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  • worst weather meet!

    At the moment Austin (site of the NCAA Championships) is flooding with buckets of rain. What are the worst conditions you folks endured during a competition?

    Mine was an early season four-way meet in Salt Lake City high jumping in a light rain, steady breeze and temps in the low 40's. The jumping apron was an old style rubberized asphalt that seemed to allow the water to percolate down and kept pretty good traction. But they kept the tarp over the pit to keep the foam pads from soaking so each jump ended with a big splash into 2-3 inches of accumulated freezing rainwater. Some guy from Idaho and I were the only ones stubborn and dumb enough to keep clearing the bar. Once we got that miserable neither of us wanted to walk away without winning. I finally prevailed on fewer misses. While the officials ran for cover we shook hands and both started laughing like crazy.

  • #2
    Re: worst weather meet!

    Two come to mind
    1. Jumping at the Florida Relays in '79. It was raining so hard I could BARELY make out the bar fronm the start of my run 100' away. They let us take our shirts off to lowere the ballast. I won it at 6'10" I think.
    2. This past NZ National High School meet in Invercargill (find it on the map). It was cold and WINDY. Wind at their back on the home straight and standing them up straight on the back. 60mph winds all weekend. At one point the high jump mat was picked up and flipped landing 10 meters away. No Lie.
    Cheers

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    • #3
      Re: worst weather meet!

      Texas Relays, 1969. My roommate on the trip, Bill Brundage (Washington Redskins DE), put the shot that had to be dug out of the ground with a pry bar. I had never seen so much rain. I remember thinking," If they put one more drop in the sky at any point in time, this will be an ocean."
      The next day, a tractor plowed the cinders, they sprayed fuel on the track, and lit it on fire. Then another machine came in to level the track, they rolled it, lined it, and had a track meet.

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      • #4
        Re: worst weather meet!

        Well, the worst I can think of for both extremes came at IUPUI (Indianapolis) in consecutive years. As for blazing heat & humidity (with serious downpours at times), it definitely was the '88 Trials. I spectated there for 8 days and it was a definite chore just to endure those conditions, let alone compete.

        As for cold & blustery, I competed at the former National Invite @ Indy in '89 where we were throwing the javelin into a 25mph headwind with driving snow...all on the first weekend in MAY!!! BRRRRRRR!

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        • #5
          Re: worst weather meet!

          The old WAC conference in 1967 when the meet was held in Laramie, Wyoming. They had gale force winds and very cold (30's!). I remember the mile went in 4:28.9 by a BYU runner (Bob Richards?).

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          • #6
            Re: worst weather meet!

            I wasn't there, but I've heard stories about the English National X-C race and what incredibly wretched conditions they've experienced. One year in about the early 1970s, the weather was so diabolically bad (wind, rain, snow, etc.) that the finish apparently looked like some scene from the Crimean war, with grown men collapsed weeping. We (here) just aren't tough enough...

            Addendum: I asked for and received permission from my UK friend to post his short narrative of the race I was alluding to above. He writes:

            "It was 1972 at Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham). We (HHH) had six guys running. One was so cold he couldn't start, three dropped out during the race, Fat me and another did finish. The runners just went off not waiting for a gun and the
            weather got a lot worse during the race. An official died on the way home to Liverpool, ambulances drove around the course afterwards picking up bodies. The stream that cut across the course went from ankle deep on the first lap
            to knee deep by the third. There was wind, rain, sleet, snow and cold. The finish was about half a mile from the start where we had left our
            tracksuits. The changing rooms were another two miles away where there was no hot water or showers. When I finished I fell into the arms of Fred Hulford who had finished 15th in the International CC in 1905, who was waiting around to hand me some information. Weather on the way to the race and on the way home was great!"

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            • #7
              Re: worst weather meet!

              >2. This past NZ National High School meet in Invercargill (find it on the map). It was cold and WINDY. Wind at their back on the home straight and standing them up straight on the back. 60mph winds all weekend. At one point the high jump mat was picked up and flipped landing 10 meters away. No Lie.
              Cheers


              And I was there! Throwing Javelin. I've never had to try so hard to hit 45m! A javelin went 30m then came backwards and landed on the grass nearly behind the runway. My 1 throw was 2m off the track during the 1500m heats, nearly speared someone. Temp was 8C at midday! Discus had a tailwind that cut 5m off everyone. Shot put my hands where so cold that I basically snapped my ring finger. Was a horrible experience considering I had thrown 15.6m just before the meet and ended up having 1 legal throw of 12.33m and 2 fouls. Won't be going back there in a hurry. Oh well got to eat at the southern most Macdonalds in the world for what its worth...

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              • #8
                Re: worst weather meet!

                For awhile, I was pretty sure god didn't like decathlon. At Hesinki '83, we had brought rain gear, as we had gotten drenched at the E Cup in '77. 1st half of the meet, nothing but blue skies. Shirtless, happy as a clam. After the break day, morning session was 1st day deca. Rain, lots of rain. Our seat were bleacher style, over concrete in step like construction. About 3cm of water cascaded down from the top. We did have rain gear for this one, but still got soaked. The women went shopping. There wasn't much of a crowd that morning.

                Rome '87. Again, 1st day deca. About the time the HJ was winding down (it ran long, because Christian Shenk kept clearing heights), it started to drizzle. Then to rain. Then to rain seriously. How serious? The bats stopped flying around the stadium. Smart bats. They dithered about the 400 and for awhile it looked like it might be postponed until day 2. We were huddled in the tunnel, drawing straws to see who would go up for a status report. Finally, they ran, on a very wet track. It had gotten late, not late enough to not get fed, this was Roma after all. As we left the stadium for the busses, the lighting came. We walking about ankle deep and the flashes were reflecting in the water. Later, I realized, if the lighting had struck near us, we would have be toast.

                Indy '88. Heat, humidity, (put on your shirt, Renfro you idiot), near heat stroke. On the 1st day of the deca, comes brother rain. Hard enough that the HJ was moved to the field house. My first (and only) indoor deca).

                Stanford '80's. Just a minor meet. Raw, rainy, windy. We were about the crowd. Some poor soul from a local newspaper decided that we would make a good human interest story "True fans brave elements!". About half an hour after the picture was taken, the sun came out the wind stopped and it was just another day in paradise. My 15 minutes of fame didn't last well.

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