Active Adult Living Del Webb Communities

USA Masters Games

Mary Ann and I just returned from the first ever USA Masters Games. The Games are billed as the National Sports Festival for Adult Athletes.

Masters Games have been held around the world: in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Europe and South America. With the Games held this week in Greensboro NC, the plan is to have the USA Masters Games every other even year here in the US. Today at the closing ceremony, it was announced the host city for 2018 will be San Diego.

I attended and competed in the 5K race walk with about 27 people from all over, including the guy next to me who came from India. The track and field events were held at North Carolina A&T State University’s Aggie Stadium, which was an impressive venue.

In fact, the Games introduced us to Greensboro’s other impressive venues including The Greensboro Coliseum Complex, which features the largest seated arena in America.  Next door is the Greensboro Aquatic Center where we watched the diving and synchronized swimming competitions.

There were several thousand people attending these Games and I believe they were a successful start to what can become a major Adult sports event.

Having the USA Masters Games held every other year in the even years, while the National Senior Games are held every other year in the odd years, will give us adult athletes a major event to attend every year.

The great thing about attending these Senior and Master Games is that it gives you a chance to compete with some of the best athletes in your age bracket in the country and to show what you can do, after training so hard. You get to view other sports competition also, at no additional cost.

You get to meet and socialize with others with the same interests in the sports you love so much. Many of the people attending  these events live in Active Adult Communities and participate in the sports in their communities. This gives them a chance to compete at a higher level.

Another benefit is that it gives you a good reason to travel. You really get to know the host city during your stay. In addition to Greensboro, during the last 12 months, I have been to Senior or Master events in Minneapolis/ St Paul, Albuquerque, Florence SC and enjoyed each one.

Here are some pics taken from my phone of events Mary Ann and I attended after my competition.

First we watched table tennis. These guys were great and so fast! They were very serious about their competition.

Table Tennis at USA Masters Games 2016








Next we took in an Ice Hockey game at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Ice hockey at USA Masters Games

Next, we went to the Greensboro Aquatic Center where we watched the divers compete from 4 different levels. Wow,the high dive is really up there!


Next groups of ladies were doing a fantastic job with the synchronized swimming. They were having a great time.

swimming at usa masters games

Start of the 5k race walk. I am in the red shirt 6th from left.

5k race walk at USA Masters Games

Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded. (Me on right).

medal ceramony usa masters games

There were many other kinds of sports at the 2016 USA Masters Games including Road Racing, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Field Events, Triathlon, Volleyball, Water Polo, Weightlifting, Golf, Martial Arts, Figure Skating and Pickleball. So after you compete in your sport, it’s great to attend some of these other events like we did.

For more information, visit their web site at USA Masters Games.

I think we may plan to go to the next USA Masters Games in San Diego in 2018. Getting a group from our Del Webb Community to attend together would be such fun!











Masters Men Team

Atlanta Track Club 70+ Team Members
Atlanta Track Club 70+ Team Members

I have only been a member of the Atlanta Track Club Masters Men team for a couple of months, but boy am I impressed. This year I will joining the 70+ division of that team in a few short months, so they went ahead and added me to their group and their email list.

They travel around the country attending track meets. At the first of the year they do a schedule of events they will be attending and target certain meets to try to get enough points to win as a team.

Morris, a member who is the coordinator for this 70+ group, is on top of it with daily updates on schedules, travel and lodging to events, team assignments, weather and event updates, member updates, results  and lots more.

Cohesive Team Mates

This is a cohesive team and each member can “reply to all” on any of Morris’s emails and give their own updates and status, congratulate other members on their accomplishments, offer condolences  to injury members and more. A member recently had a DVT in their leg after a meet and the members offered condolences but also offered many interesting ways to help prevent this from happening.

The passion shown by all members is truly amazing and inspiring. These men love being part of this dynamic group and it shows.

Preparation is one of the most important parts of being a master athlete.  There are seminars about how to properly stretch and warm up and just as important how to take time for recovery. Team members offer great tips and information to help all teammates be the best they can be.

The team has a stylist uniform and there are standards of how it is to be worn. I have learned about men’s tights, sweatbands, fit dry shirts, calf compression sleeves, and Thirty48 Ultralight Athletic Running Socks with Seamless Toe, Moisture Wicking and Cushion Padding. Not to forget the Powerstep shoe inserts.

But shoes are where it gets interesting. At the indoor meet in NC last week, Al had a pair of 3.3 oz racing flats for the 1 mile and another pair of shoes with more support for the 3K.  When you find a pair of shoes you like, most go ahead and buy at least one more pair. Al says he has one special pair he only uses for racing and they are a few years old.

I found out about the Garmin watch that does everything from recording your sleep to very beneficial information on your race and practice efforts. It shows speed in miles per hour or minutes per mile. The steps per minute and stride length are helpful for us race walkers.  Heartbeats and other information can be downloaded to your phone or desktop.  It charts the information too.

There is even a small lap counter watch for your index finger.

Then There Is The Racing

Oh, then there is the racing.  After all the training and preparations and many times traveling across the county, you attach your bid number to your shirt and are walked to the start line for the moment of truth.

Your mental, emotional and physical conditioning will be on display, then be recorded for anyone in the world to see.

Masters competition is set up by  age brackets and gender, but many times in actual competition you will be racing against many others, sometimes even youths.  Medals are awarded to the first three in each age/gender bracket.

At this level, team members are out to win. The winner many times only finishes a second  or two ahead. Each racer knows what their personal best time is and tries to better that.

The competition is actually one of the easiest parts. You get that feeling of accomplishment and knowing you have done your personal best. I had this feeling in high school sports and thought those days were over, but now I know they are not.  I have a lot to look forward to with the Atlanta Masters 70+ Men Track Team.

Robert Fowler

3K Race Walk SE Region USATF Masters
3K Race Walk SE Region USATF Masters