John MacGillivray, RRCA State Rep
1998 RRCA-NJ Running Summit
Don Kardong, our national president and a fourth place finisher in the 1976 Olympic Marathon, will be the keynote speaker at our third annual RRCA-NJ Running Summit on Saturday, April 25th in Long Branch. The Summit will be held in conjunction with the Jersey Shore McMarathon. We will grapple with the pertinent conceptual issues which we face in running. Included in our agenda this year will be two major issues which will affect the future success of the activity of running in America. The first is honestly defining what running is competitive sport or a fitness and recreational activity? If we look at any successful major running event NYC Marathon, Spring Lake Five, Bay To Breakers and most local running events and clubs, it seems like the answer is easy: it is a fitness and recreational activity. Yet, too many of us who administer the races, clubs and the governing bodies are still stuck in the mindset of the early 1980s when we thought we had the next PGA or NBA in our hands. The second issue has to do with clubs stepping to the front and truly providing direction. Running is primarily a locally driven activity. Too often, we allow outside influences to determine how our clubs and races are managed. Charities and other organizations are helpful to running. However, these groups should not be setting the tone of our activity. We should be listening to what the masses of the runners want and focus on that. On those rare occasions when we do that, we have immensely rewarding events. The 1998 Running Summit will be open to the entire running community. Your club president receive more details on this shortly.
RRCA Recognition for our Clubs and Members
We start 1998 with a lot of RRCA recognition. Rolf Arands has been selected as the outstanding small club newsletter editor in the Eastern Region by our Eastern director, Freddi Carlip. Rolf is one of the four regional winners now eligible for the national award. The amazing thing about Rolf is that he is not only a runner, he is also a triathlete. Then again, not just a triathlete, but a successful Ironman competitor, having completed three of these events and many other multisport events. With all of the training that he does, I am amazed that Rolf can also produce an award winning newsletter every month. Congratulations to Rolf and good luck in the national competition.
The 1998 10-Mile National Championship will be hosted by Freehold RC on Sunday, March 22, with their annual NestleŽ St. Paddys 10 Mile and 5K races at Liberty Oak Park in Freehold. This has been New Jerseys largest and most successful 10 mile race for many years. With the addition of the national championship, it can only get better. There will again be a great post-race party with plenty of food and beer and one of the best expos amongst New Jersey races.
On Sunday, April 26, the Jersey Shore McMarathon will be the host of the Eastern Region Championship. The flat and scenic course along the Jersey shore is great for first time or novice marathoners as well as those seeking PRs. Don Kardong will be the official starter of the race.
Freehold Area RC has been selected to host the AvonŽ-sponsored 1998 RRCA Womens 5K event in New Jersey on Friday, July 17. In addition to the ten U.S. sites on the AvonŽ Global Womens circuit, there will be 25 additional 5K race events hosted by RRCA clubs across the country. FARC has a great history of hosting first class womens races. I am elated to see AvonŽ renew its enthusiastic support of womens running and team up with one of our great New Jersey clubs.
Let me take this opportunity to thank the clubs for their hospitality to me during the holiday and banquet season. I enjoyed attending as many of the club functions as I could fit into my schedule. It is always great to socialize with members of the clubs, drink some beer, see some old friends, drink some beer, not have to discuss club business or manage a race and, yes, drink some beer. I especially thank the Ocean RC for introducing me to Grumpys Pub after their banquet. Someone described it as Ocean Countys best kept secret. We can only hope that it remains as such.
Jersey Shore Relay - April 18
There are a number of us who like the idea of team relays, whether they are competitive or social. Some of you may remember the Raritan Valley Road Runners 5-person Marathon Relay in Johnson Park, which last April evolved into a successful 4-person 20K relay in Skillman. Sadly, I learned that the RVRR Relay has been terminated by RVRR. I hold the belief that running is analogous to a law of physics, in that energy is neither created nor destroyed. Filling the void of the RVRR event will be the Jersey Shore Relay, a joint venture of the Ocean RC and the Jersey Shore RC, coordinated by Bob Both. This event is scheduled for April 18, 1998. This event will include both teams and individual participation. Teams will be made up of five individuals, each running approximately 5 miles along the Jersey Shore. The relay will conclude at the Asbury Park Elks Lodge, where there will be a huge party complete with entertainment, music, a free buffet, complimentary beverages, random prize drawings and many unique awards. All participants will also receive a unique, high quality, long sleeve shirt. For more information, contact Bob at 732-681-9464 or access their web page: http://members.xcom/relay98. I look forward to seeing many of you there.
As RRCA state representative, I serve to interact with our 15 New Jersey clubs and my fellow runners. I welcome any questions, comments or suggestions to help improve running for us. I can be reached in the usual ways.
U.S. Mail: 167 Main Street-Suite 1A
Metuchen, NJ 08840
March 1998 Newsletter Articles
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