It is exactly what it sounds like: races where you have to have a fast enough qualifying time to sign up. This isn’t a shift towards elitism from local race organizers Double Dog Dare U Events, rather it’s a series for those who want to run fast in a deeper “fast field” than you find at many events. Even as someone who is far from competitive, it’s easy to see the appeal of the Pacific NW Qualifiers Only Race Series.
Qualifying times are age graded and, in my opinion, competitive but not unreachable. In other words, I don’t have fast enough times to register for this series right now, but I think if I really put the effort in, it could be attainable. For example, for my current age group (35-39), the women’s qualifying time is 23:00 (a 7:25 pace). The men’s qualifying time for the same age group is 21:00 (6:46 pace). This year, I think I’ll just watch, because it should be an exciting race! There are three race distances: 5k, 10k, and half marathon.
The first race is scheduled for June 11, 2016 in Vancouver. There will also be a race in Oregon, date TBD in August 2016. You can submit a qualifying times for 5k, 10k or half marathon – Check them out here for the 5k, here for the 10k, and here for the half marathon. If you are registering for the 10k, you should submit a qualifying time for the 10k or half marathon, but a 5k submission will not be accepted. The race time you submit must be from a race from within the past six months of the day on which you register. So, if you are signing up on February 15, your qualifying race must have been run on or after August 15, 2015.
Organizers plan to have 4-6 events in the series by 2017.
Here are the details:
When: Saturday, June 11, 2016
What time: The Half Marathon starts at 7a, the 10k at 7:15a, and the 5k at 7:30a
Where: Skyview High School at 1300 NW 139th St. in Vancouver
Register: Online here. Sign up by February 29, 2016 and the prices are $30/$40/$50 for the 5k/10k/Half Marathon, respectively. From March 1 – April 30, registration prices go up to $40/$50/$60. Starting May 1, prices are $50/$60/$70. Registration includes the usual: a finisher’s shirt, medal, and post-race food and drink. There will be awards, too.