- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 31, 2005

The focal point for most elite track and field athletes this year has been the 2005 IAAF World Championships in Helsinki, Finland, from Saturday through Aug.14.

Sports enthusiasts throughout the United States and its territories can share in the excitement, too, for just $4.95. That’s the total for an unprecedented 58 hours of live Webcast coverage of the world championships, plus archived footage and broadcast highlights of each day’s action.

The World Championships Sports Network (WCSN), in a unique partnership with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), will provide the IAAF international feed on its Web site, wcsn.com. The Webcast promises to include every heat of every track event, as well as extensive field event coverage.

You will need broadband Internet access at a speed of 350 kb per second, according to WCSN, which expects a high-quality feed along with technical support. Sign-up for the Webcast is available at wcsn.com.

Primary commentary will be provided by Steve Ovett (1980 Olympic gold medalist in the 800 and bronze medalist in the 1500), Peter Matthews (television commentator and co-editor of Athletics International) and Sean Pickering, with U.S. commentators to be added. Ovett and Matthews produced a fine three-tape series from the 2003 world championships in Paris.

Several of the 132 American athletes participating have D.C. area ties.

In the 1,500, Alan Webb of Fairfax could make the finals with the time he just ran in Oslo. His training partner, Chris Lukezic of Alexandria, recently ran a personal best to handily nail an “A” qualifier for the worlds, as did Treniere Clement, a Georgetown University graduate training under JJ Clark in Knoxville, Tenn., the only female 1,500 qualifier from the United States.

In the 110-meter hurdles, defending world champion Alan Johnson (born in the District, grew up in Burke) could repeat while Joel Brown (Baltimore) joins him in one of the most competitive fields at the meet.

Gigi Miller, who impressed at Gar-Field High School in Woodbridge, Va., then at Arkansas, will compete in the heptathlon. She now lives in State College, Pa.

Suziann Reid (Riverdale) is part of the 4x400 meter relay pool. She is a 1995 graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School in Greenbelt who continued her success at Texas.

Another area athlete, marathoner Heather Hanscom, had to relinquish her spot on the team last week when a nagging leg injury would not heal in time. She was replaced by Emily LeVan, the top American finisher at Boston this year.

Life and death — With the 2005 Army Ten-Miler already sold out, race officials for the first time in the race’s 21-year history are allowing entry transfers into the race. That means runners who already have registered but have now decided they cannot run the Oct.2 race have the opportunity to transfer their registration. The deadline for all transfers is 5 p.m. on Aug.15.

The Army Ten-Miler has set up a bulletin board on its Web site to help runners communicate. It can be found by clicking on www.armytenmiler.com.

Frankly, I’d be embarrassed to post my name looking for an entry. Every year, the deadline for entries has been posted months in advance. Several people did post as anonymous, but the shameless did not.

Like Heather Tysinger, who posted a July21 entry entitled, “Running Bride not Runaway Bride.” The 32-year-old from Archdale, N.C., wrote, “I need a transfer please. I’m running for him not away from him. Thanks!”

Many entrants who no longer could use their spots were kind enough to offer their entries at cost, $37.50 plus the $15 transfer fee. And many wannabes were offering $25 or $50 plus the $15 transfer fee to buy somebody else’s entry.

It got a little out of control, with Kevin Young, a 27-year-old from Charlotte, N.C., offering $100 plus transfer fees and Pamela Keith, 36, of the District and Allan Pelletier, 58, of Arlington, each offering $250 per entry. Rock concert prices here?

I find the begging for entries rather pathetic, like life will come to a screeching halt if one doesn’t get in. You didn’t need it badly enough between the day registration opened (April1) — and the day it closed (July10), but now you just have to have it. And I find the scalping tendencies rather disgusting.

The worst was a sign of the times posting Thursday from Jimmy McSalters, 43, of Hinesville, Ga.: “I have one [entry] and to be fair I am putting it on EBay. Good luck.”

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