Running #1: My year to (not) bring home the gold!

Darn you, Covid!

This was supposed to be my year to compete in Master’s Track and Field Championship races around the world and bring home the hardware – to get out there and finally win an individual medal.  Every year the track world is excited to get started!

And this was a special year because it would be the first year I would not be working, I could train all day long!

Plus, I had the most beautiful track in the country to train on!

I was coming off a successful USA Track and Field Outdoor Championship in Ames, Iowa where I came away with 2 Gold Medals in the 4×100 and 4×400 relays!


I’ll be honest,  I did win two gold medals, but my team, the Potomac Valley Track Club, wins a lot of medals in the relays because we put together so many teams that sometimes we put a team in a race where our team is the only team in our age group, so if we can get the baton around the track, we win gold.  A relay is where four people each run one leg, say 100 meters, then pass a baton to the next person, there are four people total. In both of the relays I competed in the 65-69 year old category even though I was 70.  In this age group you can have people older than 69, but not younger than 65.  And speaking of OLDER!  In the 4×100 there was something cool, I ran the third leg and had the honor of handing off to Dixon Hemphill, 94 years old.

Dixon always wins gold medals, and often sets national records in his age group and I asked him how that feels.  “Not as much fun as it used to be.  All my competition are gone.”

2020 was supposed to be the year when I could focus only on training, working out 4 or 5 hours a day, on the track, in the weight room, at home doing body weight exercise, and getting in the best shape since I left the Army in 1971.  This training regimen would allow me to answer the big question, could I win an individual medal in the sprints, (100 meters, 200, 400) or was I such a genetic slowpoke that I needed to go back up to the half mile or mile.  There was a good chance that my 20 year history of running marathons had turned me into a workhorse instead of a thoroughbred.    

Plus, the international meets I would be competing in would allow me to move closer to my goal of running on 6 continents.

I already had competed in:


Torino, Italy – 2013

Lyon, France – 2015

North America:

USA – too numerous to mention

Vancouver, Canada – 2016


New Zealand – 2017

Next up in 2020:

South America

Rio de Janeiro

Coming in 2021:


Kyoto, Japan

Still looking for a race:


And then, Corona got to have a say.

I was excited to have my first tune-up race at the USATF Masters Indoor Championship in Baton Rouge, Louisiana March 13th!

And I am thinking, at least I still have Rio in September!

Oh well, so far Japan in May 2021 is still on.

Which reminds me of this,

Advice on starting to run

When people ask me about starting to run I always suggest that they sign up for a community race –  a “FUN RUN.”.  It doesn’t matter if they end up doing a walk/run/walk for most of it, because the real purpose of having a date circled on the calendar, and a tiny financial commitment in the form of the entry fee, is to get you out the door doing your practice run on days when the couch and Pringles call to you like a mermaid on the rocks. 

My training cycles usually start 18 weeks before a big race, and now I have no big race, so I will do my best to train even through there is nothing on the horizon to motivate me.  Wish me luck.

As Rebecka said the first time she went to an Indoor Championship Meet, which is a lot like a three-ring circle, “If you are going to be a fanatic about something, I guess physical fitness isn’t a bad thing.”

And finally, 

Social Media Allows Me to Appear To Be A Winner!

On my Instagram page my profile picture demonstrates that I am no armchair athlete, and it comes from a series of pictures Rebecka took.

Oh my god, for once I am in the lead!
I am opening the gap!
Our boy is going to win!
Oh never mind. Those three guys on the right are in the same race, and they are 40 meters ahead of me in a 100 meter race.

On to 2021!

Published by Robert Lang

Social Justice lawyer and mentor, nurturing calmness, kindness, and adventure. Just trying to leave something good behind.

One thought on “Running #1: My year to (not) bring home the gold!

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