Interview with Bob Lida, Best Master 2012

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IAAF_2012_IVa) What were your thoughts when you got the information about being the "Best Masters of the Year"?
Frankly, I was stunned.  It was not on my radar.  I knew about the awards program as a couple of U.S. masters had won in the past, but it wasn’t something I was thinking about.  To be honest, I didn’t think my year was that special, because I didn’t reach my goals. My workout times suggested that I should have run faster than I did.  However, when Winston (Thomas) outlined the criteria for the award, I realized my year was indeed special.  It’s made me appreciate the success I have had.

b) Which impressions did you take home after the Gala in Barcelona?  For example, as a Masters athlete did you feel part of the athletic family?
What a tough question.  l have been in the marketing business all my life, and have attended scores of worldwide conventions, meetings and shows.  But I have never attended one that would equal the Gala put on in Barcelona.  It was flawless.  I felt, and I believe Lyn did too, that masters was a definite part of the program.  I realize that the masters aspects of the programs has not always been so inclusive in the IAAF presentation –which makes me particularly grateful to the hard work and persistence of Stanley Perkins and Winston Thomas to give masters greater status in the event.  It’s clear they have made a substantial difference, which I believe is very important to masters athletics worldwide.  To be on the same stage, and in the same pictures, with the best open athletes in the world is amazing.  It certainly makes the general public understand that masters track and field in more than a hobby.  I felt like a kid in a candy store among all the greats – past and present.  To meet and have interesting conversations with people like Peter Snell, Kip Keno, Allyson Felix and Edwin Moses is priceless.  Where else could one do this?  There were no egos in the room, including the Prince of Monaco who turned out to not only be very nice, but very down to earth and interested in the masters’ program.  I only wish we would have had more time to meet more of the people.

c) What are your plans for the future in terms of your athletics achievements?
I’m certainly motivated to make to back to Monaco., but it will be difficult.  Lot of good masters are around the world. My immediate plans are to beat the age grade curve and improve on the 75+ 100 meter, 200meter and 400 meter times – indoor and out.  Believe I can.  From there I’ll aim at the next age group, and try to establish new standards for how fast an 80 year-old can run.


2014 Regional Championships

Europe: August 22–31
Izmir, Turkey

Asia: September 19-23
Japan – Kitakami City

North Central and Caribbean:
August 21-24 San José, Costa Rica

South America: November 1-9
Medellín Colombia