Monday, July 27, 2015

Rest day reflections - Masters Nationals 2015

Masters Nationals '15 went off well.  It was hot but could have been worse.  Not too bad really on Sat and Sunday.  At the end of the meet, I walked around the field, as I usually do at the end of a championship, and thanked as many of the USATF officials and volunteers as I could.  Everyone seemed friendly and happy to receive a nod.

While waiting to get my 200m medal, I got to chat briefly with Herb M.  It was he who pushed me to a PR in the 200 and #2 world time in the semis.   In this race, we couldn't have been more evenly matched.  I won the semis by 0.13, and he won the final by 0.05.  Both races we were shoulder to shoulder the whole stretch.  We both set PRs.

I asked Craig D. if his dad was indeed the famous Jamaican Olympian, and yes... in fact he was.   The man has a lot of streets and things named after him in Jamaica.  One of the greatest sprinters of all time: winner of 1 Gold and 3 Silver, he is the only person ever to make an Olympic Final in all 3 sprints.  Quite a pedigree, Herb Jr., Herb Sr. competed in the '48 and '52 Olympics.

I feel as if I'm finally learning the 400m event and also continue to improve my base speed. It was a shame that hip flexor went out mid season, I really think I could be running 11.9 100m right now. I'm still waiting to crest the hill and start getting slower.  I know it's inevitable, but it hasn't happened yet.  I hope I can be like Don M. and get dramatically faster next yr.  I'm also happy to finally join the "Run your Age in the 400m" club.   Came close to doing it when I was 54 on that Vandy track (55.11).

It seems that in general, masters track is becoming more competitive. In the '11 Nationals, 25.26 won Silver in the M50 200m. This year, all medalists in M50 ran under 24.  All of the medalists in the M55 200m this yr. would have won the M50 200m in '11  (maybe because of WMA Sacramento).  In the '12 Nationals, I won Silver in the M50 400m with a 55.48. This year, M50 400m had medalists at 53.15, 53.64, 54.35.

Kudos to my fellow Tennesseans, Dave S. who won his 5th National Title, this one in the M60 800m, and set a world record in the M60 4 x 800m relay. Sonja continued her domination in M40 distance races even though she is at the top of her age group.

I was happy to share this with my parents. The last time they both were at Nationals, I had a shitty meet and I'm happy to say I'm running way faster this year than I did that first year of Masters track in '11.   Fortunate in all respects.


  1. Great 400, Bill, and I enjoyed announcing it. I knew about Herb McKenley, but he would be 93 today if he had hung on, and thus I did not think that Herb M. would be his son. I did not want to speculate.

    I had a very poor meet, for two reasons: (1) We were often given misinformation, which made us look like fools. (2) The quality of the sound was not good; as a musician you would appreciate that. Personally, I was so bad that I would not even ask me to announce in Grand Rapids next year if I had the choice.

    I'm hoping to announce in Albuquerque for indoor nationals.

    Peter Taylor

    1. I noticed in the program that they misplaced the M45 and M55 200m final, and last I looked, the M55 final was listed on USATF TV as the M45 200m final.

      You sounded fine, I could hear you ok, but that other guy was a low unintelligible drone. I hope you will continue for many years, Peter.

    2. Thanks, Bill. Again, because you are a musician I respect your opinions about announcing, musical performances, etc. I will try my best to announce in Albuquerque. As things have turned out, it seems that the meet director in Grand Rapids likes me, and thus I will announce there.