Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, January 15, 2017
THIS WEEKS QUIZ
OK runners, what do these races have in common? The Newark Distance Classic 20K, Seaside Heights half marathon, Cherry Blossom 10K, Healthy Heart 5K, Run for Freedom 5 mile, Midland Run 15K, Ridgewood Run 10K, President’s Cup Night Race, Red Cross Father’s Day 5 mile, Sprintin’ Clinton 5 mile, Liberty Waterfront half marathon, Carlos Negron 5K, East Brunswick 10K, USATF ten mile.
Runners either new to New Jersey, or just plain new to running will not get this question.
Go back to 1998. The aforementioned races were all championship road races for 1998.
Half of those races no longer exist. The Newark race is gone as is the Seaside Heights race. The Healthy Heart 5K in Morristown had a good following but was ended by the organizers. A lot of timing companies do not have their race calendars up to date so I cannot find the Run for Freedom or the Red Cross Father’s Day, both five miles. Of course the Midland Run is gone, as is the USATF ten miler that used to be in December. Does anyone miss that race? I think not.
Now let’s look at the schedule for 2017.
Indian Trails 20K, Clinton Country Run 15K, Newport 10K, the Ridgewood 10K, New Milford 5K, Fitzgerald’s 1928 Lager Run 5K, Midland Mile, Newport Liberty half marathon, Little Silver Classic 5K, Giralda Farms 5K, Ashenfelter 8K.
How many of the 1998 races do you count that are still championships?
Just three; the Cherry Blossom 10K, the Ridgewood Run 10K, and the Newport Liberty half marathon are the only ones still in the line-up. Note that the Giralda Farms race is the 5K not 10K.
Some of the 2017 races have been championships for a few years now and well accepted and liked. Others are newer like the New Milford 5K that was a championship just last year, as was the Midland Mile.
One that had me scratching my head is the Indian Trails 20K. Twenty kilometers? Where will they add that extra 5 kilometers I wondered? On those tough Navesink hills? Look it up. The course is posted on their website and yes, most of the race is on those killer hills. Five climbs and an elevation gain of 872 feet. Hill training better begin this week.
As a matter of fact, there has been a lot head scratching since the list was released. First off is the Kick Off Weekend of March 25 and 26th. Three long distance races on the same weekend; Bakers Dozen half marathon in Montclair, the Ocean Drive 10 miler in Cape May, and the Garden State ten miler in Somerset.
As Ed Neighbour, the LDR chair explained it; the three races are at great distances from each other. It is expected that a runner will choose to run in only one of the three, and will choose the one closest to his/her residence.
All three will have a point value of 700 while not actually being a championship. The New Balance Grand Prix rules will still only allow runners to count two 700 point races. This will give the runners a chance to establish an early 700 point race in their score card. The Indian Trails 20K and the Clinton Country Run 15K are in April and the next Category Three Championship is not until September at the Newport Liberty half marathon. The Shades of Death half marathon in October will be a Wild Card race where a runner can choose between 500 points or 700 points.
Although the President’s Cup Night race in June wasn’t selected as a championship, it is being offered as a Coed team race. Not your typical coed team though, where unlimited numbers of runners are put on a team, and the top three finishers, including one of the other gender, score.
No, these will be equal gender teams scoring although as of this date the size of the teams has not been decided. The masters division will be scored using age grading. This will be really fun for the clubs. They will put their best age grading men and women on their A teams. They could have an 80 year old running on a team with a 40 year old. As I said not all of the details of this has been decided and changes could be made, but this sounds like a fun concept.
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 email@example.com.