M45 Whiteman wipes out Sal Allah’s 800 WR with leisurely 1:53.40

The best bet for a WR this outdoor season was the M45 800. The listed record of 1:54.18 has been held since 2005 by American Saladin “Sal” Allah. That’s because Britain’s Anthony Whiteman dipped under 1:53 indoors in February. Well Tony the Track Tiger did it Saturday. Athletics Weekly reports (and results confirm): “Whiteman ran 1:53.40 for fifth place in the 800m which was a second inside American Saladin Allah’s M45 world outdoor record from 2005 and bettered the British M45 outdoor record by almost four seconds, though it was slower than his indoor mark from earlier in the season.” Amazing as ever. (And thanks to Matt B for heads up!)

When is 5th place not 5th place? When it’s a record, topping M45 charts.

May 12, 2017  8 Comments

Have a yen for World Masters Games? Kansai, Japan, hosts in 2021

Logo for 2021 WMG: You figure it out.

Former Kiwi decathlon champion Grant Chapman, now a New Zealand Herald correspondent, covered the Auckland World Masters Games and also competed in the discus — where he fell to fourth after being in the medal hunt. Great yarn. But at the end of his story, he writes: “So now that’s over, what next? Should I dust off the road bike and pedal off into the sunset, or come back next summer as a sad, old below-average decathlete?” He says: “I’m not sure my body could sustain 10 events – my throwing arm is virtually falling off, already – but maybe if I changed my diet, dropped 10kg, lifted more weights, did some more running … Look out Kansai, Japan, 2021.” Kansai? Have I covered that? Nope. So here’s some news: A year after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the 2021 World Masters Games arrive in Kansai, a region of southern Japan. More on Kansai WMG at Inside the Games, which scooped me by three years. Oh well.

May 11, 2017  One Comment

Charles Eugster dies at 97; newbie sprinter inspired with book, WRs

Charles had fun to end. Video below was posted three days before he died.

Sad to report the death of a shooting star. Charles Eugster of Britain, who took up sprinting at 95 and became a viral video sensation and Daegu world champion, has died at 97 of complications from heart failure, according to Athletics Weekly and his own website. “His son, Andre, spoke briefly to say: ‘We fully supported Dad in his endeavours and aside from our personal loss it is so sad that he passed away at the height of his success. He wanted to inspire the world.’” Charles had written a book — “Age is Just a Number: What a 97-Year-Old Record Breaker Can Teach Us about Growing Older” — and his friend David Tarsh said: “Charles never sought physical immortality but he wanted to ‘change the world,’ to make advanced old age a different experience… one that could be exciting, useful and fulfilling. At this, he led by example and magnificently over-achieved until the very end of his remarkable life. His legacy, however, will live on, having inspired thousands around the world.” AW said: “Born in London in 1919, the former dentist only took up rowing and bodybuilding in later life when he sensed his fitness fading.” He no doubt would have been sprinting at 100, but we’re lucky to have witnessed his efforts in his late 90s. Read tributes on his Facebook page. We’ll miss his Twitter feed, too.

May 10, 2017  3 Comments

Adri Schoeman, Salomé Vermeulen pace Safrican masters nationals

Salomé once was a local Teacher of the Week.

South Africa held its masters nationals over the weekend in Cape Town, and results are posted here. I scrolled through fast and came across some impressive marks — basically anything over 90 percent age-graded. Two women stood out: W45 Adri Schoeman won the 100 and 200 in legal 12.62 and 25.64. And W50 Salomé Vermeulen won the 800 in 2:21.84 and 1500 in 4:56.41. On the men’s side, M45 Marius Basson took the 400 in 52.44, and M45 Joe Viljoen claimed the 8 in 2:01.62. Also impressive was W45 Charmain Barnard, who took the 80-meter hurdles in 12.36. In a 2013 interview, Salomé told about being world 800 champ at Porto Alegre worlds: “Five days later I came second in the 1500. When I got back to school, I received a hero’s welcome. Waiting for me that morning was an honour guard comprised of the headmaster, Erhard Kruger, the staff and children, all waving little South African flags. I felt like a real world champion, satisfied and happy.”

May 9, 2017  No Comments

Torbert’s WR throw: ‘Everything clicked, and the shot felt very light’

Doug, throwing at Perth worlds, is a newbie M65. Rob Jerome photo

Before Doug Torbert entered the ring in Eugene on April 30, the listed M65 world record in the shot (5-kilo) was 15.90 (52-2). After he ended his six throws at the Hayward Masters Classic, the Redlands resident had crushed Kurt Goldschmidt’s mark twice — first with a 16.27 (53-4 1/2) and later with a monster 16.66 (54-8). He also shattered the listed American record of 15.12 (49-7¼) by Hal Smith in 2002. So warning to you all. If you break a listed world record by 2 1/2 feet, expect a note from me. In reply to my queries, glider Doug began by giving his series: 15.47, 15.68, 16.27, 15.33, 16.66 and 15.82. This wasn’t much of a surprise, however, since in February he blasted Kurt’s indoor record with a 15.83 (51-11 1/4). But still. How is he doing this? “Most of the series was about what I usually throw – high fifteens, low sixteens,” he graciously says. “The fifth throw was one of those where everything clicked and the shot felt very light at the release.”

Read the rest of this post »

May 8, 2017  10 Comments

Who’s your healthy longevity role model: Ed Whitlock or Earl Fee?

