2017 Team Points Standings
As you can see, for the most part our teams finished close to where they did in 2016, which itself had seen a good deal of improvement over 2015.
For the men's open team, they finished tied for their highest position in the past five years in 7th place. They finished ahead of 2016's 7th place team (Queens Distance Runners) but were overtaken by Henwood Hounds this year. Looking at the competition, it will be very difficult for the open team to improve above 7th place in 2018, but once again they should absolutely aim to get to 7th.
The women's open team saved the best for last, earning their highest points total for 2017 in the last race of the year. Because of NYRR's system of promotion and relegation, the women's open team will move into the B division for 2018. In 2013 the women's open team finished in second place in the B division, and they should prove competitive there again in 2018.
Men's masters finished tied for their highest place in the past five years. A strong 2018 could see them overtake NY Harriers for 6th place in the division.
Our women's masters team dipped in 2017 after losing some key contributors from the award-winning 2016 team. However, an impressive fourth place showing at the Staten Island Half proves they remain competitive when fielding a strong team.
FRNY men's vets dropped five places to 12th this year, in part due to fewer races from some of 2016's top contributors. Men's supervets withstood NYRR Runner of the Year Steve Vizena's curtailed 2017 racing schedule to stay in 6th place, and they remain our most consistent men's team in recent years. The FRNY men moved up two spots in the 70+ division, coming in 5th place.
FRNY women's vets was our most-improved team, moving up four spots to 13th on the back of important contributions from an array of runners. The FRNY women's supervets were back in 2017, returning to the competition in 15th place.
For both men's and women's teams, getting racers to turn up is especially important for the masters, vets, supervets and 70+ divisions.
I think there's a great opportunity for many of our teams to continue improving in 2018. Part of how we finish in the standings depends on the strength of the competition, which we can't do much about. But we can certainly aim for our teams to hit faster times this season. How can we do that?
Training: When you get faster, the team gets faster. The number of PRs our runners put up in 2017 speaks to the benefits of the club's training programs. However, if you feel that the club's offerings don't fully support your goals as a runner, let the coaching committee know. We want everyone to feel their training needs are being met, and are planning a more in-depth review of FRNY's training programs in 2018.
Recruitment: Getting a fast runner to join your team is probably the easiest way to improve. I'm not necessarily suggesting we go out and target fast LGBT runners, but they should absolutely be included as part of the club's outreach efforts to runners of all abilities and interests. Some of our best team performances in 2017 were thanks to runners returning after absences and new runners joining the team.
Showing up: As I mentioned before, showing up is important. You can't score for the team in a race you don't run. Especially in the age group divisions, the ability to consistently field teams of three strong runners is the best way to do well in the competition. We're looking into some exciting opportunities to encourage our best racers to show up more often in 2018. But a lot of the time it's just about reminding teammates to register for races before they sell out and encouraging them to show up. Please help the board and race captains think of ways we can field the strongest teams possible in each points race!
At bottom of this email is the 2018 points race calendar, so start saving those dates! The first two races, the Washington Heights 5k and the UAE Healthy Kidney 10k, are already open for registration! The Brooklyn Half is open to register for time qualifiers, and NYC Marathon registration for 9+1 and time qualifiers opens on Monday!
Why does any of this matter? Well, first I'd point out that FRNY is a big club, much bigger in terms of size compared to Front Runners chapters in other large cities (Boston, Chicago, DC). I'd say that part of this is down to the vibrancy of New York City's running community. And however you feel about NYRR, they play a huge role--through the marathon and their other races--in fostering and sustaining the local running club culture, which benefits clubs like FRNY.
The NYRR club points competition is a big part of this club culture; NYRR even has staff dedicated to maintaining positive relationships with the community of local clubs and organizing the competition. I think it would be a disappointment if a club of FRNY's size and visibility didn't fully embrace the community spirit of this competition and try to field the strongest teams possible. Participating enthusiastically in the competition is a continuation of and respect for the club's legacy of LGBT athletic achievement, and also hearkens back to the early days of FRNY, when it helped to challenge stereotypes about the athletic abilities of LGBT people.
FRNY is a big club, whose members have a diverse range of running interests and abilities. Not everyone will care about racing or the club competition. However, I believe the club can and should recognize and encourage the success of its most talented runners, without detriment to the interests of those who come to FRNY for recreational running, its social offerings, and training programs.
Here's to a great 2018!
Points Races for 2018
- 3/4 Washington Heights 5k
- 4/29 UAE 10k
- 5/19 Brooklyn Half
- 6/16 Queens 10k
- 7/28 Team Champs
- 8/25 Percy Sutton 5k
- 9/9 5th Ave Mile
- 9/30 Bronx 10 Miler
- 10/14 Staten Island Half
- 11/4 NYC Marathon
- 12/8 Ted Corbitt 15k