World Masters Athletics Day 7 Roundup

by Bob Burns

Link to All WMA Articles and Photos

Three races covering 23,000 meters of track and trails resulted in three medals for Marin County runner Brian Pilcher at the World Masters (WMA) Outdoor Championships.

Pilcher collected his second bronze medal in Wednesday’s M50 10,000 meters at Sacramento City College’s Hughes Stadium. Pilcher placed third in 34 minutes, 27.12 seconds, trailing only Sergey Polikarpov of Kazakhstan (32:30.31) and Grzegorz Kielczewski of Poland (33:43.72).

On July 7, Pilcher finished third in the M50 cross country event at Granite Regional Park, winning a team gold medal as U.S. runners went 1-2-3. Two days later, Pilcher finished fifth in the 5,000 meters, and Wednesday’s bronze medal in the 10,000 concluded a terrific meet for the 54-year-old Ross resident.

Not a bad week’s work for a man who’s going to celebrate his 55th birthday in a month, making him one of the oldest competitors in the men’s 50-54 age group. Pilcher also missed about a year of running due to patellar tendonitis and wasn’t able to resume normal training until a few months ago.

“It’s great to get medals, particularly since in March I didn’t know if I would ever run again,” Pilcher said. “I’m very happy and very grateful.”

In Wednesday morning’s windswept 10,000 meters, Polikarpov, who won the 5,000, broke away from the pack in the early stages of the race. Pilcher was part of a pack of five runners that included Sacramento’s Iain Mickle, the bronze medalist in the 5,000, and Dan King, the winner of the M50 cross country event.

Mickle and King were forced to drop out with injuries, and when Kielczewski pulled away, the race for the bronze medal came down to Pilcher and U.S. teammate Mark Reeder.

“Mark had passed me on the last lap of the 5k, so I decided to let him eat the wind for the next 15 laps,” Pilcher said. “We were going pretty slow, but I didn’t want to pass him and do him any more favors.”

With three laps remaining, Pilcher began to draw away from Reeder, who wound up finishing 25 seconds behind in fourth place.

“I finished with laps of 75 and 72 and had plenty of gas in the tank,” Pilcher said. “It was a fun race, but I like to run all out. It’s not really my style to hang back.”

In the M70 10,000 meters, also held at Hughes Stadium, Hans Schmid of Greenbrae won a bronze medal. Peter Sandery of Australia was first in 40:36.20, followed by Peter Lessing of Germany (41:25.60) and Schmid (42:19.21).

Randy Wilson of Martinez won a bronze medal in the M50 discus at Sacramento State, throwing 150 feet, 1 inch. Gary Wuest of Sacramento placed fourth, one spot out of the medals, with a best throw of 35-01⁄4.

wma2011.com.Following an off day on Thursday, the WMA Championships resume Friday and continue through Sunday.For complete results and meet schedule, see