Sunday, May 18, 2014

Fast Five begins June 1st

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, May 18, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

Runners, start your engines!    Well at least get out your training log and plan your strategy for competing in the Fast Five Series next month.   The what?

OK.   Maybe you have not heard about this new series within a series, so it is time you know about it.  June is traditionally the end of the spring racing season.  Runners should have built up their fitness and be ready to race well.

So what better way to test that fitness than to create a series with short, fast races.  The longest race of the series is the last one on the schedule.  A little sadistic but also similar to the Triple Crown of horse racing that begins with the Kentucky Derby at a mile and a quarter, then the Preakness that took place yesterday, at a mile and 3/16  and culminating with the longest race of the Triple Crown series, the Belmont at a mile and half.

Now one thing very different between the Triple Crown and the Fast Five Series is that all five of these races take place within 26 days while the horses get two weeks rest between the first and second race and then three weeks rest before the last race.  Human racers can do with a lot less rest than those horses.

To reach a final score in the Fast Five, runners need to complete at least four of the five races, because the four best scores will count toward the series total.  Each race has a top point value of seven hundred and now you can figure out what races are in the series; all of the next five championships.

That would be the Stomp the Monster 5K in Marlboro on June 1st.   Six days later is the College Avenue Mile in New Brunswick on June 7th.  Now the racers get a little breather, like those horses, and don’t race again until the President’s Cup Night Race in Millburn on Monday night, June 16th.

Eight days later is the Lager Run on Sunday night, June 22nd in Glen Ridge.  Then with only four days rest comes the Sunset Classic five mile in Bloomfield on Thursday, June 26th.   That’s it.

Of course there are some considerations of what race to sit out if you want to save yourself a little like those horses, and not run in all five.  That could be determined by what division the race is hosting.  Stomp the Monster is the 5K championship for open women.  The President’s Cup Night Race is the 5K for open men, and the Fitzgerald’s 1928 Lager Run is the 5K for masters men.  The Sunset Classic is the five mile championship for open and masters women and the College Avenue Mile is for all divisions.   

The five open men and the five open women with the best combined scores in four races will be declared the series winners.   Now what about the masters?  Well the series is using age grading to determine the masters winners.  The highest combined PLP [performance level percentage] of each masters best four races will determine the top five masters men and women runners.    


Giralda Farms corporate complex is the site of the Pfizer Project Community Pride 5K this Wednesday, May 21st.  As might be expected there is heavy emphasis on corporate teams and each year about a half dozen men and women’s teams compete with 20 or more runners.. The greatest number of teams is the coed division that had nearly 20 teams in 2013. 

Starting Line Sports in their new location at 40 Main Street in Madison is handling the pre-registration and packet pick-up, beginning at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, and Tuesday and Wednesday until 3:00 p.m.  Packets can also be picked up at race registration starting at 5:00 p.m. at Giralda Farms.

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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