One way to get through these chilly training months is to have a goal.
And we can’t think of a better one than to get ready for the 2020 Bucks 5K Series.
It’s a series of seven races throughout the months of March, April, May and June which offer a wide variety of courses, prizes and competition.
Here is the schedule for the upcoming series:
>March 21: Blaze of Glory 5K.
>March 28: Bookin’ for Lookin’ 5K.
>April 18: Cornerstone Fitness 5K.
>May 17: YMCA Bucks County Strong 5K.
>May 23: Doylestown 5K.
>June 6: Chalfont Challenge 5K.
>June 13: Break-Fast 5K/10K.
The Bucks 5K Series is celebrating its 25th anniversary season and much of the credit for the success of this venture goes to race director Dick Patterson.
Patterson works tirelessly to make sure that each race has all the particular details covered. Results are offered in a timely manner and the awards are second to none.
Some of Bucks County’s best runners compete in the series, including national-class masters runners such as Todd Wiley and Nancy Smith.
For more information, visit bucks5kseries.com.
>New Olympic marathon standards have U.S. hopeful
It’s no secret American men have not exactly fared well in recent Olympic Marathon races.
You have to go all the way back to Munich, Germany and Frank Shorter in 1972 to find the last gold medalist.
Now it’s nearly a half-century later and the U.S. is hoping to break that streak.
One encouraging sign came when the U.S. Trials, scheduled for Atlanta on Feb. 29, achieved “gold label’’ status, meaning the top three American men and women in the races will qualify for Tokyo, Japan this summer regardless of the finishing times.
It’s a bit of a relief. Remember back in 2000 when Rod DeHaven won the U.S. Trials but was the only man to achieve the Olympic qualifying standard?
As it turns out, DeHaven was the lone American to compete in the Summer Games at Sydney, Australia, which was rather embarrassing to say the least.
The IAAF had tightened the standards for Tokyo, originally meaning that unless you ran 2:11.30, you weren’t going to the starting line.
How tough was this qualifier? As of last summer, when 180 men had qualified for the 2:19 U.S. Trials mark, only two of them had run sub-2:11.30.
It might have been DeHaven, 2.0.
Likewise the women, who had their standard of 2:45 dropped to 2:29:30.
A statement which ran in Letsrun.com pretty much summed up everybody’s feelings (including nervous TV executives at NBC!): “We are so excited about this. Having the top three across the line at the Trials makes for great drama and is easy to explain to TV viewers . . . we really think the U.S. Trials should always be ‘first three across the line go to the Olympics,’ particularly in the marathon.”
Galen Rupp, a bronze medalist at the 2016 Games in Rio, and Desiree Linden, who placed seventh at Rio and has won the Boston Marathon, appear to hold our best chances of medaling in Rio.
While now 33, Rupp is still a threat at any big race he enters. And Linden, who turns 37 this summer, remains competitive along with having experienced two Olympics (London, Rio).
But having the standards relaxed by the IAAF, the doors could be open for a darkhorse to show up in Japan and pull off a surprise.
BCRR Winter Series Tyler Challenge 10K, 9 a.m., Tyler State Park, Newtown. Contact www.bcrrclub.com