The USATF-NJ Team Grand Prix comprises 14 races of various distances held from March to November yearly. Each gender (female, male) and age (Open (under 40), 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s) team has nine races designated by the USATF-NJ Long Distance Committee as team championships. RVRR competes against other running clubs from across the state in all 14 Grand Prix events. Some races are championships for all divisions, meaning all teams, while others are for teams of a specific gender or age. See the table at left. Even if the championship is not for your age or gender, you can run or spectate, which is fun as you get to see other RVRRers out running. However, team Grand Prix points are earned only in the nine races specific for each age/gender team. For example, only the Masters Men teams can score points at the Ridgewood 10k. This is confusing enough, but there is also an Individual Grand Prix competition. In 2014, RVRR’s Mike Dixon placed 2nd in this competition, but let’s ignore the individual aspect for now.
Any RVRR member can run for one of the teams, no need to be a certain pace or come to a certain number of group runs. The more the merrier! However, you need to be 1.) an RVRR member; 2.) a USATF member; and 3.) get your USATF membership verified (by sending in a scanned copy of your license to email@example.com) to run for the teams. After you have that done, you just sign up for any of the races at left (as you normally would), let your team captain know you will be there, show up, run, and have fun!
Truly, the more people we get to each race, regardless of any individual person’s speed, the better our teams do. Numbers matter because in most races the number of teams competing is lower than the number of scoring places. Teams generally require five runners and if we have 10 or more runners we can enter two teams and each will likely earn some points. So we encourage you to come out and try running for the teams. Whether it’s your first race or your 1000th, we’d love to have you join us. You may surprise yourself and set a new time or distance PR! Commonly, we also carpool to and from races from the Reformed Church in Highland Park parking lot, and sometimes meet for some food or drinks after, so check the Facebook page for specific details before each race. Although it’s not required, many team members wear RVRR gear, such as singlets, when they run for the teams. You can stop into Runner’s High in Metuchen to pick up a singlet anytime! There’s also some other club apparel that can be found here.
Hope to see you at a run and then a race soon! As always, please feel free to e-mail the board at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
USATF-NJ Club #0202 / RRCA Club #664