Veteran middle distance runner Bobby Fischer had already committed to race at this year’s “Carlsbad 5000” – the nation’s premiere 5K - before making a “gut-feel” decision to enter the 400-meter dash at this year’s National Masters Indoor Championships in Bloomington, Indiana. Racing 800’s, 1500’s and 5K’s is routine for Fischer, who has also competed 27 marathons, but sprinting an “open” 400 at a national championship was a “first” for the talented 72-year-old.
Fischer’s coach, Ric Rojas, blessed the 400-meter project in January, added high quality sprint training to his endurance program and helped Fischer plan his race strategy. Fischer trained diligently, raced a pair of tune-up 400s at high altitude, and descended to Bloomington to take a well-deserved 5th place amongst a host of veteran 400-meter specialists.
“It was a great experience,” exclaimed the dazed Fischer after the race. “All the guys (in the race) were sprinters! I ran my best and can’t think of any point in the race where I could have run better. My legs feel good now and I just want to get back on the track again for the ‘800’”.
Fischer ran a season best 82.45.
Meanwhile, 800-meter specialist, Dave Albo, nursing a foot injury, finished 6th in the Men’s 55-59 age group 400m final, narrowly missing the All-American standard.
“My foot was sore for the last week,” explained Albo. “It was hurting just before the race and I was especially nervous so I went out a little too fast. I missed the (All-American) standard by less than two tenths of a second!”
Albo’s time was 62.17
Both Albo and Fischer will take their chances in the 800-meters run on Sunday.