Last events of the 2022 Senior Games are on the track which are a bit stressful for me. I’m on board for two events, the 800 meter and the 1500 meter. The 800 was scheduled the day after that scorching hot 10K so my plan was just do my best.
Fortunately, the track events were arranged with the oldest women scheduled first with three age groups going off before the 75-79 women. It was one of the few times it paid to be an old woman as the day would be quite warm before the men’s age groups competed.
We were instructed to be in a bullpen-type area 20 minutes before our race. After checking in, a USATF official walked us to the start where another USATF official took over, instructing us on lining up, when we could move in another lane etc. I was in Lane 5, seeded fifth based on my previous races. We were off and after the first lap I felt good. I managed to pass several other runners before the finish.
My finish here at Miramar gave me a third place. This is the best I have done in track so I returned to Fort Lauderdale a happy runner. First place in the 800 by a large margin was Susan Aderhold of Georgia who finished a good 34 seconds before anyone else in the field
To my surprise, I didn’t take a great deal of time to recover. My memory of the senior games in Albuquerque was at least five minutes of coughing and trying to get back to a normal breath. Of course, in Albuquerque we were at altitude, over 5,000 feet with smoky air from nearby forest fires.
I had a day off before the 1500 meters and used it well. There was some brief sightseeing and shopping, followed by lounge time at the pool.
One day of playtime is enough. We are off to the 1500 where I was seeded fifth of seven women for the 1500. As we moved through the first lap, I was the slowest in moving into the inside lane. I hung back then passed a couple of runners in the second lap. Coming through the last turn, my legs and lungs still felt strong, so I moved out and passed the two runners in front of me. I remember hearing my name and state announced as a pumped hard to the finish. Who would have thought a first place finish? My time was 8:48 followed by Sara Dutton of TN at 8:54 and Nancy Berger of MD at 8:56.
Sara from Tennessee who placed second mentioned that she was seeded sixth and I was seeded fifth. We both did much better than our placement would indicate. You never know what will happen in a race. We have decided to do some serious track training over the next year and be ready to battle it out to the finish in Pittsburgh 2023.
Although it felt great to take a first, photos can say so much. Looking at the photo below, it’s clear that I have much to learn. I can see my form, arms position etc. need improvement.
There were many women on the track who had done some serious training. Look at these photos of the top two women in the fifties AG in the final stretch of the 1500. It was wonderful to be in the grandstand watching in amazement as they came flying by. When I need inspiration for track work, I’ll take a look at these photos.
So, that’s a wrap for the competition. It was a good year.
Next up, a brief look at the social side of National Games and maybe a look ahead to Pittsburgh. Come along with me.