Sunday, January 28, 2018

5,000 meters is a perfect 5K

On Sunday, January 28, 2018


What’s your idea of a perfect 5K course?  You want it to be fast, so it needs to be flat.  No sharp corners, and of course you want it to be weather perfect.   You can have all that on Sunday, February 11 and you don’t have to travel too far to find it.

That 5K course is just across the bridge on Staten Island and here’s the best part.  It could be cold outside, raining cats and dogs, or snowing up a storm.  You’ll be warm and dry because you will be running your 5K indoors at the Ocean Breeze facility in the dual New Jersey / New York Championship meet.

It is not often that 5,000 meters is offered at an indoor meet, but this meet has it, along with the shorter and more common 3,000 meter distance.  The facility opened its doors for competition in November of 2015 and has been a magnet for high school, youth and open and masters competitors ever since.

This is the first time that New Jersey is holding a meet at Ocean Breeze.  In recent years athletes have had to travel to Toms River to compete in the John Bennet Indoor Sports Complex.  The bubble, as it is known, might be fine for a practice facility but it misses a lot as a competition venue, including indoor toilets.  That’s right, athletes and spectators have to make their way to the parking lot where the porta-potties are lined up for use.  It is guaranteed that the Ocean Breeze facility will not have you outside in porta-potties.   

The 5,000 meter race is scheduled for 12:20 p.m.  New Jersey runners will have plenty of time to make that race.  Those who want to try the mile indoors need to be there a little earlier.  The women’s mile begins at 11:10 a.m. and the men at 11:25 a.m.  Half milers (800 meters) will start right after the 5,000 meter race and for those who want to run 3,000 meters, that start is at 1:30 p.m.

This is the first year that the two associations are teaming up to hold a dual meet with their championships.  Points will be assigned for each event and within each age division and added together to determine the winning association. 

Pre-entry closes on Thursday, February 8, at 11:59 p.m.  That is a very generous close-to-day-of- meet deadline.  Be forewarned that there is no day of meet registration. Go to the New Jersey USATF website to enter.

New Jersey track fans will have a chance to preview the Ocean Breeze facility on Monday February 5th when the Morris County Invitational high school meet is held there.  The meet starts at 4:00 p.m.

While we’re on the topic of track and field, several national meets will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the next few weeks.  The grand daddy of indoor track is the Milrose Games on Saturday, February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix meet in Boston will be shown on Saturday, February 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Last is the USATF indoor championship in Albuquerque on February 17th and 18th.


Ok, so who would rather run a cross country meet in February?  How about if it was in Tallahassee FL?  Sound better?

That’s where some New Jersey runners will be on February 3rd to compete in the national winter cross country meet.  The meet will have several races ranging from junior women who will run 6 km and junior men who run 8 km, open men and women who will run 10 km and masters men running 8 km and masters women running 6 km.

A look at the pre-registration list shows that the Garden State Track club will have a fast team in the M40 division, giving them a good start to the season.  Likewise, the Shore Athletic Club that placed second in the M60, 2017 national team grand prix has entered a fast squad in that division.

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