Tuesday, November 11, 2008

2009 USATF-NE Road GP Quick Thoughts...

I moved my schedule for 2009 out of the official blogging space and to its own home.  Just a preliminary schedule with more to come...  Now its time to rant slightly about the 2009 USATF-NE Road GP Selections.  We have (as in my favorite movie) the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

First, here they are...

2009 USATF-NE Road Racing Grand Prix:

02-22 - DH Jones 10 Mile (10M) - Amherst, MA
03-15 - New Bedford Half Marathon (13.1M) - New Bedford, MA
05-16 - Bedford Rotary 12k (12k) - Bedford, NH
06-07 - Rhody 5k (5k) - Lincoln, RI 
09-12 - Ollie Road Race (5M)- South Boston, MA
09-20 - Lone Gull 10k (10K) - Gloucester, MA
10-18 - Baystate Marathon (26.2M) - Lowell, MA

Now let me quickly analyze (I'm sure dd will have a much more in depth description of the night including vote tallies, etc)....  He'll probably find something to rant about when it comes to my driving, what I ordered at the sub shop, what I was wearing, or something lame like that...It's best just to let him go with it...

The Good:  Having 3 different races from last year.  Even though DH Jones and Bedford have been GP's in the past, this is different from last year, so that's definitely good.  Lone Gull looks and sounds promising.  I do like the date because its one week after Ollie, which means that if you're in shape for Ollie, you can hold out one more week and run a good 10k too... I didn't mind Bedford, and they have a new and improved course since 2007.  Lastly, these don't step on the toes of anything else on my calendar...very pleased with that.  

The Bad:  There is more bad than anything...First, DH Jones is a tough course.  It's in February.  Yankee Homecoming (which I actually enjoyed) got 40 votes to 31 in the first round of voting for the 'middle distances' (again I'm sure dd will get into this)... Then, by the time the last round of voting happened between DH and Yankee, DH ended up coming out with 37 to 35.   I liked having the Tuesday night race in the summer...I may still go back and do that one... I'm kind of indifferent about Rhody...but I will say that it is a long drive to go and run around in a parking lot...  Baystate being picked over Manchester and Cape Cod is also a little disheartening for me... Even though its fast, I've already done it...I would have preferred one of the other ones to mix it up a bit....but I'll take it.

The Ugly:  Ollie.  Just not thrilled about it. I'm absolutely floored that for 2 years in a row now that I've been going to the selections meeting, NOT ONE OTHER RACE BID AGAINST IT.  I swear, if I started a race around my yard with NO frills, no t-shirts, no toilets, and no parking, and went up against Ollie, I'd win.  I just don't get it.  If you are a race director with an 8k or 5M distance race and you just happen to see this, PLEASE bid next year. Please.  New Bedford is also another 'urban' jaunt we will need to again partake in, and in cold weather to boot... A bad experience there last year leads me to just overall bad memories and thoughts about going back... It got a majority right away I think, so it's certainly popular enough... The race spokesperson did do a nice job presenting his case, I'll give them that.  Lastly, having 6 people in my car going down to the selections meeting, all slamming me continuously (they tend to do that when they are in a pack)... Dave Quintal and Al Bernier were holding back a bit and being nice, but Dave Dunham, Paul Kirsch, and Dan Verrington can be brutal when they're all together.  Let's see... I've driven to Ascutney, Bridge of Flowers, and the selections meeting now with a full load of lunatics...2009 anyone, anyone?

Races that bid, but didn't get in:

04-26 - James Joyce Ramble (10k) - Dedham, MA
05-03 - Westford 5k (5k) - Westford, MA
05-10 - Medical Center 6k (6k) - Nashua, NH
07-28 - Yankee Homecoming (10M) - Newburyport, MA
10-25 - Cape Cod Marathon (26.2M) - Falmouth, MA
11-01 - Manchester Marathon (26.2M) - Manchester, NH


  1. I agree with Rhody 5k, ugly course.

  2. We only give you a hard time because you are part of the group, and you can take it.

  3. or it was the Mike and Ike candy talking.

  4. How does the Rhody make it in every year? This baffles me. Its a big run around a PARKING LOT not to mention and a significant drive for most of the people who run it but every year they pick it

  5. Thing about Rhody is historically, RI teams do not run the GP series or this race. RI runners don't like to leave their state(i live in RI). I could rarely get my teammates to GP races 10-15 years ago and it is worse now. Of course, Dave Macgillivray puts on the race, so that explains why it gets chosen.

  6. It was between Rhody and Westford 5k (Westford, MA). I'm not sure about the actual vote tallies (dd may have the #s)...

    Scott, you hit it right on w/ DM.

  7. This schedule severely hinders anyone who wishes to run a decent track season. If USATF would like more participants in both the track events and the road events then PERHAPS they should make the seasons more compatible. Seriously, I can't train for the indoor 1 mile and the road 10 mile at the same time! I liked this years series. Most races took place in the summer so there was not a lot of conflict with other racing plans...

    This year I ran 5 of 7 races, and placed top 10 in all of them. I placed third overall. If it weren't for the prize money I'd boycott. Hell, I might still boycott.

    PS: Rhody is boring.

  8. I personally voted for Newburyport like 6 times (do to the way we had to vote in numerous elimination rounds)... I think they lost by one or two votes to that February 10 Miler... dd may be personally responsible for that. He also thinks track isn't real running. Thats what he told me the other day. I'd ask him about that ;)...

  9. The DH vs Newburyport vote changed because the Whirlaway people changed their voting after the first vote. Initially Newburyport was their choice, but after it was discovered that many members of the team would be out of town they shifted the voting block to he DH Jones race.

    And the Rhody is a team favorite because some of their friends and runners live South of Boston.

    Hope that helps.

  10. BTW, Nice site.

  11. I never said track isn't real running. Jim was only joking.

    I find it funny that so much weight is given to the Boston Marathon, but not much else (like track) makes the calendar.

    Tough choices for all of us to make. I really want that damn Iron-runner jacket, but I may have to skip going to the Mountain World champs to get it. I find it funny that a race gets the bid and we don't even know WHEN the race will be held. (Ollie).

    I'm preparing my next rant.....

  12. Dave not only slammed track AND track runners at the meeting (he was in rare form) but he started to slam runners from other clubs in general, race directors, water stop volunteers, the handicapped, and a whole slew of others. It was pretty shocking but I've learned to put up with his antics and off color humor...it's almost like common place now....

    Ollie is penned in as the 12th on the USATF site today..so that's gotta be a (double entendre alert) hard date. I am looking forward to it (sarcastic).

    Did we just get lucky w/ the Mountain stuff being on different dates and weekends? Do they ever consider those as well when accepting bids?

    One thing I found out after the meeting was that not only was Ollie the only 5m/8k that bid for the distance (again), but they had actually (double entendre alert) pulled out before the meeting. USATF-NE reps had to plead with Ollie to resubmit their bid. This is no joke. They actually decided they didn't want to bid right at the last minute... Again, note to any race director or anyone who knows any good 5 milers out there... I say we get Mayors Cup to bid next year :)...5M/8k apparently is the official category.

  13. Glad to see the Jones 10 on the list. Finally a race I can walk to. I am a bit suprised that folks will be willing to drive all the way out to the Hinterlands of West Massachusetts. Must be everyone has those navigation devices in their vehicles now. Anyway, too bad the GP voting doesn't take place online, it wouldn't increase the choices but it might even out the distribution of the votes.