No decent hotels near the field (according to the folks at SFCC.) :?

M46, S Wright

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Wed Mar 04, 2009 9:16 pm

Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2006 11:07 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Seattle, WA


I thought that the Indoor Masters National meet site in Landover, MD was near a Metro subway station. Apparently not. The travel instructions on the USAT&F website ... travel.asp

says to take a Blue Line subway from WA D.C. to the CAPITOL HEIGHTS Metro Station (about 21 minutes from the Metro Center Station). Then take an A12 Bus toward Capital Plaza to Maple Ridge Apartments at 2200 Brightseat Road (another 21 minutes). Then walk at least half a mile to the track.

A couple of problems with this:

On SATURDAY and SUNDAY, the WA D.C. Metro subway doesn't start running until 7:00 AM and the A12 bus schedule on weekend mornings is spotty.

I downloaded the A12 bus scheudle. On Saturday it does not show a stop at the CAPITOL HEIGHTS Metro station, but rather at the ADDISON ROAD-SEAT PLEASANT Metro Station which appears to be the stop AFTER Capitol Heights. It does appear to stop at CAPITOL HEIGHTS on Sunday morning.

On Saturday morning the A12 bus runs every 40 minutes and on Sunday every hour.

Could someone from Maryland, familiar with this area, provide clear instructions on how to get to the track as early as possible on Saturday and Sunday mornings? To date no detailed track schedule has been posted by USATF, so we don't know the time of the first events on Saturday/Sunday, but if it is the usual 9:00 am start time this could really be iffy.


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Sat Mar 07, 2009 11:35 am

Junior Masters Athlete
Joined: Wed Feb 11, 2009 8:48 pm
Posts: 1
Location: No. VA

To answer the travel question read on...skip to the bottom to read other reminders that just went out by email to everyone registered in the meet

To travel around town by Metro go to
Metro trip planner
or ... lanner.cfm

FYI Metro opens at 5am on Friday and Saturday and at 7am on Sunday
So a cab might be needed for Sunday if you don’t have a rental car and aren’t staying at a hotel that offers local shuttle service.

We will have multiple shuttle drivers at the Radisson and the Holiday Inn Express for the meet. These hotels also will pick up from the Largo Town Center metro station (about 1 mile away) and bring you to the hotel (the meet is 1.6 miles from the hotels), just call them once you get to the Largo Town Center station.

For other questions that come up go to our FAQ page at

Updates & Reminders: USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships
With the 2009 USA Masters Indoor Track & Field Championships, now less then two weeks away we wanted to send along a few updates and reminders to ensure your participation in this year's championship is a fun and positive experience.

Entries for the championships are now closed. You are entered in the championships (as listed on the status of entries page). ... status.asp With nearly 1,000 athletes entered, this will be the largest USA Masters Indoor Championships ever. Thank you for making this a historical event.

If your entry indicates "info needed" it is because the USATF membership database is indicating that USATF has not received proof of birth (for your 2009 membership). You may fax (317.261.0481) or email to a copy of your birth certificate, passport, or drivers license to have your status changed from "info need" to "accepted." Please indicate your 2009 membership and "USA Masters Entry" on the fax or email so we can properly update your record.

You are entered in the competition with the club affiliation that is indicated on the status entry page. ... status.asp Please note that if you entered with a club affiliation and your entry is indicating "unattached" it may be because your club has not renewed its 2009 club membership with USATF yet. You can check the status of your club's membership here If you have any questions about your club affiliation please send an email to Club affiliations can not be changed after 2:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday (March 10 ). If there is an issue with your club affiliation do not wait until the last minute to try to get it correct!!! Send your e-mail now so we will have enough time to properly assist you. We will do everything possible to make sure you are properly affiliated but remember USATF does have competition rules and regulations with respect to club affiliations and we will use those to determine if we can fulfill your request.

The detailed schedule of events with scheduled start times will be posted no later then Friday, March 13 on the USATF website.

1/4 inch pyramid spikes only.

More event information will be posted on the meet website ... pionships/
and sent via email during the next two weeks.

For athlete questions, feel free to call the meet hotline at 703-481-3530 or email the meet director Craig Chasse at . For media inquiries, please contact Robert Weiner at 301-283-0821.

Craig Chasse
Potomac Valley Track Club
Meet Director, NM indoor 2009

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Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:19 am

Hi All,
How are you all? As you read this, thousands of people are in transit with no idea where they are going to spend the night. They’re not broke and living on the streets, however. They are travelers. They will figure out where they’re going to stay when they get to where they’re going and will be better off than if they had arrived clutching reservations.

Since the dawn of the Internet the way we book travel has gone through a radical change. We consumers have become far more empowered and are able to weigh decisions based on a wide variety of information, not just on what a travel agent tells us. Despite all this power, booking on the Web still means being pushed toward the highest-priced options and missing out on the smaller, lesser-known gems.

Try a little experiment on your computer when you get some time. Pull up Expedia, Travelocity, or Orbitz and try to find info on little family-owned inns, places with fewer than 30 rooms. Then pull up a hostel reservation site and see if you can find all of the cheapo places listed in your guidebook. Chances are, you won’t come close to succeeding. Few budget hotels have the resources to be visible internationally. So if you are trying to set up your whole trip from the comfort of your computer chair, without cracking a book or asking other travelers, you’re in trouble. You’re going to have to invest a lot of time and do a lot of digging to avoid paying a lot more than necessary.

