Local Trkac Racing Team impresses at World Championships
The Trkac Racing Team took on the world in early August, competing along with 8,000 of the best runners from around the globe at the 2015 World Masters’ Track & Field Championships in Lyon, France.
“It was our Olympics,” said Trkac coach Clyde Lehman. “I mean that in every sense of the word.”
Nine local runners represented the Trkac Racing Team in the World Championships, which featured competitors from 114 countries.
Lynne Hurrell, 81, was the most decorated Trkac team member when the games concluded, earning three gold medals and a silver in her age group. Hurrell won the 800-meter in a time of 3 minutes, 57.18 seconds, the 1,500 (7:56.41) and the 10,000 (1:01.22). She placed second in the cross country race (48:46.0).
The wins for Hurrell had a tremendous impact on Lehman, who has been coaching her for the last few years. As Hurrell stood atop the podium after one of her wins, Lehman said he was overcome with emotion.
“I’ve coached thousands of runners at a thousand different events, and for the first time I found myself in tears,” Lehman said. “I had never felt such emotion.”
Inka Mims, 55, also impressed in her age group, winning gold as a member of the USA cross country team, taking bronze in the 10,000 (41:31.83), fourth in the 5,000 (20:24.63), sixth in cross country as an individual, and eighth in the 1,500.
Makie Ohler, 53, earned bronze in her age group in the half marathon (1:27:02). She also placed sixth in the 10,000, eighth in the 5,000, ninth in cross country and 10th in the 1,500.
Jim Beckett, 76, tallied a pair of top 10’s in his age group, placing seventh in the 800, and eighth in the 1,500.
Rose Asquith, 55, also earned a top 10 finish, coming in seventh in her age group in the marathon race. Asquith also placed 24th in the 5,000.
Other Trkac Racing Team members that competed were Dan King, 52, who placed 32nd is his age group in the 5,000 and took 38th in the half marathon. Alex Danner, 58, placed 32nd in the marathon. Angela Heung, 43, placed 18th in her age group in the cross country race, 21st in the 5,000 and 28th in the 1,500.
Drue Mathies, 68, placed 36th in his age group in the cross country race and 36th in the 5,000. But, what defined Mathies’ effort at the games was his 22nd place finish in the marathon. A few miles into the marathon Mathies fell, sustaining considerable injuries. But, that wouldn’t stop him. After some medical attention, Mathies gutted out the remaining distance and finished the race.
“It was the most heroic race I’ve seen in my life,” Lehman said. “He looked like he had been in a fight with Mike Tyson. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen a more heroic race.”
Mathies finished the marathon in 3:58:18, which included the time it took to get patched up.
In all, the Trkac Racing Team earned seven medals and 16 top-10 finishes.
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Highway 49 trailheads provide several South Fork American River access points in El Dorado County. Each has its own character and makes for a nice hike in all seasons.