Looking for any excuse to avoid the Coach's Handicap Race (not really), our own Jon Megeff travelled to Pasadena to compete in the regional Masters Track and Field Championship. Here's how it went, in Jon's own words:

"It was the USATF Masters West Region Championships, a two day event (Saturday and Sunday). The event wasn't on my radar or calendar, until Paul (Cooney) sent me an email about it several months ago. He mentioned that the meet record for the 10,000 meters in my AG was set back in 1977, and in his words, "it was time to be broken.". I went to the website and noticed the record was 34:38; reachable indeed considering I ran 34:11 at Super Bowl Sunday. And I don't count last year's 32:58 at Dana Point, because that course was short. So I went out there and toed the line on Saturday at 7:00 am with a sparse field of only five or so other runners, but my focus was really on the clock anyways. After the gun went off, I quickly opened with a 77 on my first quarter but then settled into my pace and ran even 5:30s for the first two miles. I fell off the pace on mile three and struggled over the next two miles, causing me to doubt if I would be able to get the record. With 800 to go, I took a look at the clock and realized I would need a sub 2:30 to get it. I'm not sure what my last 800 split was, but my last 400 was a 71 and I crossed the line in 34:34, beating the old record by 4 seconds. Before I left, I had a conversation with the Meet Director who told me about the previous record holder, Jerry Smartt, who had been an Olympian. A Google search confirmed Jerry Smartt was an alternate in the 10,000 at the 1956 Olympics in Australia. Jerry continued to run and race Masters well into his 80s, and until his death in June of this year."

Out of modesty, what Jon doesn't point out is that he ran virtually alone the whole way, lapping the rest of the field several times in the course of the race! Impressive to break a meet record that has stood for over 30 years, and even more impressive to do it on your own...Congratulations, Jon!

Coach Ed