Sunday, January 5, 2014

Long Distance Running Committee to vote on changes

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, January 5, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

The USATF New Jersey Long Distance Running committee will be meeting in two days to make decisions that could have a major impact on racing in 2014.  In September a number of proposed new rules or changes to rules were accepted for consideration.  On Tuesday they will be rejected or accepted, but this time for the first time in its history, the votes must have a 60% majority in order to pass.

That is, if the first of the proposed rules is accepted.  A narrow vote at last year’s meeting has prompted the proposed new rule.  No filibustering allowed.

If the second proposed rule is accepted then an issue that had been voted on in the past year cannot be brought forward again until two years have passed.

The next two proposed rule changes are similar as they would affect the make-up of two of the team divisions and for the same reasons.  Some divisions have grown in such a size that the minimum number of members scoring is deemed as too small.  

Baby Boomers are now in their 60’s and they have swelled the ranks of M60 and M65 divisions, both at the local level and the national level.  Currently the Men 60 to 69 teams require only three men to score.  It is proposed that one more be added.  Eight men could be declared on the team with the first four men scoring for the team.

At one time Open women’s teams required only three women to score.  That was changed to four women in 2011.  Now it is being proposed that the teams require five women, just as is required for the Open men’s teams.  The rationale here is that there are plenty of younger women and if necessary a club could bring down their W40 + runners to fill out their Open teams.

Another change that will bring on debate is one that will revert to the previous method of scoring teams.  In 2013 the scores for each team were all counted, whereas previously only the best eight of a possible nine or nine of a possible ten were counted.  Said another way, each team could drop their lowest score.   Some teams have felt that it is unfair to teams that make it to all of the championship races to allow a team to drop a score of zero that resulted from a missed race, while their team must subtract points.  On the other hand, once a team misses a race, the contest is over for them.  A sister rule change gives a one point bonus for making it to all of the championship races.

A final proposed change is to add the road mile as an included distance in the long distance grand prix, with an exception of only allowing one mile race in a person’s final score, and that would apply also to the Mini One grand prix that has been from 3 kilometer to four miles.

The meeting is being held in Rockaway at Parette Somjen Architects, 439 Route 46 East beginning at 7:30 p.m.

Diane D’Achille of Denville won the women’s division of the Hangover 5K in Westfield on New Year’s Day in 18:44.97.    At the Hamilton Hangover five mile race Jane Parks of Morristown, now 61 years old, was the top masters woman overall and tops in age grading with an outstanding 87.55% for her finishing time of 36:13.

Correction:  In last week’s column a proof reading error slipped past the proof reader, who also happens to be me.  Referring to the 1st Day 5K in Fairlawn on New Year’s Day the copy should have stated that it sprang up in 2003, not 2013.


Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

No comments:

Post a Comment