David Pain accepts lifetime service award from San Diego TC

David Pain, our Columbus, was honored Sunday by the San Diego Track Club with a lifetime service award. He and pioneer female road runner Donna Gookin were applauded by 200 people at the San Diego Hall of Champions, a sports museum in Balboa Park. Competitor.com ran a story about the awards, named for legendary San Diego streak runner Dale Larabee. “SDTC presented the first award to Donna …, known as the “godmother of women’s long-distance running” in San Diego. Gookin ran the 1972 Boston marathon, the first year women were officially allowed to participate. … After starting the first-ever women’s running division at the Mission Bay Marathon, she won 10 of the 40 women’s divisions she competed in the races that followed.” Coach Paul Greer said: “Both Donna Gookin and David Pain are truly great living examples of why this award was initiated since their lifetime service to the sport of running has spanned over the last 50 years. Many of the programs they introduced to the San Diego running community and worldwide still exist today.” You bet.

November 19, 2014  4 Comments

Track world finally notes WMA World Best Athletes of the Year

Lavinia set 3K and 10K world records on same day in January 2014.

Lavinia set 3K and 10K world records on same day in January 2014.

A week before the World Athletics Gala in Monte Carlo, the IAAF itself and British track mag Athletics Weekly have noted the winners of WMA World Best Masters awards — Guido Muller and Lavinia Petrie. (We had the news nearly two months ago.) WMA posted their credits. (Click on their names above.) I learned a few things about the German legend and Aussie distance star. For example, Guido barely missed making the 1964 Olympics in the 400-meter hurdles. And Lavinia is a “Briton-turned-Australian” who now holds eight world records or world best performances from the W50 to W70 age groups. Guido is quoted as saying: “I regard this recognition not only as an honour for myself, but also as an honour for the masters track and field movement in general. I hope that the Lord will give me the necessary health in the future that I may continue my good results.” Us too, GM. Have fun in Monaco (again).

November 18, 2014  One Comment

Willie Banks sees doubling or tripling in masters track budget

Willie put on a show at Striders dinner. Click for photo gallery.

Look for the USATF Masters T&F Committee budget to double or triple in the next two or three years. That’s the prediction of Olympian and former world record holder Willie Banks, a member of the USATF Board of Directors since 2009. He made the forecast Saturday night as the featured speaker at the annual awards banquet of the Southern California Striders. The club met at the Park Ave restaurant in the Orange County town of Stanton. Since our 2014 budget is $132,000, we might be around $300,000 in 2016-2017. Where does the moolah come from? Willie’s theory is the Nike’s longterm $500 million deal with USATF will lead to more exposure of the elites (via expanded televised meets) and there greater awareness of our sport, which somehow will trickle down to masters. He says such efforts could make track “again the premiere sport in the United States.”

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November 17, 2014  No Comments

Olympic shot champ hints comeback if Eugene snags IAAF meet

Adam Nelson would be 44 at 2019 IAAF worlds.

Olympian Adam Nelson, the 2004 shot gold medalist and 2000 silver medalist, has tweeted: “If eugene gets world championships, I’d consider coming out of retirement for a chance to represent the U.S. In the US.” He refers to the Hayward Field bid to host the 2019 IAAF world outdoor championships. Adam would be 44 at the time of 2019 worlds. The qualifying standard for 2019 hasn’t been set, but it will probably be close to that of 2013: 20.60 (for A standard) and 20.10 for B. That’s 67-7 and 65-11, respectively. The listed M40 world record is Brian Oldfield’s legendary 21.41 (70-3) of 1985. But it would take at least that far to medal in 2019. Hope Adam gets his shot (and considers sticking around for masters)!

November 16, 2014  No Comments

Kathy Martin after latest USATF AoW: Masters keep raising the bar

Masters Hall of Famer Kathy Martin, 63, confirms that this week’s USATF Athlete of the Week designation was indeed her fourth. “And such an honor,” she graciously writes, responding to my inquiry. “As Masters athletes, we just keep raising the bar for our youth to surpass. It was a good race. Venue [at Indiana masters 5K cross country nationals] was great — not an easy course but every detail was managed. Weather cooperated, although I do think the wind was a factor. Great competition. I just wish we could get more masters interested in our events — especially XC. Andy Martin and Bill Quinlisk are an awesome duo. The differences I have found is the longer time to recover and more maintenance required — just like an aging machine :) Need to stretch and cross-train. No longer just go out and run. Loss of muscle mass and strength is noticeable, so we have to do something to combat it. The need to listen to our body and accommodate the changes in training. Take time to heal if something happens (just had a fracture of foot — dropped granddaughter’s highchair tray on it. OWWWW. Trust you are well and thank you for being so attentive to all that the athletes do.” Thanks, Kathy, and keep on truckin!

