On Sunday, Nov 11, 2018
GIRALDA FARMS 5K AT NOON TODAY IN MADISON
If you haven’t yet registered for the Giralda Farms 5K today, it’s not too late as long as you haven’t slept in. The race starts at 12 noon. The gates to the Giralda Farms complex on Madison Avenue in Madison will close at 11:45 am. Talk about making it easy for the procrastinators.
What’s interesting about the Giralda Farms 5K is that the race was once a 10K with no 5K. The 5K was added in 2000 and drew only 178 finishers while the 10K finished 396. Ten years ago, the races had grown to 571 in the 5K and 617 finishers in the 10K.
The 10K was the masters men’s championship in 2016 and drew 501 finishers and 371 ran in the 5K. Last year the 5K was the masters men’s championship and it drew 530 finishers. In the respective top ten were five masters men and five masters women.
That makes you understand why the prize money is going to be going eight places deep in the masters age grading and only three deep for the open runners. It looks like the target market for the 5K is the masters runners.
This year the race is not a championship for either gender, but instead is a part of the co-ed series for the USATF New Jersey teams. The concept is much like the corporate team structure, but these teams are composed of the top three scoring men and the top three scoring women. That’s six runners on the team, which is larger than corporate teams that usually score only the top three while including at least one person of the opposite gender. That’s usually two men and one woman, but not always and sometimes the fastest corporate runner is a woman.
The scoring is pretty straightforward for the open teams as they are scored by fastest combined times, but here’s where it gets interesting for the masters teams. The top three men and top three women are scored, but not by their time. They use their masters age grading score. The club with the highest combined Performance Level Percentage is the winner.
For example, at the Sunset Classic five mile race this past June that was a Coed event, the Fleet Feet Essex club placed first masters team with their 444.13%. The Clifton running club was second with 437.14% and the North Jersey Masters were third with 435.01%.
This concept requires a strong club effort to have at least six masters runners who age grade in the 70’s and 80’s PLP.
SEARCHING FOR THE LAST CHANCE RACES
Runners who lack races in their grand prix scores have only a few chances to fill in those zeros with numbers. Most everybody has managed to get to at least three 5K races, but for those who lack a Category Two there is not much to chose from. Of course, there is the Ashenfelter 8K that will take place on Thanksgiving morning. It is a 700 point race.
The only 500 point Category Two race that I see is the Westfield Five miler that is the following Saturday, November 24th. That’s pretty quick after running 8K two days previous but it looks like the only one left. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Category Three races are usually hard to find by the end of the year too. The Great Swamp Devil 15K on Sunday, November 18th is an old standby. It is flat and features double back turns so is fun to see who is racing ahead of you and who is chasing you. The race starts at eleven am, along with a 5K that starts at the same time.
Thanks to the Super Hero folks there is a new Category Three race on Sunday, December 2nd, starting from Giralda Farms. The Super Santa Ten miler will be a scenic course passing pastoral scenes as well as running through part of the Loantaka preserve.
GRONER WAS GREAT
Roberta Groner, who was featured here last Sunday, finished the New York City Marathon in 2:31:00, in twelfth place and first masters woman. Awesome running Roberta!
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 email@example.com