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Craziest, Strangest, Most Bizarre Things in Track & Field

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  • 26mi235
    replied
    We had twins one year for HS XC; they were not very good and not beyond doing things to help themselves. One race (home course) one of them hid in the ivy near half way (one mile of a two mile course in CA in the 60s); they switched at that point. Did not finish well but were DQ'ed for their actions.

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  • berkeley
    replied
    At an athletics meeting in rural Ireland in the mid-70s, staged on an uneven muddy field, the leader had just cleared 5'10" and was keen for a shot at 6'0" when it began to rain heavily. One official looked at the other and remarked "I'd say he was a good 2 inches over that, would you ?". His companion agreed, they marked 6'0" on the result sheet and bolted for cover. First prize (in the very early days of professionalism) was an inner-tube for one of the standard size black bicycles that virtually everyone owned at the time ...

    "Chosen ones" indeed!

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  • dj
    replied
    Originally posted by mcgato
    Turns out the "ooohh" was because the runner had come upon a puddle and he presumably didn't want to get his feet wet.
    I had something similar at an invitational meet while running DIII in the midwest back in the early 80s. A narrow part of the course had a puddle (ankle deep or deeper) about 15 yards long that covered almost the entire width of the trail. There was a narrow ledge on the left that one could carefully get past the puddle without getting wet. I came upon the puddle at the two mile mark in about 25th place and was amazed to see a line of people carefully walking on the narrow ledge so as not to get their feet wet. I ran right through the middle of the puddle and moved up about 10 or 15 places.
    The one problem with running through mud puddles is you never know how deep they are or how uneven the footing is.

    At Belmont Plateau in Philly there is a tunnel on the 5-mile course. It can be somewhat dark, and the low side can collect a lot of water at times. I saw a guy try to go through the water. He tripped, fell face first, tried to scramble to his feet, tripped again and fell again. I never saw him after that.

    I never was in a position to bother with that puddle/pool/river/lake, but I have on other courses. It was fun to see the reaction of the kids who were suddenly getting splashed when they thought they'd stay dry the whole race.

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  • Recdude
    replied
    Swallowed Shot Put!

    I was at a high school meet once and the shot put was contested on a very muddy field. One kid threw the shot and it just got swallowed up in the mud. The kids got some rake handles and kept poking every indentation they could see trying to find the shot but with no luck. The kid trowing the shot said it was a brass shot which are quite expensive, he thought he was in big trouble with his coach. The meet ended with the shot still unfound. I don't know if it was ever found. I thought someone should go back with a metal detector!

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  • Daisy
    replied
    Originally posted by LSR
    madness
    More like genius. 8-)

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  • LSR
    replied
    I heard they did this at my school once, to save time they used to start two 200m heats at the same time either of the track, all starting off the same gun. madness

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  • mcgato
    replied
    Turns out the "ooohh" was because the runner had come upon a puddle and he presumably didn't want to get his feet wet.
    I had something similar at an invitational meet while running DIII in the midwest back in the early 80s. A narrow part of the course had a puddle (ankle deep or deeper) about 15 yards long that covered almost the entire width of the trail. There was a narrow ledge on the left that one could carefully get past the puddle without getting wet. I came upon the puddle at the two mile mark in about 25th place and was amazed to see a line of people carefully walking on the narrow ledge so as not to get their feet wet. I ran right through the middle of the puddle and moved up about 10 or 15 places.

    Leave a comment:


  • Halfmiler2
    replied
    Re: Weird happenings

    Originally posted by PDJ551
    I was coaching a high school team who was running in the N.J. Indoor State Relays. Our Distance Medley team was very inexperienced. They were running in the first race of the morning, the unseeded section. A sophomore, who had never run at Princeton before was leading off for the 800 leg. On his last lap he burst into first place, running his best time up to that point. As he came off the last turn, I realized that the officials were coffeeklatching and paying no attention to the race and hadn't put the second runners on the track. These inexperienced kids weren't bold to do anything until directed. I was sitting in the stands with a basketball court separating me from the track, so no one heard me. Anyway my kid goes running through the zone and the officials wake up. He keeps going for a third lap while everyone else gets put on the track and takes the baton. Now instead of being in first place we are in last. Eventually we get the stick and complete the race. On the print out of the results posted we are in the last position, with a disqualification notice after our time. The reason given-ran the improper number of laps! I was going to go down there and complain to the officials, but I realized that it was futile, as the team had no chance of medaling anyway. Also it would be a funny story to remind the first two legs of that experience. The lead-off kid went on to run a leg on the school record setting 3200 team in the spring and the second kid who should have gotten out on the track ended up by setting the school 800 record three years later.
    Also in NJ, I recall in H.S. that a DMR was supposed to be 3/4-880-440-Mile but a team (not mine) mistakenly thought it was 3/4-440-880-Mile. Their would-be quartermiler came in looking to hand off the baton and was told he has another lap. His splits were 53-86 for a 2:19 half mile.

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  • Dutra
    replied
    College Quad XC meet at VCP many years ago...'76ish. Rainy day. Very rainy day. Gun goes off and right before the first turn the guy in front of me stops almost dead in his tracks while uttering "oooohhh". I bang into him, the guy running off his shoulder bangs into him and falls and a couple of guys running behind the two of us slam into us. Turns out the "ooohh" was because the runner had come upon a puddle and he presumably didn't want to get his feet wet.

