It was a sweltering hot day on the blue track of Varsity Stadium. Four Boardwalk runners had entered the 1500m with a 1:30 start, and one entered the 400m that followed. 3 athletes now lay claim to provincial championships in their age categories.
Tanya Sakharov (W30) battled hard with Annie Bunting (W45) of Toronto Track in the first heat. For all 3 and 3 quarter laps Tanya ran as if she was Annie's shadow. The fireworks came on the last lap when both women kicked hard for home. Tanya was only a few steps behind, but since they were in different categories, both earned gold. On top of that, Tanya's time was a Personal Best (PB) in a time of 5:09.78. Also in that heat, was a newcomer to masters track races. Joanna Kotsopoulos (W40) toed the line in her first 800m, and despite some early pre-race jitters she was able to hang on to a fast moving group. Joanna finished 4th in the heat, 1st for age, in her first attempt at the distance. Her time of 5:57.52 is sure to be lowered in a few weeks time.
On The Men's side there were 3 heats. Mark Duff (M50) was in heat 2. The Men's 50 division was stacked with competitors. The heat quickly strung out as Geoff Peat led the runners out quickly. Mark got stuck in with a group of three runners that jockeyed and traded positions for the majority of the first two laps. Mark finished 4th in his division in a time of 5:05.72.
In the last heat of 1500m Jimmy Semes (M35) went in seeded at 4:39.00 the 3rd fastest seed in the heat of 6 runners. As the gun went off Jimmy's game plan was to drop to fourth for the first lap and then move up. However, no runners asserted themselves and for a moment Jimmy looked to take the lead but then adjusted his pace into a smooth 2nd place position. Kevin Smith (M40) who was seeded at 4:20 led by 3 seconds at the 300m mark, and then 6 seconds by 700m, and 9 seconds by 1100m. For the last 400m Jimmy started to close the gap but ran out of steam on the last 120m. His time of 4:33.17 was roughly 11 seconds back of the heat winner Kevin Smith, but just like Tanya and Joanna, Jimmy left with gold.
Norton Woo (M45) was a late entry into the 400m. He ran in a loaded heat that included former olympian Paul Osland (M50), and 4 other fast Men in the 45 year old category. Running in lane 8, Norton shot out of the blocks looking to run as fast as he could from the start. He took the field through a fast start, his first 200m clocking in at 24 seconds. However, as they round the turn, Norton didn't have the strength to hold onto his quick start, and his competitors quickly made up the stagger. He finished 5th in his heat out of 6 runners, and 4th in his age group. His time was just under 59 seconds, clocking 58.77.
On Day 2 Tanya, Mark, Joanna and Jimmy will compete in the 800m at 11am.