Steve Lastoe, he of NYCRuns, is fine-tuning the Inter-Club Challenge pretty much as the Constitutional Convention fine-tuned the Articles of Confederation. He’s creating a new, better structure.
We spoke about it a bit on last Sunday’s episode of the New York Running Show, which in turn followed a meeting held at Steve’s place for representatives of a number of local clubs, and two of my friends, Paul and Amy, were among the attendees.
As background, there is the NYRR’s Club Series. It is a series of NYRR races of varying distances — the races are selected each year by the Club Council — in which points are awarded to teams (including age-group divisions) throughout the year and at year’s end champions are crowned. It’s one of the best things that NYRR does, and when I ran its races I essentially only ran club races, knowing that most of the other competitive folks in my age group would be there.
A number of club runners, however, have bristled at the NYRR structure, and the crowding of races and early entry deadlines. Not that they will abandoning them in the future, but the idea of an alternative series is appealing. After all, the Club Series works because of the runners who show up, not the organization that puts on its races.
How the races are to be scored in the NYCRuns series remains to be decided. But the basic idea is this: Every race put on by a club, such as VCTC’s Riverdale Ramble and CPTC’s Founders’ Run, will be included in the series. I don’t know whether there will be a commitment obligation of participating clubs, but the idea will be that mutual support for these races will exist. Insofar as there are races outside of NYC, such as the Rye Derby put on by Taconic, it may be that they rotate, e.g., every year there will be one or more races from among Westchester, Nassau, and Bergen Counties, but dealing with them is not a front-burner issue.
NYCRuns hopes to benefit by having a formal relationship with these races (as it does, e.g., for the CPTC race) and may add certain other races to the mix.
Again, the concept is based on the idea that if-you-build-it/they-will-come, the “it” being a quality series of races, the “they” being club runners.
It’s exciting. Steve’s having another meeting in early December, shortly before the Ekiden, which is as a separate matter a great event for clubs.
Given the momentous nature of the meeting, Steve hired someone to record it. I don’t see Amy though: