Let the Trials Begin…


Budapest, Hungary!

Budapest, Hungary!

Tonight begins the final push of what has become a marathon month.  Tomorrow will mark one month since I turned 45, and since then every weekend has been brought significant travel and hard racing.  Boston for the 4×800 record, New York City for the open 800 record, back to Boston for the nationals triple, and now 5 races (hopefully) in 6 days with the world championships on the line.  I can’t say that it was the best way to do business as it has taken longer and longer between events to “feel right”, but then again I wouldn’t have done it any different.  I have been blessed in that every week everything has gone right – no significant illnesses or injuries, no scheduling conflicts or travel issues, no freak accidents or incidents on the tracks, and tons of help along the way from family, friends, and competitors.  For some reason this weekend, which at one time was marked down as the “main event”, does not have me nervous or anxious at all.  I think that I realize that whatever happens it’s been a great run, exceeding all expectations.  This one will be the icing on the cake if I can “get it done” – don’t get me wrong, when I’m sitting in the little room about to be led out to the track the heart will definitely be racing, but this will be a “cut it loose and see what happens” week rather than a pressure-filled one.

The past 48 hours here in Budapest have been really fun.  The city is great – very scenic, easy to get around, very clean, and it actually has some pretty good chow.  The family arrives tomorrow and I know we have some stuff planned, so hopefully we can mix “business” and pleasure throughout the week to see and experience as much as possible in this neat city.  800m quarterfinals tonight, semi-finals tomorrow afternoon, then Thursday off before a Friday afternoon final.  1500m trials begin Saturday with a Sunday final.  I got over to check in and see the track last night.  They are using two tracks – we got to warm up in the smaller of the two venues, Track ‘B’.  I think they got the track from Madison Square Garden when they stopped having the Millrose Games there – super tight, with each panel in the curve having a different firmness.  Luckily that is the track we’ll be running the 1500m on – Track ‘A’ is in a big convention hall and looked sweet, we’ll be testing that one out this evening as the 800m kicks things off….

Updates to follow, hopefully nothing crazy happens tonight as they pare the field down from 38 to 18.  Think I am one of only 2 or 3 Americans entered, so it’ll definitely be a new crew of opponents.  Not sweating it – as my dad used to always say “they all put their pants on one leg at a time” – gonna do my thing, take care of my business, and hope for the best….

About Nick Berra

I am a 45 year old masters runner from Central Pennsylvania. I have been participating primarily in track events since turning 40 in 2009. This season has produced marks that I have not run in several years, I believe primarily due to starting a strength and flexibility program here at Elite Athletic Performance - I've felt stronger and faster than I have in a long time. That, coupled with lots of underwater running, has kept me healthy and fit - at this age those are things I no longer take for granted... I run USATF events with a team out of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Track Club. They are a great group who have played a big part in making the sport enjoyable for me again. I also run local races for HydroWorx Track Club, supported by HydroWorx here in Harrisburg PA. Their underwater treadmills and training center has proved to be a crucial part of my training, rehabilitation, and recovery programs. I set personal records in the 800m (1:56.06) in 2010 and in the 1500m (4:02:63) and mile (4:23.48) in 2011. Despite the fact that I am not getting any younger, I nearly PR'ed recently and set the M45 indoor world record in the 800 meters at the New Balance Armory in New York City. I ran 1:56.10, besting the 9 year old record by less than a second. I feel like there are still more big things to come... I am married and have two daughters. I am an assistant XC coach at my alma mater, Cumberland Valley High School here in Mechanicsburg PA. I am also a 1991 graduate of the US Naval Academy, currently working as a pilot for FedEx after serving 10 years on active duty flying in the Navy. Beat Army! Beat Army!
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One Response to Let the Trials Begin…

  1. Debbie Wilson says:

    Best of luck, Nick!! We’re rooting for you!

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