Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2010 USATF-NE Road Grand Prix Voting - My Thoughts



The voting has opened for the USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix for 2010.  If you are a USATF-NE member, you can vote here: http://www.usatfne.org/road/gpballot2010.html.  I won't get too much into the change in the process for this year, but essentially you are voting on pre-determined groups of races called 'slates'.  I have gone over the schedules and found that there are some obvious conflicts between the races presented in these slates, and other races I have already planned on doing.  There is only 1 slate (Slate D) that has no conflicts of any kind, and I actually like the races in that slate anyways, so I have voted for D.  I listed the races below, with an added column entitled 'Conflicts' which show what other races conflict with the Grand Prix race.  If you are a snowshoer or mountain runner that is interested in running the USATF-NE Mountain series for 2010, you will be interested in this.  If you don't plan on running the mountain series, this really won't apply.   The Marathon Distances are both free and clear of any other race I planned on running.  I voted for Cape Cod simply because I've already run Baystate twice.  I love running in Lowell, but have done it two years in a row and would just like to run a different one.

Non Marathon Distances:


Slate A




Race
Dist
Location
Date
Conflicts





Jones Group Realtors
10M
Amherst MA
February 28 (Sun)
None (Moody Springs on Sat)
New Bedford Half
1/2 Mar
New Bedford MA
March 21 (Sun)
None (Catamount Sunset on Sat)
Bedford Rotary
12K
Bedford NH
May 22 (Sat)
Northfield Mountain
Rhody
5K
Lincoln RI
June 6 (Sun)
Pack Monadnock
Stowe
8M
Stowe MA
July 18 (Sun)
None
Lone Gull
10K
Gloucester MA
September 19 (Sun)
None





Slate B




Race
Dist
Location
Date
Conflicts





New Bedford Half
1/2 Mar
New Bedford MA
March 21 (Sun)
None (Catamount Sunset on Sat)
Medical Center
6K
Nashua NH
May 9 (Sat)
None
Bedford Rotary
12K
Bedford NH
May 22 (Sat)
Northfield Mountain
Rhody
5K
Lincoln RI
June 6 (Sun)
Pack Monadnock
Yankee Homecoming
10M
Newburyport MA
August 3 (Tue)
None
Lone Gull
10K
Gloucester MA
September 19 (Sun)
None





Slate C




Race
Dist
Location
Date
Conflicts





Jones Group Realtors
10M
Amherst MA
February 28 (Sun)
None (Moody Springs on Sat)
New Bedford Half
1/2 Mar
New Bedford MA
March 21 (Sun)
None (Catamount Sunset on Sat)
Bedford Rotary
12K
Bedford NH
May 22 (Sat)
Northfield Mountain
Rhody (Men Only)
5K
Lincoln RI
June 6 (Sun)
Pack Monadnock
Stowe
8M
Stowe MA
July 18 (Sun)
None
Bridge of Flowers
10K
Shelburne Falls MA
August 14 (Sat)
None
Providence Ronald McDonald House Women's Classic(Women Only)
5K
Providence RI
October 3 (Sun)
None





Slate D




Race
Dist
Location
Date
Conflicts





New Bedford Half
1/2 Mar
New Bedford MA
March 21 (Sun)
None (Catamount Sunset on Sat)
Westford (Men Only)
5K
Westford MA
May 2 (Sun)
None
Medical Center
6K
Nashua NH
May 9 (Sat)
None
Stowe
8M
Stowe MA
July 18 (Sun)
None
Yankee Homecoming
10M
Newburyport MA
August 3 (Tue)
None
Lone Gull
10K
Gloucester MA
September 19 (Sun)
None
Providence Ronald McDonald House Women's Classic(Women Only)
5K
Providence RI
October 3 (Sun)
None


Marathon Distances:

Race
Dist
Location
Date
Conflicts






Cape Cod Marathon
Marathon
Falmouth MA
October 31 (Sun)
None
Baystate Marathon
Marathon
Lowell MA
October 17 (Sun)
None


Now, my quick thoughts on the races I picked...

