World-Class Athletes Compete At 2016 USA Track & Field Masters Outdoor Championships July 14-17 In Grand Rapids

CONTACT:

Kim Skeltis, APR; (616) 419-8385; kim@blueblazepr.com 


 

WORLD-CLASS ATHLETES COMPETE AT 2016 USA TRACK & FIELD MASTERS OUTDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS JULY 14-17 IN GRAND RAPIDS

West Michigan Sports Commission, Grand Valley State Track & Field Host Michigan’s First

National Masters Outdoor Track & Field Event, Drawing 1K+ Athletes and $1.1M in Impact

 

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., July 7, 2016 – More than 1,000 of America’s top runners and field athletes 30 and older, including 104 from Michigan, will compete in Grand Rapids next week in the 2016 USA Track and Field (USATF) Masters Outdoor Championships, July 14-17 at the Grand Valley Track & Field Complex in Allendale.   

“It is a feather in our cap to host the first national masters outdoor track & field event in Michigan, let alone Grand Rapids,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission (WMSC) who is co-hosting the event with Grand Valley State University Track & Field. “This is a testament to the quality and caliber of our area sporting facilities that lend a perfect backdrop for top athletes to compete.”

Featuring athletes from 30 to 99 years old, the 2016 Masters Outdoor Championships is hosted annually by USATF, the 1,108 track & field athletes from 48 states and four Canadian provinces competing in 2,560 events in 72 disciplines, from 60- to 3,000-meter track events, to a full range of jump and throw field events. The 2016 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships includes 40 world champions, 100 defending U.S. champions and at least four Olympians. Many athletes who won or medaled at last year’s world championships in France are taking part at the Masters Outdoor Championships before competing in the U.S. team at the World Masters Championships in Australia in October.

Michigan has a strong presence at the Championships as well, with 104 registered athletes competing in 187 events, including nine from the Grand Rapids area and a 99-year-old athlete (one of the oldest competitors) from Kalamazoo. The Championships is estimated to generate $1.1 million in estimated economic impact to the region, with athletes and their families staying four nights on average in area hotels.

“We’re thrilled to welcome this esteemed group of athletes to Grand Valley State University and Grand Rapids to use our first-class track & field facilities,” said “We encourage everyone to come out and see these athletes firsthand – it will be a sight to behold.”

Visitor and Volunteer Information

The USATF Masters Outdoor Championships is free to watch, with 72 events over four days of competition at the Grand Valley Track & Field Complex beginning Thursday, July 14. Following is a schedule of competition times:

  • Thursday, July 14 – 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
  • Friday, July 15 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, July 16 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 17 –  8 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Volunteers also are needed daily from Wednesday, July 13 (practice day) through Sunday, July 17 for tasks ranging from set-up, to hospitality, to individual event support. Shifts range from two to four hours, and volunteers will receive an event T-shirt and lunch pass if they sign up for two consecutive shifts over lunchtime.  For volunteer information and to register for a shift, visit http://signup.com/go/e37Ljc.

MEDIA NOTE: Media are welcome to cover the Championships and are encouraged to RSVP with Kim Skeltis (kim@blueblazepr.com) or Amanda Brooks (Amanda.Brooks@usatf.org) in advance to coordinate interview opportunities. For onsite, trackside interviews with athletes, contact Bob Weiner, USATF Masters Media Chair, at weinerpublic@comcast.net or 202-306-1200.

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About the West Michigan Sports Commission

The West Michigan Sports Commission, a non-profit 501 (c) (3), works to identify, secure and host a diverse level of youth and amateur sporting events to positively impact the economy and quality of life in the region. Since its inception in 2007, the WMSC has booked 489 sporting events and tournaments that attracted 650,000 athletes and visitors, generating $190 million in direct visitor spending. For more information, visit westmisports.com.

About USA Track & Field

USA Track & Field (USATF) is the National Governing Body for track and field, long-distance running and race walking in the United States. USATF encompasses the world's oldest organized sports, some of the most-watched events of Olympic broadcasts, the country’s No. 1 high school and junior high school participatory sport and more than 30 million adult runners in the United States. For more information on USATF, visit usatf.org.

Media Contacts

West Michigan Sports Commission

Katy Tigchelaar

Kim Skeltis, Blue Blaze PR

Meijer State Games of Michigan

Eric Engelbarts, II

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