Record Attempts at Hellyer

Jim Turner and Maryann Levenson Break Records at Hellyer Velodrome 2014


Event: Record Attempts at Hellyer
Location: Hellyer Velodrome, San Jose CA
Date: 5/1/2014
Teammates: David Trousdale hour record attempt in men’s 70-74 age group

Result: National Records in men’s 75-79 age group in 2K Individual Pursuit and the Hour Record

Since I just entered a new 5-year age group this year (75-79) I set as major goals to set world records in the 2K Individual Pursuit and the Hour Record. Coach Dan Smith’s plan to attack such ambitious goals was to go at it in stages. Requirements for official World Records are complex (you have to arrange it with UCI and have a UCI commissaire as your chief official, timing requirements are strict, drug testing is mandatory if a record is set, etc.) so we decided to go after the National records as a starting point. Two other cyclists, MaryAnn Levenson and AV member David Trousdale, expressed interest in attempting the Hour Record in their age group so we set up a USACycling sanctioned event to do those attempts at Hellyer velodrome. That event was held this morning.

Since I was the only one doing a 2K Individual Pursuit record attempt I went first. The existing age 75-79 record was 2:59.915 so I just wanted to get under that. I hadn’t done a competitive 2K pursuit since last October at Master’s World Track Championship at Manchester. My training so far this year has had more emphasis on preparing for the Hour Record attempt so I wasn’t confident in my ability to do a good 2K but did know that I had gone under the age 75 record 4-5 times last year as a 74 year old.

I had a good start and knew from my first 3-4 lap split times that I was on track to finish in the 2:59.0 range. In fact my time was 2:58.275, about 1.6 seconds under the old record so in those infamous words of President Bush, “Mission Accomplished” on the 2K!

David was to do his Hour Record attempt after my 2K effort and he started well. However, and most unfortunately, he started having trouble controlling his bike and the situation became progressively worse. He had to abandon his attempt at that point. This was certainly the low point of the day for all of us.

I was scheduled to do my Hour Record attempt after David. Since his effort was shortened I hadn’t had quite as much recovery time after my 2K effort but felt ready to go. I started OK but rather quickly (within the first 10 minutes) realized that I wasn’t comfortable in my position on my aerobars. I found that I had to alternate between the aerobars and the bullhorns. That slowed me and I saw that I was falling behind the ambitious lap time schedule that I had set for myself. Once I fell off that schedule my new goal was just to finish out the full hour. Since there was no existing National Hour record for age 75-79 I knew that I would get the record as long as I finished. I covered 35,062 meters which was well short of my real goal distance but still established the first National Hour Record for men age 75-79, giving me my second National record for the day.

MaryAnn did her Hour Record attempt after I finished mine. She rode exceptionally well. I haven’t seen her split times yet but I think that she negatively split her distance, showing just how strong she is. She covered 38,122 meters, giving her her third National Record to go with her National Record in the women’s 50-54 age group 40K Time Trial and her National Record in the women’s 45+ Team Pursuit (with Andi Smith and Annabel Holland). As I looked through the list of National Records the only woman with more records to her name is World Champion Sarah Hammer.

Coach Dan and I have tentative plans in the works for a World Record hour attempt at the velodrome in Carson in July and another attempt at the velodrome at 6200 foot elevation in Aguascalientes Mexico in August.

Aside from the unfortunate situation with David it was a great day for us. I want to express my appreciation to our four officials, Marc Franklin, Peter Bohl, Leo Menestrina and Eve Ben-Ora. They was absolutely terrific to work with. We even had a few spectators show up who were much appreciated. Special thanks to my coach of 12 years, Dan Smith, who couldn’t have given MaryAnn and me better support and to my biggest supporter of all, my wife Ann.

Press Coverage: The Almanac News