Sunday, July 17, 2016

USATF Masters National Championships - Sunday meet report

It was a good day.
Silver Medal - 200m - 24.74

 I found my spikes under the tent where I left them on Sat. after the meet, but my night was tough.  Worried about my spikes, and probably too much evening coffee, I could not sleep.  I originally scheduled a wakeup call at 6:30 am, but I changed it to 8:30 when I was still awake at 4:30am.  I think I finally drifted off to sleep by about 6:00 am and woke up rudely at 8:30.

I packed quickly and got to the track.  Rain was forecast and we had quite a tailwind and some sprinkles for the 200m.  While warming up and chatting with Jim and Alan, it looked like the 4x100m relay would be on, as the rain missed us.   But Alan was hurting, he scratched the 200m and our relay was cancelled.   Bummer for the relay, but an improved chance for me to medal in the 200.

The field was: Don - defending outdoor champion and fastest M55 man in the world '15; Val - Silver Medalist in the 100m and former World Champion, Karl - '84 Jamaican Olympian (400H) competing unofficially, Jim - many time World and National Champion, and Ray Smith.   (Val had the dubious distinction of having served a 2 yr doping suspension in '10, he once held the M50 indoor 60m World Record).

Ray in lane 1, Karl in 2, Val in 3, Don in 4, me in 6, Jim in 7.   Unfortunately, the USATF TV camera man failed.   It was the worst 'official' video ever made of a race that I've seen.  At times the whole field is absent from the frame, and only at the beginning and the end, am I in the video.

I was determined to execute this race well.  My plan was to be aggressive at the start and make up the stagger quickly, then just float relaxed until 50m out, then put the hammer down.   It worked well.   Don was gone, silly fast, amazing turnover, way out in front at 23.90... one of the fastest M55 200s ever.  Karl was past PR territory for me running 24.36, Val had a step on me with 20m to go but I got got him in the end by just 0.08.   I think I surprised him.  He said to me afterward, "you strong, dude."  Since Karl was non-US and competing 'exhibition,' I got the Silver, Val the Bronze, Jim close in 4th.  It was a good way to end my Nationals.  

Some rather blurry stills from the video.  I'm in yellow.

M55 Men's 200m Final - coming into the home stretch

Pulling even with Val 10m before the finish
Finish of the M55 200m Championship Final
Afterward, I did some socializing... got some good photos.  Thanked the USATF officials, as I usually do.  I'll post a wrap up when I get home.   It was a great meet.

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