I had a really unique opportunity last weekend to race against some of the fastest athletes in the world at a low-key local meet. This was by far the best competition I’ve ever faced, and it helped pull me along to a big PR!
This was basically a home meet: Atlanta Track Club hosted this meet at the same track I practice on. It was a bit strange to see all the equipment and people out on the normally empty track. The meet was a little chilly, especially for the Southeast: about 55 degrees and with swirling winds.
I was originally slated to run in the masters section, but the meet director generously fit me into the elite section. It was a real trip checking in when the loudspeakers called the “professional” runners!
This meet only contested the 100m and 400m, so I ran just the 100m. There were two rounds that every athlete ran in—the prelims were randomly assigned and the finals were seeded by prelim time.
100m prelims: 10.82 (NWI)
- Here’s a slowed down side view of the race.
- I had a pretty strong and smooth start. I’ve been working a lot on driving my feet back into the track with my first few steps, and I think I executed well on that in this race.
- I was a bit tense as I got upright, and it resulted in being a bit hard for me to hold my form through the race.
- In particular, it felt like my leg were a little bit behind me towards the end. The video clearly shows my feet rising to my butt.
- Overall, I came in 8th place in the prelims out of 13, which let me sneak into the fast finals heat in lane 8.
100m finals: 10.71 (-1.3)
- Here’s a frontal view, and here’s a slowed down side view.
- My heat included at least 4 Olympians: Samson Colebrooke, Ameer Webb (the 25th fastest 200m runner of all time!), Ojie Edoburun, and Keem Sirleaf. I definitely felt out of place!
- I’ve never been left behind in the blocks like that before! Pros are pros—but it’s amazing to see the difference even in the first two steps.
- My start was also plain bad. I didn’t drive back nearly as well as in the prelims, and I ended up getting upright pretty early.
- Upright running felt much better than in the prelims. I did a good job staying relaxed and finished strong.
- I finished dead last in my heat—interestingly, pretty much everybody had a much better difference betweeen their prelim and final time than me. For example, Samson Colebrooke and Ameer Webb were neck and neck in both prelims and finals, but ran 10.32/10.34 in the prelims and just 10.01/10.04 in the finals!
- 10.71 is a big PR for me from my previous best of 10.79 (+2.9)… and 10.71 (-1.3) translates to 10.63 (0.0)/10.53 (+2.0) so I think I have a lot more in store this season.
Next up for me is the Sewanee Mountain Laurel Twilight Invitational in Sewanee, Tennessee on April 23.