On Sunday, December10, 2017
USATF LOOKING GOOD
Now home from the USATF annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, I have been able to look over the notes that I took and can share some information with New Jersey runners.
Masters Track & Field has done a good job of advancing their group and getting funding. Although the national office has apparently had some accounting difficulties, the Masters Track & Field committee has received over $200,000.00 in funding in 2017 and will receive the same in 2018.
The athletes who competed in Canada for the North American Caribbean meet in October were all clothed in USA gear paid for by the federation. That was really huge as until now the athletes had the privilege of buying old Nike uniforms and they were generally a mish mash of old and older uniforms. At the Canadian meet they all looked and felt like part of the same team.
CEO Max Spiegel spoke to the group and pointed out that USATF is the only federation not funded by their government. Obviously, the fortunes of USATF have improved. The detested $25.00 surcharge that had been imposed on the masters athletes registering for championship meet is being dropped.
When President Vin Lannana spoke to the group he told them to let him know what the athlete’s needs were. Mark Clearly of California responded by saying that many high schools, and other venues will not allow athletes to use their facilities. I know that some New Jersey schools do lock out runners who would like to use their track for speed workouts.
In Masters Long Distance Running the championship races for 2019 have been scheduled. For New Jersey runners, the championships are doable if they are willing to travel a bit. They are the Shamrock 8K in Virginia Beach, the James Joyce Ramble 10K in Dedham MA, Atlanta’s Finest 5K in Atlanta GA, the HAP Crim Michigan Mile, and the USATF Masters 5K XC in Buffalo NY.
Another race that may not be too close, but might be tempting, is the winter cross country meet in Tallahassee in February. To qualify for the LDR grand prix a runner must have run in a minimum of three races and can count up to five races. The same is true for the teams.
The big news for New Jersey runners is that the 2019 club cross country meet has been awarded to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. Yes, the same venue as in 2013 when most, if not all the New Jersey clubs sent teams. The New Jersey delegates have been approached by the organizers of the Lehigh meet to ask New Jersey to host the masters 5km xc meet sometime near the Columbus Day weekend in October. The PA runners would come to support the 5km meet and NJ would support the club cross country meet in PA. This reciprocity worked well in 2013.
GRONER PLACES SECOND IN NATIONAL MARATHON
Roberta Groner of Randolph placed second in the California International Marathon which was the USA national championship. Groner, who’s PR had been 2:36:33 finished the race in 2:30:38.
It was an amazing improvement, but you read here in March of 2017 that her coach, Hector Matos predicted a big improvement. He said at the time that Groner had a lot of untapped talent and that her training was very moderate considering that she was training for the marathon.
I quoted him at the time saying that, “She is responding very well so far. It is only a matter of time before she has a huge breakthrough in the marathon.”
But even Groner seemed surprised at her performance, according to an article in Runner’s World on-line on December 6th. She actually ran a negative second half as she felt strong enough to go after the other women to work her way through the field into second place.
In less than a month Groner will turn 40, and watch out folks. She is close to the 2:27:47 masters record set by Deena Kastor in 2015.
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