Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life

#341 – Going For The Record

June 24, 2021 Kyle M Case & Lil Barron Episode 341
Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life
#341 – Going For The Record
Show Notes Transcript
Sue McDonald is an athlete and coach, a wife and mother of three, and someone who is passionate about motivating and inspiring everyone she come into contact with. She says she is one of those crazy USATF masters athletes who continues to strive to get faster and stronger each year, even though she keeps getting older.  She has competed internationally both as an open athlete (in the high jump and pole vault) and as a master’s athlete specializing in the 400 and 800 meters. This October, she plans to go for the American record in the 800 at the Huntsman World Senior Games. Go for it Sue!

Kyle and Lil also give some background on the track and field event at the Games including a shoutout to several record holders. Give it a listen.

Kyle Case  0:14  
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Seniro Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in our studio today is my co pilot Lil Baron.

We've been talking for the last couple of weeks I want to just, you know, remind everybody that registrations are really coming in, it's looking great. We have well over 7600 athletes that have registered for the games in October we feel like we're on our way to a record year we're ahead of where we were at this time in 2019. It just feels like people are excited and ready to move forward, of course, we're excited, we're excited. And what a downer 2020 was from an event standpoint. You know there were just lots of things, obviously lots of things going on and then of course we come up with some good things to get during the time now but we're ready. We're ready to come out. So last time I talked a little bit about mountain biking, if you'll remember, one of our amazing 35 sports that we offer today. I thought it might be fun to talk a little bit about Track and Field tracking. So yeah, track and field was first contested in 1988. So the second year that the games were contested. We started in 87, all of a sudden 88 rolls around, bam, we add track and field right. And over the years it's been kind of fun. We've watched the event grow from what really was at the very very beginning kind of a recreational type meet into what is now, a USA Track and Field sanctioned event. We have hundreds of athletes that are competing for gold, silver and bronze medals that really mean something. You gotta earn these things. They aren't just handed out. Let me just give you a couple of examples. You could pick up, you know hundreds or even 1000s of examples. I'm gonna share a couple with you that really stood out to me I want to start with 100 meter dash. Okay. Now, for a lot of people, especially those that kind of outside and track and field, the 100 meters is the quintessential track, you know track event. It's hotly contested. It's one of the highlights of the Olympic Games, which we're going to get here in just a few weeks. We all know the name, Usain Bolt because of the 100 meter dash. That's actually that's what he that's what he does, right. And so let me share just a few records with you, just a couple. Our record for the 100 meter dash at the Games is Jim Ross, he's a Salt Lake City guy he set the record in 2004 for the 50 to 54 age group. Hs time, 11.64 seconds, which is fast. So fast. He's moving I've seen Jim run and he is fast he's still fast. He's in a different age group now but very fast. Pam Stewart from Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. In the 50 to 54 age group. Her time 13.93 She set that record in 2007 and it still stands today, no one has been able to beat that in that age group. Let's talk about the 400 for just a second. So you know we know got the Olympics came from the Greeks. The Greeks, maybe you knew this, but they're the originators of the Olympic Games. They used to run the 400 in full battle gear. That was their thing, and I'm talking everything like helmet, shield, armor, sword, spear, you know, their little lace up sandals. They're in full battle gear. It was, it was a big deal it's the real deal. We do it a little bit differently today. We don't require the sort, it was sort of the same on the show. Maybe we should get back to the original. Dean Lovedale has set the record for the last three age groups for us in the 400 Every time he moves up into a new age group he sets a new record, including in 2019, when he ran the 400 in the 80 - 84 age group. In one 1:16.38 seconds on the women's side, our friend from Barbados Ainsley level. She's she's amazing athlete, comes from Barbados, same thing every time she goes into a new age group she raises the bar. She also broke a record in 2019 with the 400 meter time of 1:16.81. That's in the 65 to 69 year old age group. We don't want to forget the field events. A lot of times they focus on the sprints and the running. Tere's other things going on. In 2014 from Trinidad and Tobago, Lester Herbert broken a games record with a jump of 6.03 meters, which is 19.73 feet almost 20 feet. 

Linda Cohn is from Northridge, California. One of our favorite athletes, she's amazing. She owns the record in four different age groups, most recently in 2018 she set a record in the 65 to 69 age group with the Javelin toss of 33.34 meters, it's about 110 feet, which is a long ways talking about spears, right? It's a long way to throw a javelin. Our oldest record was set in 1989 in the 1500 meters by William Johnston, from Salt Lake City Utah, with the time of 4:34.98 That's just barely short of a mile. So that's a full 4:34 almost a mile. That's moving, that's that's really, really fast. The list goes on and there's a lot of people we can highlight. Among the record holders, though there are also many people who will pick up their favorite sport after a little bit of a hiatus, for whatever reason, whether it's life, job, family, it doesn't matter. They come back to the sport of their youth and they love it and compete in track and field at the World Senior Games. There are also lots of athletes who are just inspired by their grandkids or their kids, or the Olympics, like I mentioned coming up this year, whatever it is. They try it out for the first time, and they love it too. Yeah, so there's there's a place for everybody. If you want to give it a shot. Registration is open at and there's just a wide variety of sports but within Track and Field lots of events are offered. 

