GPS Series Begins January 26 – Series Rules Updated
The BRRC 2014 Grand Prix Series (GPS)
begins January 26
with the GPS 8 Miler
at Loch Raven. Read the race description and directions here.
The GPS is BRRC’s annual series of races that encourage age-group competition. For example, if you are 31 years old, you will compete with runners in the 30 - 34 age-group bracket, and so on. There are 8 GPS races run throughout the year at various distances - from 1 mile to a half-marathon - and on various terrains – roads, trails, and track. A runner must complete at least 4 of the 8 races and a volunteer commitment to count in the final standings and to qualify for an award that, at a minimum, includes a GPS t-shirt. T-shirts and awards to the top three finishers in each age group are presented at the Club’s General Membership Meeting in December.
The rules for the GPS have been updated and include some important changes:
To qualify for GPS standings, a runner must be an active member of BRRC on January 31, 2014. If you have not renewed, you may do so here.
This new system will improve management of GPS standings, which was made challenging by memberships that expire at various times throughout the year. With our new registration service, RaceIt, we are now converting to an all-member January renewal (see article below).
GPS competitors must fulfill a volunteer commitment by the date of the final GPS race, which is 2014 is November 2nd.
This change is being made so that there is adequate time between the final race and the General Membership Meeting to finalize GPS results and order awards.
If GPS competitors run the Meet of Miles and want that race to count in the standings, the competitor must race in their GPS age group.
The Meet of Miles is the ultimate GPS competition in that competitors run in smaller groups which include all runners in their age group. For example, runners in the two groups comprising ages 40 - 49 might run together on the track. This is the most head-to-head competition in the series.
For the complete rules and a list of this year's GPS races, visit our website GPS page here.
BRRC Trail Race Series Offers Everything!
The BRRC Trail Race Series
, sometimes referred to as the “Billy Goat trail races”, was dreamed up by Chris Cucuzzella and Rick Bingham in the fall of 1998 as they sat at a local pub enjoying some Guinness and telling stories of past trail running adventures. They started the series with 4 winter trail races in 1999, with the first race taking place the day after a snow/ice storm. It attracted ten people, including local running legend, Serge Arbona.
The first races were wrought with lost racers who eventually showed up at the finish line but not only came back for more but asked for more opportunities to display a seemingly obvious lack of good sense. The series grew to the 6 - 8 race series that it is today with well-marked courses and a crowd that continues to grow strongly each year. The distances range from under 5 miles to a “fat ass” style 50K that last year drew runners from as far as New York.
These races offer everything a trail runner could want: stream crossings from ankle to waist deep; shoe-sucking mud; hills that should come with a tow lift; the occasional wildlife encounter including deer, copperheads, and hornets; and, weather of all kinds including snow, sleet, rain, heat, and the ever-present Maryland humidity. But most of all, we are blessed with beautiful trails in gorgeous nearby locations and the fantastic volunteers that make it all happen and make for races that are some of the best you can find anywhere.
BRRC members Darryn Waugh
and Bart Rein
have graciously volunteered to act as Series Coordinators for the 2014 trail races. We appreciate their oversight of this very exciting portion of the BRRC event schedule.
The 2014 season begins with the Super Bowl Trail Race
, to be held on February 2nd
at Cromwell Valley Park. This race features around 8 miles of rolling hills, small stream crossings, fields, and a fast downhill finish. There is even hot food post race! Come and help us kick off the trail season before watching the Big Game. Details can be found here.
Thanks to Bart Rein for contributing this article.
RRCA Club Challenge Offers More Award Categories - Registration Open
The annual RRCA Club Challenge
will be held on February 23 in Columbia
. This race, hosted by the Howard County Striders, offers a competition among Maryland running clubs on a difficult 10-mile course through Columbia. 2014 introduces new rules for the Challenge that include a number of new age-based awards categories to make the race more attractive to a wide range of club members across the state.
This year, there are six new team competitions based on age categories, an exciting addition that will create more competition and have more runners “count.” With competition in different age brackets, many more runners could make a difference, and some clubs that can’t compete as well for the Overall award could end up taking other Team awards.
BRRC pays the race registration fees for this race for current club members. You must be a current member to run the race!
If you have not yet renewed your membership, do so before registering for the race. We will only be able to allow current members to run. The race is limited to 1000 runners. Please note that because it is limited to the first 1000 registrants, you may not get in.
BRRC cannot control this situation, as there are many different clubs in Maryland registering runners for the race. Registration closes February 16 and there is NO race-day registration. We are asking our members to register at the Striders site
, but also to complete a form to confirm that you have registered and that you are a current BRRC member. Full information can be found here.
Membership Renewal Period Ends on January 31
The new BRRC membership renewal period ends this month.
As noted in recent Updates and on the BRRC website, we are converting to an annual membership. What this means is that all members must renew by the end of January to be eligible for certain membership benefits. This change will allow us to better administer our Grand Prix Series
and the Club Challenge participants. We are using an online registration service called RaceIt, where BRRC members can renew here.