New Bedford Half Marathon - Have run this once and watched it once (was injured in 2009).  I ran pretty slow here over what can be a pretty fast course (DD and DV both ran 1:05 on this course back in the day).  My go at it was in 2008.  I'd like to go back in 2010, older but wiser, and run much faster.

Westford 5k - It's a lot closer than going down to Rhody (at least for me).  I've never run this race, so it would be different.  I've run Rhody twice (2008, 2009).  Nothing can possibly beat the post race spread (foodwise) at Rhody, but Westford doesn't conflict with Pack Monadnock 10 Miler, so I'm going with it.  This is also going to be the GP for men only.

Medical Center 6k - I don't mind this race.  It's in Nashua, which is pretty close, and I actually have a NH State Record on this course (my only one).   Because this is the ONLY 6k in NH, I have the fastest 6k time by a NH Resident at the age of 31.  Also, I am third on the list for NH Men's Open All Time.  Funny thing is, that ALL the NH records were/are set at this race for a 6k, most were from 2008 when this was finally a Grand Prix race (which attracted a bunch of good runners obviously).  I also ran pretty darn slow, as it's not particularly a fast course and I didn't have a great day there...but a better day than any other NH 31 year old :).  If this gets picked for 2010, and you live in NH, and you will be 31 on race day, and you think you can run faster than 19:06, show up here and go for the NH state age record....it's pretty soft ;).

Stowe 8 Miler - I've wanted to run this race for years now.  It's up in Stowe, VT, which is beautiful.  It's a nice road trip for most USATF-NE folk, but I think well worth the effort it takes to get up there and probably stay overnight.  It used to be in the GP and has had some epic battles.  It's a hilly course and usually pretty hot, as it is in mid-July.... This is probably the one I'm looking forward to the most.

Yankee Homecoming 10 Miler - I love this race.  I actually like the fact that it's on a Tuesday, which is a deal breaker for some...but I don't mind it.  The whole town comes out for this one.  Even in the off years that this isn't a GP, it is still loaded.  Just a cool atmosphere, nice course, usually brutally hot...it has all the makings of a great summer road race.  I've run this in 2008 (when it was the GP) and in 2009, where I won my age group and finished 12th overall in a pretty good field.

Lone Gull 10k - I ran this race this past year when it was the GP.  I had my 3rd worst race of the year behind Boston and Bedford.  The course is beautiful and honest, but I just had an off day.  I want to go back and try to redeem myself and would look forward to this being the 10k championship again.

Cape Cod Marathon - I've run 4 marathons now, and 2 of them have been the same (Baystate x2).  I'd just like to try something different, although I've loved running in Lowell.  Either way, I'll be ok with the Marathon picked, but would like to give the Cape a run.  It has historically been the GP Marathon a bunch of times.  Lowell has had the last 2 years.


Voting is for one week, Wednesday 11 November morning through Wednesday 18 November at 11:59 pm (Wednesday night). Results will be posted once they are validated.

Fingers crossed for Slate D + Cape Cod.

12 comments:

  1. I'm only one vote but I agree with both your choices. I really don't want to go to Lincoln Rhode Island for a 5K again next year and, although it's a more difficult course, I'd much rather do the Cape Code Marathon again than Baystate.

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  2. Good stuff JJ. I voted for Baystate, the 6 day turn-around from Cape Cod to the US trail marathon championship would be very difficult (unless your name is Max King).

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  3. JJ, While I'm just a poking along back-o-da-pack runner, I like Slate D because of the no conflict. Would also be cool to have a gender specific races in the mix... Thanks for spelling out all of the slots with their conflicts (OR NOT...D!). It will make voting easier. THanks! I would hate to miss any of the mountain series!

