General

Conquering knee woes, Diane Tedford Pierce aims to revive speed, world-class status

World sprint champ Roger Pierce is well-known to readers of this blog. He’s been a Masters Hall of Famer for 10 years. But lately I’ve been more intrigued by his W50 wife of three years — Diane Tedford Pierce. On Facebook, I followed her progress in coming back from knee surgery. When someone suggested I interview her, I jumped into action. Her backstory is impressive, too. Diane — who bought a house with Roger and moved to Rowley, about 10 miles north of Essex in 2015 — graciously responded. Masterstrack.com: Where were you born, and where did you grow up?…


Spokane is rare Left Coast nationals, so don’t complain about cost, travel

Starting in 1968 (yes, 50 years ago), seven of the first 10 masters outdoor nationals were held on the West Coast — six in David Pain’s home of San Diego and once in Gresham, Oregon. But in the past 20 years, the Left Coast has hosted our showcase meet only four times — Sacramento 2010, Spokane 2008 and Eugene 2003 and 2000. (I don’t count mid-Pacific Honolulu 2005.) So cry me a river when people complain about the cost of 2018 Spokane nationals. Some are griping about this year’s locale on Facebook. But the ones on the East Coast have…


USATF SoCal association handing out $7,000 to big-meet masters, para-athletes

The four-county Southern California Association of USATF is making good on its nonprofit status — offering grants to masters and para-athletes this summer. Chris Gentile, a longtime master middle-distance star, is interim president of the association and shared details in a recent phone chat. Chris says $7,000 is available for those headed to Spokane nationals and Malaga worlds (also the Para-Athletics Youth World Games in Athlone, Ireland) — for travel, lodging and entry fees, etc. Applications will be reviewed by the association’s Athletes Advisory Committee led by Lorraine Williams. It asks a lot of questions, including some that may freak…


GoFundMe raising tens of thousands of dollars for Malaga-goers

The race for Malaga is on. Not for medals. We’re talking moolah via social media. Masters tracksters globally have discovered crowdfunding sites — just as John Oleski suggested two years ago. GoFundMe appears to be the go-to site for age-groupers. World champion sprinters Emma McGowan ($1,380 raised so far) and Don McGee ($795) are making progress toward their September worlds goals. Newcomer Andrea Collier has $1,995 so far, Clinton Aurelien $225, Ty Brown $300 and Tony Williams $850. At least one is overpromising. John Wall ($1,675 of $3,000 goal) writes: “I am a two time Gold Medallist for Australia and…


Now for something completely slower: Ken Stone outsnailing 6-year-old

The older I get, the faster they get — the young’ns I race in San Diego all-comers meets. In previous years, I reveled in smoking 10-year-olds. On Wednesday, at the Summer Nights Series meet at Cuyamaca College near my home, I had no problem with 6-year-old Jude Jefferson in Lane 8. (I was in Lane 7.) But over in lane 5 was Gregory Jefferson (his brother?). I saw him just ahead of me and tried to reel him in. But alas, he beat me 15.14 to 15.40 as fellow 64-year-old Mark Atherton got a masters PR in 15.02. (See results…


Kansas Relays aims to rejoin masters exhibition rotation in 2019

One of the country’s longest-standing meets is hoping to get masters events back on its schedule. The 92nd annual Kansas Relays will be held April 17-20, 2019, at the university’s recently built Rock Chalk Park. The meet features several high school, college and university races, a unique quadrathlon format for Division I schools, and appearances by a handful of professional athletes. Up until two years ago, it also had a few events for masters athletes. But the number of athletes over age 40 who would show up to run had been dwindling, causing the meet organizers to take those events…


Announcer Peter Taylor sent home after CT scan shows no sign of stroke

Good news from famed meet-announcer Peter Taylor. He’s at home in Fairfax, Virginia, after a brief medical scare. On Friday, we was getting set for outpatient surgery when the anesthesiologist noticed his mouth drooping on the left side. Fearing a stroke, they gave him a CT scan, his sister Phoebe told me. Later, Pete called me to report that it wasn’t a stroke but possibly a TIA — transient ischemic attack. Pete says they found an aneurysm in his carotid artery, but “not big enough” to be a threat. He’s has two strokes, including one in 2012. He was sent…


Sonja Friend-Uhl takes Portland mile, but W60 Lesley Hinz has top mark

At least three world-class milers mixed it up Sunday at the Portland Track Festival at Lewis & Clark College, with W45 Sonja Friend-Uhl clocking a great 5:07.26. But video doesn’t reflect the results, which don’t list W50 Marilyn Arsenault of Canada and Kaitlyn Barthell (who ran stride-for-stride with Sonja the first two laps). Later, I learned that Kaitlyn, in her 20s, and Marilyn were entered as open runners, with times listed elsewhere. W50 Aeron Arlin Genet was credited with a great 5:19.84. But also impressive was W60 Lesley Hinz, fifth in 5:47.16. That’s less than 5 seconds off the listed…


Pasadena Senior Games gave us chance to improve, qualify for ABQ 2019

Masters track is great cuz you can still improve year-to-year despite age. So I was thrilled to run the 50-meter dash Saturday in 8.31 at the Pasadena Senior Games (held at Cal State Los Angeles because Caltech’s track is said to be undergoing rehab). A year ago, I ran 8.56 at Caltech. So that makes up for my dropping out of the 100 after four steps (calf cramp, related to high jumping). Mastersrankings.com has results from the two-day meet (with javelin held at Occidental College because or artificial turf Sunday). Many entrants tried their feet at multiple events — since…


Blessed chance to become a paid model, jump on mini-trampolines

Photographer Meredith Bless writes: “JumpSport (maker of fitness mini-trampolines) is shooting a photo and video project in June in San Diego and is looking for models to participate. It will be fun. Needed: two men and two women, aged 45 to 65. Need to be relatively fit but do not need to be buff. This is targeted toward regular people, not professional athletes. Pay: $100 per person. Each person will be needed for roughly 4 hours.” Selected models will be provided with a fitness trampoline to borrow and asked to practice a few simple routines (provided) prior to shooting. The…