Desk Jockey to World Class Sprinter

World Masters Finalist in 100/200 Meters !!

Be Smart, Be Patient, Have Fun and Enjoy Your Journey. As Bill Collins, the face of Master's Track & Field notes in his book, "The Ageless Athletic Spirit, Training with a World Champion", you can't train as a master’s athlete as you did as a 20 something. Based on many aspects a 30-50 age person conceivably could train 5-6 days a week with a well designed program, but it’s the rest and recuperation which is most important. As an example my beautiful wife, Karen and I do all of our workouts at home using DVD videos such as P90X(2), Gilad, Yoga, etc. (Monday through Friday from 5:45-7:00 AM.) But as far as my track workouts are concerned I only train two (2) nights during the week and Saturday mornings which seem to work well for me. 


Well know where you are today including your current physical condition, weight, flexibility, mobility, strength, activity level, diet, time availability, commitment and support.

Many states have an Olympic type sporting events such as Pennsylvania’s Keystone State Games, Georgia State Games, and of course my first track event in over 25 years the Florida Sunshine State Games. These state games have all kinds of sports for all ages sometimes different sports are held at different times of the year.  Check out your state's website, pick a sport, and enjoy a healthy life style.

Desk Jockey

Well in April 2005 my massage therapist, Joanne, told me about the Sunshine State Games that would take place In June on father's day. That short time frame only gave me about 6-7 weeks to go from a "Desk Jockey to a World Class Sprinter".

The first week was a challenge just trying to find a pair of jogging legs let alone sprinter's legs at the age of 48. The second week felt a little better and by the third week I started to feel like I was back in my school/college days. Big Mistake, Huge Mistake. But just like many of weekend warriors, I strained my hamstring, go figure.  But still determined to run my first track meet in 25 years, I rehabilitated the injury best I could. On race day, I accomplished Silver Medals in both the 100/200 meter events in 12.75 and 27.77. The Track Fever began but definitely I needed to learn the proper training regimen.

I struggled and fought that inner youth mind set through the next 7 years. Researching articles, videos, books, and especially talking to the other Master’s athletes where you pick up little gems of information. There is not an exact formula but a culmination of the trial and error in finding out what works best for you. At the National Senior Games in 2011, the best discuss I had was the concept of training at 80-85% while focusing on athletic form, breathing and body position. Limit the 90-95% effort in training sessions to avoid muscle strain/fatigue/injuries, compete at 97%, and never at 100% which does not allow a sprinter to run fast and relaxed.

After what I may consider my rebound year of 2010, I placed my training into the hands of Coach Cliff Campbell. Cliff often said, “Well Craig’s 80-85% effort always looks like 95% to me!”. I was always placing to much strain instead of just training. He taught me how to train and for the first time I competed the entire 2011 Season without sustaining an injury. If you view my track history on you would see a big contrast in the number of events from year to year compared to the number of events I ran just in 2011. Additionally, how all of my times progressively dropped in all three events (100/200/400) from the beginning of the year until the July World Masters Championships.

World Class Sprinter

The National Senior Games in June 2011 was the first non-local meet I was healthy enough to run. I was always injured for the USATF Regional or National meets with a nagging strain of this or that. Since the World Master’s was being held in the USA for the first time in many years, I was hoping to compete. 

This Olympic style venue with participation from 93 countries and over 4800 Master Athletes competing in all of the Track and Field events. Just signing up for such an event was pack with all kinds of emotions and anticipations.

Based on the times submitted by other 80 athletes in my age group 50-54, I figured that I was seeded 25th and 20th in the 100 and 200 meter dashes. I hoped to at least advance to the Semi-Finals. The 100 meter event had 4 rounds: Prelims, Quarter Finals, Semi Finals and Finals. Making to the Semi-Finals was surely my goal but to have Willie Gault two lanes away was intimidating. Willie is a gentleman and down to earth as anyone else. I got to know him a little bit and before we took to the track I wished him good luck and he said to me “Craig just get out, get out”; referring to having a good reaction to the starters gun. (Picture above) The Semi-Finals had 3 heats with the top two runners of each heat and the next two best times advancing to the FINALS. At the end of the race Willie turned to and said,” you got 2nd , right” and I replied, “no the taller white dude got me”, Mike Sullivan the sprinter between Willie and I in the picture above. He said that we just ran a faster heat then the first, I"ll hang with you to watch the last heat to make sure that I made the final based on my time. Now, that was awesome of him!! Needless to say we celebrated on the track as the last heat ran and my time stood up. Next, I gather my warm-ups and found my wife in the stand. Karen was on the phone with her sister whooping, hollering and celebrating. I gave her a big hug and at that moment the realization of what I just accomplished hit me like a freight train. Well, I guess you can say, “I lost it.” It was a great moment shared with my wife. After all, she also has to go through my training schedule in her own way and I greatly appreciate her LOVE and SUPPORT in all areas of LIFE.

I was now competing in the World Master’s 100 Meter Finals. Now, how cool is that? Next was the 200 Semi-Finals and I could feel the left hamstring. I just thought the best thing I could do is to run relaxed and enjoy the event. I ran my fastest 200 meters as a Master sprinter in 24.53 making it to the finals. Again, as I exited the cool down area Willie was there and we celebrated making it to the finals. I remember telling him that this was a first time competing at such a large event and how cool was it too make it into the Finals of both the 100 and 200 meters. I was the oldest of the group in both Finals, I was the only 53/54 aged athlete. Everyone else was 50-52 and age does make a difference every year as we get older.  I finished 7th in the 100 and 6th in the 200 Meter Finals.

Everything we do in life is easy once you make it a habit.  So for me if I'm consistent in my training then I expect to be around in track & field with the hope of always being JUST ONE of the MASTERS TRACK & FIELD'S SHORTEST FASTEST OLDEST WHITE GUYS.

World Masters Finalist in 100/200 Meters !!