Friday, June 11, 2010

All Comer's Meet #2; And a Nation Leading 3000 m!

Except for the high school level, which is thriving, track and field is nearly dead in Fairbanks. We’re trying to pump some life back into the middle school development scene and I actually think that’s going to take off—until the schools try to step in again so that they can muck it up. Just watch.

However, with no college program and barely a blip of interest in the open and masters level it’s surprising that we even have some meets on the schedule.

Thanks to masters runner Jim Loftus, track is alive here. We do our part to participate and help out. But considering that the running club has several training groups, and dozens of races, the level of participation is hmm, what’s the best way to say this, disappointing. The Flint Hills Mile, part of the Running Club North series is the exception, and there are usually 100 to 150 participants for that.

Fortunately, we had a quorum last night but for a while (like until 10
minutes before the meet was supposed to start) it looked like it would be just Jim and my family. The meet ended up with 8 or 9 participants, and it was a lot of fun.

Weather was perfect for a June track meet, about 69 F partly cloudy, with some swirling headwind (up to 6 or 8 mph) on the home stretch.

I hadn’t planned on the 3000 until about a day or two before, but what the heck. So I checked and what do you know, the lead outdoor time for the men’s 50-54 age group was only 10:16.5. My 1500 last week would indicate 10:20 to 10:30, but I felt that 3000 is my better event.

So I emailed local post-college runner Chris Eversman, hoping he’d have a chance to run and set a good pace. He wasn’t sure if he’d make it, but lo! At the last minute Chris jogged into the stadium. We stacked the 1500 and 3000, with two runners in the 1500 and four in the 3000. My plan was to run easy for two laps and then settle into 80-81sec/lap for 5 laps before sprinting for home (best case goal, sub 10:10)

Jim, an 800 specialist, and World Masters finalist in 2005 for 55-59 age group, was running the 1500 and took lap 1 in about 80, and I let him go. Chris was just off my shoulder. We came through in 85, crossed 800 in 2:46 and 1200 in 4:10.

We hit 1500 at 5:11, and 1600 in 5:31. Then Chris turned it up a notch with a 79 sec lap and we crossed 2K in 6:51.5. I actually felt good, but paid for that on the 6th lap. I fell back to 8:14 (83 sec). It looked like 10:20 would be tough to beat, but I thought, just break 2 minutes for that final 600.

Tamara called out 8:55 with a lap to go—cha ching!—my little calculator said a 75 will give 10:10. GO!

There wasn’t much GO to give, but I tried to accelerate with each 100 meters and gave it my all over the last 100. 10:12.87, just behind Chris who was a gracious rabbit.

Leading outdoor time in the US!
M50 3000 METER RUN Show Complete M50 3000 METER RUN List

All American Standard: 10:45

1 10:12.9h
FAIRBANKS,AK on 06/10/2010

2 10:16.51
COSTA MESA,CA on 05/01/2010

3 10:20.75
SANTA ANA,CA on 02/21/2010

4 10:49.48
COSTA MESA,CA on 05/01/2010

5 10:53.51
COSTA MESA,CA on 05/01/2010

6 10:53.77
SANTA ANA,CA on 02/21/2010

7 10:59.16
SANTA ANA,CA on 02/21/2010

8 11:02.16
SANTA ANA,CA on 02/21/2010

9 11:11.2h
CHAPEL HILL,NC on 06/09/2010

10 11:41.81
DELMAR,NY on 05/29/2010

11 11:52.13
SANTA ANA,CA on 02/21/2010

12 13:32.10
HONOLULU,HI on 01/22/2010

13 16:31.03
CHARLOTTE,NC on 04/10/2010

Now as a caveat and reality check—3000s are not common and 5:28/mile pace might get you a top 8 or 10 rating for 5000 by the end of the year (my 17:08 was just off that last year, for 11th or 12th), but this is the first time I’ve lead an age group for any period of time. I’ll savor it.

Thanks to Jim for rabbiting that first 800 and for keeping these little meets going, and for Chris for his pacing good humor and patience. And of course for Tamara’s cheering.

Every year I say this, next year we have to do it: get some sponsorship for an early June 5000/3000 and bring out the big boys and girls for a some fast track times in Fairbanks!


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