BEST EFFORT

The debate rages.  In one corner USATF, in the other, those that poo poo USATF.  It isn’t that cut and dried however.  Those throwing the poo are USATF member clubs.  That choose to stick noses in the air at Certification.  To make a point.  To me.

The  race was however fully accepted as the RRCA Regional Championships without USATF Certification.  This is the difference between RRCA and USATF.  USATF has minimum standards for the conduct of their championships.  RRCA cares not about making sure the event is the advertised distance.

Why are they wrong?  Because you can’t have it both ways.  I received communications yesterday that I’m being negative by pointing out that the Lincoln Mile found no use in certifying the race.  And my wonder that such a deep talented field would  support an “ish” race.  And then my stern insistence  that those results are worth nothing outside the city of Lincoln.

The USA Masters 1 Mile National Championships will be held in Flint, MI on August 24.  I would  suggest that at 52 years old Stacy  Shaw’s 5:52 at Lincoln would be eagerly accepted into the National  Champs field.  If she tried to enter with her performance it would be rejected.

Shalaya Kipp ran a very competitive 4:52.04.  Katie Wetzstein right there in 4:52.21.  My many years as USATF’s Women’s Athlete Development Coordinator has me excited about those times.  How they would meet most all Elite Athlete Coordinators requirements for entry into the next level of  competition.  Except those times would be dismissed because the race was not USATF Certified.

Boy, they  sure showed me!

My buddy Darrell Crain said it best.  “Will, if I am giving my best effort I expect the same from race organizers. Occasionally I’ll run a small local race that I know up front doesn’t have the means to accomplish this. But I go into that race with a full understanding that I won’t recognize my result as accurate.”

So the question remains, why offer, or support, an inferior product?  Why?

I’m offering a possible explanation.  Perhaps the course was measured and submitted.  Perhaps.  Hopefully.  Still not showing up on the USATF national data base.

Caveat!  The 2000 Run For The Arts 5K was loaded with regional and national level talent.  I had designed and measured the course for Texas state records.  Submitted the paperwork but the regional certifier was out of the country resulting in a delay processing the application.  When I submitted the marks for acceptance as state records I was informed that there is no category  for “pending” certifications.  You either get it done in time or you don’t.  My race, my course, my athletes, all suffering for the lack of a more timely effort.  I learned  my lesson the hard  way.