Joanna Harper retells transgender story in Washington Post op-ed

Joanna recently pictured in Switzerland (and the Post).

Joanna recently shown in Switzerland (and Post).

Back in 2010, we introduced Joanna Harper of Portland, Oregon. She used to be a man but still competes as a distance runner. Only now she is W55 instead of M55. A week ago came a wonderful update in the form of Joanna’s opinion piece in The Washington Post. “Some of my fellow runners have been accepting, other runners are notably chilly toward me,” she writes. “Or they tell me that it’s fine for me to race — as long as I don’t beat them. Such comments leave me feeling in­cred­ibly defensive. How slow would I need to be for them to be happy?” She goes onto say (and document): “Science provides a clear explanation for why, in many sports, trans women don’t maintain any athletic advantage.” And she cites her article — “Race Times for Transgender Athletes” — in a technical journal.

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April 8, 2015  2 Comments

Masters track featured in Eliquis TV spot? At least it’s legal drug

“I accept I’m not 21. I accept I’m not the sprinter I was back in college,” says a fiftysomething gent going out for a jog in running shoes and green longsleeves top. He’s an actor, probably. But the commercial for the anti-stroke medication Eliquis appears to be using masters track as a setting to promote the drug. Alarm bells go off in my head! Could Eliquis be on the WADA banned list? I shoot off email and get a quick reply from masters chair Gary Snyder, who searched a database of banned substances. Fortunately, the active ingredient in Eliquis is the legal apixaban. “This ingredient is not currently included on the WADA Prohibited List,” says its citation. Whew! Dodged one there. In any case, Eliquis, next time use a real masters sprinter for your TV ads.

April 7, 2015  No Comments

Book review: ‘Growing Old Competively’ is rich in images, stories

Many self-published books are vanity affairs. But not the marvelous photo-and-profile effort by Britain’s Alex Rotas. As noted recently, “Growing Old Competitively” focuses exclusively on masters tracksters. She attended major meets and captured dozens of stars in sharp relief. The last of the 43 images is haunting. It shows Belgium’s Emiel Pauwels savoring victory in a 400-meter dash at the Eurovets meet in 2012. Less than two years later, he was dead — in a publicly announced suicide. (She dedicates the book to him.) Alex graciously sent me the 56-page book, which I quickly devoured.

Jeanne Daprano would make a great screensaver for my laptop. She's also a great cover girl for Alex's book.

Jeanne Daprano would make a great screensaver for my laptop. She’s also a great cover girl for Alex’s book. (Thanks for featuring an American!)

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April 6, 2015  2 Comments

Sri Lankans must compete in masters nationals to enter Lyon

Sri Lankan masters nationals will be held here.

How would you feel if USATF said you couldn’t enter Lyon worlds unless you competed this summer at Jacksonville nationals? That’s the scenario facing Sri Lankans, according to a story in The Nation. “The annual open athletics championships of the Masters Athletics Sri Lanka will be held on 16 & 17 May at the Mahinda Rajapaksa Stadium Diyagama,” the report begins. “This will also serve as trials for the World Masters Athletics championships. … Only those who reach the qualifying standards will be selected for the WMA championships.

” The story says WMA Secretary Winston Thomas “clearly stated that entries sent through Masters Athletics Sri Lanka (MASL) only will be accepted for any international competition in future. Therefore it is important that all athletes who desire to participate in future foreign competitions participate in the MASL open championships.” I’m not sure Winston had this in mind. Yes, you must be a USATF member to be on Team USA, but where is it said you have to compete in a country’s masters nationals as well? A sign of Sri Lankan priorities: Their website’s photo galleries focus almost exclusively on the bigshots in suits, not athletes in singlets.

April 5, 2015  2 Comments

Allen Woodard, 46, claims WR for 400 — oldest sub-50 one-lapper

Allen Woodard, a recent national indoor champion at 200, became the oldest man to go sub-50 for 400 meters after clocking a magnificent 49.69 Saturday at the 33rd Annual Victor Lopez Classic at Rice University in Houston. Allen is 46. He beat the listed M45 world record of 50.18 by American Khalid Mulazim at 2011 Berea nationals. In 2010, Douglas Kalembo said he was 50 when he ran 49.85, but USATF wouldn’t accept his age docs and refused to ratify the mark. But Allen certainly had the speed for a sub-50, with his recent 200 clocking of 22.92, about four-tenths off a Bill Collins WR. Nice lap, Mr. Woodard! Here’s Allen winning the 4 at Olathe nationals in 2013.

