Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, January 10, 2016
CHAMPIONSHIPS HAVE BEEN POSTED
Folks have been asking for it, and finally the list of championships for the 2016 season has been posted on the USATF New Jersey website. It has some surprises with a favorite race of many missing. Open men will be racing at the Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K in June, not the President’s Cup Night Race. Masters men and women will be running their 5K in New Milford on June 18th. Open women have the Little Silver race in October. That is the race that was stormed out last year with the police closing roads.
The College Avenue Mile in June will host only the open men and women. Masters men and women will have their own mile race in Montclair on August 21st. Masters men will race at the Giralda Farms 10K in Madison in November. Masters women have the Cherry Blossom 10K in April in Branch Brook Park in Newark.
PHIDIPPIDES AWARD DEADLINE DRAWS NEAR
In the column of December 20, 2015 some very good reasons for a New Jersey runner to join USATF were listed. Another very important reason that was not mentioned is the Phidippides Award that is given to runners who have competed in a number of races. Fast or slow – it doesn’t matter. The award celebrates endurance not speed. But you must be a member of USATF to qualify. And they are very nice awards. If you race a lot, get in on the fun and the bragging rights with family and friends.
There is a sliding scale to determine the number of points earned for running various distances. A 5K earns 2 points, for instance and a half marathon earns four. The most points earned in one race are six for any distance above the marathon.
Age is also part of the equation. Young masters age 40 to 59 need 30 points to win Gold; 60 to 79 need 24 for Gold and those 80 and over need only 12. Yes, there are Silver and Bronze awards, but most runners do their best to get the Gold.
The deadline to submit the application for the 2015 season is January 31st, and I expect there will be a rush to get them in. In 2014 about 124 New Jersey runners earned their Gold Phidippides award, six earned silver, and four earned Bronze. Only 33 New Jerseans have submitted applications for 2015. Time to get cracking. Just three weeks yet to go for submitting applications. The application is on the national website in the Masters section. http://www.usatf.org/Resources-for---/Masters/LDR/Phidippides-Award/Application.aspx
LONG DISTANCE RUNNING COMMITTEE MEETING
The LDR committee will be meeting this Tuesday in Rockaway and it should generate some heat. This is when the rule changes that were proposed in September get voted in or defeated. One proposed rule has been mulled around for a couple of years. With so many teams competing in championship races, not all actually get credit for having competed. A first place open men’s team earns 12 points, second 10, and third 8, and then 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and if there are teams below ten, all those teams will receive one point. Weaker teams will now be on the board, which seems right to a lot of people. Expect that one to pass.
Other proposals include one with teams being able to drop their lowest score in the series, a rule that had governed for many years. Currently all scores count, including a zero for a missed race. I expect a floor fight on that one, although a modification has also been proposed to award a two point bonus to any team that had scored in all nine of the championship races.
Information about the meeting location and the minutes of the September meeting, which contain the proposed changes are on the LDR page of the USATF New Jersey website.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at firstname.lastname@example.org.