Multi-eventer Bob Hewitt is USATF Male Masters Athlete of Year

Bob Hewitt has more to smile about this week.

Outpolling the likes of steeplechasers/mile stars Brad Barton and Nolan Shaheed, multi-event record-setter Bob Hewitt has been named USATF Masters Male Athlete of the Year. Oregon Bob is an M80 superstar. He set world indoor records in the long jump and pentathlon and three American records (adding the indoor hep). He competes infrequently, but when he does, all stops come out. In fact, he deserves a WR in the 200-meter hurdles but didn’t make the Committee of One cut for the Anaheim convention. In addition, 36 other American men and women are age-division AoYs, according to votes by the USATF Masters Awards Committee overseen by Mary “Aloha” Trotto. Winner of the David Pain Distinguished Service Award will be announced at the USATF annual meeting in early December. Irene Obera was previously announced as overall USATF Masters Athlete of the Year, so she’s also the USATF Women’s Masters Athlete of the Year. (Making the 80-84 age group the hot one this year.) And watch out for next year! She’s reportedly training for the hep will soon add the javelin, HJ and discus to her repertoire. Go, Irene, go! (And congrats to all the folks below, even if you’re in boring age groups below 80.)

Here are 2014 Masters Athletes of the Year by age division.

Here are 2014 Masters Athletes of the Year by age division.

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November 12, 2014  8 Comments

Ballot for Masters LDRs of Year posted on USATF page by mistake?

Here's what the M90 ballot looks like.

Here’s what M90 ballot looks like. Just 2 picks.

Uh oh. On the Documents Library page of USATF’s Anaheim convention, we see a link to the Masters LDR Athletes of the Year Ballot. The text reads: “You are receiving this ballot because you have been designated as a representative to the USATF Masters Long Distance Running Committee by your Association, Member Organization, Administrative Committee, or as a designated Active Athlete, At-Large, Cross Country, or M.U.T. representative to this committee. If you are not the designated representative, please forward this to the appropriate person.” The ballot contains clickable buttons, meaning anyone — your Aunt Sue or 2-year-old grandson — can vote for masters roadies of the year. (Even friends of the nominees.) As a test, I voted for Kevin Castille in the M40 group. Oops, it took! How many other bogus ballots will be submitted?

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November 11, 2014  2 Comments

Truthiness: NMN gets the Colbert Bump for its anti-aging properties!

NMN, but maybe not the monthly magazine we call National Masters News, was featured on the “Colbert Report” recently. Stephen Colbert had a segment on the anti-aging chemical NMN. The news is old: “First the compound that reversed aging in this study is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which gets converted into NAD in the body. It is the amount of NAD in the cell that is key to the anti-aging effects.” I loved seeing masters tied to anti-aging, though, even if Colbert had no clue of NMN’s alternate meaning. Can Amanda and Tish sue for trademark infringement?

November 10, 2014  No Comments

Good, bad news: Daprano’s 6:58 OK, Lewis-Smallwood’s discus not

Gia may not care, but she deserves the credit.

Another stain on the masters name. The USATF Records Committee has posted its pending American records to the Documents Library of the Anaheim convention site, and Gia Lewis-Smallwood’s open AR in the discus isn’t up for a W35 AR. Would-be masters records are here. (I count 81 individual marks and two dozen relays.) Gia’s PR toss of 69.17 meters (226-11) is up for ratification only in the elite category. She was 35 when she threw the platter Aug. 30 in Angers, France. So apparently the USATF Masters Records Committee of One overlooked or snubbed Gia. That means the listed W35 record will remain Carol Finsrud’s 54.52 (178-10) from 1992. Tough luck, Gia. On the bright side, a wrong has been righted.

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November 9, 2014  13 Comments

Wet start as WMA South American regional meet nears end

The South Americans are holding an eight-day WMA regional championships in Medellin, Colombia. The meet ends Sunday, but results have been posted here. WMA reports that more than 1,800 are entered. But they’re dealing with bad weather, a la Porto Alegre worlds in 2013. Sigh. WMA Prez Stan Perkins reports: “A very severe storm that occurred two days before had created lots of problems for [organizers], particularly in regard to the cross country where many large trees were blown down and covered sections of the course. Franctic work by volunteers and local government workers got the course cleared but the debris was still evident on day one when this section of the competition took place on Sunday 2 November. Track events also started the same day at the Medellin Athletics Stadium and despite a late start and intermittent rain all scheduled events were completed.” Photo galleries by day are being posted here.

