If you’ve read any of my other posts, or my Past Races page, you will know that this year has seen my race calendar explode (from a couple of 5k races in my two prior years of running, to all sorts of distances this year).
This is also my first year as a USATF and Running Club member, and what I had no idea about early in the year was the USATF NJ NBGP Series. I only really found out about it when someone pointed out at the end of May that I was second in the Men 35 – 39 Age Group. Now, I knew from looking down the results that it was mainly because I had completed more races than some clearly faster guys, but who knew – maybe those guys wouldn’t complete them all. Points are gained from running 3 races in each category. Most races would give a maximum of 500 points to the winner, but championship races give 700 points, and you’re allowed two of those races in each category to count towards your score.
- THREE RACE DISTANCE CATEGORIES
- CATEGORY I 3K TO 4 MILES
- CATEGORY II OVER 4 MILES LESS THAN 15K
- CATEGORY III 15K AND ABOVE
Somehow I crawled into first place in early September by virtue of actually completing enough races in all categories when nobody else in my age category had. Still only a matter of time until I slipped down.
By October I had managed to gain more points simply by running the Newport Liberty Half and others started to fill in their races, but I was hanging in there and maybe, just maybe, with some luck, I could finish in the top 3 in the age group.
I planned ahead and looked at what races were coming up that could give me a few more points, and the only one is coming up on Thanksgiving – the Ashenfelter 8k (all other races were unlikely to give me extra points).
The latest standings however show that 3rd place is now out of my reach, and I’m likely to lose 4th too. I knew it would happen, and I can’t really be disappointed given that I’m still proud of what I’ve done this year.
Right now I’m not sure what next year will bring in this competition (I’ll be in the next age group as I will turn 40 during 2013, but then so will 2 out of the 3 currently ahead of me this year). My focus is going to be very different (see http://runninginnj.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/the-day-i-became-a-runner/), so even though I may do the races, I don’t think I’ll be so obsessed with checking the status of the NBGP.