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General Competition Info

Runners competing in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships at Balboa Park, Morley Field, on Saturday, October 13, 2012 should be aware of the following points of emphasis.  Competitors who fail to comply with these and other applicable USATF Rules of Competition risk possible disqualification. These instructions will also be distributed to every Master entrant at packet pick-up. There will be a Technical Meeting scheduled at the host hotel for the evening prior to the race where these instructions will be reviewed and where any questions may be directed to the Championships Referee.

  1. The Race Course.  The approximately 5 km course is located at Balboa Park, Morley Field. The course shall be run as marked.  A course map is available here.
  1. Cutting the Course.  Any competitor who has been found by the Referee to have gained an unfair advantage by receiving assistance or by intentionally shortening the route of the race (“cutting the course”) shall be immediately disqualified.  Race officials will be located at various points along the course to verify that each finisher has completed the entire 5 km course as marked.
  1. Illegal Assistance.  Anyone found to have received illegal assistance is subject to disqualification.  “Assistance” is the conveying of advice, information or direct help to an athlete by any means, including a technical device. It also includes pacing in running or walking events by persons not participating in the event, by competitors lapped or about to be lapped, or by any kind of technical device. Competitors may carry or wear articles of personal equipment such as wrist chronometers and heart-rate monitors. Verbal or other communication, without the use of any technical device, from an individual not on the course shall not be considered assistance. Pacesetting, by a person entered in an event as an officially designated pacesetter, is permissible. A designated pacesetter is a competitor like all others and is eligible to win the race. There will be no official pacesetters in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships. The use of video, audio and/or communication devices including portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication is prohibited during the race. Do not wear your iPod.
  1. Competition Bib Numbers. Competition bib numbers must be pinned on the front of the outermost layer of clothing that you will be wearing in the race. They should not be folded or cut. All Masters entered in the USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships must also wear an age/gender “back” number pinned to the back of the outermost layer of clothing that they are wearing in the race. Please use 4 pins to affix the “back” number in such a manner that it is visible to any runner behind them and will not flip up. Any competitor failing to wear a competition bib number on the front and a visible age/gender “back” number will be subject to disqualification. If your packet is lacking a “back” number, extras will be made available at packet pick-up and at the starting line.
  1. Start Time.  Each competitor is responsible for knowing the start time. The schedule of events is available here. All competitors are responsible for being at the starting line at the appointed time with their competition bib number and age/gender “back” number properly affixed.
  1. Start Details.  The races will start as scheduled. All registered runners must report to the Clerk of Course at the starting line approximately fifteen minutes prior to the start. Uniforms, spikes, bib numbers and age/gender “back” numbers will be checked at this time. Five minute, three minute and one minute warnings will be given prior to the start of each race. There will be a two-command start: “On your marks” followed by the firing of the starter’s pistol signaling the start of the race.
  1. False start.  A race may be recalled upon a false start or a fall which impacts the field within the first 100m.  Runners who false start are subject to disqualification.
  1. Withdrawal for medical reasons.  A competitor must retire from the race immediately if directed to do so by a duly authorized official of the race or by an appropriately identified member of the race medical staff.
  1. Eligibility.  All Master Long Distance Running Championships are open to all member athletes of USATF, including Permanent Residents. However, only U.S. citizens shall be awarded individual championship awards or score for a team. All athletes entered and competing in the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championship are required to have 2012 USATF membership. Non-citizens who are members of USATF may compete but may not score for a team nor win individual awards.
  1. Results and Awards Ceremony – Unofficial results will be posted on-site as soon as possible after each race. Protests concerning the results or conduct of the event shall be made to the Championships Referee at once and no later than one hour after results have been posted. The awards ceremony will take place on site as soon as the results become official.
  1. Packet Pick-up. Details will be posted when available.
  1. Masters Team Scoring. Masters Teams for all Cross Country Championships shall be scored by place as follows:

Master Men 40+ and Master Men 50+ Teams – five (5) individuals shall score with a maximum of eight (8) individuals declared per team.
Masters Men 60+, 70+ and 80+ and all Master Women 40+, 50+, 60+, 70+ and 80+ Teams - three (3) individuals shall score with a maximum of five (5) individuals declared per team.
Each Age divisions shall be scored separately by places of the top 3 or 5 team finishers respective of the division. A runner may only be listed on a single team roster. Score only complete teams. All runners on incomplete teams, runners on teams in other divisions and all unattached runners shall not be included in the team scoring for a division but are eligible for individual awards.
USATF Rules indicate that when scoring by place:
(a) The team score shall be the total of the finishing positions of the scoring members. The team with the lowest total points is the team winner.
(b) Runners of incomplete teams, team entries not declared eligible for team scoring, and unattached or individual competitors will be eliminated from team scoring. Non-scoring declared members of complete teams shall retain their finishing positions and thereby displace other runners.
(c) When separate competitions are conducted simultaneously, each shall be scored independently. Runners on teams not eligible for a given competition will be eliminated from team scoring in that competition.
(d) In the event of a tie between two or more individual runners, each shall score the number of points determined by dividing the total of the finish places by the number of runners who have tied.
(e) If a team fails to finish with a complete scoring team, the team members finishing shall be counted as individuals in the race results and shall be eligible to receive individual awards.
(f) Ties between two or more teams shall be resolved by determining which team wins the most one-on-one match-ups among their five scoring members, comparing first to first, second to second, and so on through the final scoring place.