Speaking of track and field as well as records. Lil today's guest. Wow, is this amazing. Sue McDonald is an athlete, she's a coach, a wife, a mother of three, and someone who's really passionate about motivating and inspiring everyone she comes in contact with. She says she is one of those crazy USA masters athletes who continues to strive to get faster and stronger each year even though she keeps getting older, like the rest of us. She's competed internationally both as an open athlete in the high job in the pole vault, as well as a Master's athlete. She now specializes in the 400 and 800 meters, listen to just a few of these accolades and there are many, but just a couple. She was Lil, the 2019, USATF, USA Track and Field, women's 55 Plus, athletes of the year. 

Lil Barron  7:29  
Oh my goodness. Amazing. 

Kyle Case  7:31  
Yeah, she's a seven times, age group American record holder specializing again in the 400 and 800. She also does the high jump and relays, she's a three time collegiate all American, again, the list goes on but you get what I'm talking about here. Amazing stuff. Sue, welcome to the shows. 

Sue McDonald  7:49  
Hey, thanks for having me, 

Kyle Case  7:51  
How Incredible is that career.

Sue McDonald  7:55  
Well it's still a lot of fun. It's been a great journey and the best part of all this is just trying to do your best and meeting new people.

Unknown Speaker  8:03  
Absolutely, and especially in masters and senior sports we find time after time that it really does revolve around meeting great people and of course we all want to do our best and want to work hard, we all want to win, right, not everyone gets to do that you've got to do that quite a bit, but it really does revolve around the people I want to visit with you about how it started for you, where to where. Obviously you've competed for a number of years you've had success for a number of years. How did you get into it?

Sue McDonald  8:37  
How far back. 

Kyle Case  8:40  
All the way back, at some point you're running around on the playground running everybody down and before you know it you're you're competing in competitions.

Sue McDonald  8:51  
Yeah, well I have a lot of energy when I was little, and so it kind of started in high school I did track and basketball. And after that I went to college and competed in track I kind of dropped the basketball because I just kind of shown more strength I guess in the track and field and I really enjoyed it. And so I competed at Cal State Northridge, and specialize in the high jump, I started out as a heptathlete, and it got mono like my second year there and so that kind of forced me to kind of focus on the high jump, and so then after college I focused on the high jump, until they opened up, pole vault, for women in 1995. So I was one of the pioneer women that competed in the very first USATF open nationals, for polevault, and then I qualified for the Olympic trials in 96 in Atlanta, where it was an exhibition because it was new, so they always have to have it as an exhibition, but they just took the top 12 In the US, and after that I didn't really vault for that long. It's at that time I already had my first child she was a toddler. Very hard to train and compete with a toddler.

Kyle Case  10:17  
 I can imagine that's a bit of a challenge I can I can see that being a struggle.

Sue McDonald  10:21  
Yes. And after that I played around with other sports like triathlons road racing, like bike racing. Biathlons, so run, bike run. I met my husband doing triathlons, he's a seven time Iron Man so we met, I live in Santa Barbara, so we met at like a meetup, type of thing of like tri meetup. And I always came back to track and field like, I sometimes it's kind of look at the American records and I say oh, I think I can do that, you know, how I came back to try. Go for the High Jump American record when I was 50.

Kyle Case  11:06  
Wow, wow. So, yeah you, I mean you've definitely just been able to stay active and live as we say, active life. Yeah and competed and that's amazing. I'm wondering where where's your motivation come from like how do you just continue to keep coming back year after a year.

Sue McDonald  11:25  
It's all self motivation, I, I've always been very self motivated and I've always been very driven to just see what my body can do, like, and I love to train hard. So I just constantly challenge myself and it's just all comes from from within, I don't really need anyone telling me, or like encouraging me to get out there and work out, I could ask my husband, I'm kind of crazy, dairy, like he said I'm very consistent. And I think that's the name of the game, he just can't let yourself go and let yourself get totally out of shape, and then try to have to start all over and come back and then possibly get injured because you're trying to do things that you used to do, too soon, so my goal was just to keep active even if I just play around with different sports, you know, come back to track and play around different sports. It kind of keeps you keep everything fresh less injuries that way.

