The July 9th backward running track meet will be held at the Edison High School track, at 5801 Franconia Road, in Alexandria, Virginia, beginning at 8:30 a.m. Events will be the backward mile, 100 meter, 400 meter, 200 meter, and 800 meter, in that order. The meet is open to anyone age 15 and older.
Bob Draim, a 67 year-old master runner and co-organizer of the July 9th meet, encourages runners of all ages and abilities to incorporate backward running into their training routines. “Backward running is great for injury recovery and avoidance, and it improves forward running by working complementary muscles”, says Draim.
Aaron Yoder, a college track coach in Kansas, who is considered to be the World Record holder in the backward mile, with a time of 5 minutes, 30 seconds, is one of the organizers of the July 9th meet. Yoder hopes the July 9th meet will be the first of many backward running track meets in the U.S., now that backward running has started to gain in popularity here. “Americans are beginning to see the many benefits of backward running,” says Yoder, who was recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article on backward running. Yoder has competed in the backward running World Championships in Europe, and he regularly has his college track team members run backwards for training.
Individual backwards events have occasionally been conducted as part of full track meets in the U.S., but there has never been a multi-event meet devoted exclusively to running backwards. In 1983, at a meet in Amherst MA, the Sugarloaf Mt AC included a backward 100 yard dash where a world record was accepted and published by the Guinness Book of World Records. Records set at the July 9, 2022 Alexandria meet will be submitted to Guinness,
The registration fee for the July 9th meet is $15 for any or all of the events, with a $10 late fee for registrations after June 25. Registration may be online or by mail. There will also be race-day registration, though early registration is encouraged. A link to the registration page may be found at https://pvtc.org/retrogames.php
Potomac Valley Track Club is a community-centered, nationally-oriented, nonprofit organization that promotes running, track and field, and race-walking. The Club is a major competitor in USA Track & Field and has won four USATF masters national team championships over the past decade.
Robert Weiner and Robert Draim
Potamac Valley Track Club and Robert Weiner Associates
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