Americans acquit themselves well at Canadian masters nationals

Dr. Tissenbaum used to run for Canada. Now he's a Yank.

Allan at Canadian masters nats.

Allan Tissenbaum won the M55 100 at the two-day Canadian masters nationals that wrapped up Saturday in St. Catharines, Ontario, one of six or seven Americans who took part. Allan, a USATF national champion, clocked 12.11 seconds into a 1.2 mps wind. Not bad, Doc. The meet saw a rare upset of world champ Karla del Grande, when new W60 rival Wendy Alexis won the 100, 14.22 to 14.95 (also into a wind). In W70 sprints, veteran champ Carol LaFayette-Boyd recorded sensational marks of 15.40 and 32.41. Doug “Shaggy” Smith, the steepler and big-time official, posted photos, as did Dan Slovitt. Meet results (with Canadian records noted) are posted here.

Not sure which age group this is, but Shaggy's shot of tight finish should give short runners hope.

Shaggy Smith’s shot of tight sprint finish should give all short runners hope.

July 19, 2015  4 Comments

More than 3 hours in drenching rain? Worth it for this joyful shot

My wife, the legendary masters photographer Chris Stone, spent more than three hours juggling two Nikons and an umbrella Saturday at the 41st annual Pride Parade in San Diego. She came home soaked to the gills but swimming with stunning images. I’m just proud of a job well done. See her gallery.

A gent twirled in the rain at San Diego Pride Parade through Hillcrest. Chris Stone photo

A happy gent twirled in the rain at San Diego Pride Parade through Hillcrest.

July 18, 2015  No Comments

Why not add the standing long jump to suite of masters events?

1912 gold medalist Konstantinos Tsiklitiras went 3.37 (11-0 3/4) at the Stockholm Games.

1912 gold medalist Konstantinos Tsiklitiras went 3.37 (11-0 3/4) at the Stockholm Games.

Friday I got a query from Germany. A gent wrote me: “I just stumbled across your site while researching what is the current world record standing longjump in ageclass M75. I could not find anything reliable and was wondering if you know anything? My father just jumped 2.14 meters (7-0 1/4) today in standing longjump without even training for it. He will turn 75 this month.” I replied, noting that the event isn’t contested in WMA, so no official record exists. But I sent him a link to the Huntsman World Senior Games, where the M75 standing LJ record is 2.27 (7-5 1/4 by my HJ friend Davie Perry). But it got me thinking: Why not have standing LJ as an official event? Remember, the Olympics had it until 1912. Some countries — and the NFL — use it as a test of fitness. It’s easy to do. Fun, too (as you’ll recall from grade-school days). Also, it’s in the news, since a football player set an unofficial world record of 3.73 (12-2 3/4).

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July 18, 2015  16 Comments

Tony Echeandia, 51, runs incredible 56.93 over 36-inch hurdles

Tony at 2006 Charlotte masters nationals.

Wearing blue, Getulio “Tony” Echiandia Jr. was red hot in the 400 hurdles at the USATF National Club Championships last weekend at Icahn Stadium in New York. At 51, he would normally run the 33-inch barriers in his age group. But he bravely ran 36-inchers with the kids. His time was amazing: 56.93 (results are here). The listed M50 world record is 56.56 by Britain’s Howard Moscrop in 2008. (In 1977, Kansas legend Jack Greenwood at 51 ran the 440 hurdles over 36-inch hurdles in 59.5. Later that year, Jack ran the 33-inch-barrier race in 58.2, according to Pete Mundle’s single-age records.) In any case, see Tony in lane 2 in this USATF.TV video. Here’s my first extended Q&A with Tony since 2007. He told me then: “I love to compete, I love to win and I don’t care who I race against. When I race, I feel truly alive.”

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July 17, 2015  15 Comments

Records czar, using his noodle, signals OK of Sluder pentathlon AR

Laurie Rugenstein, resubmit your record application!

Three weeks ago, W40 Anne Sluder scored 3727 points in the pentathlon, beating the listed American record by nearly 200 points. But worries arose that she’d lose the record because she didn’t have the obligatory three in her event. The worries were for naught. Jeff Brower, new USATF Masters T&F records chair, quotes the USATF rule stating something like “at least three competitors … shall be bona fide and have participated in the event.” But he posits a situation where a W85 woman runs the 80-meter hurdles at a masters nationals by herself and breaks the record. “Is she going to be denied? Absolutely not!” He wrote me this week: “The spirit of the rule is to ensure bona fide competition. Therefore, if other evidence exists that the meet was bona fide (like hundreds of participants, the oversight of the MTF Games Committee, the use of experienced and certified officials, etc., I can think of many other examples), this requirement is fulfilled.” And he says: “If you define the 80M hurdles as a high hurdle event, then any competitor running any high hurdle event satisfies this requirement.”

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July 16, 2015  7 Comments

Lesley Chaplin, Bernard Lagat lower own records in mile, 3000

Lesley was happy at 2014 Winston-Salem nationals.

