USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series
The USA Race Walking Grand Prix is a year-long series of Olympic Development competitions through which USATF crowns an overall champion for each calendar year. The events on the schedule are based upon the National Championship schedule of events. Over $40,000 in prize money is awarded annually to the men and women participating in these Open division. Races are contested from 1 mile to 50 kilometers for men and women.
The wide range in distances gives the top race walkers in the U.S. an opportunity to compete against each other all year long and aids in developing the next group of international-level athletes. The events selected provide athletes with a geographically diverse racing schedule and sponsors with national exposure for their products.
The Grand Prix series originated in 2004 with the Open and team competitions. 2007 saw the addition of a junior division, for athletes under 20 years of age. In 2009 a Masters Grand Prix circuit joined the series with slightly adjusted scoring based on the age graded scoring tables.
The top three individual men and women in the open, junior, and master divisions, and the top three men's and women's teams overall, will be presented with awards and recognized at USATF Race Walk meeting at the Annual Convention in December.
USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series: Junior & Open
Individuals who are members of USATF in good standing prior to the start of each event are eligible to compete, however only US Citizens are eligible for awards. Athletes may compete as individuals and/or as members of a team. For individuals, the top 10 overall U.S. finishers, male and female, can score in each race in the Series (10 for first, 9 for second, 8 for third, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1). A bonus of 2 points will be given to the winner if he or she breaks the national record at the race distance.
USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series: Masters
The USA Race Walking Grand Prix continues in the Masters Division with 9 venues and 10 races this year. Individuals aged 35 or older who are members of USATF in good standing prior to the start of each event are eligible to compete, however only US Citizens are eligible for awards.
This year USATF will crown the top overall man and woman champions as in the past, however the way that is determined will be slightly different. As in the past, each race will be age graded using the WAVA 2006 age grading tables. The age graded adjusted time will be added to the actual finish time. The results will be tabulated using the sum of the two times. (Since no 1 hour table is available, an interpolated or actual split at 8k or 10k will be used as the base point.)
It has been observed that using the overall finish time gives a distinct
advantage to the younger masters, while using the age graded adjusted times
gives a distinct advantage to the older masters. The change in scoring is
designed to even out the advantages and make the process of selecting the Grand
Prix Masters winners more fair to all competitors.
Bonus Points: A bonus of 3 points will be awarded to any athlete breaking a world age group record (5 year age group). A bonus of 2 points would be awarded to any athlete breaking a world single age record or an American 5 year age group record. A bonus of 1 point would be awarded to any athlete breaking an American single age record. The points are not cumulative (only score one bonus per race) and are only good for the contested race distance.
USA Race Walking Grand Prix Series: Teams
Individuals may compete for a team only if they are registered under their
team name with their association in the USATF Membership database prior to race
day. All teams must e-mail a roster of USATF registered athletes, which includes
the Athlete’s name, birth date, address, and USATF number, to the Grand Prix
Coordinator before the race. Once the team has been verified, only additions or
subtractions of registered athletes need to be made. No day-of-race changes will
be accepted. All USATF team-change rules apply. The top five teams will score
points in selected team-scoring events, by gender (10 for first, 8 for second, 6
for third, 4 for fourth, 2 for fifth). Place will be scored by the cumulative
time of the first three finishers of each registered team. Only one team may
score per club, per gender.