This July, runners from across the country will converge in the heart of the bluegrass for the USA Track and Field Masters Outdoor National Championship. This four day meet will host events on Thursday, July 28 through Sunday July 31 at the nationally recognized University of Kentucky Track and Field facility.
This historic event began in 1968. Over the years it has been held in states like California, New York, North Carolina and Iowa, but this will be the first time the venue has been in Kentucky. The athletes competing have everyone from ex-Olympians and NFL stars to centenarians and recreational runners. Some athletes will have the sole goal of completing their event, and some will be out there to duke it out.
Although any event with the word “championship” in the title can be intimidating, don’t let that stop you. This rare opportunity has potential to be a fun and memorable experience.
Spectating will be just as exciting as competing. While there will be hundreds of inspirational athletes out there, here is a quick look at a handful to watch. All photos are provided by Rob Jerome.
*Michelle Rohl: 2021 USATF Athlete of the Year in the W55 age group. This versatile athlete competed in race walking in three Olympic games, and broke three American records at last year’s USATF Masters Championships (800m= 2:23, 1500m= 4:54 and 4 x 400m relay in a world record 4:23.)
*Brian Hankerson: standout long jump and high jump specialist in the M60 age group
*Nolan Shaheed: this well known 73 year old has broken age group world records in the 800 meter, the mile and the 1500 meter run.
*Betty Lindberg: At 97, she is currently the oldest competitor registered. She will be competing in the 100m, 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500 meter. What a workload! Betty recently smashed her 5k age group world record by over 30 minutes!
*Gloria Krug: This 91 year old will be competing in the long jump, triple jump, shot put, discus, hammer and weight throw
If you are interested in registering, you must be a current member of USATF. Price will increase on June 29. Detailed schedule with times will be released two weeks before the meet begins.