2020

Was Dan King cheated of M60 mile WR? Meet may have lacked USATF sanctioning

In late August, 61-year-old Dan King of Boulder, Colorado, traveled 1,600 miles to Columbia, South Carolina, and came away with a mile mark of 4:49.08 (see results) — crushing the listed M60 world record of 4:51.85 by Kiwi Tony McManus in 2012 and American record of 4:53.01 by Nolan Shaheed the same year. On Runner’s World, Sarah Lorge Butler wrote: “Behind two pacers—Jackson Neff and John Minen, who earlier in the meet had run the open mile—King clicked off 72-second laps, going hard from the gun.” (The actual splits were 73.57, 71.31, 72.29 and 71.91.). She quoted Dan as saying:…


Time to take temps: 7 polls for Masterstrackland, and my self-indulgent stories

In late 1971, a cold winter in Omaha, I was a high school hurdler in a hurry. My senior track season was approaching and I was determined to crush my 14.9 PR in the 120 highs as a 16-year-old junior. So I did what any laser-focused prep would do. I blasted through a two-semester class before Christmas. Let me explain. Biology was my last class of the day at Harry A. Burke High School, a fully-enclosed new campus only miles down the road from famous Boys Town. And since I wanted class time for training, I took advantage of the…


Pete Mundle dies at 91; pioneering M40 record-setter put world masters marks on the map

Peter Mundle has passed, and our sport’s Mount Rushmore must make room for a shy man with prodigious running and recordkeeping talents. According to an obituary in Sunday’s Eugene Register-Guard, Pete died May 7 — about two weeks short of turning 92. No cause of death was listed. Nor where he passed. Unsure why word was delayed. Pete would have been a stickler for such details, since his legend was made not as a record-setting runner — who won the 3- and 6-mile races at the first USA masters nationals in San Diego in 1968 — but as the compiler…


Virtual Masters Challenge, USATF Masters budget, NMN health on my mind

Last month, several athletes including Florida-based M65 thrower Guy Dirkin, launched an effort to replace 2020 Toronto worlds with something they call the 2020 Worldwide Virtual Masters Challenge. It’s being run out of John Seto’s mastersrankings.com site, charging 2 Euros ($2.35) per event. If I enter the M65 short hurdles now, I’m in the running for a medal. If I enter the high jump, I could win gold. I’ll pass. (See Status of Entries.) But WMA Prez Margit Jungmann of Germany has given the event her seal of approval. She writes: “I wish this initiative great success. I encourage you…


Don’t count on any WMA world meets until 2024, or when The Beast is busted

WMA has awarded 2021 outdoor worlds to Tampere, Finland, and delayed other world meets down the line. The scrambled calendar has led to much gnashing of teeth and griping about meet conflicts and other inconveniences. Others cheer the changes. My reaction: Yeah, right. Don’t count on ANY major international masters meets going off as scheduled. Not in 2021, 2022 or even 2023. As I’ve noted in social media, until we have herd immunity globally via a widely used and effective vaccine, ain’t nobody going nowhere. (And who wants to run timed finals at 100m using only lanes 1, 5 and…


Greensboro meet decision expected Friday; 2022 nationals sites announced

Interim national masters chair Jerry Bookin-Weiner made some big announcements Wednesday in his latest update. And in a Facebook post today, he said: “The [masters] Outdoor Championships in Greensboro have not yet been cancelled. The notice about the future of that meet is scheduled for tomorrow.” Other highlights: Lexington, Kentucky, will host 2022 masters outdoor nationals and Spokane the 2022 indoor nationals to be held in the city’s Spokane Sportsplex currently under construction in downtown Spokane. Both were the only bidders. “The Anti-Doping and Substance Abuse Subcommittee announced at the closing Executive Committee meeting that out-of-competition drug testing for masters…


Stanisław Kowalski turns 110, could be first athlete ever in that milestone age group

Lift a glass for Stanisław Kowalski of Poland. Tuesday he turned 110, potentially becoming the first masters trackster in that virgin age group. Although a Polish masters track post on Facebook indicates that he is “no longer in competition,” it says he still has a “lot of positive energy and sense of humor.” That’s enough to give me hope that someday, when The Beast is vanquished, he’ll enter a sanctioned meet and set as many M110 world records as he wants. Someone once told me that the oldest master wins. Period. That would make Stan our sport’s ultimate champion. Just…


M35 world champ Stew Marshall puts COVID-19 in rearview mirror, updates WMA site

In 2016, Stewart Marshall of Great Britain competed in his first world masters meet — in Perth, Australia. It didn’t go well. He entered the 200 and 400 but “made the quick decision” not to run the deuce due to injury the week after his nationals. Then in the 400 final, he was DQ’d. But he came home with two M35 golds in the 4×1 and 4×4 relays. And in 2017, he further showed his dedication to our niche sport by becoming the website manager for World Masters Athletics. In 2018, he made up for Perth by winning the M35…


Question for national chair Jerry Bookin-Weiner: What out-of-competition drug testing?

Reno is a good bet for improving masters communications. Following the 2008 annual meeting there, national masters chair Gary Snyder launched a blog. It didn’t last long, but it showed the way. Later, he and Rex Harvey used National Masters News to report to the masses. And Rex would pop up on Facebook. Rest his soul. Now just months after the 2019 Reno annual meeting, Jerry Bookin-Weiner, Rex’s successor as national chair, has announced he’ll use Facebook (at least two groups) to share thoughts and parry questions. That’s great. On Saturday, he posted to the USATF Masters group and the…


Possible WMA world meets if virus vanishes: 2023 Spokane indoors and 2024 Daegu outdoors

Margit Jungmann of Germany, the president of World Masters Athletics, used to do the heptathlon. That’s helpful in her current gig — juggling two dozen jobs. The most important? Protecting lives. Like doctors, nurses and other heroes, Margit and her fellow council members will be making decisions in the coming months on the fate of our health — and sport. Will she permit cities to move forward on world and regional championships amid The Beast, COVID-19? It’s now accepted science that the earlier we adopt strict social-distancing and other steps, the better we have a chance of escaping the worst…