On Sunday, Oct 21, 2018
MASTERS WOMEN AT HARRINGTON PARK 5K FOR NEXT CHAMPIONSHIP
Three years ago, the Harrington Park 5K Fall Spectacular stepped in as the open women’s 5K when the Little Silver 5K was cancelled due to unsafe roads after a huge ‘nor’easter hit the coast.
This year the race is not a substitute but a full-fledged championship, taking place on Saturday, November 3rd. Although this is the first year as a selected championship, the race is no newcomer. This is the 17th year for the race in northeastern Bergen County, just a few miles south of the New York state border.
Amenities count for a fall race and runners will appreciate that the pre and post race activities take place in what the race website describes as a” large warm gym” and” clean indoor restrooms (no portable units)”. That alone is worth the price of admission in my opinion. Actually, the price of admission is not hefty. If postmarked by October 26th the cost to register is $ 25.00 and USATF NJ members will pay only $22.00. The fun run is even cheaper.
The website shows the course map with ten turns. All those turns are somewhat offset by the very flat course as seen in the video also on the website. There will be plenty of opportunities to run the tangents as long as runners are allowed to use both lanes of the road.
In 2015 the female winner was Kristin Andrews who set the course record of 18:09. Andrews is still in her twenties so that doesn’t give us a hint of who is in contention for first masters woman overall and more importantly the first age graded woman.
Best Racing does the timing for the race and Best generally does not calculate age grading. It will be necessary this time as the prize money of $ 300.00, $200.00 and $ 100.00 goes to the top age graded masters women. That fact has not been apparent on the website, but look for an update this week.
The top contenders in the age grading competition are Nora Cary of Morristown, Laura DeLea of Sparta, Misa Tamura of Ridgewood, Hortencia Aliaga of Garfield, Suzanne LaBurt of Greenwood Lake NY, Mary Christian of Flanders, Erika Campbell of Ridgewood and Susan Olesky of Mendham.
All of these top women will be running on teams like the Garmin Runners, Clifton, Raritan Valley and the North Jersey Masters and local clubs like the Rose City Runners and the Morris County Striders.
LONG DISTANC RUNNING MEETING
At the USATF New Jersey Long Distance Running committee meeting this past Monday, the handling of the Mile race was under scrutiny again. The race is the shortest distance raced and some runners are not fans of the race, considering the distance to be of the track and field genre. The most recent host of the race has been the Midland Mile in Montclair. In 2018 the race had 568 finishers, running in several heats. That was a big jump from 2017 with 492 finishers, and one hundred more than in 2016.
So what seems to be the problem? The race is a championship and that means that it is also in the team grand prix. And that is a problem for some team members who would like to sit it out and not be pressured to compete in it for their teams.
John Sabatino of Morris Plains, and a member of the Garmin Runners proposed that the race remain a championship but that the results would not be part of the team grand prix. Such a change would surely reduce the number of participants which in turn would hurt the race’s drawing power.
The team grand prix, and the number of championships being held creates a problem of over-racing according to Chuck Schneekloth of the Garden State Track Club. He proposed that the number of championships be reduced from 14, which is what was on the schedule for 2018, to only seven.
Although he presented this as a proposed change to the rules, the committee saw this as an administrative issue. The executive committee, which is made up of chairs and vice chairs of the open women, open men and masters divisions will look at how to reduce the number of championships being required of the individual runner. A reduction to seven is unlikely and would undercut the funding of the grand Prix’s as those races chosen for championships pay an extra fee for the privilege.
Karen Auterie of Belvidere suggested some of the races be asked to host both the open and masters division championship for the same gender. For instance, a race could be the championship for the open and masters women, and another for the open and masters men. This would make it possible for masters to compete on their clubs open team and their own masters division team.
Not all races would seem conducive to this structuring, but some combining could be done it was thought. Most of the long distance races are already host to all divisions.
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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