Kathy, shown at 2013 Olathe nationals athletes banquet, knows how to take care of herself. But watch out for those pesky highchair trays.

November 15, 2014  5 Comments

Kathy Martin wins USATF Athlete of the Week at event she owns

Retire the award. Or at least name it for Kathy Martin. USATF on Wednesday announced its Athlete of the Week honor — and for at least the fourth time since 2011, it goes to our own Kick-Ass Kathy of New York state. She wins it for claiming the masters 5K cross country title (for the umpteenth time). Turns out she also was named USATF AofW for winning the same title in 2011 and 2013. Can’t blame Indy for going back to the well. Kathy dominates the age-graded race as well. And she had to beat Pete Magill out for the latest honor. (Pete was the top men’s racer at Carmel cross nationals.) Anyway, congrats to Kathy and to Indy for being open to back-to-back-to-back-to-back winners.

Kathy dominated at Winston-Salem nationals last summer as well. Whatta gal.

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November 14, 2014  4 Comments

Bob Hewitt: Masters Athlete of the Year honor is ‘tops for me’

Bob (second from left) with other multi greats in 2009: Emil Pawlik, Phil Raschker and Bill Murray.

Bob Hewitt says he heard of his selection as USATF Masters Male Athlete of the Year from a friend in Stockholm, Sweden. “Lars Wennblom emailed me congrats for being selected male AOY. I told him he must be confused with my 75+ award from 2013,” Bob, now 81, graciously told me via an email Q&A. “After he guided me to the web posting, I emailed Mary (Trotto) and she confirmed the selection. I was both shocked and thrilled.” He told his family, tennis friends and the Portland Masters Track Club. “They are collectively surprised (as am I), supportive, happy, proud and grateful. Of course, they all suspect I may have to replace my existing headware.”

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November 13, 2014  4 Comments

Multi-eventer Bob Hewitt is USATF Male Masters Athlete of Year

Bob Hewitt has more to smile about this week.

Outpolling the likes of steeplechasers/mile stars Brad Barton and Nolan Shaheed, multi-event record-setter Bob Hewitt has been named USATF Masters Male Athlete of the Year. Oregon Bob is an M80 superstar. He set world indoor records in the long jump and pentathlon and three American records (adding the indoor hep). He competes infrequently, but when he does, all stops come out. In fact, he deserves a WR in the 200-meter hurdles but didn’t make the Committee of One cut for the Anaheim convention. In addition, 36 other American men and women are age-division AoYs, according to votes by the USATF Masters Awards Committee overseen by Mary “Aloha” Trotto. Winner of the David Pain Distinguished Service Award will be announced at the USATF annual meeting in early December. Irene Obera was previously announced as overall USATF Masters Athlete of the Year, so she’s also the USATF Women’s Masters Athlete of the Year. (Making the 80-84 age group the hot one this year.) And watch out for next year! She’s reportedly training for the hep will soon add the javelin, HJ and discus to her repertoire. Go, Irene, go! (And congrats to all the folks below, even if you’re in boring age groups below 80.)

Here are 2014 Masters Athletes of the Year by age division.

Here are 2014 Masters Athletes of the Year by age division.

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November 12, 2014  8 Comments

Ballot for Masters LDRs of Year posted on USATF page by mistake?

Here's what the M90 ballot looks like.

Here’s what M90 ballot looks like. Just 2 picks.

Uh oh. On the Documents Library page of USATF’s Anaheim convention, we see a link to the Masters LDR Athletes of the Year Ballot. The text reads: “You are receiving this ballot because you have been designated as a representative to the USATF Masters Long Distance Running Committee by your Association, Member Organization, Administrative Committee, or as a designated Active Athlete, At-Large, Cross Country, or M.U.T. representative to this committee. If you are not the designated representative, please forward this to the appropriate person.” The ballot contains clickable buttons, meaning anyone — your Aunt Sue or 2-year-old grandson — can vote for masters roadies of the year. (Even friends of the nominees.) As a test, I voted for Kevin Castille in the M40 group. Oops, it took! How many other bogus ballots will be submitted?

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November 11, 2014  2 Comments

Truthiness: NMN gets the Colbert Bump for its anti-aging properties!

NMN, but maybe not the monthly magazine we call National Masters News, was featured on the “Colbert Report” recently. Stephen Colbert had a segment on the anti-aging chemical NMN. The news is old: “First the compound that reversed aging in this study is nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), which gets converted into NAD in the body. It is the amount of NAD in the cell that is key to the anti-aging effects.” I loved seeing masters tied to anti-aging, though, even if Colbert had no clue of NMN’s alternate meaning. Can Amanda and Tish sue for trademark infringement?

November 10, 2014  No Comments