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  4. I vote for Slate E:

    10 Miler: Pack Monadnock
    5 Miler: Loon Mountain Race
    5k: Hoot Toot & Whistle Snowshoe Race
    10k:Cranmore Hill Climb
    1/2 Marathon: 7Sisters
    Marathon: Stone Cat
    Wildcard: Northfield Mt. (as long as it doesn't rain. We might get wet.)

    Anything without Ollie or Rhody would be an improvement.

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  5. Emily, D is the ticket... anything else and I will have to miss the GP races...oh well :(

    Kevin, hilarious... I really think they should throw a really scary looking Slate together just for kicks. I wonder what the scariest slate would be (New England Races only)...

    ok, discuss......

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  6. So far everyone that I know has voted for "D". Including me. I voted for BayState though. Good Post Man!

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  7. Hey Jim,

    Nice breakdown. The only negative thing I can point out about Slate D is the two early May races back to back. Those who are running the Boston Marathon are not voting for this slate (D) because of the quick turn around. Everyone I know has voted for Slate A.....except you CMS guys!

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  8. Slate A is the devil and anyone voting for Slate A is going straight to heck. ;).

    Boston Marathon? What is the Boston Marathon?

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  9. I'm a fool... I should have known you had this up already!

    My two (or three, or four... or more) cents... Since I went to the meeting... and am supposed to be an athlete rep here!

    A and C are similar... but have that winter 10 miler.... which makes the season REALLY long... and is not ideal for the indoor peeps... who have the championship the week before. Training for any short track race and a 10 miler at the same time is hard.

    The USATF rules say there is supposed to be a FIVE MILER as part of the series... thankfully- no Ollie, HOWEVER, A and C should really have at least one distance at a 5 mile or shorter, because it is a rule to have a five miler for a better variety of distances A and C favor the marathoners way too much... and as a non-marathoner... I'm sticking to my claim that this is too far from the original USATF grand prix rules.

    Slates B and D are very similar. Here are the major differences:
    The 5ks: Rhody vs Westford and Providence RM house.

    The providence race has SIGNIFICANTLY bigger packages for team prize money (Tom D's eyes literally had dollar signs in them...) Also the entry fees are cheaper.

    Doesn't help the men much, but Rhody is a terribly boring course, and Westford is a nice town race... with rolling hills and shade.

    12k vs 8miler.
    Stowes presentation was much better... They have a beautiful arrangement with an inn for the start. The entry fee is cheaper, and it's only slightly longer than the 12k, but is a decent distance away from Boston or whatever marathon is chosen...

    My ten cents. (SLATE D, SLATE D, SLATE D)

    -Your (bias) athlete rep :)

    PS: JJ you should join me on the board next year!

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  10. PPS:
    Marathon:
    For those of you who didn't like the baystate half/Marathon going at the same time because of finish with slow half runners (possibly Jfyffe??) There was some discussion about POSSIBLY changing the finish for the half marathon... Just an FYI

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  11. Cait, thanks so much for all the info. That is great to hear about Baystate and them possibly talking about re-routing the 'JV' race to a different finishing area ;).

    I noticed the lack of an 8k/5m right away and talked w/ dd about it yesterday. We were thinking that just maybe nobody actually bid on the distance, which accounts for the lack of a race in that slot. I've been going to the selection meeting the last couple years, but didn't think it would do any good if I went this year, seeing they changed the process.

    All of your points are very good and valid. It's good to have those additional points made. My post was pretty much directly dealing with my personal deciding factors, which were mainly focused around the conflicts with the mountain series (my top priority) and some back-to-back with snowshoe races. I never really think of prize money or entry fees ever. And I never mind travelling to races (God knows I travel all over for many of the races I run) but Rhody is definitely a long way to drive to run around a parking lot. Stowe is worth every mile in the drive to get up there...

    Thanks for the insight and updates!

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  12. And the winner is ...

    ... none of the above.

    They (we?!) voted for Slate "C". WTF.

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