I am part of an incredible masters movement.
We had 60 competitors from 4 countries (US, Canada, Romania, and Germany). The ages started at 30 and go to 80 in 5 year groups. In fact, Vern Kappes (our 80-year-old) has been in continuous competition since 1939. His 74th consecutive year of racing speaks volumes about the sport of speed skating and about the masters movement worldwide.
We had at 2 masters world records broken. We had numerous Mat 1 times reached, which makes skaters eligible for the honorary Masters National team and some state of the art skin suits. We had many personal bests reached as well. We had a great banquet after racing on Saturday that led to an open forum discussion of many masters issues. Fellowship was continued at the home of the meet registrar Olu Sijuwade for a pot luck dinner and to watch videos he made of the first day of racing.
This meet is always a great time to get together with my fellow masters competitors. I get to see old friends and make new ones.
On Saturday we raced the 500 meter #1 and the 500 meter #2 ( the total time of both races determines the winner) and the 1500. On Sunday we raced the 1000, 3000, and the 5000 meters. At the end of the meet we had an open 12 lap mass start race ( everything else was time trials ). About 25 men and women put in $5 each. The pot was split between the first man and first women racers. It was a very exciting race with some breakaways around the mid-point and with about 3 laps to go. The final sprint was the most exciting. The fastest man won by the length of a skate blade. We sure love to race and our competitive side shows itself very prominently. In fact the mens 5000 meter race was won by .01 of a second.
On a personal note I was 3rd overall in the 500 meter race and first in my age group. I skated a 40.27 and a 40.22. The two men that beat me were in the 30-34 and 40-44 age groups. In the 1000 meter race I skated 1:20.42. I was also 3rd overall ( same two guys faster than me) and first in my group. I also skated a 3000, 5:06.53. I do not train for this event but treated it as a fun race. I was 4th fastest over all and first in my group. I am very proud of the fact that I was able to negative split the last 4 laps. I am a sprinter! Go figure.
All in all it was a very successful meet for everyone. Thanks to all that participated. Thanks to all that helped to put the meet on. Thanks to my wife for her support and help as well. Also, thanks to my father Harold for coming in from Oklahoma for the weekend to support me.
This is a time to reflect and be grateful for the incredible support network we all work to hard to build. This support is essential so that we can do what we love, live into our passion for our activity, our sport, our competitive sides and connectedness to each other.