Saturday, August 4, 2012

Track champs

I headed out to the suburbs of Chicago for my first attempt at a masters Track Championships.  I've done masters Cross-Country but track is a very different animal.  It would be a cool trip as teammates Dan Verrington, Tim Van Orden, and (sometimes CMS) Francis Burdett would also be participating.

My plan was to run the 5,000 meters, 800 meters (both on Thursday) and then take a shot at the 1,500 meters on Sunday.  All of the distances are way below what I'd normally like to race but getting out of your comfort zone can be a lot of fun, or at least an interesting diversion.

I arrived late on Wednesday night and got a decent nights sleep.  Woke up with a bit of a headache and then proceeded to get a pretty deep cut on my big toe (caught it on the bathroom door).  I was setting myself up for a bad day!  The weather was not making me feel any better as it quickly climbed into the 80's and then low 90's.  Hey, that is what you get in Chicago in August.

We headed out for a nice easy 3 mile warm-up and then I got into my racing gear and did another mile with strides.  The meet was behind schedule so I did another mile-plus while watching Dan pick up a Silver Medal in his heat of the 5,000 (50-54 age group).  It was definitely hot on the track and seeing Dan (who runs very well in the heat) run 17:22 gave me pause.  I decided it would be best to run on feel and not worry too much about the time.

Francis and another guy blasted out and the field followed.  I was near the back at the end of the first lap but felt comfortable running 81 seconds for that first 400.  I slowly began picking people off and by half-way I'd moved into fifth place and could see that I was gaining on the two guys in 3rd/4th.  I got them both by 2 miles and was very surprised to be in a medal position with a mile to go.  I upped the tempo a bit and hoped for the best.  I really couldn't tell how the guys behind me were doing but it seemed like the announcer was calling them right after I crossed the line.  I kept pushing hard and hit the finish holding onto third place in 16:53.  I was beat!

After a few minutes Dan and I watched Tim run his heat of the 5,000 (he took fourth) then we headed out for a warm-down/warm-up.  After our 3 mile run we went to check in for the 800 only to find that all preliminary heats were canceled EXCEPT the 45-49.  My age group was the only one with more than 12 entrants so we'd have two heats with the top 8 moving on to the finals.  That was fine with me I had no plans to make the finals and didn't want to race on Saturday :-)

I did another mile jogging around and a couple of strides but felt pretty beat from the 5,000.  All of the guys looked fast and were wearing spikes (I stuck with my road flats that I'd used in the 5,000).  As expected I was dead last at the break-line (no surprise I was seeded 16 in a field of 18).  I ran as hard as I could and moved around Bill Newsham (GCS) with 300 meters to go.  I snuck just under 2:25 and was glad to be done.  Tim joined me and Dan for another 2 miles and then we called it a day.  Not a bad start to the long weekend!

81.0/80.8/80.6/80.3/81.5/81.6/82.4/82.4/81.9/81.8/80.9/80.8/37.4 = 16:53.8
Me, Duncan, and Burdett at the Napperville running store
M45 5000 Meter Run
       USATF: # 14:24.27
    Name                     Age Team                    Finals  Points
  1 Duncan, Andrew           M45 Unattached            16:01.27    8
  2 Burdett, Francis         M47 Greater Spri          16:27.31    6
  3 Dunham, Dave             M48 Central Mass          16:53.82    4
  4 Sepulveda, Rene          M46 Asics Aggie           17:24.48    3
  5 Holmes, Guy              M46 Patient Enduranc      17:32.79    2
  6 Zamek, Mark              M49 Raritan Vall          17:39.81    1
  7 Bailey, David            M49 Unattached            18:00.47
  8 Voehringer, Brad         M46 Unattached            19:41.80
  9 Bunton, Michael          M48 Unattached            20:31.12
-- Newsham, Bill            M47 Gate City Striders         DNF

M45 800 Meter Run
       USATF: # 1:54.18
    Name                     Age Team                   Prelims
  1 Summay, Landen           M46 Running Spot           2:06.15Q
  2 Forde, Kevin             M48 Greater Phil           2:11.35Q
  3 Scholtz, Michael         M46 Atlanta Track Club     2:07.02Q
  4 Bailey, David            M49 Unattached             2:14.17Q
  5 Mason, William           M47 Unattached             2:07.47q
  6 Erickson, Paul           M45 Unattached             2:07.63q
  7 Brown, Darin             M45 Mass Velocit           2:11.93q
  8 *Conway, Joe             M45 Ireland                2:15.33q
  9 Oliver, Aubrey           M47 Unattached             2:16.77
10 Sepulveda, Rene          M46 Asics Aggie            2:18.29
11 Stolbom, Steven          M45 Unattached             2:20.56
12 Hoffman, Thomas          M48 Unattached             2:21.93
13 Grimes, Dan              M49 Mass Velocit           2:22.33
14 Dunham, Dave             M48 Central Mass           2:25.19
15 Yorges, Christopher      M46 Unattached             2:28.38
16 Newsham, Bill            M47 Gate City Striders     2:28.75

Splits: 72.6/72.5

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