December 12, 2009

We've Moved!

The Racetracker blog has moved to a new location!

December 9, 2009

What's New for the NCC

Before I get to the New Stuff, have you seen the number of clubs signed up this year? 87! That's the most we've had in the four years the NCC has been around, and the miles are piling up to prove it. So that's pretty exciting all in itself.


This year the prizes are being given out a little bit differently. The benchmarks are still in place but instead of rewarding the team who reaches the benchmark first, we've decided to reward the team who accumulates the most miles for the month. This prevents it from becoming a contest to see who can enter their miles the fastest. So that's an improvement.


Also new for this year are separate divisions for clubs of different sizes. Large clubs will still have to break up into teams of 75 athletes (max), but now there are different divisions for clubs of different sizes, independent of how many athletes actually sign up for the NCC. Does your club have 1,000 members but only 25 have signed up? You'll still be in the large clubs division, so you need to encourage more of your club members to join. The divisions break out like so:

Division I (250+ members)
Division II (130-249 members)
Division III (80-129 members)
Division IV (30-79 members)
Division V (2-29 members)

A full roundup of which teams are in each division will be posted very soon, so to everyone who wrote in asking about that just hang on a bit longer. Club reps, please make sure USAT has your full roster - mail to asap if you haven't already done so.

Update - a partial list of clubs and divisions is now on the Teams page. We are still waiting for everyone to submit their rosters!


Returning athletes may have noticed some additional charts this year. There are some fun stats that track average and total miles for each age group, plus gender. Look on the right side of each standings page, and look for the link to the Statistics page where you can compare these in even more detail.


Yes, we are now on Twitter. Check out the feed on the home page, and don't forget to follow USATNCC for regular updates. We promise not to tweet about what we had for lunch or that annoying guy in line at the ATM.


And finally, there is now a built-in discussion forum on the NCC site. So please drop in and ask any questions you might have, or engage your opponents in some good natured trash talk!

We've been on Facebook since last year, so technically that's not really new. Look for the link on the teams page and the home page, right under the survey.

Oh, and widgets. Can't forget widgets. Put any of the lovely dashboard or standings widgets right on your own website or blog, absolutely free of charge.

December 1, 2009

Welcome to 2009-2010

Hello! And welcome to the 4th annual USA Triathlon National Challenge Competition. As I write this blog entry we now have a record 80 teams competing in the competition this year, and athletes have already started to put in the miles on Day One.

First, yet another reminder of how this all works.

Each month in the competition is dedicated to one triathlon discipline: December is Swim month, January is Bike month, and February is Run month. Easy so far. That doesn't mean you should only swim in December, or only ride in January or only run in February! All miles count towards your club total at the end of the competition, so just do your regular workouts in all three disciplines each month.

Just remember - only count the miles you do for the month they were done. If you swam in November... sorry, those miles don't count. If you put in a heroic ride in January those miles can't be used towards February's totals. They have to go into January.

Some Official Announcements from USA Triathlon

Please remember to submit your full club roster to This will indicate your club’s appropriate division for overall awards. Please note, this roster is not just the athletes participating in the NCC but your full team roster.

Club representatives must add participating athletes to the NCC site. We will not be able to add your athletes via the roster. Athletes participating in the NCC must be members of USA Triathlon. If participants are not valid members of USAT, they will be removed from the competition. A notification email will be sent to the athlete and/or the club representative to purchase the membership.

What's New for 2009-2010

Prizes, for those who are returning from previous years, are being awarded slightly differently this year. Instead of awarding the team who hits the benchmark distance first, awards will be given to the team with the highest swim, bike, or run mileage for the month. This prevents the competition from being about who can enter their miles fastest.

Club reps can still enter all miles as they come in, if that's what they want to do. All miles entered are shown immediately in the standings and on the various charts and widgets available throughout the site.

Also, as indicated above, there are prizes awarded according to club category. This means that the big clubs will not be competing directly against the smaller clubs. If you belong to a club with 1,000 members but only 20 sign up, you'll still be in with your Big Club rivals who signed up 75 (the max per team). So start recruiting now!

If you have more than 75 people from your club who want to compete, let us know and we'll create as many separate teams for you as you need (each with a maximum of 75 athletes).

Other new stuff includes some new charts showing average and total miles based on gender and age groups. Look for those on the various standings pages, and on the new Stats page. All you numbers geeks (which is about 99% of triathletes, right?) should appreciate the new charts and graphs.

Also new for this year is Team USAT. For all you triathletes who are not members of a club but who still want to compete (and are bona fide USAT members) we have created a special club just for you. All individual athletes are made honorary members of Team USAT, and the team will compete right alongside all the other official USAT clubs.

In 2007-2008 we swam, biked and ran over 1 million miles! Since we have a few more clubs this year there is no reason we can't do it again. So good luck to everyone and happy training.