My Canadian author friend Bruce Grierson wrote the definitive book on Olga Kotelko, who died at 95 after setting a slew of WRs. Now Bruce tackles an interesting question: Should older athletes emulate Ed Whitlock or Earl Fee? His amazing piece in the Globe and Mail of Toronto is headlined: “Ed Whitlock the tortoise, Earl Fee the hare and the run of their lives.” Bruce writes: “Earl is a devotee of HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training. He hardly ever works out for more than 20 minutes at a time, but he makes those 20 minutes count. He goes for it, typically in a series of sprint bursts – between short breaks – that leave him gasping for air.” Of the late Ed, Bruce says: “Ed had long followed a program of LSD – Long Slow Distance running. He tallied endless training laps under Evergreen Cemetery’s tree canopy, patiently building a ‘race base’ – ‘drudgery,’ he called it, but all that mileage was money in the bank which he could draw on round about mile 22, when other guys were crashing.” As in all his journalism, he relies on the latest scientific wisdom. The answer to the tortoise vs. hare question comes down to your preference and muscle makeup. But borrowing from both Ed and Earl couldn’t hurt.

Here’s how Earl Fee (left) and Ed Whitlock are pictured in Globe and Mail story. Photos by Mark Blinch and Michelle Siu.

May 7, 2017  6 Comments

Suzy Favor Hamilton ‘definitely would’ be running 8, 15 at age 50

Suzy is 48 and living the “California Girl” life in Manhattan Beach, an L.A. suburb.

In February 2016, I wrote here about an Olympian with a mental illness who briefly led a life as a high-priced Las Vegas call girl. I gave it the headline: “Memo to Suzy Favor Hamilton: Masters track would welcome you.” I noted her account on the BBC website, and I posted my invitation on her blog. She either didn’t see it or didn’t feel like responding. So I left it there. But two weeks ago, a publicity lady for Jewish Family Service of San Diego wrote me about Suzy speaking at a May 15 luncheon in La Jolla and asked: “May I set up an interview for you?” Duh, YEAH! I spoke to Suzy for an hour, and here’s the resulting story on Times of San Diego. The big news: She turns 50 in August 2018 and “definitely would” be interested in Senior Olympics — in her old events of the 800 and 1500. (She was a three-time Olympian and won a bunch of NCAA titles at Wisconsin.) Since she so courageously answered my questions, I felt emboldened to use the first person in my story. Hope you like it.

May 6, 2017  3 Comments

Wikitrack R Us: Here are links to all-comers meets around America

Andy can’t keep all-comers calendar. Let’s help.

Andy Hecker used to maintain a North American calendar of all-comers meets. But due to complexity and other factors, he hasn’t posted in five years. No worries. Why not crowd-source what we know? Let’s start here. The San Diego USATF Association is reprising its five-meet Summer Nights Track & Field series in June and July. Not all events are contested, but you get to run against beatable 9-year-olds! And entry fees are reasonable — $7 to $10 per Wednesday meet. The first is June 7 at University City High School and the last July 26 at San Diego City College’s Balboa Stadium (where a kid named Jim Ryun starred a few years back). So now it’s your turn. Post links to all-comers meets in your region via the comments (and justify the headline). But don’t overlook the USATF calendar.

May 5, 2017  6 Comments

Hayward WRs to Colleen Milliman, Doug Torbert, Christa Bortignon

Colleen doesn’t look a day over 70.

A month ago, a newspaper in Roseburg, Oregon, told of a training group at Hayward Field in Eugene and said Colleen Milliman “wants to set a running record for 90-year-olds.” Over the weekend, it was mission accomplished! Colleen became the first woman over 90 to record a time for the track mile (indoors or out) at last weekend’s Hayward Masters Classic, clocking 13:26.46 in a mixed race. In W80, Christa Bortignon of Canada continued her string of horizontal jump WRs — going 6.81 (22-4 1/4) in the triple jump and 3.10 (10-2) in long jump. The meet site also reports: “Doug (Quenton) Torbert – M65 Shot Put – 16.66 (54-8). Broke the world record multiple times in series. Added 2 1/2 feet to the previous record!” Also noted: “American Record — Gary Patton — M70 3,000m – 11:29.29.” (See results here.) I’m especially curious about Colleen. I also suspect that W90 Evelyn Tripp had the potential to run a 13-minute mile off her WR in the 5000 of 46:24 at age 93.

May 4, 2017  4 Comments

Hazardous hurdles at Hayward Masters Classic: put in wrong spots

Photos and videos from last weekend’s Hayward Masters Classic in Eugene are now posted. Happy! Also shared are images and clips of the last flight of 80-meter and 300-meter hurdles at the wrong spots. Sad! (We’re still waiting on results as well.) Not sure how this can happen at such a prestigious meet, but several races were contested with the last hurdle of the 80s set more than the specified 7 meters apart. And the last of the 300H barriers was at the high school spot. Ladies and gents dealt with it, videos show. But 300H winner Russ Acea switched lanes to avoid the eighth hurdle. (Seven are used in masters.) In masters, the last 300 hurdle is supposed to be 40 meters from the finish. This one was about 10 meters away. Get your act together, folks! I’m told flubs happened last year as well.

What’s wrong with this picture? If Trials pulled this stunt, there’d be hell to pay.

May 3, 2017  22 Comments