Unknown Speaker  12:22  
Yeah, we talk a lot, especially in youth sports, about how we're kind of losing a little bit of the that like a lot of kids really specialize and so there's arguments pros and cons both ways. It seems like for you it has worked to try new things and kind of explore, but then come back to your foundation where you've been able to have the most success. I'm wondering in all of this exploration that you've done and you've done a variety of things that I know I didn't, I didn't mention but you qualified for the Boston Marathon, you've done a bunch of stuff. You kind of gravitated back to track and field obviously because that's where you have the most success but if you put success aside, what's been your very favorite thing to do is it is it still track and field?

Unknown Speaker  13:12  
I mean, no doubt, track and field because it's been my life. I've met those amazing people through tracking field, and you know it is fun to be successful. And I guess my favorite is that would be high jump, and pole vault very challenging and thrilling, it's just extremely hard to do, and scary. So I'm kind of proud of myself for taking that up I was 33. When I did that, and I was the only mom out there they used to call me grandma at the track. I was so much older, the girls are like 1819 and 20. 

Kyle Case  13:54  
Right. But you were able to do it, I didn't know I, I think I was about 33 When I pole vaulted once. I used to run a different sporting event called the Utah Summer Games and I kind of tried to compete in a wide variety of different things and so one year I did diving and one year I did a gymnastics trampoline event. And one year I thought I'm going to try this pole ball thing, and I never got good at it by any stretch of the imagination but I think I cleared 10 feet, which I felt pretty good about. I, of course, you know we have this perception and I know that you deal with this as a, as a senior and a Masters athlete but we have this perception of the Olympics and, you know, when people do it in the Olympics, you know, been in the hall and we just flinging themselves, you know, so high in the air and so I would, I stopped telling people 10 feet because they were always so disappointed. You do it dude.

Sue McDonald  14:58  
The thing for me, like when I tried to break the American record, Hi John, I was in my prime I jumped six one and a quarter, which is, you know ... But when I came 5 footback to it, I thought, Oh, I could probably do five six in my sleep and I had, I had it clear I think 5 foot 3 for the world record. You know, the last time I was an active competitor the high jump was not that good. I think it was 2006. But anyway, I thought that's no problem I shouldn't have any problem during this but, oh my gosh I struggle. I only got like five one, which is good enough for the American record but no chase in that world record just didn't come. So, you know, to be used to jumping up six one, and then five 1k When you're in your 50s.

Kyle Case  15:55  
It's humbling and yet at the same time like to seriously girl, your jumping like 5 feet one inch. That's amazing. That's incredible. So let's talk a little bit about world records. Now we've we've mentioned some of your accolades and some of the records that you held you held the record at the world level and master sports. 

Sue McDonald  16:18  
No I don't think so. I've chased them before but I never quite achieved it. So maybe when I get to be 60 records. 

Kyle Case  16:31  
Isn't that one of the greatest things about masters and senior sports is that, you know, every five years, you're the kid again like yeah you know one getting older, get you excited about moving up into that next age group, exactly. So, you've, you've actually registered to compete at the Huntsman World Senior Games this year and if I'm not mistaken, this will be your first time. And you're going to shoot for trying to get another record.

Sue McDonald  17:05  
I would like to. Yes. There, my record for the outdoor 800 was broken, it's pending ratification but like I said I love challenges and I think, you know, for a few months after nationals I'll just, you know, train, and just geared towards that distance right now I think gearing towards the 400 and the 300 hurdle so like the shorter Sprint's. So, you know, I'll seeI'm 58 so I'm kind of at the top of the age group, so a little bit more challenging to run those faster times but like I said I love challenges, and I like to work hard so we'll just see what happens.

Kyle Case  17:47  
I want you to kind of go back in your mind and tell us what it feels like when you cross that finish line and you're given everything that you've got, you cross the finish line. You turn around you're breathing heavy, you look at the clock, and you've just broken a record what's that feeling like

Sue McDonald  18:07  
I'm just like an amazing and just you just feel so amazing. Like, like you almost don't believe it, you know, and the goal was achieved as if I don't know it's a weird usually my teammate, Leslie Hines. Her coach, and her husband, her husband, trained me for the past three years. She was usually always there when I broke records and so she would usually tell me, like, I wouldn't be so oblivious when I go across the line I wouldn't even know and premium run out there like you did it. You did it so it's usually that's how you find out as you're left,

Kyle Case  18:42  
swBut what a great way to celebrate together, friendship, and world records of the W 16 operation, she knows, she knows what it's like she knows that feeling, yeah I want to ask you this to me this is even a fair question, but what does it feel like to have that record and then have somebody, swoop in and swipe it from you?