Jeff McCartney

November 3, 2009

Registration is Open

Registration for the 2009-2010 edition of the USA Triathlon National Challenge Competition is now open. There are already several teams signed up - check the Teams page for a map to see who's in this year!

July 23, 2009

Team No Team Debut

Up until now, some of the more advanced and cool features of Racetracker have been available only to members of official tri clubs or teams. Not any more.

The training calendar, team reports and race result comparisons are now all available to everyone.

Anyone joining as an individual is now automatically placed on Team No Team, while anyone who had previously joined as an individual has been put on Team No Team as well.

An email will go out shortly to alert members to this new feature.

May 18, 2009

World Domination Not Far Off for Racetracker

Well, ok maybe not total world domination. But we now have a definite international flavour to our membership. 

Racetracker now includes members from (in no particular order):

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Spain
  • Ireland
  • the Netherlands
  • Great Britain
  • China
  • Italy
  • South Africa
Not bad for a little site with no advertising budget. 

We depend on your recommendations for membership, people. If you like the site tell your friends and have them sign up.

March 6, 2009

Another NCC Comes to a Close

You know spring is around the corner when the National Challenge Competition wraps. 

For some teams spring might be around the corner, down the street and straight out of town a few miles (Alaska, Buffalo) while for others spring never left (San Diego, Guam, Florida).  But for calendar watchers, the end of the NCC means the end of winter can't be far off. 

Some quick and unofficial numbers while USAT compiles the Big Report:

Total Miles for Everyone, All Events: 769,398

That's around 482 miles average for each athlete. 

Swim: 27,745 miles = 11,560 Ironman swims
Bike: 555,289 miles = 3,084 Ironman bikes
Run: 186,365 = 7,113 Ironman runs

If you add it all up, that equals approximately 3,688 full Ironman distance triathlons by total distance.

Club and individual athlete awards will be announced officially by USAT soon. 

Great job, everyone. See you next year. 

February 26, 2009

Run Session Closing Date & Time

For all Club Reps entering mileage for their clubs, the cutoff date for getting the February mileage entered will be March 2 at midnight, your local time. This is to give these hard-working folks time to get all their miles entered without being under too much pressure. 

This doesn't mean that miles run in March can be counted - all miles entered for the Run Session must have been actually run in February.

Now that business has been taken care of, how about a round of applause for all the Club Reps who so diligently entered everyone's miles throughout the competition? Without them, where would this competition be? So be nice to your rep. Maybe slip them a couple of Hammergels the next time you see them at a race, or buy them a set of Zipp 808s. I'm sure they would be happy with either one of those options.

February 15, 2009

Bunnies Thwarted by Hammerheads

The Three-peat has been thwarted! Odds-on favourites to win their third straight session, the Alaska Tri Club Red Biting Bunnies have been sent packing by their opponents from the exact opposite end of the country, the Hammerhead Tri Club!

Hailing from sunny Florida, the HH crew were the first to cross the 3,000 mile mark on sunday February 15. The Hammers finished ahead of second place Tri Club of San Diego, with the bunnies currently sitting in 3rd spot. 

Congrats to the Hammerhead Tri Club!

February 7, 2009

Bike Numbers are In

The report for the Bike Session is now being compiled and will be released officially by USAT next week, but in the meantime you may be interested in a few stats.

Total Bike Mileage for the Bike Session: 235,774 miles.
Average Bike Mileage per Club: 4,065 miles
Average Bike Mileage per Athlete: 212 miles.
Highest average mileage: Tribe, San Jose CA: 330.78 miles per athlete

Very impressive.

The total mileage and average mileage per athlete includes both club and individual (no club affiliation) athletes.

Official standings and awards will be released next week.

February 3, 2009

Run Forrest, Run

Just a gentle reminder to everyone (but club reps in particular) that all run mileage for the February Run Session must have been run in February. No carrying over miles from January, or December, or last August. February. 2009.

The phone has been ringing off the hook here at Racetracker World Headquarters, deep in our blast-proof underground bunker in a secret location somewhere in the northern hemisphere. Some athletes have amassed incredible miles already, and it's only February 3. Keen-eyed competitors have been quick to spot these Forrest Gump-like totals, and quicker to let us know about it. Thanks so much for the emails, everyone :)

If you are a rep and you've made an entry error you can easily correct it by entering a negative number to balance it out. If this describes your situation it would be good if you could do that asap, please.

Thanks and to everyone else: don't panic.

February 1, 2009

Full Swim Session Report Now Available

Now that the official Swim Session results have been officially announced by USAT officials, you can get your very own official PDF version of the Complete Swim Session Results. It's official.

The report is available on the Swim Standings page.

A similar report will be available for the BIke Session as soon as the results have been tallied up, though of course you can still see the latest numbers on the Bike Standings page any time you like.

January 26, 2009

Bike Week Bell Lap

Heading into the final week of the bike session, the Top 10 club list is dominated by some familiar faces and some newcomers.

