USA 5k National Title and onward to the Olympic Trials 20k

With Jemma and Matthew in front of the Hudson River in Albany, NY.

USA 5k Champions

Winners of the USA Masters, Junior and Open 5k Championships.

I was fortunate enough to enjoy a memorable experience the weekend of June 4th and 5th.  This was when my wife Jemma and our son went to Albany, NY for the USATF Race Walk 5k Nationals.  The trip itself was memorable as it was the first time our son, Matthew had ever gone to the USA.  Being only 3 months old we were pleased that he only cried about 15 minutes of our 6 hour trip there!

With Jemma and Matthew in front of the Hudson River in Albany, NY.

With Jemma and Matthew in front of the Hudson River in Albany, NY.

We shared a ride with Dave Swarts of Michigan.  He picked us up on his way through Hamilton, Ontario. Sharing the travel costs made this trip more affordable and enjoyable for all.  Interestingly, Dave and I compete for rival clubs.  He competes for Pegasus A.C., based in Michigan and I for the Shore A.C. out of New Jersey.  This is one of the novelties about Race Walking, two athletes, from rival clubs, working together for a benefit for a higher goal. Not certain how much this goes on in others major sports or with rival teams but this adds to the richness of our experience, no matter what place the respective teams come in.

Don Lawrence, the race director put on a top notch event.  Along with him is Bill Vayo, who is giving much of his time as well back to our event to see it progress on many levels in terms of how the events such as National Championships, are planned and the quality by which they operate and present themselves to the participants.

As for the race itself, I was uncertain of what to expect, since I have only been training for the last 10 days.  This is because I had spent the last 2 years focusing on 50k training to this point.

I was with the front pack of 5 at the start and took the lead at about 3.25km.  I took a chance to push more at this point whether I could be caught by others or risk technical issues that would result in red cards from the judges. I knew that this was the opportunity to be tested in a race situation.  I would improve or learn in falling short.

Pacing with the front pack for the first 3.25k of the race.

Pacing with the front pack for the first 3.25k of the race.

I am thankful to have won the event. This is my 3rd fastest 5km time to this point, and in only 4 weeks following a 50k.  This was a big boost for 20k training for the upcoming 20k Olympic Trials.

Matthew was all smiles when I put the USA flag that was given to me for winning the event, in his stroller.

Matthew was all smiles when I put the USA flag that was given to me for winning the event, in his stroller.

On Thursday, June 30th I am toeing the line in the Men’s 20k Race Walk Olympic Trials event.  The athletes ranked in the top 15 are competing in this event.  This race will take place in Salem, Oregon.  It will start and finish in front of the Capitol building.  Only a minute later, the top 15 women in the USA will take off in the 20k Trials on the same course.This is the first time that an Olympic Trial event has ever been contested in Salem, Oregon.

 

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The course map in Salem for the 20k Race Walk

The lineup for the men’s 20k Racewalk via USATF.org.

Open Men Men 20km Race Walk
Name Affiliation Mark Status Declaration
John Nunn U.S. Army 1:26:12.00 qualified declared
Nick Christie 1:26:59.00 qualified declared
Emmanuel Corvera 1:28:58.00 qualified declared
John Cody Risch Q Elite 1:30:17.00 qualified declared
Anthony Peters 1:31:19.00 qualified declared
Trevor Barron New York Athletic Club (NYAC) 1:34:37.00 qualified declared
Richard Luettchau II Shore Athletic Club 1:34:52.00 qualified declared
Michael Giuseppe Mannozzi Shore Athletic Club 1:34:53.00 qualified declared
Matthew Forgues 1:35:00.00 qualified declared
Matthew De Witt Parkside Athletic Club 1:35:47.00 qualified declared
Jonathan Hallman Shore Athletic Club 1:36:12.00 accepted declared
Joel Pfahler 1:40:05.00 accepted declared
Ian Whatley Warriors Track Club 1:41:13.00 accepted declared
Dave Talcott Shore Athletic Club 1:43:26.00 accepted declared
David Swarts Pegasus A.C. 1:45:56.00 accepted declared
Pablo Gomez Chicago Walkers Club 1:46:37.00 not qualified not accepted
Adrian Zamudio 2:00:32.00 not qualified

 

I am seeded 8th out of 15 based on our qualifying times, but I know anything is possible on race day.

I will write more after the race.  In the meantime, one can keep up with results, via:

http://www.usatf.org/Events—Calendar/2016/U-S–Olympic-Team-Trials—Track—Field.aspx

I am thankful for my sponsors and the many people who have donated to to support myself and Team USA over the years.  They are: PowerBar, Achilles Running Shop, XX2i, Pizza Joes Boardman, Outdoor Recreational Equipment (ORE) of Boardman, Classic Tent and Party Rental, and Advanced Chiropratic of Boardman. And the club I race for, the Shore Athletic Club.  I am pleased that my wife and our son, Matthew will be able to experience the Olympic Trials, first hand with me this week.

Stay tuned…

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