Masters athlete Derek Larner continued his summer of racing at the World Masters in Lyon, France on Tuesday.
The Cayman-based Brit said there were so many entries in the 1,500 meters that it took an entire day to complete the heats in the men’s races.
In Larner’s age group, 50-54, there were 88 competitors, which required six semifinal heats.
The winner automatically qualified for the final, along with the next 10 fastest times. Larner, 51, set off with the leaders. Knowing how fast he needed to run to qualify for the final, on lap three he decided to make an early break to try to stretch out the pack.
“Keeping the lead to the bell, I sensed a bunch of runners breathing down my neck and could do little to prevent the burst by Mike Trees of Great Britain as he went past me like I was standing still,” Larner said.
He was then passed by an Italian and a Dane and finished fourth.
Out of 88 runners, Larner had the 17th fastest time, but it was not quite enough to reach the final.
“It was a privilege to wear my national team kit and run against a world-class field of athletes,” he said. “Thanks as ever to [my wife] Laura Larner who was there to cheer me every inch of the way.”
His next race is the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday.
“Wish me well as those hurdles are scary.”