Douglas Thompson: Why am I having a sprints breakthrough after 800 focus?

By Douglas Thompson Athletic performance breakthroughs are rare. For masters athletes, they may be even less common, since the athlete has already tried many approaches to improve their performance, and because time is constantly eroding what is possible. I seem to be experiencing one of these rare breakthroughs. It’s exciting, but I’m still not sure it’s going to last, and that makes me nervous. I am sharing my story in the hopes that some of you will share your own, and give me some perspective and insight into what may be happening. Since I began running track at age 44,…


Italian candidate for 2022 WMA worlds shares video: L’Aquila has tourism chops

L’Aquila, Italy, apparently is first out of the blocks with a promotional video intended to win the 2022 WMA outdoor world meet. Other candidates mentioned are Tampere (Finland) and Gothenburg (Sweden). Gianni Lolli, general director and manager of LOC L’Aquila 2022, sent the clip and details. “L’Aquila stands at 721 meters above sea level in the heart of Region Abruzzo, which is its capital,” Gianni says. “It is 100K from Rome and 100K from Pescara on the Adriatic Sea. There will be three tracks and one stadium in which all the throwing events shall take place.” He continued: The track…


Injuries block world-record mile attempts by M50 Tom LeGan, W80 Eve Pell

Tom LeGan’s attempt to break Nolan Shaheed’s M50 WR in the mile – telegraphed here recently — didn’t go down. Tom’s calf did. According to a posting by a Northern California track club, “The Tamalpa Runners had the Tamalpa July Track Meet sanctioned by the USATF in anticipation of 52-year-old Tom LeGan and 81-year-old Eve Pell attempting to break the American and World Age Group Records for the M50-54 and F80-84 Age Groups for the One Mile. “Unfortunately, Eve strained her groin and Tom injured his calf and neither runner was able to run in the Tamalpa July Track Meet….


No USATF money for Malaga-goers: Sponsors are no-shows for 2018 prizes

It’s a false start. Eight months after announcing hopes to hand out money to elite masters headed for Malaga worlds and reward them for medals, national chair Rex Harvey says the plan is a DNS for this year. “We have not been able to find a sponsor, but still working on this for future years,” Rex told me this week. As you may recall from my post on Rex’s report at the Ohio annual meeting, the plan had three parts — “Championships Facilitators, financial support for those ranking in the top six in the world in an event, and awards…


Track guru Paul Merca boning up for Spokane as 12-hour-a-day meet announcer

M55 track writer Paul Merca of Seattle is one gracious guy. He let me win the inaugural TAFWA blogging award in 2009 before swooping in for the honor in 2010 via his site. Now he’s onto another task – announcing Spokane masters nationals (actually Cheney, but whatever). Over the past few days, we’ve chatted about the challenge. He’s well aware he’s filling the superstar shoes of Peter Taylor (rehabbing from a near-stroke experience). But Paul aims to do justice to our niche, cramming daily with the help of Pete, spreadsheets of entries and reviewing this blog. On Facebook this week,…


Got uniform? Team USA members reminded about Malaga worlds outfits

With 443 entrants, Team USA will send the fourth-largest national contingent to Malaga worlds in September — after host Spain (1,792), UK (704) and Germany (611). According to WMA, the all-comers meet also known at the World Masters Athletics Championships – Stadia will have almost 8,200 athletes. Yowza. Already we’re hearing worries about field events: How will so many people with so many tries get to finish before Christmas? British Olympian and masters WR man Roald Bradstock, a last-minute entry for UK — although he lives in Florida and threw in the U.S. Olympic Trials (duel citizenship) — wrote on…


Lesley Hinz adds W60 WR in mile, AR in 800 at USATF West Regionals

Despite sprints run into winds, at least two world records and two American records were set over the weekend at the USATF West Regional Masters Championships at West Los Angeles College. (See results here.) Traveling from Georgia, W60 Lesley Hinz ran the mile in 5:39.84 to beat the listed WR of 5:42.65 by Kathy Martin in 2013. So Lesley has a complete set, having set the indoor mile WR (5:43.75) at North Carolina nationals in March. That was Saturday. On Sunday, she ran the 800 in 2:34.60 — just missing the listed WR of 2:33.09 by Germany’s Lidia Zentner in…


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?…


Susan ‘Lynn’ Cooke claims W55 mile American record — 6 months short of 60

Susan “Lynn” Cooke of Tampa is relatively new to masters track, having “first stepped on a track when I was 56,” as she once wrote. So she can be excused for not getting the memo that you don’t set records six months before aging up. But Lynn set herself a goal: the W55 American record in the mile. On Sunday, at age 59 1/2, Lynn says she clocked 5:38.3 — taking a sizable chunk off the listed AR of 5:41.71 by Lesley Chaplin Hinz in 2015. (Results from the Robert Walker Jr. Pre Disney Club Championships Relays & Open Tune-up…


Irish sub-4 miler aiming for 2020 Toronto worlds, if he can overcome injuries

Irish media and a crowd-funding site are sharing the tragic story of one-time sub-4 miler Andrew Walker, 41, who had been training for 2020 Toronto worlds. “The Kildare native is out of immediate danger but suffered multiple injuries including broken ribs and sternum. He also damaged his spleen, lungs and heart but is now recovering after undergoing surgery,” The Independent said of his Saturday injury. GoGetFunding.com said: “Andrew was hit by a car in his adopted home of Santa Brigída in Gran Canaria, leaving him in a critical condition with multiple internal injuries and shattered bones. His lungs and spleen…