This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Portland Track Festival and the organizers are planning on the best event to date. Mark your calendar for June 9th, in Portland or on the web.
Last year, most of the meet highlights were provided by women runners in three national caliber races. The best of the three races, the 5000 meter saw Amy Hastings pull away from Desiree Davila over the last couple of laps to run a meet and personal record of 15:19.
The race was prequel to a wonderful summer for both athletes; as they would each go on to have the best track campaigns of their lives. Amy ran the 5000 meter distance for the United States at the world track and Field Championships in Daegu, while Desi established massive PRs over the 5000 and 10,000 meters.
Both these runners were also featured prominently in the January Olympic marathon trials, with Desi securing her first ever Olympic team berth, and Amy finishing a valiant fourth, in a time which would have won every previous trials race.
The women’s 1500 meters was dominated by Lauren Fleshman, who ran 4:14, and set herself on a path which saw her run 15 flat for 5000 meters, and also make the Daegu team at the later distance.
The women’s 800 meters was one of the night’s most exciting races as Katie Follett ran 2:02, edging out Sara Vaughn; as both runners crushed the preexisting meet record. Sara would go on to make the 2012 USA team for the world indoor championships at 1500 meters. Both runners have coincidentally relocated to Portland in the last year.
There also were some outstanding performances in the race that I coordinate, the master’s women’s 3000 meters. Both Lisa Vale and Tania Fischer just missed the national record for women aged 45 to 49, and Lisa outkicked Tania for the win. Carmen Troncoso scored the highest age graded performance of the race.
This year, two time winner Trina Painter is eying that same record, as she turned 45 in recent months. I have also gotten commitments from three women from the Mountain West Track Club including Mary Thane, the multiple times national master’s champion over the 1500 meter distance. But the race is not just about up front talent, as three women in their sixties are in the race and looking to run fast times in the usually perfect June weather.
Anyone who is interested in running in the race or learning more about the meet can find information http://portlandtrackfestival.com/.”