Sunday, February 12, 2017

How's that again? A fee to do it yourself?

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, February 12, 2017


Something is askew these days when registering for a race. 
Without naming names or pointing a finger at any one race let’s see what is going on.

The stated fee to pre-register for the No Name 5K is $25.00 and $ 22.00 for NJ USATF members.  It is a very nice perk for members of the organization that has been negotiated by the New Jersey Long Distance Running Committee. 

Register on-line with a credit card and you’re in.   You go online and enter all of your particulars, giving your USATF number if you are a member, or without a number you just move on to next.

All’s well and good.  They have your name, address, age division and gender, birth date and now it is time to get out the credit card.

But wait a minute.  The actual fee is $ 28.25 or $ 25.25 thanks to the $ 3.25 fee that is tacked on when you register online.  Let’s see here.  You did all the data entry that is required to get yourself registered and you are slapped with a penalty fee for having done it.

A lot of irritated runners are signing up the old fashioned way.  Address an envelope, fill out the application, write a check and put a 49 cent Forever stamp on it and drop it in the mail.  You just saved yourself $ 2.76.

If there are two runners in a household, the saving is even better - $ 6.01.  Three runners it is $9.26.

Here’s the kicker.  The race organizers now have to pay someone to do the data entry for those applications.  You would have happily done it for them except for that penalty fee.  


Karl O’Reilly of Morristown won the Pre Game four mile race on Super Bowl Sunday in 21:33.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere was the women’s winner.  She finished in 24:37. 

The weather was a little brisk on Sunday and that may have accounted for the low number of runners:  351 men and 409 women for a total of 760 finishers in staying with the pattern of women outnumbering me.  


The Long Distance Running general membership meeting is coming up later this month, on the 23rd.   This is the meeting where rule change proposals that were submitted way back in September are now voted on.   Only two proposals were submitted. 

The easy one is to allow three 700 point races to count in the Mini Three grand prix.  Currently only two 700 point races could be counted out of the maximum five races.  This will encourage more runners to compete in this grand prix mini division in which the shortest distance is now 12K.

The proposed change with more of a challenge is to apply a formula to each race’s winning time to determine the point value for that race in the grand prix.   This is one that will meet opposition for a variety of reasons.  While the intention is to level the playing field the opposing view is that a grand prix by its very existence has many variables.  Using a mathematical formula based on the world’s best time for a race distance to alter the race’s outcome is going to be confusing and unappealing to most.

One can view the agenda for the meeting and the proposed rules changes at on the LDR page. 


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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