2013 Grand Prix Underway with Impressive Age-Graded Performances!

The 2013 Grand Prix season got underway on Saturday, April 6th as 49 Utica Roadrunners (32 males and 17 females) ran the Fort to Fort 10K in Rome, NY. Richard Cohen avenged his fourth place finish in 2012 by winning this year’s race fourteen seconds faster than last year, in 34:23! Cory Battles, next fastest Utica Roadrunner came in 7th overall, with John Kuelling, Joseph Mashaw, and Thomas Joslin close behind, all in the highly competitive M30-34 Grand Prix age-group.

F2F10K race age-group gold medalists were: Ashley Fess (F20-24), Ellen Furnari (F25-29), Mike Massoud (M50-54), D. Joanne Willcox-Ayoub (F50-54), Bruce Palmer (M55-59), Joanne Reese (F60-64), and Bob Vandenbergh (M65-69).

Though the Fort to Fort 5K is not part of the Grand Prix series, several Utica Roadrunners distinguished themselves in that race with overall and age-group honors. Second place female overall was Justyna Wilkinson, recent recipient of the UR Junior Roadrunner of the Year Award. Other age-group first-place medalists, besides Justyna, were: Jason Pare (M40-44), Scott Suba (M45-49), Dennis Johnson (M50-54), and Kermit Cadrette (M75-79).


Thanks to Jim Fiore’s suggestion, we are going to employ a method of comparing results this year that levels the performance playing field, regardless of age or gender, a sort of “handicapping,” if you will.  “Age Grading” computes one’s gender, age, distance, and time against world-record times, yielding an age-graded score (percentage), as well as adjusted “prime times.” It’s all explained at http://www.usatfmasters.org/fa_agegrading.htm and you can figure your own scores at http://www.howardgrubb.co.uk/athletics/wmalookup06.html We’ll also begin using these Age Grade percentages to determine end-of-year awards for male and female Junior, Open, Grandmaster and Most Improved Roadrunners of the Year. (By the way, your actual age on race day will be used to calculate age-graded performance.)


Among the most impressive age-graded scores among our members at the Fort to Fort 10K, were Richard Cohen with 83.88%, Joanne Reese with 80.9%, and Mike Massoud with 80.79%, all in the National Class category! Also meritorious were D. Joanne Willcox-Ayoub with 73.86%, Stan Dickson with 73.69%, Bruce Palmer with 72.97%, and Tom Bick with 70.49%, all in the Regional Class.

And some final Grand Prix notes: Do remember that we are using your age as of December 31, 2013, to determine which five-year age-group you are placed for the entire season. Also, first- and second-place age-group results this year earn 12- and 10-points, respectively, with third through tenth-place points unchanged. As of the first race, there are 49 members in the running for Grand Prix-mier medallions, which will be presented to those participating in all twelve Grand Prix races. (It’s not unlike the Syrathon series medals or the Route 20 series merchandise incentives, except we require participation in all our events, thus making it a presumably more prized memento of achievement!) All but the youngest and oldest female and male age groups are already occupied, some with robust participation, such as the M60-64 age-group with eight guys earning points. (Both standings and blog are posted on the right side-bar of our website at: http://www.uticaroadrunners.org)


Get ready for our next event, our first Club race of the year, the Save Our Switchbacks (SOS) 7.5K (Half-Boilermaker) on Sunday, April 21 – “a one-of-a-kind road race through the beautiful wooded trails of Roscoe Conkling Park.” New race director Jerry Tylutki promises some novel prizes and offers through The Sneaker Store, mindful of the proximity of Earth and Arbor Days. Early and member-discounted rates are available until April 14th, with all profits going toward growing and maintain the switchbacks. Sign up online at www.raceroster.com or get a paper application at http://www.uticaroadrunners.org/documents/SOS_App_2013.pdf  In the meantime,

stay strong, train safe, and race swift!                                                         ~ Ted Lenio, 4/8/13