National Governing body Website has changed
You know how when you dial a business or government entity you get the recorded message, “please listen carefully as our menu has changed”? Well, look carefully at www.usatf.org and wow, has it ever changed!
Back in 2018 at the annual meeting of the national governing body, USATF, delegates were told that the national website was going to be completely redone. It was going to take several months we were told and that promise was kept. It took almost a year, but at least it was completed before this year’s annual meeting, which is from December 5th to December 8 in Reno, NV.
The new website has lots of sparkling photos that jump out at you. They’re all about events and video’s and people. Very dynamic. But just try to find a race calendar, or a listing of national championships, like was available until this week. I can’t find them. Can you?
I had bookmarked the page where certified courses are listed. I used it often in writing this column. It’s gone.
The national championship listing was a one-line listing with the date, and then the race. You could quickly find an event. You just scrolled through the listing until you found the race you were interested in.
“Dec 14, Open and Masters Club Cross Country, Bethlehem, PA
It has been replaced by page after page of graphics that you must scroll through, so if it is November 2019 and you need to look to see when the mile in Flint MI is scheduled you need to scroll through three pages of listings until you see that the Flint race is August 22nd, 2020.
The listings that I am seeing appear to be for running events only and for adults. I don’t know where the Youth listings are.
Of course, we all resist change. But maybe if we had been sent an email with instructions on where to find information on the new website, we wouldn’t be so cranky. Or am I the only one confused and cranky?
Season is not over
There are a few races this weekend. You need to check out the New Jersey USATF website calendar. Only sanctioned races are on that calendar. Be careful if you look for New Balance Grand Prix races as not all sanctioned races are grand prix.
Timing companies are good sources as they will list the races that they will be timing and some of those races will not be on the USATF calendar. Be careful here, too. If you stumble and fall, trip over a kid that went out like a rabbit and then stopped, or get hit by a police motorcycle, and yes, that has happened in races, you may not have your injury-care paid for by the race. Yes, that has happened too. USATF sanctioned races are covered for injuries to participants in the race. Some race organizers do not sanction and some do not get any insurance coverage, out of either ignorance, or risk taking.
Time to Renew
Speaking of USATF, which is our governing body for the sport of racing and track and field, it’s time to renew membership or to join up. Membership enrollments after November 1st are good for the current year and for all of 2020. New Jersey runners have a clear incentive to be members of USATF. They get a discount when pre-registering for New Jersey races that are in the New Balance Grand Prix. Masters members can apply for the Phidippides Award through the national long distance running committee and receive recognition of their racing along with a very nice plaque. There are some nifty discounts in participating hotels and airlines that make it all the more appealing to be a member at $ 30.00 a year.