I was looking forward to Saturday's shorter day; while it was only about 10 hours on the track, the temperature peaked near 100. Took advantage of the girls' 200m semi cancellation to run back to the dorm and stand under the shower yet again. The other officials thought I was nuts, but I didn't care.
First up; a Sunday morning jog thru Hendricks Park. It's not flat. At all.
I wound thru the park and ended up at Pre's Rock. Good place to take a break and think about why we all do this...
On the way back to the dorm, I rolled downhill to Market of Choice for the morning sports section. Eugene's Register-Guard does an outstanding job reporting on track and field. Of course, when I dumped the classifieds and inserts in the store's garbage can outside, I also dumped my $18 in change. I'm not too proud to go diving...
Then it's a very quick shower and breakfast, because we have to watch over the 20k race walk on Agate Street. 12.4 miles....of walking. Heaven help me!
I gained a new and very healthy appreciation for race walkers. These folks put out the effort; every single one of them was completely drenched after only 20 minutes.
Big thanks to Nick Christie, 2nd place finisher. When he spent 100 yards giving back his breakfast (that must have been lime Gatorade and kiwi fruit), he didn't hit me at all. Of course, I jumped like I was on hot coals. Yes, race walkers put out the effort, all right.
And a spectator/coach was out there, yelling, "Looking STRAWNG, Nick!" With his Jersey accent, I could have sworn I was in my old neighborhood again.
In an effort to avoid the horrific heat, the two 5k races were rescheduled to the morning before the full schedule began. The stands were half-full, and someone commented online that "Hayward just can't pack them in." Really? Meanwhile, a bunch of youngsters took Shalane to the cleaners with a 2:16 final half mile. However, Ms. Flanagan is a marathoner, so it was a solid tempo workout in preparation for next winter's marathon trials in LA.
Men's 5000m ended with a ridiculous sprint, Galen barely getting that third place. Slow race, furious finish, like the women's 1500.
Maggie Vessey tripped and fell in the 800; must have been those baggy boxer shorts she wore. Ajee got stepped on and lost a shoe with 200 left, but still ended up in the money. I'm guessing she has some blisters today. And Alysia FINALLY ran an evenly-paced race, which gave her a national championship about 11 months after giving birth.
Georganne Moline was running the hurdles well until she clipped the crossbar in the adjacent lane, then demolished her own hurdle and went down hard. Never saw that before; coming up to flight #8 where the hurdles are about a foot or two apart, she was hugging the line too close and had the unfortunate carom. Since she wiped out two lanes worth of hurdles, the woman in lane 2 didn't have to jump; she squeezed into 3rd place after having jumped only 9 of the 10 hurdles. 4th place must be very upset...
And then there was the women's 200m final.
Jenna got her usual ok start, then accelerates coming out of the turn with daylight. With 50m to go, it looks like she's losing ground. One quick glance at the video screen proves otherwise; NATIONAL CHAMPION!!! The crowd was not quiet.
I leave the 200m starting line and am walking clockwise to get to my next post at the finish line. When I get near, she is being interviewed, so I wait. Then the photogs get all their victory shots.
Once that's done, I continue walking. She then starts coming past me toward the podium. As we passed, I said, "good wheels" and she slapped me a low five! But the USATF.tv video cut out a split second right before we slapped hands. Bummer!
Here are the world-class starters: I've learned so much from them.
And my motley crew...
As always, a great experience at Hayward Field! And while I was exhausted on the drive home, I was somehow able to stay awake.
I love track.