Mr. Ubiquitous, aka Gary Morgan, reports: After a weekend of staying a little closer to home and being at a couple of local races, Gopher the Gold in Shelby Township and Road Runner Classic at Mayberry State Park, I was on the road again in the Big Easy, New Orleans, for the AAU Junior Olympics to be a shot put official. This was the world's largest track meet with 12,711 athletes ranging in age from 8 to 18. The neet, over 8 days from July 30th to August 6th, was held at the Tad Gormley Stadium, the site of the Olympic Trials in 1992. The stadium was also the site of the USA track and Field Championships in 1998 at which I competed in the 20k walk. It's very interesting going back to places where I competed as a nationally ranked athlete and now I'm there in a different capacity. It gives me a chance to look around and observe things which I never could have done when I was competing. It gives everything a different perspective.
Gary Morgan's World
- 1988 USA Olympian in the 20k Walk
- Won 17 National Championships from 1985-2000
- Distances from 5k to 40k
- Competed in 6 Olympic Trials from 1984-2004 in the 20k and 50k events.
- 1988 Olympic Trials 1st, 1992 Olympic Trials 2nd, 1996 Olympic trials 3rd, 20k Walks
- Competed on 17 National USA teams in Race walking, Olympics, Pan Am games, World Cup and various other teams
- Carried the Olympic Torch in 1996 and 2002
- New York Athletic Club's Athlete of the year in 1997
- Ran a 2:35:40 Marathon in 1981 before I got into race walking.
- I've run or walked over 60 marathons, that includes, New York, Boston, Chicago, Kilimanjaro, & Antarctica
- I've run the Comrades ultra Marathon [56miles] in South Africa, 2009 & 2010
- I've been a pacer for 20 marathons
- I climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, Africa's Highest Mountain in 2006
- I've been to 7 Olympics, competing, volunteering, or doing media work.
- I've been to 38 other countries, and all 50 states.
- I'm currently the Athlete Advisory Committee- USOC representative alternate, For USA Track & Field. 2008- present
- Various other positions in USA track and Field.
- Road Runners Club of America State representative from Michigan 2005- present
- Currently a videographer and writer for Michigan runner
- World traveler
It's been a busy two weeks, as I volunteered close to home at the Muddy Buddy event at Stoney Creek Metro Park 10 days ago. I wanted to participate in this event but I didn't find out until the Friday night before the event. Trying to find a partner to do this with in a 36 hour window can be tough, so volunteering at it was a great option. This event mixes biking and running through obstacles over a 10k distance. Two people take turns riding and running over the course.
Friday morning I get up and waxed my cross country skis as I was getting ready for the Vasa ski race. It took me a couple of hours to wax them since it had been a long time since I did it. Once I started I remembered how it was done and it was fun to do it. To see how smooth the skis get with wax on them. Thats what makes them fast as they glide over the snow.
With last weeks heavy snowfall and as I was shoveling snow out of my driveway. I thought to myself, I might as well enjoy this stuff so I decided to do the White Pine Stampede cross country ski race in Mancelona, Michigan. The White Pine stampede is a Michigan Classic as this was there 35th edition of this race. It's a point to point race from Mancelona High school to Shanty Creek in Bellaire, for the 40k event. The 20k goes from Mancelona to Schuss ski resort. Plus they have a 10k to. The 40k used to be a 50k but they had to go through to much private land, so they changed it to a 40k. Over a period of 35 years things change everywhere. When I talked to the race director, the first race had 92 skiers and only 49 finished a 20k race. They only had one race back then.
Home for 2 days and back on the road again on Thursday to Houston for the big marathon events over the weekend. Flew to Houston with Art and Jennie, the two main operators of the Michigan Runner. Without them there wouldn't be a Michigan runner. They put there heart and sole into that publication and everything that goes with it. We get into Houston and off to the Space Station there. We took a tour of the old control station, training center for the Astronauts and one of the rockets they used to send men to the moon. Our other tour consisted of a movie on the space program to the moon and then a guided tour by a former engineer-scientist who used to work there and he told us all the moon landings, the rocks from the moon and the shuttle expeditions. He was like a walking encyclopedia. There was a variety of other exhibits but the end of the day was coming and I'll have to come back next year to see everything I didn't see.