World Record Attempt: Masters 4x800 Relay

The year we won...and set the 4x800 indoor national record which still stands today

One thing I'll never regret in life is my ability to take every opportunity that is presented to me that will make me into a better/stronger version of myself. It's how I make decisions both big and small. Will I come out on the other end better or worse?

Tackling the 2:40 marathon is no doubt a big test of discipline and grit. Going from 10 pounds overweight and out of shape to a sub 2:40 marathon in one year is a very tall task! I've been back at it for 14 weeks now and dropped the 10 pounds, been fairly consistent with workouts and efforts/pace have improved each week.

Now let's flash back to 99...ha.

Back in 1999, four kids from California Baptist University set the national indoor record in the 4x800 meter relay in 7:31 which still stands today. Months later that same team went to the Penn Relays and took on the biggest and fastest schools in the nation and ran 7:19 with a dropped baton. I think we went 1:50 (me), 1:49 (Nate Browne)...dropped baton (was it Nate or Ricky?)....1:47 (Ricky Etheridge), 1:47 (Milton Browne). Pretty solid for a small school out of Riverside, CA.

All four of us are coaches now and somehow the topic of the masters world record 4x800 relay came up last year. We checked out the results and this is what we found:

35-397:55.67NON-CLUB :
Miles Smith
Michael Schroer
Jason Rhodes
Scott Anderson
Williamsburg, VA2010-Apr-03
35-398:12.33CLUB: SoCal TC:
Terrance Spann
Bryan Dameworth
Alex Hastings
Brian Sax
Walnut, CA2010-Apr-16
40-497:54.17NON-CLUB :
John Hinton
Brian Pope
Kevin Paulk
Tony Young
Eugene, OR2004-Jun-27
40-498:09.46CLUB: Central Park TC:
Neil Fitzgerald
Anselm LeBourne
Chris Potter
Gladstone Jones
New York, NY2009-Jul-11

That pans out to each of us going about 1:58-59 for the 800 meters.

Nate blew his ACL a few years ago so he is out of the equation but we had another guy we ran with at Cal Baptist, Angel Romero who has stayed in decent shape over the years. We reached out to him and he is in!

So a change of plans. Rather then going after sub 2:40 in the marathon, we are officially going after the 4x800 masters world record! Quite the difference in distances haha...I was a miler/5k guy so the shorter distance definitely suits me better - which I know is why I struggled at the IM distance. I will still tackle the marathon, but am going after this first which - will be great speed to take into eventual marathon training.

Since I'm turning 39 next month, we will have a full year to go sub 2. About 5 years ago when I was training for 70.3's I ran 2:08 on the track so I have no doubt I'll be able to do it once I get some speed work under me. I think the biggest challenge is keeping all 4 of us healthy - especially once we get on the track for speed. I think the initial plan is getting out for some track meets this year, get in shape and then attempt the world record next April 2019 at Mt. Sac Relays once I'm 40. 

So I had to restructure my training plan...big time. I'm going to get in 5k shape, then 3200 shape, then mile, 800, etc. Doing it this way to limit the chance of getting injured. 

The tentative racing plan for 2018 now looks like this:

March 25: Carlsbad 5000
April: Mt. Sac Relays
July 4: Old Pro's 4th of July 10k
Summer: USA Masters Games / San Diego Twilight Track Meets
July 26: Masters Outdoor National Championships

After taking several years off of "real" racing, I'm excited to lace up the spikes again and get on the track. Masters 4x800 World Record, here we come!