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April 4, 2015  9 Comments

Masters shuttle hurdles to debut at Penn Relays, thanks to efforts

The Penn Relays have been good to geezers — with 100s, 41 and 44 relays in prime time, plus the crowd favorite over-75 men’s sprint race on Saturday, April 25. But something was missing: a shuttle hurdle relay for masters. That was remedied last week. Masters events coordinator Phil Felton wrote me: “You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that this year we will have an M50 heat of the shuttle hurdles at Penn — USA Red, White and Blue teams put together by Keith McQuitter.Jeff Davison, the founding father of masters shuttles, says he wrote the request to the committee, “but Keith did all the hard work. This is several months of effort.” The tentative schedule doesn’t yet list the masters shuttles, but it should be up shortly. Great work, Keith and Jeff. Put on a show!

April 3, 2015  19 Comments

Kim Collins subject of greatest Facebook graphic in world history

Talk about freaks of nature. This graphic is ungodly good.

Talk about freaks of nature. This graphic kills it.

So what makes Kim Collins such a sprint guru? Well, everything. He’s fast and long-lived and will appear in his fifth Olympics at the rate he’s going. He has the three fastest indoor 60 times this season at age 38. And when he runs the 100 (eventually) this season, he’ll join this IAAF Top List. Kim, who will be 40 come Rio, gives some advice in a quickie Spikes magazine listicle. He’s also the inspiration for the greatest Web graphic I’ve ever seen.

April 2, 2015  4 Comments

Another notable WR 200 at Eurovets meet: Charles Eugster at 95

World-class dashman and lensman Tom Phillips captured Charles at British meet.

World-class dashman and lensman Tom Phillips captured Sir Charles at British meet.

So Darren Scott thinks he’s hot by running an M45 world indoor record in the deuce? Let’s see him beat Charles Eugster’s time in 50 years. Yes, the Web sensation (via viral video) also set an indoor WR at 200 at Poland Eurovets meet. As Athletics Weekly notes, “Charles Eugster broke his own world M95 200m record at the European Masters Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland, on Friday. Clocking 54.77, the 95-year-old shaved 0.71 off the record he had set at the British Masters Indoor Championships in Lee Valley earlier this month.” So Darren ran 22.52 and Charles ran 32 seconds slower. That’s a loss of just 0.64 second a year. Check back in 2065 for Darren’s answer to my challenge.

April 1, 2015  One Comment

Masters milers payday returns June 14 at Portland Track Festival

Portland’s Dave Clingan shares a reminder: “The Oregon Masters Mile will be held this year on June 14 at the Lewis & Clark College track in Portland, Oregon. The exact time of the mile race will be announced as soon as the meet schedule has been finalized. The Masters Mile is part of the Portland Track Festival, which has become an outstanding high performance track meet for national class athletes. As usual, PRIZE money in the amounts of $200, $150 and $100 will be given to first-, second- and third-place finishers. The field is limited, so please contact me as soon as possible.” Meet entry site is here. Any good milers this year? (Hehehehehe)

Here’s start of the iconic Oregon Masters Mile from 2012. Lots of stars.

March 31, 2015  No Comments

2 sprinters, 2 world records: M45 Darren Scott, M70 Kenton Brown

Darren nailed 200 WR in the M45 final at Eurovets.

Darren nailed 200 WR in the M45 final at Eurovets.

Darren Scott set an M45 world indoor record for 200 meters at the Eurovets meet last week in Torun, Poland. Kenton Brown set an M70 indoor WR in the 60 at Winston-Salem nationals. Through the magic of the interwebs, I scored interviews with both of them! (See below). Of Darren, we learn from the news: “The North-West fitness instructor, who works at The Heath Leisure Suite in Runcorn and competes for St Helens and Sutton, took the title 22.52 seconds, knocking 0.05 seconds off the reigning global best time set by legendary US athlete Bill Collins back in 1999.” Of Kenton, we learn: “M70 Kenton Brown of Austin, Texas, [ran] 8.18, which was .02 faster than previous record of 8.20 (by Bobby Whilden in 2006).” Both have plans for more records — and visits to Lyon, France.

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March 30, 2015  9 Comments