On Sunday, Dec 23, 2018
RUNNING COLUMN for the DAILY RECORD
For Sunday, Dec 23, 2018
By MADELINE BOST, 973-584-9302
IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR. RENEW NOW. JOIN NOW.
Have you renewed your membership with USATF this month? Unlike a magazine subscription, the organization that covers road racing and track and field is really lousy at reminding its members that it is time to renew.
In order to write this column this week I signed in to my account with USATF and was surprised to see that my membership would expire on December 31, 2018. Who knew! The reason for the surprise is twofold. The last time that I renewed, I renewed for more than one year. How many? Obviously, I had forgotten and thus the surprise that I was going to soon be a non-member. That the organization that is pretty quick to send me an email to let me know of a sale of USATF products, but failed to let me know of my soon-to-be expiration is puzzling.
Also flying under the banner of “who knew” is the discount for multi-year membership. I am pretty confident that there was no discount the last time I renewed. I was delighted to discover that although a one-year membership would cost me $30.00, a two-year membership would cost me only $55.00. Hmm. What about three years? Just $80.00. Curious I hit the key for four years, which is the maximum number of years offered. One hundred dollars or $25.00 for each year.
Here’s the real kicker on USATF membership. You can join and not run a step or jump a foot. Membership is valuable enough without the discounts given to New Jersey races in the grand prix and the opportunity to run on a team. Membership has privileges that a non-runner can cherish.
Rent a car from Enterprise or National and you may get over 10% off the price of the car – any size from the teeniest to the largest. An example that an agent gave me was renting a car in L.A. would be priced at $ 65.21 per day, but with the USATF membership code, it would be no greater than $ 58.00.
Fly to and from a USATF event on United or Delta Airlines and you can get a 10% discount off the regular ticket price.
Stay at a Best Western hotel and you can get 10% off their flexible rate. Better yet, stay at any one of the Choice Hotels in their line of close to a dozen hotel chains, like Comfort Inn or Comfort Suite, Sleep Inn or Quality Inn, etc. and save 15% off the room rate. I’ve done it several times and it does make a difference.
There are other discounts for members like an organic line of nutritional supplements, and for KT tape and other KT products. Nationwide insurance offers members a discount and if you buy insurance for your pet, a Nationwide affiliate has it too.
CHAMPIONSHIP RACES HAVE BEEN SELECTED
The races that will be New Jersey championships in 2019 have been selected and posted on the USATF New Jersey website. The list is always highly anticipated and once posted, the Monday Morning Quarterbacks begin to critique it. That falls under the heading of “you can’t please everybody”. Some of the races selected are generally favorites with the runners, and others viewed less enthusiastically.
The committee has made a very welcome change. Previously it was not uncommon for a race to be designated a championship for masters men and masters women. This year the championship 10K will combine open men with masters men, and open women with masters women. Since many masters runners also compete for their club’s open teams this makes good sense.
Missing from the line-up is the Newport 10K and the Liberty Waterfront half marathon, both in Jersey City. Missing also is the Indian Trails 20K in Middletown. Back is the President’s Cup 5K, but it will be in May in a different location although still in Millburn.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at email@example.com