The Digital Lodging Divide

In short, when you book budget hotels or hostels online you will often pay more and get twice as much frustration for your effort. If you were born in the last 30 years, it’s probably hard for you to imagine life without the Internet, but in many ways this technological wonder is still a novelty outside the most developed countries, especially at hotels not geared to tourists with lots of money.

Booking hotels online requires these assumptions. 1) The hotel has reliable Internet access and a reliable electricity supply. 2) A staff member not only has the ability to speak English but knows English well enough to read it and write it effectively. 3) A staff member has the time to spend hours a day going back and forth with travelers who may or may not show up weeks or months later.

In many cases not even one of these assumptions is correct. In European hostels, yes, but in much of the developing world they’re still waiting for the phone guy to show up. The most popular places don’t need to take reservations anyway, so they don’t. Many of the other small guesthouses or cheap hotels don’t have the time, expertise, or staff to become tech-savvy. If a hotel is $100 a day, it makes sense to get into cyberspace. If a guesthouse room is $10 a night, however, it would take a lot of extra business to justify the expense and effort of accepting online reservations.

When you move up the scale to the mid-range level, you can book online more easily. That still doesn’t mean you should though. If your schedule is tight, if it’s high season, if you’re arriving late, or if you want to have one less thing to worry about when your plane touches down, book ahead. Otherwise, you’re probably better off finding a place to stay on the fly. You’re far more likely to end up in a place you love instead of one you’ll tolerate.

Finding Lodging on Location

When going for more than a quick vacation, three sources are more dependable than the Web: a good guidebook, the advice of other travelers, and what you see with your own two eyes.

On location, you will find reality. Upon arrival you may find that intimate little hotel that looked so lovely online is actually in an unsafe neighborhood with prostitutes working the corner. The hostel with the great reputation may have changed hands a while back and has taken a visible dive in quality. Perhaps the one and only good option you saw online has been bettered by a brand new place a block away. Or the tout who snagged you at the bus station and showed you pictures of sparkling clean rooms actually turned you on to a fantastic bargain.

So, when feasible, save the decision on where to stay until you arrive somewhere. Get yourself to your first choice and then fan out from there if it doesn’t work out. That way you can always see a room before deciding whether to take it and you never have to cancel a reservation. If plans change, there’s never a worry.

In a lot of international cities, there’s a defined budget travel zone for most of the cheap options. Going from one cheap hotel to the other can sometimes entail only a few steps down the street. This area will also have the backpacker eateries, moneychangers, travel agents that specialize in rock-bottom airfares, and shops selling used books. In cases like this, it doesn’t make much sense to venture too far away because it can be hard to get your errands taken care of quickly. Just show up, take a look around, and pick the place you like best for the price. If there is sufficient competition a budget hotel’s price will mainly be determined by market forces, including long-term popularity.

In other spots, you may need to walk for a while—another reason to travel with a backpack—or you may need to keep the meter running with a taxi. Some taxi drivers are simply touts trying to steer you to a place where they will get a commission. In other cases they may turn out to be a great expert on the area. After a while your instincts will tell you which is which.

A Hotel Game Plan in Advance

This doesn’t mean lodging choices are all based on a whim and a prayer, however. Guidebooks are the most obvious source for finding small hotels, guesthouses, and hostels—or at least the area of town with the most options. Travel with your favorite, leaf through others when you get the chance, or check several out from your local library before departure to get a broader view. A lot more thought and research goes into a guidebook than almost any website with lodging information.

Locally run websites at your destination are a great source as well. Andean Travel Web ( is a great resource for Peru and Bolivia, for example. covers the bases well for the area around Mérida, Mexico. is a great resource for three countries in Southeast Asia. The key is that these are primarily information services rather than booking services, so they are liable to give a more balanced view of the lodging options. is a great source of customer reviews for larger hotels. has reviews on many smaller hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. falls somewhere in the middle. As several recent news articles have noted, however, you sometimes get what you pay for with sites that rely on user-generated content: it’s easy for people to game the system to make hotels sound better than they really are. Be wary of reviews that are overly gushing or inexplicably negative.

One of the most reliable ways to find wonderful hotels for where you are going is to just ask. People who have already been to a place will have some knowledge. People who live there will usually know even more. When you arrive in a new place for the first time, you probably feel clueless. You don’t know your way around, you don’t have a feel for prices, and you’re not sure how much to tip or bargain. After a week, you’ve got it all down. An amazing thing happens when you start asking other travelers questions, however. You can cut that week down to a couple of days. People who have been there done that are usually glad to share what they know. You don’t have to be constantly starting from scratch. Some of the most endearing little guesthouses you will probably stay in won’t be found in any guidebook. They will be a recommendation from a newfound friend.

Yes, you can duplicate some of this advice in a virtual way by frequenting online message boards run by Lonely Planet, BootsnAll , and others. And if you do want to book all of your hotel rooms in advance or get a sense of the best area of town to stay, this is time well spent. But advice gets dated, some posters have an agenda behind their opinions, and hotels change owners or management. If you get advice while on the move, close to the source, it’s always going to be fresher and the options will be greater.

Best Regards........ :)

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