USATF begins anti-doping seminar series Thursday via online class

If you’re still unsure about which supplements are legal, or how to apply for a TUE, USATF has a webinar for you. Starting Thursday, Jan. 12, you can quiz by computer anti-doping experts from USADA. This series will “highlight key topics such as supplements, Therapeutic Use Exemption Forms, Youth Education, etc. All USATF members are eligible to participate in this free interactive webinar series,” says a note from USATF and Mary Rosado of the Masters LDR Committee (She also has substance-abuse committee background). “The first webinar will be an overview of USADA and the offerings they have for our athletes at all levels. USATF members will have an opportunity to submit questions during the 30-minute session.” The Jan. 12 session is at 8 p.m. Eastern time. You can register here. At 8 p.m. Eastern April 12, the topic is “Global Drug Reference Online/ Therapeutic Use Exemptions.” Same time July 5: “TrueSport/ Youth Anti-Doping Measures.” Ditto Oct. 25: “Supplements.”

January 10, 2017  One Comment

Deadline for Daegu worlds is Jan. 23; Rex Harvey urging entry

Selling the sizzle: Daegu arena looks like it flies.

Rex Harvey, our new national chair, is pulling out all the stops to get people to enter Daegu worlds in late March, the WMA indoor meet in South Korea. Rex’s pitch, which includes details on travel and lodging, was posted in late December, but I didn’t notice it till Sunday. “Time to register is getting short as the close of registration is 23 Jan 2017 (24 Jan 2017 in Korea),” Rex writes. “You will not be able to enter after that time, no way, no how!” OK, gotcha. I like his flight advice: “Roundtrip airline tickets can be less than $600 on China Eastern Airlines if you don’t mind a 14-hour layover in Shanghai. Or if you prefer American Airlines or Korean Airlines, the price is still under $700. I bought tickets from Chicago (where I will be at another meet) to Seoul and back to Phoenix through San Francisco for just over $1000 on United. I would recommend Seoul instead of flying all the way to Daegu because there are not many flights into Daegu probably because of the economical and excellent train and bus service from Seoul to Daegu.”

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January 9, 2017  7 Comments

Juárez, Mexico, a tough call for 2017 WMA regionals: Safe enough?

Who do you trust on Juárez, Mexico, risk?

A week after LSU masters nationals in July, a major regional WMA meet is set for Juarez, Mexico — across the river from El Paso, Texas. A friend called my attention to its reputation for violence. Only a month ago, the State Department listed the city in a Mexican Travel Warning. The specific U.S. warning: “Ciudad Juarez: Exercise caution in all areas. U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling after dark west of Eje. Juan Gabriel and south of Boulevard Zaragoza. Defer nonessential travel to the areas southeast of Boulevard Independencia and the Valle de Juarez region.” But the city of 1.5 million is no longer “The Most Dangerous City in the World” or “Murder Capital of the World.”

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January 8, 2017  8 Comments

Bill Carter dies at 94; pentathlon legend holds M80 American record

Bill was beloved in hometown of Marlow, Okla.

Bill Carter’s last major season was 2010, when he won the M85 pentathlon at Sacramento nationals. But his Dallas Masters TC friends took note of his passing Jan. 2 at age 94. Bill was nominated for the Masters Hall of Fame at least once. The former track coach out of Marlow, Oklahoma, won many national titles, competing from the late 1980s. (He set a then-WR in M80 pent at 2003 Eugene nationals.) His obituary noted: “Bill began his 33-year Texas high school coaching career at Wichita Falls High School in 1948. He coached football and track at Holliday, Iowa Park, Amarillo, Fort Worth, Arlington and Hurst-Euless-Bedford Independent School Districts, retiring in May of 1981. He and Evelyn then moved to Marlow, Okla., and made it their home.”

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January 7, 2017  3 Comments

Commercial with old runner in nursing home is touching but bunk

With 4.7 million views on YouTube, this would-be adidas commercial by Eugen Merher has become a cult classic with runners. Eugen is a 26-year-old German film student who once studied at Oregon. The 99-second spot pulls at heartstrings, but it’s full of baloney. What nursing home would discourage an aged runner from donning his old flats? Unless Alzheimer’s is involved, what’s the reason to lock someone in? Whatever. Many people like the spot, and are encouraging adidas to air it. What say you?

January 6, 2017  13 Comments

Nigeria reports attempted ‘visa racketeering’ at WMA Perth worlds

Generic Nigerian track picture ran with story.

