I’ve been looking for some races to regenerate my enthusiasm with a bit of age-group competition. Beyond the local races that are coming back, there are national organizations announcing competitions for later in 2021 and into 2022 and 2023.
National Senior Games are open to athletes 50 years and older who qualify at State Games held in alternate years. There are more than 40 sports represented at their Games.
USA Track & Field (USATF) events are open to senior athletes competing in running and in track & field events. Their competition ages include members over 25, 30 or 35, depending on the event. Events are open to everyone without qualification, but require a USATF membership ($40 for a calendar year).
The Huntsman Games are open to athletes over age 50. They are increasing to 33 sports categories this year. They also offer some walking tours of the St. George, Utah area.
The USA Masters Games are described as a the National Sports Festival for Adult Athletes by combining a national-championships-level competitive experience in each sport with a fun and entertaining environment conducive to meeting and socializing with fellow adult athletes from across the U.S. and other countries of the world. This year they are offering competition in 27 different sports.
Here are some upcoming events that might spark your interest:
- June 24-27, 2021 USA Masters Games in Grand Rapids, Michigan (postponed from 2020) For running, this event is primarily track and field. Open to participants age 21 & over.
- July 21-25, 2021, 2021 USATF Masters Outdoor Championships will now take place at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa
- September 19, 2021 USATF Masters 12 km Championships – Highlands, New Jersey (By Hook or by Crook)
- October 4 – 16, 2021 Huntsman World Senior Games, St. George, Utah
- May 10-23, 2022 The National Senior Games Association (NSGA) in Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida. This is the rescheduled date for what would have been the 2021 Games.
- 2023 – Date TBD, NSGA hosted in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Again, somewhere over 40 sports to choose from.
Well, that is a sampling of what I’ve found for good senior competition. USATF has more events in the pipeline for this year, but details are not yet confirmed. If track & field and middle-distance races are of particular interest to you, keep an eye on their website for announcements.
The events above are spread out across the east, midwest and west as well as the south. I’ve found it’s beneficial to get away from your home turf a bit and experience that level of competition. I have participated in National Senior Games and Pennsylvania State Games at several different locations over the last ten years (Cleveland, Minneapolis and Albuquerque). I’ve also run in two USATF races, a 5K in Syracuse NY and a 10K in Dedham, Massachusetts. The competition is tougher than local road races. I like that because it shows me what is possible with outstanding runners of my age.
I have not yet participated in the USA Masters Games or the the Huntsman World Senior Games, but I hope to in the future. If you have participated in either, how did they go for you?
If you find something to your liking in any of the above listed, or have a hankering to travel a bit for your next race, let me know what you choose. Maybe I will see you there.