Here we are in the home stretch of the competition and it looks like there are a few divisional battles that could go down to the wire. Here's a quick roundup:
Three teams are clustered near the top of the standings in the heavyweight Division 1 (clubs with more than 250 members): Cyclonaut Multisport of Agawam MA continues to lead the pack heading into the final few days of the Run session, with Jacksonville FL's Hammerheads about 1,000 NCC miles behind. That's only 333 real miles, so it's still not over. The other big mileage club in the pack is perennial contenders DC Tri Club out of Washington DC, and even though they are still some distance back a big push (and maybe some good running weather) could make things close.
The Kansas River Valley Tri Club is still hanging onto a 1,000 NCC mile lead in this division over newcomers Swim Bike Run, based in Town and Country MO. Another 1,000 behind them is Colorado's Boulder Tri Club but again, a big effort from either of the chasing teams could change the final standings on February 29.
This division, for clubs with 80-129 members, is an anomaly this year as the Fredericksburg Tri Club of Fredericksberg VA has opened up a big lead over the rest of the division. The real battle is for second place right now, with Paole Sport from Seattle WA holding a 1,000 mile lead over the Redline Tri Club of Font du Lac WI.
This is where the closest race in the competition is going on. In first place today (February 25) is the Brentwood Endurance Athletic Team of Brentwood TN, but right behind them and chasing hard is Get Fit Families of Cranberry Township PA. Not far off the pace is the Northwest YMCA Tri Club based in Irmo SC. The gap between 3rd place and 1st place is less than 300 miles, and just over 100 miles behind the Y crew is Team NRGY of Montclair NJ. This could get interesting over the final few days!
The battle for top spot in the final division has come down to two teams: Hurdle the Dead of Harrisburg PA (the team with perhaps the best name in the competition, maybe even the country) is out front with a slim lead over Women of Steel, racing out of Auburn IN. We won't know who comes out best until all the results are in.
Even if your club is not vying for a divisional or overall prize, it's still worth putting in some run miles this week for your internal standings. Bragging rights may not come with a banner or a cash prize but they are still good for reminding your club mates who can put the hammer down when it counts.
Good luck and happy running to everyone in the final week of the 2011-2012 NCC.