If it’s Tuesday, it must be Switzerland. Bernard Lagat, our new M40 poster kid, ran 3000 meters in 7:42.75 at the Spitzenleichtathletik Meeting in Lucerne — beating his own listed world record of 8:00.23 from May. This is beyond belief. It’s like back-to-back 4:07 miles. (See results here.) The same day, Lesley Chaplin, at age 57, ran a mile in 5:41.71 — improving her own listed W55 American record of 5:42.51 set two years ago. (The listed outdoor WR is 5:27.57, but fellow Yank Kathy Martin holds the W55 indoor mile WR of 5:19.87.) Lesley, a Georgian, ran her latest mile in the USATF-sanctioned Germantown Academy All-Comers Track & Field Meet Series in Fort Washington, Pennsylvania. (The USATF calendar errs when it says the meet was unsanctioned; I checked with meet organizers, who provided proof of sanction.) Results of the Germantown meet are here. Lesley lost to a 20-year-old kid by a fraction of a second. (I later learned: Josh Toth was a designated pacesetter.) W50 star Lorraine Jasper was fourth in that race in 5:54.33, a wonderful mark.

On the Age-Graded Tables, Kip's mark is worth 7:17.3 as an open time.

On the Age-Graded Tables, Kip’s mark is worth 7:17.3 as an open time.

July 15, 2015  One Comment

Jim Chamberas dies at 71; famed as founder of Twilight Throwers

East Coast throwers legend and Greek god Jim.

Greek god of old throwers.

A special place in Masters Heaven is reserved for meet directors and club founders. No doubt Jim Chamberas is there now. He was both. Fellow throwers are mourning Jim’s death Sunday at the age of 71. They are posting on Twitter and the Twilight Throwers Facebook page — memories of the beloved coach and meet series founder. His obituary barely scratches the surface. His club famously rescued the 2014 USATF Throws Championships. He also was a dedicated thrower (all implements) indoors and out, whose motto was: “THROW as FAR as you can, whenever you can, for as long as you can!” See his profile. His final listed competition was last August. Services are 4-8 p.m. Thursday at O’Donnell Funeral home in Lowell, Massachusetts, and 10:30 a.m. Friday at Assumption of the Virgin Mary Church in Dracut, Mass.

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July 14, 2015  7 Comments

Drat, my AOL account was hacked. Just delete note about Dropbox

Monday morning, hundreds of people in my email address book got the note below. My AOL account had been hacked. I immediately called AOL to reset my password. It’s a common nuisance. I’ve seen this particular come-on before (read all about it) when others have been hacked. But rest assured — it wasn’t from me! All is well now — except for the dozens of replies I have to make to people asking me about the note. Oh well.

This note is circulating around the Web from other email addresses as well. Just delete.

This note is circulating from other email addresses as well. Just delete.

July 13, 2015  3 Comments

Schedule posted for Jax nationals — but it’s lacking in precision

Here's what W-S sked looked like last year.

Here’s what W-S sked looked like last year.

Four days after the July 9 promise date, a detailed schedule for Jacksonville masters nationals has been posted. See it here. But don’t take it as the final iteration. Many running events are set for the same time. So you’ll know in what hour a race goes off, but not the exact minute. This won’t work, of course. Officials need an exact time to guide their check-in procedures. (Generally, you have to report to the tent a half-hour before your event.) Keep an eye on the schedule page for updates. A couple days ago, a high USATF masters source told me that members of the Games Committee were at St. Paul, helping run things at the National Senior Games (with its own issues, like a problem with wind readings not being listed in results). In any case, they didn’t finish the Jax sked until Sunday or early Monday.

Here's the first version of Jacksonville schedule, with long hurdlers all going at the same time. 50-lane track?

Jacksonville suggests most 400 hurdlers go at the same time. 50-lane track?

July 13, 2015  17 Comments

Crowdfunding on rise for Lyon worlds travel — even from India

David Jackson, an M50 steepler, raised money via

David Jackson, an M50 steepler, raised money via

Most athletes headed for Lyon are paying their way. But even M90 sprinters from India are exploring ways to fund-raise. Well, at least one: “Having proved his mettle in national and international competitions, 90-year-old veteran athlete Daulat Ram is now fighting a battle to arrange finances to participate in the World Masters Athletics Championship to be held in France from August 4 to 16. Hailing from a Jat family, Daulat Ram is popularly known as ‘daud mantri’ (race minister) in Sarangpur village of Bhiwani district,” says this report. Daulat won the 100, 200 and 400 in recent major events. “You just make me land in France for the participation, I guarantee you gold medal in the events that I will participate. Else, you can take the money back,” he said. Aside from guaranting titles, how are you marketing yourself — if you’re seeking financial support? American steepler David Jackson, a prostate cancer survivor, used A British thrower tried crowdfunder. Is this the future of masters track?

July 13, 2015  No Comments