    "Oooohh"?

    For a good portion of the first lap around both sides of the argument....particularly the guy who fell....were yelling at each other and there was some pushing and shoving until the hills wore us down to the point in which we wouldn't finish the race if it continued. There was a continuation after the race and throughout the rest of the season with this guy who seemed quite surprised to come upon a puddle on a pouring down rainy XC race day.

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  • PDJ551
    replied
    Weird happenings

    I was coaching a high school team who was running in the N.J. Indoor State Relays. Our Distance Medley team was very inexperienced. They were running in the first race of the morning, the unseeded section. A sophomore, who had never run at Princeton before was leading off for the 800 leg. On his last lap he burst into first place, running his best time up to that point. As he came off the last turn, I realized that the officials were coffeeklatching and paying no attention to the race and hadn't put the second runners on the track. These inexperienced kids weren't bold to do anything until directed. I was sitting in the stands with a basketball court separating me from the track, so no one heard me. Anyway my kid goes running through the zone and the officials wake up. He keeps going for a third lap while everyone else gets put on the track and takes the baton. Now instead of being in first place we are in last. Eventually we get the stick and complete the race. On the print out of the results posted we are in the last position, with a disqualification notice after our time. The reason given-ran the improper number of laps! I was going to go down there and complain to the officials, but I realized that it was futile, as the team had no chance of medaling anyway. Also it would be a funny story to remind the first two legs of that experience. The lead-off kid went on to run a leg on the school record setting 3200 team in the spring and the second kid who should have gotten out on the track ended up by setting the school 800 record three years later.

    Leave a comment:


  • ndamix
    replied
    Re: Craziest, Wackiest, Strangest Things in Track & Fiel

    Originally posted by tafnut
    Although we were horrified at the time, it's kinda funny now. We had a sophomore who had run a 54 as a leg on the 4x4, after being on the team for just a month. He was a 4.0 student, brand new to track - obviously talented. We asked him to run an 800 for strength work at a fairly big invitational. He split 26-28 (yes, 54, his 400 PR from the week before) for the first lap. He kept going at the same pace till about the 600 mark, when he began to slow down, to a jog, to a walk, and then he stood still, teetered back and forth a couple of times and fell flat on his face on the track. He was totally conscious, but virtually paralyzed from lactic acid. He was fine in about 5 minutes. I asked him why he went out so fast, and his answer was, "I thought I was supposed to run as fast as I could, for as long as I could, so that's what I did."
    That's an accurate description of the first time I ran the 400m (then it was the 440y). ops: :lol: :lol:

    Another incident that comes to mind was referenced early with the FS in the 3K @ this past weekend's NCAA Champs; only in this case it was an 800m @ a JO Regional Championship meet where I was one of the hand-timers.

    This one guy (who happen'd to have the fastest seed time) FS three times and was never charged...of course, the crowd was up in arms over that but the race went on and FS guy didn't finish in the Top 3 to advance to the JO Nat'ls.

    Later found out that dude didn't even need to run the race since he had been advanced to the Nat'l meet by competing @ the USATF Junior Championships.

    The starter (who was a novice @ the time of the meet) still gets kidd'd about that race to this day.

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  • Brettboy
    replied
    Kim Batten getting hit in the head by something like seat sponge. I think it was in 94 when she was starting to challenge Gunnell. Lausanne springs to mind but I'd have to check.

    Or when a pole fell on Gowry Retchakan during a 400mh race - she was in lane 1 and the Pole Vault bed was right next to the inside lane.

    Leave a comment:


  • Daisy
    replied
    Re: Craziest, Strangest, Most Bizarre Things in Track &

    Originally posted by lonewolf
    I believe there is plenty of leeway under 5-2-c for the starter to exercise judgement and simply call the entire field up again.
    They must be heartless not to. Or are they just unaware of the provision?

    The starter has the option to cancel the start, which has the effect of negating any possible violation or disruption caused by a 'flinch'.

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  • lonewolf
    replied
    Re: Craziest, Strangest, Most Bizarre Things in Track &

    Originally posted by tandfman
    Originally posted by kuha
    This has been noted before, but is memorable nonetheless: a false start in the 10,000 (Brussels a few years ago).
    There was a DQ for a false start in the men's 3000m at the NCAA Championships this past Saturday. Absurd.
    I have not seen the replay but I was standing 20 feet away from that start. Kosgei (sp?) did not even false start. He bobbed his head forward as he came to the line. the entire field took off when the gun sounded. The recall gun was instant.. The recall starter said he was DQ for "not remaining motionless"

    I cannot find that term in the rules. He did not gain any unfair advantage. No runner crossed the starting line before the gun. I believe there is plenty of leeway under 5-2-c for the starter to exercise judgement and simply call the entire field up again.

    Leave a comment:


  • tandfman
    replied
    Re: Craziest, Strangest, Most Bizarre Things in Track &

    Originally posted by kuha
    This has been noted before, but is memorable nonetheless: a false start in the 10,000 (Brussels a few years ago).
    There was a DQ for a false start in the men's 3000m at the NCAA Championships this past Saturday. Absurd.

    Leave a comment:

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