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Masters Track & Field
Chair Report - June 2006

George Mathews

Charlotte is Ready!

The question is, are you?  Part of your Championship Games Committee (Jim Flanik, Carroll DeWeese and George Mathews) made our final site visit to this year's venue for the Outdoor Masters Track & Field Championships at the beautiful University of North Carolina - Charlotte, Irwin Belk Track & Field Center. Our bottom-line assessment: they are ready.

We were greeted with real Southern hospitality. Everyone, starting with meet director, Dr. Gordon Edwards, was very friendly and eager to please in all aspects of the meet. Several things came as a surprise to some of us.

Great Facilities

We started with the track, of course. This is a beautiful facility and is well maintained. A new hammer circle and cage have recently been put in. This  can sometimes be a bad thing, but the concrete was done right and is ready to go for some record performances.

On hand, in addition to Dr. Edwards, was Tony Wayne, Coordinator of Officials, who will lead maybe the finest group of officials we have ever had for our championships. There were friendly negotiations concerning various aspects of the meet, ending with agreement that we believe will please most of our athletes. 

We made sure there will be many tents to protect athletes from the summer sun. Head Track & Field coach Robert Olesen was available to answer our questions.

On Thursday evening we attended The Championship Management Team Meeting, at which we were impressed by the number and quality of the people involved.  Representatives from all aspects of the organizing committee were on hand to make their reports and answer any questions we had. We had a few.

Housing

The biggest surprise was the on-campus housing. Housing manager Laura Elam made sure we didn't refer to her housing as "dorms."  Earlier, we had visited several on-campus housing buildings, which are the best we have seen for our meets.  The Games Committee will be staying in this housing as well.

The units are either suites (two bedrooms, one bathroom) or apartments (four bedrooms, two baths) with individual air-conditioning controls for each unit. If you are traveling alone, the Visit Charlotte Housing Bureau will set you up with suite/apartment mates. The best part of this, I think, is the cost at $35-$39 per night, which should make this meet very attractive to all our athletes.

For those wanting conventional hotels, the rates run from $69.95-$103.50. This is very reasonable for most people. We probably won't see rates much lower than this anywhere.

The food service manager promises great food when we want it and at a great price, $57 (four breakfasts, three dinners), or $88 (four breakfasts, four lunches, three dinners).

Dr. Brent Maxwell will have complimentary "Chiropractic Performance Care" available, as we had in Boston.

If all this isn't enough, I can tell you from personal experience that North Carolina is one of the best tourist destinations in the United States.

Entertainment

I spent many summers as a youth on the Outer Banks. I really enjoyed this "birthplace of flight" at Kitty Hawk (the Wright Brothers National Memorial), Cape Hatteras, the Kill Devil Hills sand dunes, and Nags Head. I particularly enjoyed the Lost Colony Outdoor Drama at the historic waterside theater on Roanoke Island in Manteo, NC.

You also have the beautiful Great Smokey Mountains to explore. Some might enjoy visiting the Lowes Motor Speedway in Charlotte. For those who like to go "fast," there is the Richard Petty Experience.

Charlotte also has Paramount's Carowinds Water and Theme Parks, Victory Lane Indoor Karting Center, and Balloons Over Carolina to name a few.   The National Whitewater Center will open in June, just 30 minutes from UNCC.

You can also find some of the best shopping in the U.S. in Charlotte and the surrounding area.  High Point is nearby with the greatest offering of discount residential furniture anywhere in the world.

Book Flights Early

Located in one of the largest population corridors in the U.S., this meet should be our biggest ever.  If you are flying in, purchase your tickets as soon as possible.  The demand is high.

Everybody wants to be in Charlotte for these great championships.
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