Monday, March 15, 2010

Dearth of USAT Sanctioned Races in Minnesota

Yeah, I might get some flak for this posting...but you cannot deny it. There is really a dearth of USAT sanctioned races in Minnesota. Come to think of it, there really is a lack of races when compared to other spots in the country.

This it not to say we don't have excellent race directors here in the Tundra. We do. This is not to say we don't have excellent athletes, coaching and competition despite the fact we train wearing Russian fur hats eight months out of the year.

Lets take a look at two of the three Multi-Sport Informational calendar pages from the March issue of Runner Triathlete News out of Texas....where the sky at night is big and bright. Note - click on each image for larger view.

160 events in the Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico,Louisiana region. The vast majority of them are USAT sanctioned (as indicated by the © symbol). Wow.

And what great concepts. Take, for instance, this 'staged' event taking place in Arkadelphia, Arkansas April 24-25. The Iron Mountain Family Multisport Weekend consists of a Iron Mountain Sprint Tri (400 Yard Swim/13.5 mile Bike/2.5 mile Run) taking place Saturday afternoon. Then you return Sunday morning to take part in the Iron Mountain Sprint Duathlon (2.5 mile Run/13.5 mile Bike/2.5 mile Run). The two can be done combined or singly. If you do both, you are then eligible for the Iron Mountain Tri/Du Stage Race. Custom Awards will be offered to the fastest combine times for the Tri and Du. Stock medals are offered for individual races.

Neat! But back to my rant.

To be ranked nationally in USAT for the 2010 season you will need to compete and finish two USAT sanctioned duathlons and three USAT sanctioned triathlons. If you live and race in Texas you will have this quota fulfilled by the end of April. Up here the ice hasn't even left the lakes yet.

This is not a rant about the weather, either. I'm fine with it. I know I won't actually retire up here but for the time being living in Minnesota suits me fine. But what I have been getting really upset about....and thus this blog

1) Tell me exactly where there is a concise Minnesota race calendar in which it informs the athlete if the event is USAT sanctioned or not?
2) Why so few USAT sanctioned events, period?

And lets add in another question while we are at it...specific to duathlon. Tell me which Minnesota duathlons are USAT sanctioned? I'm not even sure a Minnesotan can actually get in two USAT sanctioned du's without traveling elsewhere. Yeah, I'm probably wrong. But after a week of contacting numerous race directors to inquire about their events I don't think I'm far from the fact.

Someone out there in Minnesota tri-land must have the knowledge and the time to put together a race calendar similar to what is show above and make sure it states USAT sanctioned availability. That's all I ask. Then I can stop ranting about this like a loony.


Adam Beston said...

Maybe Minnesotans are just smart enough to not pay the USAT money for nothing.
The only thing of value they currently offer is insurance and rankings. If a RD can find cheaper insurance they are typically better off to go with that and have a cheaper race. I KNOW races are cheaper up there then many places.

MHarks said...

check the usat event calendar....

Brian said...

Adam - I know what you are saying, but a small USAT race is really not that mucyh more expensive. Entry fee for these USAT races in Texas region are still very nominal. So I don't buy that excuse any longer.

Matt - USAT was the 1st place I checked. I am not sure they list all events and am guessing up to race director to actually post, or provide info, on their events. A few of us looked at USAT last week. There were only 3 (THREE!) pages of events listed. You know there are a TON more than are actually listed.

Steven Aesoph said...

USAT sanctioning is a mere $150 and (at least the application process) is as simple as it gets. My application was about 1/4 complete when a rep emailed me saying he'd approved it. The sticky part appears to be in the post race accounting of the 1 day passes and the reporting of results within given time and format constraints. Both of these tasks are "click of the button" if you use a timing service, but I can see where a grass roots type race director would skip the "hassle." Once my event is complete and I'm a USAT veteran race director, I may be able to provide more insight on this topic.