Thursday, July 14, 2016

Pre race day - Masters National Championships

M55 400m heats combined into tomorrow's Final Championship race.

Today was supposed to be the semi-finals at the Masters Nationals in Grand Rapids, MI.   However, due to the numerous no-shows and a nine lane track at Grand Valley State U., our semi-final heats were cancelled and combined into a final that will be run tomorrow.   Same thing that happened last year, except that was due to a weather cancellation.  We had 2 full heats in the semis, but several that were seeded over a minute, or with no time, cancelled.  Seems like for 7 people, racing a 400m seemed like a good idea at the time, but perhaps when they saw the seed times, or for what ever reason, they withdrew.  One interesting thing, there was one person who showed up in the start list but was not listed in the official 'status of entries' page.   I wonder how he got in?

The home stretch, where the champion will emerge
At this time, they haven't assigned lanes yet ... and without a semi, this is where the fake seed times will come in handy.  Jim is presently ranked 4th in the world but is seeded 6th in this meet!  There are some exaggerated seed times, at least 3 or 4 of the top 6 seed times could be exaggerated when compared to actual performances.  I'm second seeded so I will end up in lane 4, 5, or 6.  I think lane 4 with Corey and Tyrone to my outside would be good.  Doesn't matter though, it's still 400m.

Anyway, the conditions were a bit tough today with a stiff cross wind.  Although it was in the mid-80ºs, it did not feel that hot because of the lower humidity and the wind.  For the 400m Championship race tomorrow, it's supposed to be several degrees cooler (74º) and the wind is supposed to be about the same, 11mph gusting to 20mph, but from the NW, which will be a headwind for the backstretch on the S-N situated track with the finish at the south end.

As Jim and I agreed, it would have been nice to race today to see what kind of shape some of these guys are in.  Tyrone said he was in the 'best shape in years'... Corey seemed very optimistic and gung-ho about this meet and season, saying that he was going to Perth Worlds as he just turned 55.

After a full warmup, then a light lunch ... Jim, Chip, and I returned to the track to get a feel for it with spikes.  It's a good IAAF configured track but I had read somewhere on a USATF page that it was a Mondo track, it is NOT Mondo, unfortunately.  It's a blue poly track, similar to many I've run on this year.   Unfortunately, the wind will limit the possibility for stellar times.

So, I did a short workout today after the morning racing session, just running 3 x 120m at near race pace from the start of lanes 4, 5, and 6.
Puma spikes on 
3 x 120m from the 400m start
Felt fine.  The second and third ones felt the best.  This afternoon, took a nice 90 min nap and will go out to Panera for dinner later.  I should be good to go.  Race tomorrow is around 3 pm.

Will update if I am assigned a lane.  They may wait til tomorrow and see if everyone who checked in today, also does tomorrow.

 Our sign in the airport....

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