NEMAA Track & Field League 2019: information for new members
Track and Field League 1 Monday 20th May
Track and Field League 2 Monday 3rd June
Track and Field League 3 Monday 10th June
Track and Field Championships Saturday 22nd June
Track and Field League 4 Monday 1st July
Track and Field League 5 Monday 15th July
Track and Field League 6 Monday 29th July
The Pentathlon and 10k Track Championships (incorporates the British Masters 10k track Championships) will take place on Saturday 22nd September
All six league fixtures take place at Monkton Stadium, Jarrow, on Monday evenings. Field events now start at 6.15 and track events at 6.30 so you need to arrive by 6pm to register and choose your events for the night. Don’t forget to bring your yellow NEMAA membership card with you on your first visit as proof of paid-up membership. You can also save time by pre-entering your events and paying online – details of how to go about this can be found on the NEMAA website: northeastmastersathletics.weebly.com. If you would like to take part but haven’t yet joined NEMAA there’s still time but you need to have done so before you go to Monkton (see Geoff Hewitson or Jayne Henderson if you want any more information or an application form).
Registration for each meeting costs £4 (pay on the night) and you can choose any 3 of the available events. You may combine track and field events but it’s always worth checking with the timetable before you make your choice – try to avoid events that are scheduled to take place at the same time (although finishing a 1500m race then going straight to the long jump whilst still in oxygen debt is all part of the “Monkton Experience”!) You will be issued with a number on your first visit – use this number each time you compete (like in the Harrier League X-Country). There are separate league competitions for men and ladies, as well as individual “Grand Prix” awards. In each age category the individual awards are available in four different event categories as summarized below.
Sprints: 100m, 200m, 300m, 400m
Distance: 800m, 1500m, mile, 3000m, 5000m
Jumps: long jump, high jump, triple jump
Throws: shot, javelin, discus, hammer
Points are scored in 5-year age categories so you are always effectively competing against people in your own age range.
- Athletes are responsible for assembling in the correct start area for their race in good time. Listen for announcements over the public address system.
- All track races are graded according to the estimated times submitted by the competitors. This means that each heat should be made up of athletes of similar ability (irrespective of age or gender) resulting in closer races and better competition. The order of running usually slowest heat first, fastest heat last. Remember that points are still based on age categories, so, for example, all the M45 athletes from the different heats of the same event will be ranked according to their finishing times and points awarded accordingly. It is important that you strive for the fastest time possible whatever your finishing position in your heat.
- The Starter’s Assistant will call out the numbers (not names) before your race (like taking a register!).
- Sprints (up to 400m). Lanes are always drawn for these races and you MUST stay in your lane for the entire race. You can choose whether to do a sprint start or a standing start. The Starter’s instructions will be “Take your marks”, “Set”, then go on the gun (a starting pistol is used).
- 800m races may involve either a line start (where you can ‘break’ immediately) or a lane start (where you ‘break’ after 120m – there is a green line across the track at this point). ALL races above 800m begin with a line start. The Starter’s instruction for 800m and above will be “Take your marks” followed by the gun – there is no “Set” command.
- At the end of your race make sure that you run right through the line, then turn around so that the timekeepers can see your number (don’t worry they will remind you if you forget!). You can, of course, record your own time and whilst this is fine in longer races (800m plus) I would not recommend fiddling with your watch at the start of a sprint.
- Footwear – track spikes are recommended, particularly for the sprints otherwise you will be at a major disadvantage. For longer races, you can wear flat road racing shoes if you feel more comfortable in these.
- These often overlap with track events so, as mentioned earlier, check the timetable of events and be prepared to adopt a flexible approach! Listen for announcements and keep an eye on the event area.
- Before your event starts you will need to register with one of the officials: name, club, number and age category.
- Every competitor is allowed THREE jumps / throws initially. Anyone who reaches the standard for that particular event has the option of three further attempts. Standards vary according to age category and are different for male and female athletes.
- In order to score points you must register at least one VALID jump / throw.
It’s always worth remembering that a few of the athletes will be specialists at sprinting or particular field events – they only do these events and train specifically for them. Don’t feel intimidated as a result because the majority of people who attend are just like us – willing to have a go at anything and trying to win points for their club. A comment often heard particularly in the vicinity of field events is “I haven’t done this since I was at school!” Everyone is always very friendly and supportive. After you have been to two or three meetings you will have set yourself targets to aim for in the future. By this stage you should also have some idea of the standard of other athletes in your age-category, and this will help you to pace yourself more effectively in longer races.
A bit of forward planning would be useful in age-categories where we have several representatives. Ideally, we should try to avoid having more than two people from the same age-category in the same event. Only three athletes from the same club can score points in a given event in their age category. For example, if four of us entered the M60 200m and finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the athlete in 4th place would not score any points.
There’s more to Jayne Henderson than just sprinting – here she is ‘enjoying’ the 800 metres at the NEMAA Pentathlon Championships.
Let’s really go for it this summer, flood the track with yellow and red, and try to get Crook AC high up in both the Men’s and Ladies’ leagues!