June 1, 2017

It was a nice day, a great day to be back at the Penn State outdoor track for the first time in about a year. And it’s a new track! Barely even broken in by the Big 10 Championships. It’s still not clear how regularly we’ll be able to use it. We really only got in today because it was the opening day of the Pennsylvania Special Olympics. The bean counters, pencil pushers, and “risk mitigators” still have a stranglehold on it. But Judd Michael, Mike Casper, Mike Martin, Joel Niemann, Rob Peterson, Adam Ilgen, David Lloyd, and Marty Mazur took advantage of the opportunity under mostly sunny skies, mild temperatures and a nice breeze.

Bwana decided to give an old standby to check out the “Imperial Units” markings in the unmarked “Lane 10”: 1 Mile - 3X 1/4 Mile. Yes, the markings are there, not faded and barely visible as was the case with the old track. But have they recalibrated? The new track is the same size as the old one, but there seemed to be about 15 or 20 yards more to an imperial mile than was the case in the old days. All the other markings were proportionately farther away from where the old ones were. What could explain this? Bwana noted that the new markings are on the boundary between Lane 9 and the unmarked 10, whereas the old marks were on the outside of lane 10. So maybe the new marks are intended for running in Lane 9. Who can answer this question?

As mentioned in an earlier email, next week we’ll try the PSU outdoor track again and go inside the MSF if it is unavailable. After that, the State High track will be ours for the summer if the PSU track is still closed to us.