  1. Team Declarations. Note that only five or eight athletes are allowed to be on the final team declaration per team respective of team division. If you have listed more than five/eight athletes on your team’s online declaration form, only the first five/eight listed shall comprise your club's declared scoring team unless you revise your declaration form. You have until Noon (PT) on Thursday, October 11, 2012 to revise your online team declaration. A hard copy revision to final team declarations may be submitted in-person at packet pick-up no later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, October 12, 2012. Team revision forms will be available at packet pick-up. Questions should be directed to the Referee. Please follow the instructions below to access the USATF online Club Management Area:

Access to the USATF Club Management Area is available to the person listed as the main contact on your original yearly member club application form, as well as club coaches and club administrators as designated by the main club contact. To gain access to your club, e-mail your club's main contact with your name, individual membership number, and role within the club. Note: access to the Management Area is limited to those people who are current individual members of USATF. If you joined as a new individual member instead of renewing, please e-mail your club's main contact person to have your new membership number attached to your club profile. You can find your club contact information at:
* If your club does not appear on the list, it may be because the club hasn't renewed for the current year. Please contact your local Association for more information.

  1. Team Uniforms. The jersey or singlet worn by the members of a team (i.e., San Diego Track Club M50+ “A” team) in cross country shall be basically identical for each member in color and style, and must be clearly visible throughout the race, i.e., worn as the outer garment if other apparel items are worn underneath by one or more team members. Because of the nature of cross country running, the preferences of individual athletes in certain weather situations will allow other apparel items to vary widely without penalty. Individuals not complying with this uniform rule may be disqualified from scoring for a team.
  1. 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships Prize Money Breakdown. USATF Championship medals will be awarded to the top three places in each 5-year individual division for both Master Men and Women (40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, etc.), the top 3 Age Graded Master Men and Women and the declared members of the top 3 Master teams in each of the following team divisions (40+, 50+, 60+, 70+ and 80+). A total of $6,000 in Master’s prize money is being offered.
  2. Awards and Prize Money. Click here
  3. Drug Testing.  All competitors (including master competitors) are eligible for “in-competition” drug testing.  Any questions regarding prescriptions or other over-the-counter medication should contact The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) at 1-888-233-0393.
    Note: If the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships is selected for drug testing, prize money checks will be mailed following our receipt of the drug testing results.  The race has no control over when the results of the drug tests are released, and we cannot release the prize money until we have official results as it can directly affect the distribution amounts. Whether or not we have been selected for drug testing will be announced at the Technical Meeting the day before the race.
    For more information on drug testing click here.
  4. Additional Notes:
  • Citizens of the United States and resident aliens are eligible to compete in these Championships.  However, only U.S. citizens may score or win championship medals.
  • Athletes must be 40 years or older on the day of competition.
  • All athletes must be members of USATF in good standing. USATF memberships may be purchased online, through your local Association Office, or at:
  • All clubs must be registered with USATF. If not, then please submit your club application to your local Association office.
  • Club Team affiliation: Athletes must be bona fide members of a USATF club in order to represent a club and score team points. All athletes entering as part of a club must be affiliated with that club as part of their USATF membership (an athlete's current affiliation can be viewed in his/her membership profile and as part of the online entry process). Athletes wishing to change affiliations can make such a request by sending an email to the USATF Membership Dept.
  • There are no performance standards to participate.
  • Master athletes shall be allowed to win awards in all race categories. (e.g., overall, age group, team, age-graded, etc.)
  • The formation of club teams must meet all of the parameters as noted in Regulations 4 and 6 in Section III of the USATF Governance Handbook and the USATF Rules of Competition, specifically Rule 4 – Eligibility for Team Championships. This will be strictly enforced. Please note that in Long Distance Running,  Open and Masters Cross Country, and Open Track & Field Club competition, an athlete who is a non-resident member of an Association is eligible to compete for a team in that Association only if the athlete: (a) resides in an adjoining Association within the government-defined Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) of a city which is primarily in the neighboring Association as approved by the appropriate sport committee or council or (b) has historical membership based upon Association residency (at least 3 continuous USATF membership years) is eligible to compete for that club. Questions should be directed to the Event Referee: Bill Quinlisk at
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