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Episode 15: The Club Series

January 21, 2011

Listen to Episode 15

Joe, Karla, Steve and Julie talked about the pros and cons of NYRR’s changes to the Club Points Races calendar for 2011. All of us implored NYRR to carefully consider how they manage the Fifth Avenue Mile especially. And Steve pre-announced an upcoming announcement about a new series of races for area clubs to look forward to competing in.

NYRR has released the schedule for the 2011 Club Series. Nine races. Seven scored. One mile. To 26.21875. Here they are:

  • Coogans 5k March 6
  • Scotland Run 10k April 10
  • Brooklyn Half May 21
  • Father’s Day 5m June 19 (Men)/ Mini 10k June 11 (Women)
  • Central Park 4m July 16
  • Team Champs 5m Aug 6
  • Percy Sutton 5k Aug 20
  • 5th Ave. Mile Sept 24
  • Grete’s Half Oct 2
  • NYCM Nov 6
  • JoeK 10k Dec 4

[Correction: On the show and here, the Father’s Day 5-miler was listed as a 10K. Our source set us straight. It remains a 5-miler.]

[Correction II: Um, there are 11 races, nine of them scored.]

Sadly, we were Moment of Zen-less this week. But we did want everyone to remember that the Millrose Games is coming to Madison Square Garden on Friday.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. Amy permalink
    January 23, 2011 6:57 pm

    So, I haven’t listened yet so forgive me if you answer this on the show, but are non-NYRR recognized teams encouraged to participate in the races Steve mentions?

    • January 23, 2011 8:38 pm

      I won’t speak for Steve, but I’m guessing the answer to that is “yes.” It’s not an NYRR-series, so game on for all teams, I’d think.

      But the bigger question is: what’s the status of Inwood Hill getting recognized by NYRR?

      • January 30, 2011 8:05 pm

        Sorry Amy, I didn’t read this until Joe mentioned it just now, but yes. I’m not a gatekeeper. I think I may make it so that someone has to register the club as a club on NYCRUNS.COM but that’s not a big deal.

  2. January 24, 2011 6:19 am

    Great show! I agree that an x-c race should be added to the NYRR club series. Regarding the 5th Ave Mile, perhaps some of the added competitive club members will be filtered into the men’s and women’s NYRR Road Mile Championship, which are the races before the pros run and after the last age-group race. Last year those races were pretty small (10 men, 6 women) and there was plenty of space on the starting line. For most of the age group races you do need to stand in the pen for about 12 minutes if you want to start in the front row. It’ll be interesting to see how NYRR handles it.

  3. Joe permalink
    January 26, 2011 11:47 am

    Hey guys, great show and interesting discussion on the Fifth Ave Mile. I think a few points were missed in the discussion. First of all, I think the “controversy” over that race being a team points race has as much to do with the fact that it’s one week before another team points race, which is a half marathon. Team racers are going to feel pressure to run hard at both, and will increase their risk of injury. This is why the back-to-back team races is so foolish. It’s not because the Fifth Ave Mile is a bad race. Quite the opposite, it’s an awesome race! But running a full-out mile race, then racing a half marathon the next weekend is really, really not smart on the part of NYRR. They should know better than that.

    As for the logistics of the Fifth Ave Mile, I think the majority of the panel got it right here. You can’t speed it up simply because the logistics are out-and-back, not a track. Joe, I think you’re not really thinking this through. When it’s the Penn Relays, managing a track is easier. When you have a straight mile with timing trucks, NYPD support and bag check buses, you need that 15 minute interval to turn it all around every time.

    • January 26, 2011 1:22 pm

      Good point about the Fifth Avenue Mile and Grete, particularly for those training for the Marathon. I’m guessing that the ability to drop two races (instead of one) is in part because of this issue.

      I may be mistaken about comparing the Fifth Avenue Mile to the Penn Relays. Penn strikes me as significantly more difficult. You have, at a minimum, 12 teams, so 48 high schoolers. You have about 1 minute to get them organized, including getting the 12 lead legs onto the track at the starting line in order from A to L, and to get the starter set and the timer set. And remember, you don’t have an 8-lane track at Franklin Field.

      Of course the kids don’t dick around. They follow instructions because those giving the instructions are clear and decisive. “You will do this” kind of talk.

