Sunday, February 4, 2018

Millrose 2018

Millrose Champions: Masters 4x400m
The 110th edition of the Millrose Games was everything I hoped for.  My Greater Philadelphia Track Club M50 team won the Gold, beating 8 teams, including four M40 teams.  Granted, SW Sprinters weren't there, and some teams were so slow they were lapped, but we'll take it.  We ran a 3:51.21, the four of us averaging 57.8.   Good, but 4.37 seconds slower than our '16 team.

The Race
I was expecting Mark W. to win the leg with John and Delvin battling close to even.  John ran a helluva leg and had a step on Mark and Delvin coming around the final turn.  He gave everything and was beginning to slow as Mark and Delvin were pulling even, so I took the stick early in the zone compared to Chuck and the Garmin runner, so John got to run a 395m leg, running it in about 55.5.  Delvin actually handed off ahead to Chuck but since he was outside of me, I took the rail and went out hard.  I took about a 10m lead on the pack and looking at the video, my actual 200m split - finish line to finish line, (not from handoff) was around 26.2.   I led the whole leg but the Garmin runner made up several meters on me in last 150, and was just a step behind by the time I passed to Bruce.  My second 200 was pretty slow, about 31 flat, so my actual split was 57.2ish from finish line to finish line for my leg.  Bruce got the lead initially but was passed on the first back stretch and Garmin took the lead.  Bruce stayed with him, not letting him extend his lead beyond 10m.
Near the 200m mark of my leg (No 2)

The bizarre finish
Ray got the baton from Bruce and made up several meters on the first lap on M40 Garmin runner, and continued gaining on him on the back stretch until something totally bizarre happened.  I mean, John and I watched it over and over again at Coogan's at dinner on his phone, and we could not stop laughing...   Due to the sudden switch of cameras as the incident happened, I could not be sure what happened to trigger the Garmin runner to go down.  As Ray swung clearly out into lane 2 to pass, he said the Garmin runner (presumably mistakenly) hit him with his baton as his arm swung back. Then, the next thing you see is Ray executing his pass and what appears to be the Garmin runner taking a swipe at Ray with his left hand, losing his balance in the process, and falling.  It looked like an act of either anger or desperation, not sure which, maybe both.  In the fall, he almost tripped the Mass Velocity runner, certainly slowing him down, actually wouldn't have mattered anyway, Ray ran a great leg and got to break the Millrose finish line tape.  We won.


Mid-Atlantic Masters Athlete of the Year

Prior to the meet, we got to warm up on the track and Chuck S. presented me the Mid-Atlantic USATF Masters Athlete of the Year Award as my teammates assembled for a photo.   It was nice.  If it weren't for team leadership and organization from Chuck, I probably wouldn't be inclined to participate as much.  He has been a great facilitator, and has helped me out alot, including rides to and from my hotel to the meet.

As I entered the track, I got to see my family - Dad, Tom, Kris, and Tiano were in the bleachers.  It was a great moment.  I joined dad and the family in a great seat and watched some of the meet until Tom and Kris left for a while.  I didn't see them again so it was a short visit.  Dad made it to Coogan's and after a long wait, we got a table.  It was a nice time.  Really happy to have had Dad and all there.

Yelverton men

The Meet
During the elite part of the meet, I got a track side standing spot to watch it all.  I was right in front of the start of the elite women's 300m where Shaunae Miller tied the 25 yr old world record.  I saw the elite pros, Asafa Powell, Ronny Baker, Tori Bowie, and Emma Coburn.   Coburn seemed exceptionally relaxed and beautiful as I saw her run by me about 15 times in the 3000m race.  Olympians were everywhere.  What surprised me is that they didn't ever once enforce the "one and done" rule for false starts.  Shaunae Miller false started on the first gun during the 300m when she tied the WR.  I know there are cameras everywhere but there seemed to be no officials watching the lines on the far turn, surprising for a meet like this.   (Heck, I've seen more line watchers at Masters Nationals and at Sewanee).

I saw Emma Coburn eating with the pros at a nearby table at Coogan's afterward and made the comment to her, "It's nice to see the pros eat french fries."  They laughed.  My dad got to meet the owner and they apparently hit it off.  The owner (Peter Walsh, I think) came over to my table and mentioned to me he enjoyed talking with my dad.   It was nice.

Afterward/ Forward
The race took a serious toll on my foot, the plantar issue really was aggravated and I was limping the rest of the day Saturday and Sunday walking through the airport.  As I write this on Sunday night after a workout of single leg squats (2 x 12 w/ 80lbs each leg) and glute machine (2 x 55 w/ 320 lbs each leg), the foot feels much better.  Saturday night I felt almost crippled but I think Monday
I will be back on the track for a workout.  I gained a bit of weight on the trip eating hotel food, but not too bad.  Should be ready to race my last indoor 400m before Nationals this Sunday.  Unless my foot really improves, I doubt I'll race the 400m at the Sewanee 160m track.  It's a really slow track for the 400m, 6 of 16 college men at the Sat meet here in Sewanee ran over 58!   Maybe I'll just run the 55m.

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