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…


W60 gender scientist Joanna Harper leaves Fox News doofus in rhetorical dust

W60 distancer Joanna Harper ran rings around two Fox News hosts Monday, leaving Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn stumped in separate segments. Instead of playing the role of punching bag, Joanna (a transgender athlete and IOC consultant on gender issues) defeated her male interrogators with some masters jiu jitsu. She disarmed them by taking their sides and proving herself reasonable and rational. Outsports headlined the exchange: “Trans athlete leaves Tucker Carlson speechless, sets Fox News record.” I detailed Joanna’s story in 2010 and again in 2015. The post three years ago was occasioned by an amazing piece Joanna wrote for…


Indian masters athlete demands new governing body in letter to the editor

Sprinter Opinder Sekhon of the far north Indian city of Chandigarh could have written a letter to the editor about any issue in the nation of 1.3 billion. But no. She writes about masters track. So it’s notable that her letter to The Tribune of India calls out authorities. She writes: “The Sports Authority of India should form a masters’ athletics organisation in the country. Veteran athletes are fed up with the three organisations simultaneously running in and around Chandigarh. The new organisation should have elected members. Master athletes are roped in for the well-being of senior athletes. Unfortunately, they…


WRs set in masters women’s decathlon in Grass Valley — only question is: How many?

This weekend’s USATF masters women’s decathlon is in the books. All that’s left is the shouting over who set world age-group records. (No official lists are kept, but these marks will likely get wide recognition.) See results here. I suspect most of the six entrants will lay claim to some WR or AR, given changes in age-graded factors and implement weights since the last major masters women’s dec in 2009. (The dec also was contested in 2011 in Dallas. And Jen Freemas set a W35 AR in 2015.) One thing is certain: Nobody at Nevada Union High School was in…


Tom LeGan inching toward M50 world record mile, plans July 17 attempt

Berkeley-based Strawberry Canyon Track Club is reporting that its M50 mile star Tom LeGan ran a road mile last weekend in 4:24.8, supposedly breaking the point-to-point age-group WR of 4:28 at the Fifth Avenue Mile. (Not sure of details.) The Los Gatos event, called the One Mile Bang, isn’t yet listing results. But road miles don’t count in World Masters Athletics stats anyway. Tom has his eye on the listed WR, however — Nolan Shaheed’s 4:25.04 from 2001. Tom’s moonshot reportedly will take place July 17 at a meet in San Rafael. (I’m worried about it being unsanctioned, however.) A…


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…


Charles Allie annihilates M70 WR over 200 with sub-26 at Des Moines nationals

Hall of Famer and former WMA Athlete of the Year Charles Allie pulled a Usain Bolt at Des Moines USA open nationals Thursday, running away with a “mixed masters” 200 exhibition in a spectacular 25.75 seconds. That made him, at 70, the oldest human to go sub-26 in the deuce. He crushed the listed M70 world record of 26.47 by Britain’s Glyn Sutton at 2015 Lyon worlds. On the Age-Graded Tables, his mark is equivalent to an open (20-30) time of 19.68. (Methinks it should be 19.08.) (Charlie ran a 26.45 indoor WR this past winter, so he improved the…