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