Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Who Are the Early Leaders in the Masters LDR Club Grand Prix Competitions?

March 25 2015. This posting will focus on the Club Grand Prix. The Individual Grand Prix standings will be covered in the next posting. The official standings on the USATF website are here:
http://www.usatf.org/usatf/files/69/69f054f0-cd10-4cfd-a309-147bd518b593.pdf

The first two events in which runners and teams could score Grand Prix points were the USA Cross Country Championships in Boulder, Colorado and the 8K National Road Championships at Brea, California. Both races are in the books. As both were staged out west, the western teams are off to a strong start. With the next event being at Dedham, Massachusetts, things will even up a bit. But with two of the three cross country events out west, this will be the best opportunity in years for west coast runners and teams to earn awards. This year there will be a team competition in the half marathon but it does not count toward the Club GP Championship.

Scores from the best 5 team finishes are totaled for the Club Grand Prix standings; teams must compete in at least 3 events to qualify for an end-of-year award. The top ten teams win a certificate; the 2nd and 3rd place teams get a cash prize in addition; the winner gets a larger cash prize and a clubhouse banner. A west coast team can get 3 events by having competed in the Brea 8K and entering the Club XC in San Francisco, and then must have either traveled to Boulder for the USA XC championships or make the trip to Tulsa in October for the 15K. If they did all 4 then they would only need 1 transcontinental trip to get the maximum 5 events in. Many eastern teams are already planning on Club Cross in San Francisco. if they do that race then it should be easy enough to get 4 other races fit in among Dedham, Flint, Syracuse, Saratoga Springs and Alexandria.

In the end the teams with the best totals from their 5 best events will receive awards. The top ten teams (plus tying teams) qualify for awards.

Last Year's Top Three Teams and 2015 Team Standings as of March 25 :

WOMEN

Women 40+: Last year the Genesee Valley Harriers [NY] took the crown with the Athena Track Club [PA] in second. They were the only two teams with the requisite 3 events.

The Jane's Elite team [CA], which finished tied for fourth last year in terms of points scored, is off
The Jane's Women's Elite Racing Team at Brea CA on February 22nd 2015 [Facebook photo]

 to a fast start. Based in Southern California, they naturally competed in the Brea 8K but they also competed at Boulder. Last year they only competed at Brea and at Club Cross. They look certain to get in at least 3 events this year.The Colorado teams dominated the USA XC results but the Jane's were able to eke out a 4th place finish there for 70 points. Three weeks later, in Brea, they did even better, picking up 100 points for first place.  Seventy points back with 100 points is the Boulder Mountain Warriors team [CO]. Tied for third with 90 points each is the Colorado Racing Club which finished 2nd in Boulder and Team Run Coach [CA], which finished 2nd in the Brea 8K. Other teams in contention include:
5T. Runners Roost Colorado and A Snail's Pace Running Club [CA] 80
7.  Santa Barbara Running and Racing 70
8T. Athletics Boulder and Mountain West Track Club [MT] 60
10T. Cal Coast Track Club  and  Revolution Running [CO] 55

Women's 50+: Last year the Athena Track Club [PA] dominated this age group with 5 wins in five events. Finishing a strong 2nd was the Genesee Valley Harriers [NY], with 28 points over 4 events. No other teams in this division competed in more than 2 events.

None of the teams in this group competed in both of the first two events this year, so there are many ties. Athletics Boulder [CO] and A Snail's Pace Running Club [CA] took the titles, and the 100
Athletics Boulder September 2014 [Facebook Photo]

points, in Boulder and Brea respectively to tie for the lead.  Second place, and 90 GP points each, went to Cal Coast Track Club and Flatirons Running [CO] at Brea and Boulder respectively leaving them just off the lead in the Club GP, tied for third. Other teams in contention include:
5T. Boulder Striders and Cal Coast Track Club 80
7T. Club Ed Running [CA]and Revolution Running A [CO] 70
9T.  Revolution Running C and Santa Barbara Running and Racing [CA] 60

Women's 60+: Last year the Genesee Valley Harrriers ran in 4 races and won them all to take first place. The Playmakers Elite/New Balance team [MI] took 2nd while competing in 4 races; the Impala Racing team had the third highest number of GP points but did not compete in the required 3 events to qualify for an award.

This year the Impala Racing Team won at Brea and Revolution Running [CO] took the crown in Boulder. They both have 100 points and share the lead.  
Revolution Running February 2015 [Facebook Photo]

Impala can compete in 2 events by just adding Club Cross (San Francisco) to their event list. If they add the 15K in Tulsa OK, they will be a formidable competitor without needing to travel to the East Coast.  This year, the Boulder Road Runners A and Boulder Road Runners B [CO] took 2nd and 3rd respectively in Boulder to wind up in 3rd and 4th in the CGP standings, with 90 and 80 points. They, too, can compete in 3 events without traveling ot the east coast. So far no other W60+ teams have competed; that will change as the GP tour swings from Southern California eastward across the Continental Divide, over the mighty Mississippi, across the Appalachian range, landing in the quaint New England village of Dedham, about 15 miles outside of Boston, Massachusetts.

