NY Running Show: Clubs

Listen to Episode 8

Thursday’s show was about Clubs in the New York area. We begin with the landscape in which NYRR has set up a year-long club competition. It consists of designated races on the NYRR calendare — some, such as the Healthy Kidney 10K or the Marathon — are always on, and some rotate. Distances vary from 5K to the marathon and a “club race” generally occurs once a month. The final one of the year is Sunday, December 5, the Kleinerman 10K.

Clubs get points for each race on a 15-12-10-8 etc. basis, and get to drop one, low scoring race from the year-long tally. In the end, high score wins. The competition is open (with an A and a B competition for men, which works like a European soccer league) and 40+, 50+, and 60+ age groups.

Bottom line: it is an active competition and generally the faster runners aim to run most of the club races. These races, in turn, are the most competitive on the calendar.

The competition provides a focus for the club scene. What one sees at these races is lots of club singlets and club-members meeting up afterward and intermingling with members of other clubs.

We spoke about a number of area clubs. Importantly, except for a couple of clubs, such as the Manhattan Track Club for men and NYAC for women (there may be more), which focus on the front of the pack, clubs have a wide range of abilities. Clubs are of differing sizes and personalities. Some, such as Amy Cooper‘s Inwood Hill Runners, are geographically centered. Frank Colella (RunDangerously) lives in Westchester and is a member of Taconic Road Runners, which is based in northern Westchester.

With Amy and Frank on the show were Julie (RacesLikeAGirl) (a member of NY Harriers), Steve Lastoe (NYCRuns) (deciding what club to join), and Joe Garland (RunWestchester) (Warren Street).

And we had a bit of back-and-forth on New York Road Runners and communication (or the lack thereof).

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