on Sunday, December 3, 2017
titled "Little girls foil plans for a predawn run at USATF Annual meeting"
RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME NOT ALWAYS EASY
There we were ready to sneak in a workout before daybreak through the long hallway at the Columbus Ohio Convention Center. We had attended a meeting in one of the convention center's meeting rooms the night before.
"Hey, this would be a great place to run in the morning."
Now, walking through the adjoining door from the Hyatt Regency hotel, we were puzzled to see not an empty walkway but little girls along with adult escorts, sporting huge bows on the top of their heads, wearing sparkling little dresses . They were everywhere. What was supposed to be our workout venue had been invaded by a cheerleaders competition.
Such are the perils of trying to run while attending the USATF annual meeting. Outside it was hovering around 30 degrees and we learned later that the more daring of our fellow attendee runners had hit black ice while running outside along the river walks; obviously much more perilous than dodging costumed little girls.
The annual gathering of volunteers engaged in one or more sports of track and field, road and cross country running, coaching, officiating and management calls for scores of meetings. On Saturday there were 43 meetings. I was attempting to attend three disciplines; masters long distance running, masters track and field, and cross country. Of those, the track and field is further broken down into regional meetings separate from the general meeting.
New Jersey has over seven thousand members which gives the New Jersey association the right to send 18 delegates. Those 18 spots are coveted by many and a selection vote is held in September to determine who will attend and cover the many meetings.
Important issues are decided at these meetings after sometimes vigorous discussions. Masters championships for 2018 have been announced and the line-up is interesting and enticing, from a full marathon in the state of Washington to a winter cross country meet in February in Tallahassee Florida.
In the general long distance running meeting on Friday it took maybe half an hour to change the wording in an assistance rule, and now if a fallen runner is assisted in rising it is allowed as long as he or she is not assisted in forward motion. Of course it is worded much better than you are reading here.
The meeting ends this morning (Sunday). Check back here next week to see what changes that might affect New Jersey runners will be.
SAFE RUNNING IN NEW JERSEY
The Daily Record ran a three part series this past week on the efforts being made to restore portions of the long abandoned Morris Canal. Not many sections still contain water but the goal is to repurpose the old mule paths, where possible, into greenways for walking, biking, and shall we dare say it, running.
As someone who now runs almost exclusively on the West Morris Greenway just steps away from my door I fully appreciate the value of these off road sites. The West Morris Greenway section that I run on begins at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna and goes into the wildlife management area in Randolph and Chester.
Tomorrow, Monday, December 4th is the opening day for shotgun hunting of deer and in some areas of bear. Hunters have been in the woods with us trail runners since September, some with shotguns for small game, and some with bows for archery hunting of deer and even bear. But this week the woods and fields will be especially busy thanks to shotgun hunnting. Whether you support or decry hunting, we must remember that these men and women have paid fees and have the legal right to be there.
The hunters will be clad in bright orange for safety and runners are urged to wear similar clothing if running through hunting areas. On another safety note - have you put new batteries in your after-dark running headlights and flashlights ? Stay safe.