Women's 70+: Last year Playmakers Elite/New Balance [MI] competed in and won 5 events to dominate the division. They were the only team in this division to compete in the minimum required 2 events to qualify for an award. Perhaps there will be more competition this year.  

A Snail's Pace Running Club [CA] and the Boulder Road Runners [CO] took first place in Brea and Boulder respectively this year and share the lead, with 100 points each.

MEN


Men 40+: Last year the Atlanta Track Club took first over 5 events. The Cal Coast Track Club scored in 4 events to take 2nd. The Genesee Valley Harriers, scoring in 3 events, leap-frogged over four teams with more points but only two events, to take the third spot in the GP.

This year two teams competed in both events and they are tied for 1st. The Cal Coast Track Club A took first in Brea, winning on their home turf and nabbing 100 GP points. It was another story in the mile high environment of Boulder where they mustered a 4th place finish to add 70.  
Santa Barbara Running and Racing was more even across altitudes, finishing 2nd at Brea and 3rd in the Rockies. They got 90 points for the second place finish and 80 for their third place finish to match Cal Coast's 170 points. The first and second place finishers at the USA XC Championships, the Boulder Running Company/Adidas stands in third, with 100 points --the result of winning in Boulder but not competing in Brea. Santa Barbara will no doubt compete in the Club Cross Championships in San Francisco. They can add a third event by competing in the 15K in Tulsa. Others in hot pursuit include:
4. Bowerman Track Club [OR] 90
5. A Snail's Pace Running Club A [CA] 80
6. Cal Coast Track Club B 70
7T. Beach City Runners [CA] and LRC Racing [NB] 60
9T. A Snail's Pace Running Club B and Flatirons Running [CO] 55

Men 50+:  Last year the Playmakers Elite/New Balance team, the Genesee Valley Harriers, and the Atlanta Track Club all competed in either 5 or 6 events with Playmakers taking the title with 46 points, followed by Genesee with 40 and Atlanta with 39, making this the most tightly contested division.

This year the Cal Coast Track Club is the only club to have run in both  events; as a result, they are in sole possession of first, with 100 points for the win at Brea and 80 points for their third place finish at Boulder. The Genessee Valley Harriers [NY] are in second, thanks to their win at Boulder, with 100 points - definitely a successful western trip for the guys from upstate New York.  Athletics Boulder [CO] and A Snail's Pace Running Club [CA] are tied for third with 90 points each for second place at Boulder and Brea respectively. Others in contention include:
5. Club Ed Running A [CA] 80
6T. Colorado Racing Club and Santa Barbara Running and Racing [CA] 70
8T. Club Ed Running B and Playmaker's Elite/New Balance [60]
10T. LRC Racing [NB] and San Diego Track Club [CA] 55

Men 60+: In 2014, the Ann Arbor Track Club competed in 8 events, the most of any club in any division; they took 4 firsts and 4 seconds, giving them 48 points and the GP win. Their arch rivals, the Atlanta Track Club, raced in 6 events, amassing 42 points in their best 5 events.The Shore Athletic Club [NJ] competed in 4 events and finished third.

The Ann Arbor Track Club December 2014 [Facebook Photo]
This year the Ann Arbor Track Club [MI] has taken 3rd place in both Boulder and Brea, to earn 160 points and the lead in this division.

The Boulder Road Runners B [CO] team took top honors at Boulder and the Cal Coast Track Club took top honors at Brea, leaving them tied for second place with 100 points each. Rounding out the top ten are:
4T. Boulder Road Runners A [CO] and Tamalpa Runners, Inc. [CA] 90
6T. Genesee Valley Harriers [NY] and A Snail's Pace Running Club [CA] 70
8T. Club Ed Running [CA] and Revolution Running [CO] 60
10. Cal Coast Track Club B [CA] 55

Men 70+:  The Ann Arbor Track Club competed in 7 events, amassing 50 points in their best 5 events. The Atlanta Track Club compiled 30 points in 4 events for 2nd place, followed by the Shore AC with 26 points over 3 events.

This year the 1st place clubs in the Club GP competition for this age group are those who took first in Boulder and Brea, respectively, the Boulder Road Runners A team [CO] and the Tamalpa Runners, Inc. [CA], both with 100 points. Tied for third are the second place finishers at Boulder and Brea, the Atlanta Track Club [GA] and the Santa Barbara Athletic Association [CA], both with 90 points. The remaining contenders include:
5T. Boulder Road Runners B [CO] and West Valley Joggers and Striders [CA] 80
7T. Ann Arbor Track Club [MI] and the Shore Athletic Club [NJ] 70

Men 80+: Last year no teams competed in more than a single event. The Boulder Road Runners and the Syracuse Chargers Track Club tied for most points with 10 each.

This age group has only been contested at Boulder so far this year. The GP standings mirror the outcome of that race; the Boulder Road Runners A team is in first with 100 points, followed by their B team with 90 points.

That's it as of March 25 2015. Next update on the Club Grand Prix will come after the USATF 10K Championships on April 26th. Let's hope we see lots more East Coast and Midwest teams join the West Coast clubs in the race for the 2015 Club Grand Prix Championship.

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