Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Season in Review

Another season has come and gone and I am still rummaging through my box of race memories to figure out how I feel about the whole thing. On the downside, I didn’t manage to accumulate enough points to afford me a Cat 2 upgrade (see Upgrade Points O’ Meter). On the upside, I did get in a lot of good racing both on the road and the trails with a few good results (regardless of the stingy points allocations) Maybe this is just an excuse, but it seems to me that there is a bit of a bottle neck occurring for the Cat 3 women.

Women’s road racing is growing at an exponential rate, especially in the mid-Atlantic region (I do not have any data to support this statement, this is purely based on perception). The big NRC races are pulling in larger women’s fields than ever before (this really is true) and, as a result, the Cat 3s are no longer included …which has resulted in herds of career Cat 3 women (myself included) finally deciding that now is the time to step it up.

Yay! This is good news! The more we push each other the more we all grow. This is exactly why humans are social creatures. We need each other to push us to limits we previously thought were impossible. My only gripe about the current system is with respect to the stingy allocation of upgrade points.

The problem can easily be summed up in the following way:

There are a number of Cat 3 women in the mid-Atlantic eagerly looking to upgrade; however, there are currently not enough Cat 3 and/or Cat3/4 races to reflect this demand. Furthermore, the policy for upgrade points is the same for both men and women; however, there are many more Cat 3 men’s races then there are Cat 3 women’s races. While we don’t necessarily have control over how race promoters choose to organize their events (i.e. ING Capital Crit), the policy for points allocation could be altered to more accurately reflect the current supply and demand unique to each gender. In other words, more points should be available in a women's open race than in a men's Cat 3 race ...or something like that. Anybody else have any ideas???

Click HERE for more info on USCF upgrade policy.

As for my season, I’m still mulling things over. All in all, it was a good year. Many thanks to all the ladies who helped me push my limits this year! (photo taken by Michelle)


mikejoos said...

You have a picture of a upgrade thermometer, I believe I was the one who mentioned such a thermometer in a pervious comment. Credit?

Buck up champ yull get em next year!!! PYS (punch your shoulder)

Anna said...

Indeed. It was your vision that made the Upgrade Points O' Meter a reality. Thanks again!

Mags said...

Huh! I'd never even thought of that. You are gonna make a wonderful lawyer someday.


Ikon O. Klasst said...

That's a pretty obscene lookin' Upgrade Points O'Meter, ya know. Just sayin'... ;)

You two coming out to the Bliss in November?

Anna said...

Yeah, I was a little worried about that one. It certainly wasn't intentional, although Freud might think otherwise. Maybe I should let Jeff handle the illustrations from here on out?

Oh, and we hope to make it out for the Bliss! I'll bring the Schlitz!

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Cool; glad you guys are coming out.

You do know about the mandatory Jeff Rule, right? The one stipulating that every person named Jeff Schalk has to tow a full Corney keg on the ride to help even things up for the rest of us not so-named? ;)

girloffroad said...

Basically in order for a cat 3 woman in the MABRA to get enough points she has to be able to beat the cat 1s and 2s in the race for the top 5 spots. It's really challenging. The other alternative is to encourage more stage races and to make sure we get over 50 women to race so that the points go really deep (Ephrata), and alternatively to allow points count for the cat3women when they are offered a seperate prize purse. It doesn't seem fair to score the cat 3 seperate but to make the upgrade points only be based on combined - back to what I said originally - to upgrade out of cat 3, you pretty much have to be able to beat a cat 1. That doesn't seem fair, but it does indeed raise the competition and frustration level. And to continue to grow the sport - the succes of the W3/W4 series thanks to Evelyn, maybe we now need to consider a series for the W1/2 to keep the incentive there to upgrade and keep women racing here in MABRA rather than "turning into a 2 and retiring" because there are no more races left but NRC. Luckily MABRA has tons of open women's races and 1-3 races - thank you promoters.

Anna said...

Lady off road: Well said. Things need to change ...or I need to get a coach, drop ten lbs, or move to a slower region of the country.

Icon O. Klasst: Jeff might not be able to make it due to a race down in VA. Provided he is able to attend, I will make sure he is aware of his eponymous rule.

Ikon O. Klasst said...

Eponymous? Pedant! (ha)

gwadzilla said...

I can not get past the phallic image

and well

policies and upgrades are out of my realm of thinking