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TAFWA Award

Dunaway AwardAt the 2019 annual meeting of the Track and Field Writers of America, Dave was presented with the James Dunaway Memorial Award “for track & field journalism excellence.”

Field Announcer At Outdoor Nationals

Dave HunterAt the 2019 USATF Track & Field Outdoor National Championships Dave served as the Field Announcer for the Men’s Discus and the Women’s Javelin.

Dave Hunter

Dave HunterDave Hunter is a track & field journalist, announcer, and broadcaster.  Dave reports on the premier track & field gatherings around the globe, frequently serves as an arena or stadium announcer for championship events, and has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments in the sport.

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Last Night in Doha! / Day One                                                  2019 IAAF World Athletics Championships

 

 

© Getty Images for IAAF'

Doha, Qatar   

September 27th, 2019

On Day One of the 10-day 2019 IAAF Athletics World Championships, nearly 2000 athletes from 208 countries were poised to compete in the largest ever athletic gathering in this region of the world against the stunning backdrop of Doha, Qatar, a glittering metropolis that is reinventing the concept of 21st century global capital.

The only final – and the highlight – of the first day of these Doha World Championships was the women’s marathon.  In an effort to side-step impossible daytime weather conditions [dangerously steamy and hot (over 100 degrees Fahrenheit) temperatures exacerbated by a relentless, blazing sun] the competition was purposely scheduled to begin at 11:59 p.m.  Late night weather conditions eased only slightly while temperature still hovered in the 90’s and oppressive humidity made for a hot and sticky race.  How tough was it?  Only 40 of the 70 world-class starters finished. 

Just before midnight, the first ever midnight marathon in global championship competition got underway on a beautiful and relatively flat 7 kilometer loop course on Doha’s Corniche adjacent to the Persian Gulf.  Caution was the watchword for the wiser athletes as the lead pack split 5K in 18:21, some 40-50 seconds per mile slower than the sparkling PR paces of the favorites. By 15K, passed in just over 54 minutes, a pack of 5 athletes all accustomed to warm weather racing began to pull away:  the Kenyan duo of Ruth Chepngetich and Visiline Jepkesho up front with their countrywoman and 2-time world champion Edna Kiplagat, Nambia’s Helalia Johannes, and Bahrain’s Rose Chelimo tucked in behind.  When these 5 hit halfway in 1:16:40 it was quite likely that, barring disaster, these 5 would ultimately battle for the medals. When the leaders passed 25 kilos in 1:31.01, Chepngetich, who earlier this year ran 2:17:08 to win the Dubai Marathon, was in command with Chelimo, Johannes, and Kiplagat gamely holding on while Jepkesho, who would eventually finish 15th, was sliding out the back door.  When the foursome crossed 35K with only one circuit remaining, it was the youngsters 25-year-old Chepngetich and 30-year-old Chelimo a step ahead of the two 39-year-old veterans Johannes and Olympic silver medalist Kiplagat.  On the final lap, Chepngetich – #3 on the all-time marathon list – put the hammer down.  With fireworks lighting the way, Chepngtich’s impressive surge carried her to the finish line 1st in 2:32:43 – the slowest winning time ever in a world championship marathon.  Johannes, 300 meters back, finished 2nd in 2:33.46.  Next was Johannes who crossed in 2:34.15 to snare the final podium position while the legendary Kiplagat just missed yet another world championship medal finishing 4th in 2:35:36.     

With the late-season scheduling of this championship gathering, many of the world’s better marathoners elected to bypass this competition in pursuit of more lucrative marathon racing opportunities later this fall and/or to concentrate on preparation for their country’s Olympic marathon trials.  The American athletes were no exception.  Yet a pair of USA women who did toe the line for this nocturnal global championship – Carrie Dimoff, and Roberta Groner – competed nobly.  Dimoff and Groner had long ago planned to run in tandem, racing conservatively with the goal of picking off overly-ambitious competitors in the race’s later stages.  It was a savvy strategy that worked well.  Running around 20th for the first half of this championship race, the duo went to work over the last three circuits with the veteran Groner [2:38:44]  eventually moving all the way up to 6th at the finish.  While Dimoff [2:44:35] couldn’t match her teammates closing surge over the final laps, the former Princeton athlete finished a strong 13th.  “It was just about what I expected,” offered Dimoff afterwards.  “It wasn’t that bad at first.  And after about halfway, I was pretty confident – we were moving toward the top 10; we’re moving on people; we’re running smart.  And we were just so excited.”  But it got tougher when Groner stepped it up and the duo separated.  “I always knew coming in to it that there was a chance it would be like that,’ admitted Dimoff.  “Oh man, I was like ‘it’s going to be lonely.  I’ve got a long ways to go.’  I knew I had to stay the course.  Even without picking up the pace, I knew  people would be coming back to me.” 

Animated and happy with her 6th place finish, Groner held court in the mixed zone.  “I don’t know if there really was a race plan other than work to cover the race and be smart,” admitted the mother of three.  “I didn’t have a race time in mind.  It was just sort of a ‘go out and fight and get a place’ kind of a race,”  said Groner, who works 40-hour weeks as a health care supervisor.  “We knew after the first two laps that we were in the top 20, then the top 15, then the top 10.  We just kind of worked our way down.  We knew then that there was a chance that not too many people were going to come up behind us.”

An ambitious schedule remains for the USA’s top finisher who plans to run the New York City Marathon in 5 weeks and the USA Olympic Marathon Trials at the end of February.  “New York was my fall race to begin with,” explained the New Jersey resident.  “But then they asked me to do World’s.  And that was a no-brainer.  How could I not represent our country?”  And then I said to myself, ‘Why can’t I do both.’  And before heading off, the 41-year old added , “This is my time.”  / Dave Hunter /

Dave Hunter is an award-winning journalist who is a U.S. Correspondent for Track & Field News.  He also writes a weekly column and serves as Senior Writer for www.RunBlogRun.com, and covers championship track & field competition domestically and in such global capitals as Moscow, Birmingham, Zurich, Brussels, Beijing,  Rio de Janeiro, Zagreb, and Ostrava.  Hunter frequently serves as the arena or stadium announcer for championship track & field gatherings, including the Ivy League, the Big East, the Mid-American Conference, the NAIA, the Big Ten, and the Millrose Games.  Hunter has undertaken foreign and domestic broadcast assignments..  He ran his marathon P.R. of 2:31:40 on the Boston Marathon course back in the Paleozoic Era.  To find out more about Dave, visit his website:   www.trackandfieldhunter.com  He can be reached at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

RunBlogRun Some photographs on this site have been reproduced with permission from runblogrun.com.