In college, I never cared a flip about fraternities or other such groups. Never felt like there was a group I cared to belong to until I started running Masters track. Now, in my seventh season and with 5 National titles, World medals, a relay World Record, and near the top in the 400m world rankings ... I feel like I've passed 'the initiation' and am part of a track family ... an elite group of individuals, many like me who train alone and come together at the appointed time and place each year, like a reunion.
Although there are many others, here are some of my track family.
Speed Sistas - fast women over 50
Many time world and national champions: Sue and Renee. Renee is American Record Holder in the sprints. She ran a 27.01 200m at the meet ... 27 flat - indoor - age 50.
Lorraine - many time National champion, world medalist - she set the W55 American record in the 400m at this meet.
James, always right there with me in every final it seems. World and National Champion, member of our WR relay team. I'm sure he'd be beating me if we were the same age, although I'm 2 yrs younger. Hearing his footsteps in the 400m final kept me pushing. Behind him, David ... who beat me out for a medal in the '14 Boston Indoor.
John and Oscar. Oscar is a Masters Hall of Fame inductee and has usually ruled his age group unchallenged as many time National Champion. John, my GPTC teammate is our sold anchor when we run at the big meets like Millrose. He medals (400/200) in an extremely competitive M50 group - far more competitive than when I was in it. John is a Philly cop, I asked him if he ever has criminals that try to run from him. He said, "I'm undefeated for 29 yrs."
Karl is one of four Olympians I've raced against (2 masters, 2 elite). He unfortunately was injured in the 200m final. He ran on the Jamaican 4x400m '84 Olympic Relay team. I'm right behind him and Don, they have the first and second ranked 200m times in the world right now in M55. I'm third.
David and Clinton. David won the M50 60m and is the leader of the famous Southwest Sprinters relay teams that have claimed many relay WRs. Clinton, world medalist in the 100m, ran that brilliant anchor after my handoff to win the Gold in Perth in the 4x100m, Team USA's only male gold in that event.
From Perth. 3 World Champions: the fastest Masters in the world - Antwon, Karnell, and Don.
Our Perth Gold 4x100 team. With Robert, Don, and Clinton
Corey and James, both World Champions. Medalists in Grand Rapids.
Jim and Ben. Ben is one of the sages of masters track, been doing it for 30 years. A quiet and classy guy. Again, a national champion. Hope to see him in Korea.
One of my favorite photos. With three Hall of Famers, all legends of Masters track. Oscar, Charles, and Bill. The incomparable Charles holds the 400m WR in my age group and in others. At age 69 he still runs 25+ in the 200m, and 60 in the 400m, dominates his age group.
Jim, Alan, and Tony ... our 4x100m Gold team in Lyon.
Robert, Antwon, and Marcus in Lyon. Dr. Marcus will be moving up to the M55 group at next indoor Nationals.
Tecumseh, Sean, Paul and Marcus at the Crossplex. Sean's 4x200m team tied the M35 WR this yr.
Team USA in France
Bill, the guy whose book, the "Ageless Athletic Spirit" and whose example has inspired me along this journey.
Again, there are many more but here are a sample and some of my most inspiring friends.
May you all remain 'Forever Faster.'
And the sport would not be the same without 'the voice of masters track' - Peter Taylor