Looks like a nice fast track in Medellin for South America WMA regionals.

November 8, 2014  2 Comments

2017 National Senior Games awarded to Birmingham, Alabama

The NSGA website says nothing, but The Associated Press (and Alabama media) are reporting that Birmingham will host the 2017 National Senior Games. The 2015 Games are in the Minneapolis area. So for the first time since 2007, when Louisville played host, the daddy of all Senior Olympics will be in the Deep South. “Competitions will be held around the Birmingham area at venues including UAB, the Birmingham CrossPlex, Pelham’s tennis center and Oak Mountain State Park,” the AP says. UAB, BTW, is not the Crimson Tide school. That’s in Tuscaloosa. This Alabama cheers the Blazers. I’m not sure where the track meet is, but here’s the facilities page.

November 7, 2014  One Comment

Surf’s up! Can masters movement piggyback ‘beach track’ trend?

Heard of this? The French news agency AFP reports: “The inaugural world beach games could go ahead in 2017 featuring sports like beach track and field and beach American football, a senior Olympic official said on Wednesday. Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said the move followed the success of the Asian Beach Games, whose fourth edition starts next week in Thailand with a new-look programme. … Phuket will be the first Asian Beach Games to include beach track and field, which features 60-metre sprints, shot put, long jump, high jump and cross country.” I can picture a sand sprint and long jump, but how do you high-jump off sand? Scissors making a comeback? Land on a pit or a pile of sand? Let’s do this, folks! Nationals back to San Diego!

November 6, 2014  One Comment

A week shy of 45, mom of 6 sets world record in outdoor mile

If you want to set a world record, don’t follow Chris Kimbrough’s example. “She … admits that she might benefit from going into her next record attempt better rested,” said a great Runner’s World report. “The morning of her record, Kimbrough ran 11 miles. Including her warm-up, she was on her 13th mile of the day by the time of her record performance.” Oh, and what record was that? Hoist a carafe for Chris — the fastest female beer miler of all time! “On Sunday afternoon, Chris Kimbrough, a 44-year-old mother of six, shattered the women’s beer mile world record by 13 seconds, running 6:28.6 in her first attempt at the event. The previous record was held by Seanna Robinson, who ran 6:42.0 in 1997.” The story offers details, but let me add my suds. Chris is a longtime masters ace — on the roads and in cross country. (Haven’t seen her run at masters track nationals, however.) Anyway, check out her drink-and-run video.

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November 5, 2014  10 Comments

W65 Mary Lou Platis preparing for her 10th National Senior Games

If you can’t spin, you slide. If you can’t hurdle, you throw. Those are the lessons conveyed in a profile of W65 weight woman Mary Lou Platis of Wisconsin. “There are some events I just had to drop off over time,” she told her local paper. “When I was in my 50s, I was one of the few women around of that age who still ran the hurdles. Then I had knee surgery. My doctor told me that I should still be able do the hurdles after recovery, but when I set up hurdles inside the school [Platis taught at East Chicago Central at the time] and tried to do a test run, I realized then I had to give them up.” But she’s still deep in the game, and training for her 10th National Senior Games, in 2015. Anyone attend more?

Love the vintage T-shirt! The Athletics Congress is a trivia question now.

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November 4, 2014  One Comment

USATF’s ‘Forever Fast’ promotional video yanked from YouTube

Anyone know who uploaded the original “Forever Fast” video to YouTube? For some reason, that person’s account broke some rules, and YouTube closed the account. “Forever Fast” — a slickly produced 13-minute video for promoting masters track — was supposed to help grow the sport. So when it was unveiled in 2011, I made a big deal about it. Today, it’s gone from YouTube. (See screen’s explanation below.) USATF still links to the YouTube version, in fact. Thankfully, USATF took advantage of its platform to give the video a permanent home. Only it’s not likely to get the same exposure as on Google-owned You can find the video in several places, including the USATF Masters dull site. Given its hopes for being a masters salvation, how sad the video is now shunted to the USATF side.


November 3, 2014  4 Comments