Live track is back in your lounge room
For the past few months, we’ve been living in one of those infinite time loop situations. We get up at night and go to bed in the morning and it doesn’t really matter when because there are no live sports on TV to schedule our day around. Time is an illusion, a construct created by clockmakers and physicists as a narrative tool for our normal daily lives. But this isn’t normal life. Craig Engels will tell you that. Each day is the same as the last, and shows just float in the Netflix ether, absent of any temporal logic. In a parallel universe, Pete Julian’s Rip City Rollers are squaring off against Seattle’s Brooks Beasts, The Oregon Track Club, Bend’s Oiselle Little Wing and a host of others in a showdown in their main events, while parallel you snacks on your parallel couch and enjoys the show. Well reach through that wormhole and grab the Fritos, because this universe just pulled even!
This Friday night at 7:50pm PDT, premier middle distances teams in the United States will toe the line in the next installment of the Tracklandia Space Race Program’s Big Friendly series and it will be streamed LIVE for FREE on the Tracklandia YouTube channel. Each of the highly competitive races on the schedule deserve their own thousand word breakdown, and you’ll surely get it on the broadcast. Make your plans now, because somewhere in a locked-down track facility, the game of track will be played as you watch every move in real time.
After posting a 3:35.85 1500m with a blistering 52 second last lap, the reigning world champion, Donavan Brazier will make his season debut in the 800 meters along with Beast, Drew Windle. Bigger Friendly 600 meter champ, Nia Akins will renew her rivalry with Big Friendly 800 meter champ, Chanelle Price in the 2 lap event and this time they’ll have to contend with World silver medalist, Brenda Martinez.
After debuting with a win in the 3000m at The Bigger Friendly, Shannon Rowbury will face Little Wing’s rising star- Rebecca Mehra, the Beasts’ Karisa Nelson, and Portland’s own Eleanor Fulton.
The men’s 1500m will showcase an all-time match-up between Seattle’s finest- Josh Kerr and America’s fur coat-wearing, fist waving, thunder-taunting, mustache-twisting golden boy- Craig Engels. They’ll be joined by 3:50 miler- Sam Prakel, long-striding distance ace- Hassan Mead and the Golden Coast’s 3:36 1500 meter man- Eric Avila.
The 3000 meter races will feature Millrose 3000m champ Allie Ostrander, Little Wings’s Mel Lawrence, Carrie Mack, living legend Garrett Heath and Japanese marathon record holder- Suguru Osako.
As all nights should, the evening will be capped off by a men’s and women’s combined 4X400m relay, where the OTC with a fresh Nijel Amos will look to exact revenge on Pete Julian’s squad riding high off of their Bigger Friendly victory in the 2X2X400m. The Beasts and a Little Wing Friendly collab team will look to play spoilers.
In a season like 2020, where athletes have to make the most of the opportunities that come their way, the prescribed early paces are fast, but most importantly, in a moment in history where time is all but an illusion, the athletes will be focused squarely on securing the win.
As much as it is important for the athletes competing to secure victory, it is even more important for all involved to contribute toward a safe and secure racing environment.
All athletes competing in the BF3 complete 2 negative COVID-19 tests in the week leading up to the event and adhere to strict social distancing guidelines prior to and during the event. Event staff is also tested for COVID-19 in the week leading up to the meet and follow a specific plan for stationing and movement through the facility while wearing masks, sanitizing and keeping distance from others.
The Portland Track crew that organizes the events have a lot of fun with making up different locations where the meet might be taking place, but the location is kept secret in order to avoid any gathering that could potentially risk the health of the athletes and essential personnel working the meet. It has been incredible to witness the sense of community growing from separate teams of the top athletes in the world living in the Pacific Northwest doing whatever it takes to be able to come together safely and play the game that they love against each other. It brings us a lot of hope and excitement for the future of our sport and the communities around it, and we hope that you enjoy watching the competitions as much as we do.