It’s only taken 50 years, but USA masters athletes are finally getting serious financial help from their governing body. As told in my deep-dive story for Times of San Diego, more than 300 eligible Americans as old as 103 can claim up to $1,000 for travel to Toruń worlds this March, and they can bring home up to an additional $1,000 for medals — $400 for gold, $200 for silver and $100 for bronze. Relay team members, too.
The overall budget is $125,000, including $25,000 pledged by a mystery donor. I contacted masters national chair Rex Harvey and a dozen athletes for comment, including Charlie Allie, Kathy Bergen, Rita Hanscom, Damien Leake, Sonja Friend-Uhl, Anselm LeBourne, Dr. Allan Tissenbaum, Jim Chinn and Irene Obera’s friend Alan Kolling.
Several others responded to queries but didn’t make the story. My apologies.
But the key thing I learned is that despite postings on Facebook and the USATF masters website, many elites weren’t aware of the program — and entry deadline for the late March meet is Jan. 29.
Some stars told me they got phone calls or emails from masters brass, including Rex. But most didn’t know about the travel aid and medals money until I contacted them.
Time for USATF Indy to dust off its email address book and fire up the laptop.
Was this news to you? If so, check the list of eligible athletes. If your name is there, you can claim some cash.
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