Archive for the ‘NYRR Club Info’ Category

To Join OR Not To Join…a Running Club in NYC?

August 16, 2010 Leave a comment

NYC.  A running city.  Every race is 5000+ people.  The marathon is one of the largest in the world, if not THE largest.  Joining a club is easy, fun, and you immediately have running partners…if you want them.

Every weekend I see hundreds of runners in Prospect Park and I would guess that about 10% belong to a running club.

The club Championships on Aug. 7 featured 800 men and 519 women.  That seems like a low number to me in a city of millions and with 5000+ at each race.

So what gives people?  Why are you not in clubs?

I think there is a false sense of what clubs do and who they are for.

MYTH:  Not fast enough or competitive enough for a club.

TRUTH:  There are MANY different clubs for different people and goals.  Some focus on being competitive, some are social, some are for women, some are for charities, and the list goes on.  There is one for you.

MYTH:  Can’t make that kind of commitment for all the training and races and event.

TRUTH:  Once you join a club, you can be as involved or uninvolved as you want.  Just do races.  OR, just do a long run on weekends, no races.  OR, just go to the social events with people who also run.  It’s up to you.

MYTH:  Costs too much.

TRUTH:  Membership fees range from FREE to $125 per year, but usually fall somewhere in the $25-$35 range, and there are often family options, if that applies to you.

MYTH:  Everyone is faster than me

TRUTH:  The fact of the matter is, various running clubs are made up of all types of runners.  And all of the runners I know would welcome any skill level to the team.

Did I miss anything?….Comment if you have a different reason.

I think joining a club is an excellent way to take your running to the next level, if you have that as a goal.  It gives you a reason to get out of the door, knowing there are people to run with at a specific meeting time.  And you get to meet like-minded people.  Who knows, you may just make a new friend.

Plus you usually get a cool shirt to run in and have people cheering for you when you run by in it 🙂  I guess you know where I stand on the issue.




My First New York Road Runner Club Council Meeting

January 28, 2010 2 comments

The meeting was held at the NYRR office at 9 East 89th Street at the NYRR headquarters.  I was asked to attend since our usual club representative would not be able to make it, and I happily agreed.  I want to take a larger role with our club Brooklyn Road Runners (BRRC) and attending this and subsequent meetings is a big step to do that.

My main goal was to go and observe and kind of get the gist of what it was all about and how it was run.  I did have one “issue” to bring up when the time presented itself.  There are over 100 running clubs in the NYC area and we all compete in predetermined races throughout the year for points.  These races determine the club winners.  Now, normally (in years past) the exact races that would be deemed “club points races” were discussed and determined at this meeting.  This year however, this was not the case.  A ballot was sent out to 150 club reps and they all voted on what races they wanted to have as points races.  This vote was tallied and an unofficial list was compiled and sent to the club reps, who then forwarded the info to the club members.

Here is the issue…one of the races listed was the Feb. 7th race, the Gridiron Classic 4 mile.  Now I and everyone else (I’m assuming) realized it was an unofficial list and may change.  The problem was NYRR races have caps or limits on entries due to the capacity of Central Park, so a decision had to be made.  Enter the Feb 7th race before it becomes official or wait and risk the race filling up and missing the opportunity to compete in a points race.  Well, the BRRC members signed up only to discover Jan. 24th that the Gridiron race had in fact been removed from the list and replaced with another race in September.

I planned to bring this bait and switch up at the meeting 🙂

The meeting room was packed, luckily I arrived early and got a seat.  There were about 30 seats and 50 people in all.  The meeting was run by Mary Wittenberg, CEO of NYRR and a couple of her assistants.  We were all given a printed agenda and then the floor was opened to anyone who wanted to add agenda items.  We went around the room and introduced ourselves, telling our name, club, aprox. club membership, and our position.  I estimated the last two 🙂

There was a heated remark given by Stacy the rep from Central Park Track Club regarding the Club Points Schedule being decided without our input AND she mentioned that 40 of her club members had signed up for Gridiron thinking it would be a club race.  Discussion of the Club Points Schedule would dominate the night.

Here are my notes…

-Club Night will be held Thursday March 4th 6pm-11pm at Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square.  Tickets are $50 and include soda/juice, appetizers, and 2 cocktails, beer, or wine.  Award winners will get photo on stage and their award, of course.

-Haitian Relief Road Runners Race/Walk will be held on Saturday, Feb 20th.  It will be a 4 miler and proceeds with go to Red Cross, Partners in Health, and Doctors without Borders.

-The NYC 1/2 Marathon will be held on March 21st and volunteers are still needed.  The reason for the moving of the date to the Spring was to establish and International Premium race to “bookend” the NYC marathon in the Fall.

-Rules of the Road, reminding runners to be aware in the parks (Central and Prospect) since there are often many others to share the park with.  Cyclists, cars, and of course other runners.  Try not to run more than 2 or 3 abreast and be aware of people going in the opposite direction.

Then we got to the main event…Club Points Schedule

One main concern was the lack of variety of distances.  In example, there is one stretch where the women compete in 3 straight 10ks.  There was also a lack of a 1 mile race, no 15k, only 1 half marathon.  Also, one race was on Sept. 11th and one race on Easter, the concern here was some people observe these day(s) in a special way and racing in the morning is not possible.

I suggested adding the Gridiron back to the list, but since it was yet another 4 miler, it got voted down.  We, and when I say we, I’m refering to myself, Central Park TC, and 2 other club wanted the Gridiron since our clubs signed up for the race…but no luck.  I can say we fought the good fight.

After much discussion the outcome (after a vote) was no change.  Keep the schedule as is, so the Club Races for 2010 will be as follows

Coogans 5k, March 7th

Scotland Run 10K, Apr 3rd

Healthy Kidney 10K, May 15th

NYRR  Mini 10K, June 12 (Women Only)

NYRR Father’s Day, 5M, June 20 (Men Only)

CPC Run for Central Park, 4M, July 17th

NYRR Club Championships 5M, Aug 7th

Mind, Body, Spirit Games 4M, Sept 11th (Separate Starts)

Grete’s Great Gallop, 13.1M, Oct 2nd

NYC Marathon, 26.2M, Nov 7th

Kleinerman 10K, Dec 5th

(Although there were no changes, it was decided that the Club council meeting in September will discuss the 2011 list of races and discuss the types of distances that will be included.)

Of these races, each club will be able to drop their worst team race, 9 of the 10 will be scored.

Also, to complete in the Club Championships, runners must run in at least 1 club race before July 17th.

A couple other notes…clubs can volunteers as a club 2 times per year to earn 2 entries into the marathon.

Mary also spoke of caps on races, saying that most races are capped at 5000, meaning 6500-7000 entries are accepted.  She is working on increasing caps on some races this year.  It was also mentioned that a cap amount list may also be published.

They are looking at altering the course of the NY Half so they can increase the field to over 10,ooo.  It is currently capped at 10,000 due to the fact that a full loop of the park is made before exiting and a larger field would interfer with the leaders exiting the park.

And last but not least, race fees will be going up.  They are currently $17 for members early entry and will go up to 18 or 19.  While 1/2 marathons will increase to 22-24 per race.  The NY Marathon entry fee for member will go up yet again by $10 😦

All in all, a good experience.  I am eager to discuss the future of Brooklyn Road Runners with the current officers of the club.

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