Sue McDonald  19:06  
Yeah I'm trying to think, Oh yeah, I didn't have the American record for the wpole vault when I was 35 that got broken by like sStacie Dragilla  Oh yeah. Yeah, I didn't really know how I would feel until it happened. You know, I knew I wouldn't feel that great, you know, it happens I mean Records are made to be broken. And it just made me hungry to just go after it again, you know, I don't know if I'll get it, but I know I want to try, and I probably will get a season best at least you know if I don't quite get the record but there's a lot of great runners in the W 55 age group. Quite a few.FAST Women have a shot, recently, so it's a very tough age group right now.

Kyle Case  20:01  
Yeah, but that's kind of in and of itself, and I mean, certainly I, I hear what you're saying but I know that somewhere, right now there are other women saying the same thing about you.

Sue McDonald  20:13  
Yeah, well the records I broke or my first book of records for the 400 and 800 at the outdoor nationals in 2018 those records hadn't been broken in over 20 years. I was really surprised because I mean, not that I didn't think that they were fast or anything but I was just kind of surprised that they were for so long. Yeah, but now it's like, I don't know if it's the shoes you know because they make better now, Or the training. Science can read the training, or we've already adjusted. It's you.

Kyle Case  20:51  
Well I think there are elements of the technology like that and I think we understand biology better and, you know, the ability to fail and tweak even just minor things I think certainly have progressed, but, but at the end of the day, someone's got to grit their teeth, and buckle down and make it happen and congratulations on an incredible career you've been able to do that for a long time so that's awesome. I know where I'm going to be this year, tractor and trailer. I look forward to meeting you guys. Yeah, we definitely look forward to. So now you've been a competitor obviously as we've been talking about for a long time spent a lot of years, competing. You also coach people. Yes. So, talk a little bit about the difference between the satisfaction of being a competitor and having success, and then also being able to help others achieve success what's, what's the feeling there.

Sue McDonald  21:50  
I feel like it's almost the same, like it's all better. When your athletes improve, and I actually have, I think three athletes, women that are in my same age group. So, yeah so I mostly coach masters athletes, I do have a 14 year old girl that I coach here in town, but most of my training, I do online. So some of my athletes I've never met before but a lot of them are going to USA to national so I'll see them there I'm trying to get them to go to husbands. Yeah. Guys, I think great healing. When you know even in most of my girls they want to improve for health reasons, you know, it's not so much that, you know, they want a medal of course a medals or, you know, many people are just doing it for their health and to keep active and meet people. And so, I just love seeing their excitement when they do run a PR,

Kyle Case  22:53  
There really is again just a lot of satisfaction in being part of helping other people achieve their goals. And in many ways, as much satisfaction as yourself being able to do so. So I think that's really cool. We've got about 30 seconds or so left. You mentioned that you've been kind of talking to others and encouraging them to, to get out and competed at whatever level that is what would you say to our listeners that are maybe sitting on the fence and wondering, should I do this or not,

Sue McDonald  23:22  
I'd say, get your butt out there. 

Kyle Case  23:26  
Spoken like a true coach 

Sue McDonald  23:30  
St George  is a beautiful place to visit, there's all kinds of national parks  nearby you can make it a family vacation, and you could do, pack a bill or do any of the other events just like the Olympics. I say make a move, take an action. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  23:45  
Well Sue, thank you so much for joining us, that's got to visit with you but we wish you the very best Yes, again we're both looking forward to be on and you're here in October and hopefully smashing that record for you. All right, well good luck in your training, everything that's upcoming. 

Sue McDonald  24:03  
Thank you. 

Unknown Speaker  24:06  
Good stuff. That's exciting. I really looking forward to seeing 

Lil Barron  24:11  
when you're talking to her, I'm getting chills I'm like, 

Unknown Speaker  24:13  
I know it's so cool. That is so cool. Lots of fun. Let me just share a couple things just to wrap this up here I mentioned at the beginning, I'm just going to keep on mentioning. Registration is such a great opportunity so much fun you can check out all the schedules the rules the dates as well as our COVID-19 planets all at sr We got a ton of other content there as well, everything from regular wellness and health blog posts on access to our living your best life webinar series, just a bunch of stuff there, so make sure these spend some time at Senior Games dotnet. We want to remind everybody to tune in live next and every Thursday at 5:30pm Mountain Time on AM 1450 are FM 93.1 for the Huntsville World Senior Games Active Life. Of course we take this show, that is live and we turn it into a podcast, and you can subscribe anywhere that you find your favorite podcasts, if you're listening by Podcast take a moment, give us a rating, write a quick review, it really helps us spread the word. One of the best and easiest places to leave a review is at And then of course like I said you can find this as well as previous shows right on our website. Again Check that out. Today's inspirational thought, it's another good one. It's this, the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who usually do. Until next Thursday, stay active.

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