      I can understand the concern that with a 5-minute gap between heats people will start running of the backs of the 10-minute milers in the prior heat. Fine. Separate the heats by 7 or 8 minutes. Maybe a bit longer for the older AGs. As to timing, just leave the timing pads on, assuming everyone gets D-Tag time anyway.

      So NYRR has 5 minutes to get the corral set-up. This isn’t rocket science. NYRR can use the same get-it-done mentality that I assume it does for races at the Armory.

      NYPD support? Just keep the street closed. Baggage? Have baggage check at 72nd or 79th Street and let people jog back up.

      Still, we’ve months to go before the race. We’ll see what happens.

  4. Amy permalink
    January 26, 2011 7:50 pm

    Steve: your beef with the Coogan’s 5K?
    Joe: if you want to be in the front of your corral for the 5th Ave mile, get there early like everyone else. There are fast folks who don’t run for clubs too,and everyone paid the same entry fee, so everyone should have a fair shot.

    General question: does anyone know the percentage of members of NYRR that run for recognized clubs? It seems to me that NYRR caters to the non-club runner, perhaps because they outnumber the club runners, but I’m not sure. By cater I mean that they don’t go out of their way to accommodate club runners specific wants/needs, ie they don’t give a fuck whether or not club people have to leave their houses at 6am to get to the Brooklyn half. Newsflash: so do all of the rest of us. It wouldn’t be in their best interest to make their decisions based on the clubbers because it would piss the masses off (myself included) if we felt they were playing favorites in any way.
    That’s all I’ve got. I enjoyed the show again this week.

    • January 30, 2011 8:06 pm

      Amy – It’s really crowded, that’s it. I’d love the course with 1/3 the runners. You know?

  5. January 28, 2011 10:58 am

    I was at the NYRR Club Meeting and can answer some queries.
    XC race. It’s still on the cards but not until the Van Cortlandt Park loses its fences.
    All the points races were selected by the clubs not NYRR.
    The marathon stayed in by a narrow vote of 14-13. The big problem for teams is having people know (or even be in the club) before May so they can get into the lottery. Older age groups have trouble finiding enough able runners who can perform well to make a sensible team. Cost obligation for runners to run for their team in the marathon. For most, not being able to run multiple marathons but being needed to run the NYC Marathon means being unable to run anything else year after year. The closeness of the vote plus these points is why an extra race was added with the option to drop 2 races. The 18 mile tune-up was suggested as a compromise in lieu of the marathon and would have suited people training for otehr marathons but clubs went with teh 5th Ave Mile the day before and threw out the idea.
    The 5th Ave Mile was selected early on but the fact that Grete’s was the week after didn’t seem to matter to clubs – Staten was suggested instead and would have made more sense but people just seem to like Grete’s.
    Brooklyn is a great addition. Getting there is always a pain. The answer, park no-where near since you need public transport to get back anyway. Park further away and use the subway to get the rest of the way perhaps, or park by the finish. I park a mile away and use that as my warm up.
    Did I miss anything?
    Any advice on the Empire State Building Run-Up please?

  6. Heather permalink
    February 9, 2011 12:12 pm

    I have a suggestion on how to deal with the 5th Ave. Mile so as to keep it fair for those who are racing to win and those who are racing themselves (hope the latter part doesn’t come across as offensive). My idea combines a few I think you guys touched on in the show and seems feasible to me to carry out. I guess this mostly affects the age group races, but maybe the non-pro open category as well.
    For every entrant, you either submit a proven mile time from a previous 1 mile race or NYRR uses your bib time (from whatever distance that pace was achieved at) which gets plugged into one of those pace calculators to estimate your mile time. For each age group there will be an A standard and a B standard based on previous years 5th Ave mile pace times and there will be one corral for each standard. For example, NYRR should look at the time of the 15th to 20th person in each age group from the last few 5th Ave miles and use that pace to set the A standard. If you can’t race that pace based on a previous mile (in recent racing history) or your bib time calculated to a mile does not meet that pace, you will be in Group B. This allows the 20 or so people who are vying for prize finishes a fair race. Group A starts at the gun, then group B is allowed to move up to the start line and a minute later have their start gun. Since the clock has been running since group A started, group B’s time will be accurate since their clocks won’t start till they cross the start line. This doesn’t extend the day much longer, won’t add undue stress jockeying for start position for those racing to win and ensures that everyone has a chance to race their best. I’m not sure how much extra work it involves for NYRR with the pace math required for all racers; but that’s what interns and volunteers could be used for!


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