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Summer Series Planning

The Red Lizard Summer Series… our annual intra-club competition that has some elements of performance and participation.  The origins of the series go way back, with one of the goals being to have some friendly competition among club members.  The other more important goal was picking some events that members knew their teammates would be at, so showing up would often be an opportunity to hang out with friends, or connect with teammates you hadn’t met before.

Last year was obviously a different kind of series, as the races that were selected all got canceled.  OK, all but one event got canceled – the Strava segment has been an event we have contested the past several years, and it was the only thing in the original line up that remained.  That event actually inspired some of the other Strava-based competitions that were contested – the Hill Climbing Challenge Week may have been one of the most fun things we added last year.  Perhaps “fun” isn’t the right word… but it was something that virtually accomplished the original goals of the Summer Series – promoting some friendly intra-club competition, while also helping connect us in the only way possible during a pandemic, through social media platforms.

As we think about what the 2021 Summer Series might look like, we really want to hear from members what events appeal to you most.

  • Strava Segment – is there an existing segment in the Metro area we might use, or is there a place that would be fun for everyone to go run as hard as they can?
  • Climbing Challenge week.  Oh yeah… we are going to do this again.  Ideas on when?
  • Strava Local Legend.  Looking for feedback on this idea.  For those who don’t know what the “local legend” tracking is on Strava, it is the person who runs any given segment the most times in a 3 month window.  So it’s not about speed (that is the course record, CR), it is just about consistency.  For the Summer Series, we would score this based on the number of local legends everyone has at the end of August (so for the months of June, July and August).
  • Virtual races?  Do we want to include one or two virtual races in this year’s series?  Last year we had a lot of “select your own” course events, and while tried to make a maximum amount of elevation loss (or a minimum amount of elevation gain on the uphill mile), having everyone do different courses was a challenge.  That was feedback we used when setting up set courses for the 2020 virtual Stumptown Cross series, so the question is whether we actually make a virtual 5k or 10k a race, or just set one or 2 up as the Strava segment?
  • In-person races?  There are a few events that are being planned for the summer.  As vaccination rates increase over the next couple months, perhaps there will be some options that seem safe for racing on the same day at the same time?  Is that something that you feel like you might be willing to participate in?  If so, are there events you have seen being planned you might recommend we consider?

If you have feedback on any, or all, of the above, please share it with Torrey at torrey@redlizardrunning.com or check out the polls and questions on the TRL members group on Facebook.  With any luck, we can get a fun balance of events planned for May through August to meet the goals of friendly competition and connecting either (or both) virtually and in-person.

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