Sunday, April 27, 2014

Exception to the rule at 10K on Saturday

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 27 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

What race inspired a unique rule in the New Jersey long distance running grand prix?  It was instituted a few years back.  Give up?

The Newport 10,000 that will take place this Saturday at Newport Town Square in Jersey City.  The rule?

That elite runners, make that Elite with a capital E, will be removed for the purpose of scoring the New Jersey runners in the race.  The rule that works just fine for all other races is that each runner is assigned a point score based on their finishing place in the grand prix.  Most often the first place man and first place woman will be a member of the New Jersey association of USATF and will garner 500 points if the race is a non championship, and 700 points if a championship.  Normally all’s well and good.

But the Newport 10,000, which is a 10 kilometer race, offers prize money to elite runners in two Elite categories; American Elite, and Elites from anywhere in the world.  These are professional racers and they do come and they do take home some nice fistfuls of dollars.  The first American Elite runner, for instance will win $2,000.00 and the second earns $1,000.00, third is $500.00, fourth is $300.00 and fifth is $250.00.

Elites from any country, including the U.S. start at $600.00 and go down five deep also, just not as high as American Elites.  An American Elite, who is also a New Jersey USATF member, could conceivably earn money in all three categories although it is not too likely. 

In 2013 the winning time was 29:00 and for the winning woman it was 33:07.  The first New Jersey runner was Rob Nihen of Glen Rock and he finished in 31:31 and in thirteenth place.   The first New Jersey woman was Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield who finished in 36:47 and tenth place.

Since the race is the open men and open women’s New Jersey championship the points awarded would have been really skewed if the professional runners’ places had been assigned points.  The rule was actually invoked recently for another race; the national masters 5 kilometer cross country that was held last fall at Deer Path Park.  The “visitors” were removed for grand prix scoring and team scoring.

A new rule for 2014 requires five women on open teams, whereas in 2013 only four were required.  In 2013 there were seventeen complete open women’s teams and sixteen open men’s teams with three incomplete men’s teams.  Those 36 teams made up part of the 1,355 finishers.  If history is a guide there should be as many if not more for the 2014 edition of the race next Saturday.

Earlier in the year the new CompuScore website was missing the age grading calculator that masters runners find so handy.  It is now back with an added feature.  Now when you enter the PLP that you might want to achieve you will see the pace per mile that you would need to run in order to reach it.  For instance a 45 year old man may want to see what time he would need to score 77% PLP in a 5K race.  The answer is 18:23 and 5:55 per mile to get that time.  For a 10K, he would need to run at 6:09 pace to finish in 38:18. 

What about a 65 year old man?  For 5K he needs to run at 7:00 minute pace to finish in  21:46 to reach 77% PLP.  For 10K he needs to run at 7:17 pace to finish in 45:19.  Have some fun.  Go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom to find the link to the calculator.

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

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