The battle for top spot continues, with the Alaska and San Diego teams trading places numerous times this month. As of this writing (blogging?) the Red Biting Bunnies are nearly at 16,000 miles and the San Diego crew are at just under 15,000. Don't these people have day jobs? Very impressive.

Rounding out the Top 10:

Alaska Tri Club White Wabid Wabbits
Hammerhead Tri Club
DC Tri Club
Buffalo Tri Club (right behind DC)
LA Tri Club
Jet City Tri

A special shout-out to the Tribe team, who are holding onto 8th with only 26 athletes on their team! They have racked up the highest average per-athlete mileage of the bike session (259 per athlete so far). If they had a full team of 75 they would be well out in front right now.

The Bike Session officially ends this Saturday January 31 at one nanosecond past midnight, so keep spinning, pedalling, riding, hammering and logging those miles. Club reps will have extra time to record all the miles put in by their teams, but make sure you get your results in to your club rep as early as possible.

January 18, 2009

We Have a Winnner

Building on their success in the Swim Session, the Alaska Tri Club Red Biting Bunnies pulled off another win in January's Bike Session. Again besting arch-rivals the Tri Club of San Diego, the Bunnies broke the tape literally just ahead of their southern California opponents. 

Alaska TC RBB's hit the 10,000 mile mark on January 13 at 7:15 AM Alaska Time. 
Tri Club of San Diego were right behind, logging their 10,000 on the same day (!) at 10:38 Pacific Time. Close!

Congratulations to both clubs for putting in such a huge effort. 

The benchmarks for each session have gone up each year of the competition, since many clubs seemed to easily reach them in each past year. This year as of this writing only 2 clubs have surpassed the 10,000 mile mark, but one more (the other Alaska team, the White Wabid Wabbits) is poised to reach it any day now, and with half the month still to go there are three more teams (Hammerhead, DC Tri and Buffalo) who have a realistic shot at 10,000 miles. 

Comments about the competition so far? About the mileage benchmarks? We want to hear from you. Send your comments either via this blog, the NCC website contact form, or by posting to the NCC Athletes Facebook group.

Happy riding, everyone! Warm weather is on the way! 

January 15, 2009

A Facebook Group is Born

Hey sports fans, so there's this new thing called Facebook that all the kids are on now, apparently you can post photos and updates and - what? You've heard of it? Well have you heard about the newest Facebook group, NCC Athletes? No? That's probably because I just created it an hour ago.

Go, join, post, chat, trash-talk. See who you're competing against. Make new frenemies.

First discussion thread: "Northern athletes are more motivated than those in the South. Discuss"

Wow. Who picked that topic? Oh right, I did. Strongly agree? Agree? Disagree? Or maybe you Strongly Disagree. Let us know. 

January 7, 2009

Indoor Sports

Just to prove their Swim session triumph was no fluke, the Alaska Tri Club decided to hit the ground riding in January. Their massive warehouse-based indoor ride-a-thon got them off to a great start, and the warm weather clubs are still playing catch-up. 
Even though their plan to webcast the event was foiled by technology, they still captured a few photos to prove their all around hard-core-ness. 

Does your club have a similar event planned? Let us know so we can help you brag about it here or on the NCC website. There's a handy form on the site for sending email to the good folks at Racetracker, your online emcees for the National Challenge Competion.

January 1, 2009

Swim Session Roundup: Facts, Factoids, and Truthiness

With the swim session officially over (but open to mileage entry until Jan 2) now would be a good time to look back and reflect on all that we have learned since December 1, 2008. It seems like barely a month ago, doesn't it?

Here are a few facts and figures from the opening session, as well as a few factoids containing various degrees of truthiness.

  1. Total Mileage for December: roughly 187,000 miles. That is more or less equal to 24 times around the earth at the equator.

  2. Total Swim Mileage for December: as of Jan 1, over 10,500 swim miles have been entered. That's around 17,000 kilometers, or 340,000 lengths of an Olympic-sized (50 meter) pool.

  3. Highest individual swim mileage: 105.46 miles by Jenny Birmelin of the Ford Athletic Swim & Triathlon Club. That's about the distance from New York City to Philadelphia.

  4. Highest club swim mileage: 894 miles and counting, by the Alaska Tri Club Red Biting Bunnies. That's further than the distance from Anchorage to Juneau, as the crow flies.

  5. Highest Swim Mileage for a non-club Athlete: 55.9 miles by Erica Chabalko in Baghdad, Iraq. Impressive! Given the heat in that part of the world it looks like Erica spent as much time as possible in the pool, so Erica we are glad to give you the excuse motivation to keep swimming.

The miles should really pile up in January, as this is the Bike session. The warm-climate clubs can now get their revenge on their northern competition, as athletes in the snowier states are at the mercy of the weather and road conditions. Sure we can ride our trainers, but it's a lot easier to do a century on the open road than in your basement or at the gym.

For the rest of us (your host lives in the north) let's put the studs on our bike tires and get out the thermal underwear, it's going to be a busy month.