On Sunday, Dec 30, 2018
By MADELINE BOST, 973-584-9302
NEW YEAR’S DAY RACES A TRADITION
The Central Jersey Road Runners Club may have started it, and others have followed. Run a race on New Year’s Day. Clear the blood and the head from the previous night’s partying, and maybe begin a New Year’s Resolution. Start a Running Streak. All things are possible on the first day of the new year.
On January 1, 2019 at noon, in Westfield, the 37th annual Hangover 5K will go off in Tamaques Park and an expected field of over 500 runners will log in their first race of the year. Post race refreshments are bagels and hot chocolate. Preregistration is a good idea for this race as a hooded sweatshirt is guaranteed for all pre-registered runners. Pre-registration is on-line only, but there is no fee for on-line registration.
The Hillsborough Resolution Run 5K also gives out hooded sweatshirts and in a sense, they are also guaranteed. That is because this race has no race day registration. This race also has a cap on the number of runners accepted and as of Friday, December 28th, registration has closed.
The 1st Day 5K in Fairlawn is the newest of the three New Year’s Day races on the USATF New Jersey calendar. The race will take race day registration. Both the Hillsborough and the Fairlawn races start at 11:00 a.m. All three of the races mentioned here are 500 point Grand Prix races.
Ah! Grand prix races. Did you renew your USATF membership this week? If you do one of those races and haven’t renewed, or signed up for the first time, you will have no score.
All of the three races are a good drive away, and there is a 5K closer to home, although not in the grand prix. The St. Mark’s New Year’s Day 5K in Long Valley will start at 11:30 am. Hot chocolate and bagels are also on the menu for this race. John Montgomery and John Montgomery went first and second last year, separated by thirty years. Yes, a father, son duo.
One more perk if you are a USATF member and are over age forty putting you in the masters category. If you are a frequent racer you can add up points to qualify for a Phidippides Award from the national long distance running committee. Points are assigned based on the distance of the race. For instance, one mile up to 4 kilometers earns one point, and 5 kilometers to five miles earns two points. At the farther end of the scale is 25 kilometers to marathon at five points and go over a marathon and you get 6 points.
Your age determines how many points are needed to win gold, silver or bronze. If you are forty to fifty-nine, you will need 30 points to earn the gold. Sixty to 79 and you need 24 points. If you are eighty or older all you need are 12 points for gold. The bad news is that cross country races do not count.
Those who qualify for five years earn a five-year crystal award. Local runners who earned the crystal award in 2017 were Lorraine McPhillips of Basking Ridge, and Diane Stone of Chatham.
It looks like 122 New Jersey runners were recognized in 2017 and that’s a total I don’t think is matched by any other association.
The deadline to apply for 2018 is January 31, 2019. The application is on the national website.
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