• 2016 Grand Prix Overview

    The USA Track & Field (USATF) is the national organization that sanctions and supports Track & Field, Cross Country, and Long Distance Running (LDR) in the US. The USATF-NJ is the New Jersey branch of the USATF. Every year it sanctions over 200 LDR races in New Jersey. Although it is best known for hosting national road races and Track & Field meets, providing its member athletes with group accident insurance coverage, discounts for races, and shopping discounts at many sport retail stores, it also conducts the State Grand Prix (GP) competitions. It uses the 200 plus long distance road races in the State to determine the best runners in NJ.

    The four Individual Grand Prix Championships: Overall, Mini-1, Mini-2, and Mini-3 are grouped in five-year age-groups. The three top competitors in each age-group are recognized at a year-end banquet. It is important to note that this competition is open to any athlete as long as they are a USATF member in good standing.

    HOW IT WORKS

    The Grand Prix process can be confusing so we put together this condensed explanation of how the competition works and the steps you need to take to participate.

      1. Sign up for Membership to the USATF. Be sure to name the North Jersey Masters as your club and enter the Club #0102 for the NJM.
      2. The USATF-NJ requires address verification. Check the "List of Verified LDR athletes" on the USATF-NJ/LDR page to see if you are on the list.
      3. Run and Finish the required number of USATF-NJ sanctioned Grand Prix races of either 500 or 700 points. This is a misnomer because the races are really designated as 100-500 points or 200-700 points. The winner of each gender gets the highest points and the last gender finisher gets the minimum points. The rest are calculated in relation to their finish position. For example, a female runner who finishes 85th out of 170 women would get 300 points in a 500 points race, or 450 in a 700 points road race. Notice that the number of points for a 700 point race ("Championship") is significantly higher than that for a 500 point race. Unfortunately, there are only 15 Championship races from the 200+ races in NJ.
      4. Periodically go to "The Grand Prix, Mini 1,2,3 Standings" to Track Your Standings throughout the year. The USATF-NJ calculates all scores for their sanctioned races and updates the standings. The USATF-NJ displays the standings on it's website under the link entitled "Individual Grand Prix Standings".

    After the last race of the year the final results are calculated and Grand Prix winners are invited to the Annual Awards Banquet in January, where plaques and, in some cases, cash awards are presented to the first three finishers in each category/age-group set.

    PLANNING YOUR GRAND PRIX

    After reading this overview, go to the USATF-NJ Long Ditance Racing (LDR) page; www.usatfnj.org/ldr/index.html. Then read the three writeups: 1) "Grand Prix Overview & Prize Money", 2) "Individual Grand Prix Rules & Regulations", and 3)"2016 LDR Championship Event List". Finally, decide which competition you would like to pursue this year: the "Overall", the "Mini-1", the "Mini-2", or the "Mini-3". Use the chart below to determine the best competition for you.

    2016 USATF-NJ GRAND PRIX COMPETITIONS

    COMPETITION

    DISTANCE

    TOTAL RACES

    MAXIMUM CHAMPIONSHIPS - 700 POINTS

    OTHER USATF RACES - 500 POINTS

    OVERALL

    5K

    3

    2

    1 to 3

    Overall

    8K,5M,10K

    3

    2

    1 to 3

    Overall

    =>12K

    3

    2

    1 to 3

    Mini-1

    5K

    9

    3

    1 to 9

    Mini-2

    8K,5M,10K

    7

    3

    1 to 7

    Mini-3

    =>12K

    5

    3

    1 to 5

    Review the USATF-NJ Championship Races and find the Championships that are run at the race distances for the competition of your choice. Select and schedule the maximum number of Championships from those that fit your competition. Go to any or all of the various web race calendars: NJM Race Calendar, USATF-NJ Road Race Calendar, CompuScore, Best Racing, and select the number of 500 point races required for your GP competition.

    Remember that each Grand Prix is a series of races; speed, perseverance, durability, and planning are equally important. If you have never participated in these events, it is best to start with the Mini-2. The best runners in the state pursue the Overall, the fastest runners pursue the Mini-1, and the rest of us try the Mini-2. Few runners can do all four. As a result the Mini-2 is the one most likely to be shunned by the elite. If successful at the Mini-2 your first year, you can try one of the other three the following year.

    GRAND PRIX TEAM COMPETITION

    Additionally, the USATF-NJ offers its member running clubs, a Team competition similar to the Individual competitions. In 2015, twenty NJ running Clubs competed for annual awards. The Championship Races are very important for the Individual competitions, but in Team racing they are the only races that count. However, if you are a member of the USATF-NJ, your address has been verified, and you sign up for a Championship Race as an individual, you can also sign up to run with the North Jersey Masters (NJM) team. Simply e-mail the NJM Team Captain (Debbie Brathwaite - Women, and Bill Zink - Men) to let them know that you are pre-registered. They will add you to the team and you will be running for the Club and yourself.

    The column entitled "Championship" on the USATF-NJ Championship Races indicates the age group the race targets. "Open" is for runners under 40, "Masters" is for those over 40 (in 10 year age groups), and "All Divisions" means both "Open" and "Masters". Older runners are allowed to run in younger categories, but younger runners are not allowed in older groups competitions. The standings can be tracked on the same website LDR page as the Individual competitions.

    North Jersey Masters Track and Field Club Mission Statement

    North Jersey Masters is a running club that provides a healthy running environment for runners of all ages and abilities. Through coached workouts and weekend runs, members attain their goals and enjoy a lifelong pursuit of the sport within a supportive and friendly club environment.

    North Jersey Masters Track and Field Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation registered in the state of New Jersey, founded by Fred and Toshi D'Elia in 1976.

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