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SFFR Cross Country/Road Racing Program

12/31/2018, 9:30pm PST
By Liem Nguyen

Hello Members,

As promised, SFFR will begin our Cross Country/Road Racing Program. I want to take this time to thoroughly go through this program with you.

Let’s talk about how this idea came about. SF Frontrunners does great community service. We raise thousands of dollars for our Pride Run Beneficiary, volunteer at water stations, occasionally clean up Strawberry Hill, and more. Our capacity to give back is great, so what can we do to give back to our members? I’m not shooting for monetary or materialistic incentives but to create an experience for our members. An experience queer runners can’t get anywhere else and that’s team unity with the same mission. Queer team athleticism.

The Cross Country/Road Racing Program has two main components: The SFFR Race Circuit, and the Trial Runs. You will find our Race Circuit at the bottom of this message.

At our designated races, I want people to wear their SFFR gear and warm up/cool down together. If you ever ran Cross Country in high school or college then you’ll know the team unity feeling I’m referring too. We will have team manager(s) assisting athletes with registration, results, warm ups, team gear, and/or clothes shedding. In addition, we will have photographer(s) there to capture all of the moments to share with everyone online. SFFR will record and share every SF Frontrunners’ results no matter your time. Just make sure you are a SFFR member and wearing SFFR uniform, no matter the design, i.e. our red uniforms versus blue uniforms.

We already have uniforms and these races happen every year, so why isn’t this happening already? Here’s where things get interesting. To bring a sport and competitive element to this, we are creating three teams within Team SFFR: Men’s Varsity Team (age 39 and under), Men’s Masters Team (age 40 and over), and Women’s Gold Team. The top 7 runners of each team will be featured in our new Official SFFR Record Book. The SFFR Record Book will be used for all future designated races. In addition, we will highlight the top 7 runners from each team via social media and photos. Not only will this encourage the existing and talented runners to run together, but this competitive aspect will motivate and inspire all runners. To be clear, everyone is part of the team irrespective of your abilities.

Want to know where you stand or how much progress you’ve made throughout the year? SFFR will be hosting Top 7 Try-Outs/Trial Runs at our Saturday morning runs 1-2 times per quarter. Same concept as our Race Day procedures except this will be more intimate. Those interested will be running our standardized 5 mile run (without crossing the street). This will be timed and recorded. The top 7 of each team will be featured in the Official SFFR Record Book, recognized during second circle, and be photographed for social media/e-newsletter. All Try-Outs/Trials Runs are independent from one another.

Ultimately, this program is designed to recruit & retain members, mold unity, foster queer athletic excellence, make SFFR presence known at popular local races, motivate and inspire runners, and create opportunities for members to interact with each other. But above all else, I want to SFFR to have a mission. We are a social group, but we are also a sports group. Recreational and competitive runners can coexist with each other. In fact, both groups will thrive more with each other. We are the only queer distance running group in San Francisco so we should capitalize on it. This program is also creating safe spaces for the underrepresented groups in our club: the younger generation, women, and competitive runners.

If you want to participate but not run, then I have some good news. The team will need volunteers to be sports managers, photographers, and graphic designers for support.

Congratulations, you’ve made it this far. If you were wondering, SFFR will still have our regular social events throughout the year. The Cross Country/Road Racing Program is an addition to SFFR. And who knows, if you participate in this program all year, there might be something special for you at our End of the Year Party.

Liem Nguyen

2018 & 2019 SFFR President

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