This computes very well: Ed Whitlock, Alan Turing in same results

Turing and Whitlock in same results.

Turing and Whitlock in same results.

When I noted Enigma-cracker Alan Turing’s running talents, I had no idea one of my readers would confirm it via personal experience. Turns out Turing ran at the same 1949 meet as a young Ed Whitlock, the future Canadian marathon legend. Ed sent me a page from the Walton Athletic Club gazette. “Note, I was called Ted in those days as that was the diminutive for Edward in England,” Ed writes. “Alan belonged to the same running club as me and I am probably one of just a few still alive that have any association with his running side although I believe Bill Nankeville who ran in the 1948 Olympic 1500 final is still alive. I ran in several events with Alan, but to my recollection never ran against him. He was quite a bit older than me and in my innocence had no idea he was homosexual or that he had worked at Bletchley Park. I had emigrated to Canada before he died.” If Alan were still alive, he’d be 102, and likely not racing. But what would he make of today’s computer scene?

January 18, 2015  One Comment

I’m a free agent again — laid off for the third time since June 2010

I covered a school visit by Auschwitz survivor Rose Schindler last week.

I covered a visit by Auschwitz survivor Rose Schindler last week at the Middle School.

Like injuries in masters track, layoffs are an occupational hazard. Friday afternoon, I was let go at Francis Parker School. After 24 years at The San Diego Union-Tribune and three years at Patch, I worked only six months at Parker, an elite private school in San Diego. I enjoyed the work, made many friends and learned a lot about PR. But alas, the school decided to cut my tenure short. So I’m updating my resume and social media profiles — and hitting the bricks again. I’m not depressed. In fact, I see opportunities and adventures around the corner. I will be fine. Thanks for your continued support of this blog and keeping me in your thoughts.

My last Parker assignment:  shooting an art gallery reception for two alumni photographers (with their former teacher in the middle).

My last Parker assignment: shooting an art gallery reception for two alumni photographers (with their former teacher in the middle) Thursday night.

January 17, 2015  12 Comments

Anselm LeBourne takes down Nolan Shaheed WR in M55 mile

Five days after claiming an M55 WR in the indoor 1500, Anselm LeBourne did a number on the mile best, clocking an incredible 4:37.05 at an Armory meet Friday afternoon in Manhattan. [Correction follows] USATF doesn’t list the Gotham Cup as sanctioned, but as an NCAA-affiliated meet his mark should be accepted. The listed WR is Nolan Shaheed’s 4:42.89 from 2006. The Armory site posted this under photo: “This is Anselm Lebourne. He’s truly amazing! Anselm just ran a 4:37.05 mile, which was his 11th time breaking a masters age group world record: ‘My goal is to have a dozen before 2015 is completed, so I’m on my way,’ said Anselm.” Results are here. Age-graded, Anselm’s mark is worth a 3:52.6.

Anselm nailed the real mile after the metric mile last Sunday. He's hot.

Anselm nailed the real mile WR after the metric one last Sunday. He’s hot.

January 16, 2015  13 Comments

Vancouver makes it official: First Americas Masters Games in 2016

As telegraphed in October 2013, the Americas Masters Games are coming to Vancouver in 2016. A month ago, the word became official. “The 2016 Americas Masters Games will be the first regional Masters Game to be held in the Americas, with Europe currently being the only other regional Masters Games,” says the press release. The Vancouver Sun had more details. It said: “The Games, modelled on a ‘pay for play, sport for all’ model, will be held over nine days in late August and could drop as much as $35 million in direct economic benefits to the city, he said. There will be at least 20 sports, including both summer and winter ice sports, almost all of which will be held at existing city and UBC venues.” A Facebook page has been launched (with a measley 82 “Likes” as of the Ides of January). Now what will Perth think? The 2016 World Masters Athletics Championships in Australia must contend with Up Over competition. Fortunately, the Down Under meet is set for Oct. 26 to Nov. 6. So no calendar conflict. But start saving your shekels.

Here's website of 2016 Americas Masters Games site. Does it satisfy your curiosity?

Here’s website of 2016 Americas Masters Games site. Satisfy your curiosity?

January 16, 2015  2 Comments

‘Enigma’ cracker Alan Turing was M35 star before masters running

Alan Turing, whose code-breaking early computer helped the Allies defeat Germany, was a world-class distance man. He’s shown running in “The Imitation Game,” now up for eight Academy Awards. But in the wake of his homosexuality conviction, he killed himself in 1954 at age 42. Still, according to his biographer, “Alan Turing achieved world-class marathon standards. His best time of 2 hours, 46 minutes, 3 seconds, was only 11 minutes slower than the winner in the 1948 Olympic Games. In a 1948 cross-country race he finished ahead of Tom Richards who was to win the silver medal in the Olympics.” A longer report said: “He continued competing until 1950 when a leg injury finally ended his career.” In any case, a 91-year-old lady my wife and I interviewed Saturday had a supporting role in the British code-breaking operation. She tells her story for the first time to American media in a Times of San Diego story. Check out my video as well.

