Upcoming St Pat's Race by Susan Harris
I am really excited. This is shaping up to be a great race walking year in Southern California. We have the great fortune to have some real up-and-coming walkers in Southern California. As athletes qualify and prepare for the Trials in Eugene and the Olympics in London there is the opportunity to view some exciting races.
First there was the 50K trials in Santee where San Diego resident John Nunn qualified for the team, barring a better “B” standard time or an A standard time. The trials were made doubly exciting as Tim Seaman also of San Diego gave John a real run for his money. And on top of that for the first time we had a gal racing at the 50K trials. Erin Taylor-Talcott placed 6 overall and set a new ladies’ American record for the 50K.
March 11 looks to up the excitement even more. Not only is the Huntington Beach a National Championship for the Masters this year it is also an IAAF Olympic Qualifier. This means there is going to be some fast walking. Now those of you that have never seen race walkers of this caliber are probably going, “ooh, really? Some fast walking?” To which I say, “walking faster than most of you can run.” Yeah, you heard me right, faster than you can run. They will be walking at a 8-9 minute pace.
Amongst the elite walkers at the race will be Rachel Seaman, Tim Seaman, Tyler Sorenson, Miranda Melville, Lauren Forgues, Nick Christie, Katie Burnett, and Erin Gray. Now sometimes when this group comes up from San Diego they doing our race as sort of a workout leading up to the more important event, and that is still the case. But what is also the case this time is that they will be pushing themselves. This race is a qualifier for the 20K Olympic Trials. If these athletes want to go on to the next stage the women will need to do at least a 1:48:00 for the 20K and the men will need to go 1:36:00 in order to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Trials in Eugene, OR. TrackTown USA here they come!
The person we expect to be really burning up the course will be Rachel Seaman, formerly of the Montreal Track Club Rachel needs to make the “A” standard of 1:33:30 or less in order to make the Canadian Woman's 20k Olympic team. She fell short of this time by only 3 seconds late last year, so it is definitely within her reach. Rachel trains in San Diego since she is married to American Olympian Tim Seaman and is a really sweet lady. We will all be cheering for her.
I hope that my fellow Inland Empire Racewalkers, and anyone else reading this, will join the fun on March 11. Check out the details here http://www.easystriders.com/cal0316.htm and be sure to bring a potluck dish and join the potluck after the races are over. Where else can you sit down for brunch with an Olympian for the cost of potluck dish? Except of course on May 20 this year at our own Mayfest.
Check out Lauren Forgues and Erin Gray battling Maria Michta at the National Indoors 3K Racewalk!