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March 29, 2012

US Masters Championships

I recently went to the great state of Indiana to run in the US Indoor Masters Championships.  The entire family left Friday after school headed for Indianapolis.  On the way we helped Lynne deal with her fear of Windmills; they can be a little creepy!  We were excited to stop at a steakhouse, but realized our comfy clothes caused us to be slightly underdressed.  The food was good and we resumed driving after a quick stop at the nearest Dairy Queen.  We arrived at one of my favorite hotels, Country Inn and Suites, unpacked the van and watched some of the NCAA tournament.  The next morning, Lynne and I ran together and then got ready for the day.

After an hour drive we arrived in Bloomington and headed over to IU.  As we drove down College Avenue, I was immediately sent back in time to my freshman year of college.  My first college cross country meet was on the IU campus.  The night before that meet, Bob Whelan and I had gone looking for an arcade.  We found one, but we also found trouble.  Long story short, we were chased back to the hotel by some local troublemakers. Of course were weren’t caught, but our lives were threatened.  This trip was much less eventful.

The mile was scheduled for 1:05 and began at 1:02.  Nick Berra, the most likely of challengers, scratched and without his presence there was little incentive to run fast. I ran 4:26 and won by 13 seconds.

race video:

After I congratulated the other competitors, I started around the track to enjoyed my victory lap.  I stopped to talk to Tom Priester, a fellow western New Yorker.  While talking, I noticed a man with a clipboard approaching.  I was hoping he was a reporter, but thought he was more likely seeking me for another reason.  I was right.  He informed me that I was selected for a “random” drug test.  Ugh!  I was then required to stay with a USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) official until I provided a urine sample.  This is not a simple process!  The guy followed me like my shadow while I finished my lap, talked with my family, grabbed my water bottle, changed out of my spikes, etc.  Not a smile, not a friendly shrug of, “I’m sorry I’m taking up your personal time.”  Nothing!

Lynne and the kids were bummed because this was not going to take up valuable sightseeing time in Indy.  Although the process was lengthy (2.5 hours to be exact!), the chief official is an Elmhurst resident so we had much to talk about.  After drinking four 16oz water bottles, USADA had what they needed and I was free to leave.

We drove back to Indy to swim in the pool, eat dinner and watch UK defeat Iowa State.  A powerful storm blew through and even caused a short power outage. I did not easily fall asleep, but this is nothing new.

After another morning run with Lynne we headed back to Bloomington.

The 800m promised to be much more exciting with Nick Berra and Lance Elliott racing.  After checking in, it became obvious that we were the only competitors although there were supposed to be 12 of us.  Nick and I discussed pacing and he chose to lead the first two laps and I could take over on the 3rd lap.  Once we started the third lap, I tried to pass but could not.  You will have to view the following link to find out the outcome.

2012 M40-44 800 – Masters Indoor Nationals, Bloomington IN

All in all it was a good trip.  I have decided to join a team and will become teammates with Nick Berra for the Greater Philadelphia Track Club.  We are hoping that Lance will join us.

The rest of the day was spent at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum with the family.  We really enjoyed our time there.  What a great weekend!

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