DC Front Runners Washington, DC's LGBTQ+ Running & Walking Club

Race Circuit FAQ

Is participation in the Race Circuit mandatory?

No.  The Race Circuit exists as an option for members who want to engage in some friendly competition with other members.  There is no pressure to complete the Race Circuit, but anyone, regardless of pace and experience level, is welcome to participate.  You may want to participate, because there are a number of benefits associated with it (see answer to “What are the benefits of participating in the Race Circuit?”)

What are the benefits of participating in the Race Circuit?

First, many of our members find it fun.  But also, many of our members have found that they had developed and improved significantly as a runner even after one year of participation; completing the Race Circuit pushed them to be stronger runners than they thought was possible.  Plus, racing offers a unique type of camaraderie; DC Front Runners members often meet for brunch or a meal after races (e.g. coffee at Starbucks after the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler), or before in the case of out-of-town races (e.g. carb-loading before the Baltimore Half-Marathon).  DC Front Runners would be more than happy to have you at these pre- or post-race events. This is often a great opportunity to get to know other members of DC Front Runners.

How do I participate in the Race Circuit?

Run races.  After you have completed a race, submit the requested information (e.g. time, name of the race, distance, and so on) through the DC Front Runners Race Results Submission Form.  

Please note that in order to receive recognition for the completion of the Race Circuit, you must be a dues-paying member in good standing.

Is the Race Circuit separated by age group and gender?  If not, wouldn’t that favor younger male participants?

The Race Circuit is not separated by age group and gender.  However, the scoring system used will often ensure that the highest-ranking participants will not necessarily consist entirely of younger men.  Your Race Circuit scores are based on your age-graded score, which is a comparison of your race time to the world record for your age and gender rather than to an open world record.  Therefore, a 25-minute 5K would result in a different score for a 30-year-old man than it would for a 60-year-old woman. 

Having said that, it is certainly possible for people who are not younger and male to do very well in the Race Circuit.  During the 2014-15 season, for example, the top three finishers were all women. During the 2016-17 season, eight of the top ten finishers were 40 years old or older.

What if I want to participate, but cannot start racing until much later in the season because of a busy work period, travel, injury, or a major life event?

Start racing whenever you can.  Five Race Circuit races and one race of choice does not take as long to complete as you may think.  In numerous instances in the past, participants have completed their first races of the season as late as April and still got in the required number of races.

Can I submit race results from a novelty race such as the 17th Street High Heel Race or a Tough Mudder?

You may submit results from such races, but these races are typically of a non-standard distance, which will result in a Race Circuit score of zero.  These races can count toward an Overachiever Award, however.

Can I submit my result from the run portion of a triathlon or my leg of a relay?

Yes.  If the run portions or legs are of a standard distance (e.g. 5K, 10K, half-marathon, etc.), then it will be scored just like a standalone race of that distance.  Keep in mind, however, that your times in these portions will often be slower than what you would be capable of in a standalone race of the same distance and thus may lead to one of your lower scores.

If these portions or legs are not of a standard distance, they will result in a Race Circuit score of zero like novelty races (see answer to “Can I submit race results from a novelty race such as the 17th Street High Heel Race or a Tough Mudder?”) Just like these novelty races, these portions or legs can still count toward an Overachiever Award.

My result from a recent race was not announced before the fun runs or published in the eNews.  What should I do?

Be sure you have submitted your race result through the DC Front Runners Race Results Submission Form.  Any results not submitted through that form will not be announced before fun runs, published in the eNews, or counted toward your Race Circuit scores and totals. If you have submitted your race result, the Race Co-Directors should have them.

But keep in mind that even if you have submitted your race result, the Race Co-Directors still may not be able to announce it before fun runs due to time constraints, particularly so in some races where 30 or 40 or more DCFR members participate; in such cases, the Race Co-Directors will often only announce those that ran a personal best, ran their first race ever or of that distance, won an age group award, or placed overall so that the pre-run announcements will not be interminably long. It may not be published in the eNews either if it is a result from a less recent race (one taking place more than two weeks ago).  Please do not take it as an indication that your race result was not worth mentioning; we celebrate every runner’s achievements.  These policies were adopted simply due to space constraints in the eNews and time constraints before runs.  

Is there anything else I should keep in mind while participating in the Race Circuit?

Have fun.  Again, the Race Circuit is a fun, friendly competition among members of DCFR.  But also, try to wear some DCFR apparel (e.g. racing singlet or T-shirt) at races. That makes it easier for other DCFR members to find you among the crowds before and after the race, and for members in our cheering squads to find you during the races.  Also, be sure to seek out other DCFR members after the race, since as mentioned before, we often take a post-race picture and go for a post-race coffee or brunch.