Last September, some Nigerians wanted to go to Australia – and not come back. At least nine guys or gals noticed Perth worlds and entered the meet to gain visas. It apparently didn’t work, because WMA checked with Nigeria’s masters affiliate. (See the story.) But NAM was embarrassed. We forgive you. Now we learn: “The Nigerian Athletics Masters has fixed May for the first All Nigerian Athletics Masters Championships scheduled for Lagos among its other activities for 2017. … The 10th African Masters Athletics Championships scheduled for Aug. 23 to Aug. 27 in Abidjan, Cote d’Iviore, is among the activities highlighted by NAM for the year.” No visas required for Nigerian nationals. Great to see our African friends stepping up to the game. But do something with your website, guys.

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January 5, 2017  No Comments

Irene Obera, Aussie Jamieson named WMA Best Masters of 2016

Andrew Jamieson

Irene Obera’s stated goal for the 2015 season, when she was 82, was being named WMA Female Masters Athlete of the Year. She didn’t get it. (W55 Silke Schmidt did.) WMA made up for that oversight Tuesday. She and Aussie racewalker Andrew Jamieson are 2016’s Best Masters Athletes of the Year. (Andrew also won in 2007.) His major credits were 10K and 20K road world records, plus four Perth golds (two road, one 5K track and one 10K team gold.) Irene set three world records at Perth — heptathlon and twice in 80-meter hurdles. She collected 11 medals, including eight golds. So now my biggest fear is she’ll retire again, having achieved her fondest track goal. Andrew will probably keep on truckin’. Our heartiest woohoos to both!

Irene, shown in Perth, is oldest Best Master ever at 83. Photo by Rob Jerome

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January 4, 2017  19 Comments

WMA superchampions deserve prize money; start with Daegu

Kathy Bergen, perennial WMA champ, could use help to defray travel costs. Photo by Rob Jerome

In the course of reporting Nick Symmonds’ impending retirement, The New York Times says the 800 specialist wants the IOC to share 50 percent of its $4 billion-plus in quadrennial revenue with the 14,400 winter and summer Olympic athletes who compete every four years. “This 50/50 sharing approximates a standard business model in American professional sports. It would amount to about $140,000 per Olympian. Currently, athletes receive nothing from the I.O.C. for participating in the Olympics,” the Times says. Made me think of our WMA world meets. They certainly aren’t cash cows, but they could capitalize on financial inducements. If WMA gave $1,000, $500 and $250 to all medalists who reached a certain age-graded percentage — say 95% — that would be a huge PR boost and benefit to athletes. As it stands, WMA means: We Make Apathy. More people would care if prize money were involved — media included. It might even pencil out in terms of sponsors (whose $$$ could underwrite the awards program). Our top elites should get something back for their role-model status. Daegu — in the home of supercapitalism — is a good place to start.

January 3, 2017  20 Comments

W65 Angela Copson cops Queen’s honor for services to running

W90 royal Queen Elizabeth likes masters track! Or at least the committees of civil servants who pick end-of-year honors after nominations by the government and public. Athletics Weekly notes some trackos that got QE2 love. Angela Copson, the WR lady who turns 70 in April, is one of the honorees “for services to Running.” An AP report says: “Knights are addressed as ‘Sir’ or ‘Dame.’ Recipients of the other honors have no title, but can put the letters after their names. The ranks for the Orders of the British Empire are Commander, Officer and Member, in descending order.” Angela is a “Medallist of the Order of the British Empire.” Good for her! (She was profiled by the BBC three years ago, with video.) Also news is WMA Prez Stan Perkins wishing us all happy new year from Down Under, which every year gets a head start. Back atcha, Stan.

Angela didn’t start running until age 59, and she’s set a slew of records.

January 2, 2017  No Comments

2 thumbs up from Rex Harvey on WMA Competitions Committee

Lynne and Bob of Australia give panel 2-for-1.

Rex Harvey, our world-traveled national chair, used to be WMA vice president for stadia, meaning he was in charge of world meet quality control. When the makeup of the new Competitions Committee came to my attention, I asked Rex for his thoughts. He graciously shared a note praising the panel as highly qualified “and a working committee, not political appointees.” He went on: “I know 10 of the 11 very well and they all are proven hard-working volunteers each with general technical expertise as well as specialized knowledge in various areas. [Chairman Brian Keaveney] has wisely chosen a mix of veteran people and some younger members to carry on. Four of his committee are on the WMA Council, so they should be able to influence council approval for whatever needs to be done to improve the competition.”

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January 1, 2017  One Comment