Margaret Francis of San Diego tells her real-life part in

Margaret Francis of San Diego tells her real-life part in “The Imitation Game.”

January 15, 2015  2 Comments

Happy premature birthday to Christel Donley, new W80 threat

Christel clip from 1985.

Christel clip of ’85.

Christel Donley of Colorado turns 80 on Jan. 20, but I can’t wait to share this newspaper story. What can you say about Christel? She’s a world champ, WR-setter and Hall of Famer (from way back in 1997). She also commutes as a meet director to Pasadena every year for the Senior Games there and helps masters track in innumerable ways. Her career began as Christel Miller (married to star decathlete Gary Miller). She still holds seven indoor and outdoor American records in hurdles and multi-events. In his New Year’s Day profile, Paul Klee ended with “In 2015, 80 is the new 20. Grandma wears track cleats.” Maybe not cleats, but yes to 20. “She does what she enjoys,” said her son, Nils Miller. “And she’ll do it as long as she can.” Carry on, Christel! You’re the best!

Christel hurdled opposite of fellow hurdles legend Jack Greenwood, when she was 50.

Christel hurdled opposite fellow legend Jack Greenwood as 1986 AOY.

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January 14, 2015  9 Comments

Anselm LeBourne claims M55 WR in 1500 — at sanctioned meet

Anselm at NJ meet.

Anselm in NJ.

Last summer, world champ Anselm LeBourne of New Jersey shattered the listed M55 world record in the 800, clocking 2:01.63. The mark was made at an unsanctioned meet, though. So no record. But Sunday at the USATF New Jersey open and masters indoor meet, Anselm ran with some M35s to clock a 1500 in 4:19.80 — demolishing the listed M55 WR of 4:21.94 by Frenchman Pierre Faucheur and the listed AR of 4:24.99 by William Krohn in 2013. One presumes he’ll get this one ratified. On the Age-Graded Tables, his 4:19 is equivalent to an open (20-30) time of 3:38.1. He’s been setting records for decades. Anselm was inducted into the Masters Hall of Fame last month.

Anselm posted these results on Facebook. He's not really in M35 age group.

Anselm posted these results on Facebook. He’s not really in M35 age group.

January 13, 2015  17 Comments

Jack Greenwood dies at 88; greatest masters hurdler of all time

Jack led Penn Relays race in 1980 — as usual.

Jack led masters nationals race at Penn in 1980.

His world records have been surpassed (mainly by Guido Müeller) and his name has been absent from world meet results for decades. But be certain of this: Jack Greenwood was the greatest masters hurdler of his or any generation. His death Friday was first reported in a Wikipedia entry and confirmed by his son Riley via email Sunday. “Health complications” were listed as cause. He was 88. Voted into the Masters Hall of Fame in 1997 (along with David Pain), Jack was part of the historic 1972 USMITT Tour to Europe, where Pain seeded masters mania for all time. Jack dominated the long and short hurdles from M45 through M70, winning four world titles at the debut 1975 WAVA World Championships in Toronto. (He won at 100 and 200 as well.)

Jack (left) won many races  during the 1972 USMITT tour of Europe.

Jack (left) won many races during the 1972 USMITT tour of Europe.

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January 12, 2015  10 Comments

SoCal luncheon will celebrate ‘Golden Age of track and field’

Ernie Shelby was No. 1 in the world.

KU’s Ernie Shelby was No. 1 in the world in the late 1950s.

This outta be amazing! Masters sprinter Doug Smith, who starred at Occidental back in the day, has announced plans for a Feb. 7 “reunion” luncheon, inviting athletes, coaches and sportswriters of the “Golden Age of Track.” That includes the likes of UCLA’s Jim Bush and Olympians/elites of the 1950s through 1970s, including Ernie Shelby. (See info sheet and luncheon form.) “We would love to have you attend,” Doug writes, “and you may want to bring your camera. . .. any Olympians, ex-world record holders and world-ranked athletes from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, etc., have received these attachments, alerting them to this reunion luncheon.” Doug is being aided by ex-USC track assistant and historian Larry Knuth and retired Trojan track director Ron Allice. Here’s your chance to rub shoulders with your heroes of yore.

January 11, 2015  No Comments

Introducing Latashia Key, our drag-us-into-the-21st century rep

LK may be the youngest athletes rep in masters history.

Youngest active-athletes rep in masters history?

W40 runner Latashia Key of Indiana quietly showed up at the USATF Anaheim meeting but went BOOM! with a short but passionate speech on why she should be chosen active-athletes rep on the USATF Masters T&F Executive Committee. Blew us away — us being the couple dozen otherwise unattached delegates eligible to vote. W65 Mary Trotto had been active-athletes rep (having succeeded now-W75 Becky Sisley). But even Mary would concede Latashia had star power. After the convention, I queried LK. She graciously replied. My takeaways: She wants to bring masters into the 21st century via social media. And: “Create a Welcome Package email/blast for First Timers who are planning to compete at a Masters National Championships & WMA championships and those new to International travel.” Please join me in welcoming the lovely and talented Latashia Key — and giving her feedback.

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January 10, 2015  8 Comments