November 2018

M60 Olympian Willie Banks seeks election at Ohio meeting to IAAF rep nominee

Willie Banks may be forgiven if he doesn’t have time to compete in coming years. My M60 jumper friend is leaping into USATF/IAAF politics big time. As I note in my Times of San Diego story, Willie is seeking to replace Stephanie Hightower as the American representative on the powerful IAAF Council. His candidacy is a surprise, and since nobody else had reported this (besides the USATF Document Library), I jumped on it. My first story covers the basics, but notable is something Willie says in his statement of candidacy: “I believe I am uniquely qualified by both experience and…


W90 Heather Lee stomps on guys, her own WRs in two racewalks Down Under

Last Sunday, Aussie star Heather Lee beat M70 Brendon Hyde and M60 Christopher Worsnop in a 10K road walk at the Pan Pacific Masters Games on Queensland’s Gold Coast. Sorry, fellas. But it wasn’t just a victory of the sexes. Heather is 91 (turning 92 this weekend). In clicking to a time of 1:24:21, she also lowered her own listed W90 world record of 1:25:28, set last April in Perth. And just for a warmup, she won gold in the track 3K walk in 24:45.29 — bettering her own listed WR of 24:56.97. (But I’ve also been told that no…


Help save our memories: Contribute materials to 10-year-old mastershistory.org

I must have been napping. But I failed in February to mark the 10th anniversary of mastershistory.org — our worldwide geezertrack museum. This year’s updates have been slim, however, since we’ve exhausted the Al Sheahen archive. So now we’re launching an effort to crowd-source materials from others. Masters History subcommittee chair Jeff Davison recently visited national masters chair Rex Harvey in Arizona, who is making available some of his papers, including newsletters of the Over The Hill Track Club in Ohio. And yet some basic materials are still missing. For example, USATF Masters T&F Records czar Jeff Brower needs complete…


M65 Dutch gent wants court to make him M45 for sake of sex appeal

Feeling old? Wish you were 20 years younger? Well, you can hit the gym. Or do what Emile Ratelband did in Holland. You can ask a court to change your legal age. Old Emile is 69 and wants to be declared 49. Yeah, I thought it was fake, too. But lots of outlets are covering this — including HuffPost, whose weird-news writer David Moye lives a few minutes from me. NPR’s headline goes straight for the jugular: “69-Year-Old Dutch Man Seeks To Change His Legal Age To 49.” The story begins: Emile Ratelband, a 69-year-old motivational speaker from the Netherlands,…


Overcoming misery to excel in Malaga: 3 Americans with medical issues

Three recent profiles of Malaga-goers make my favorite point: Everyone in masters track is competing despite issues. In the case of W65 hurdler Tina Bowman, M75 hammer dude George Mathews and M60 discuser Ralph Fruguglietti, the hurdles are medical. From the Redmond News of Washington: “A year ago, Matthews took a break for hernia surgery at the Cascade Hernia & Surgical Solutions at Meridian Surgery Center in Puyallup. He credits his excellent care for getting him back to training in six weeks and competing a few months later.” From the562.org of California: “Bowman recovered from rotator cuff surgery in April…


60 dash for the 60s will be masters exhibition event at NYC indoor nationals

The USATF Masters Twitter feed informs us that the 60-meter dash for men and women will be the exhibition race contested at USA indoor open nationals on Sunday, Feb. 22, 2019, at the new Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex in New York City. Cool. Even cooler: The ages eligible for this event are 60-69. (Now if only I can compile home addresses for a few hundred guys and hire a discount knee-whacker, then I’m in!) If I can’t, then the likes of Damien Leake, Thomas Jones, Val Barnwell, Sky Webb and Michael Kish are the male favorites, while Amanda Scotti, Loretta…