This information is also available on the Rules page of the NCC site.
This year many athletes will be entering their own miles, unlike previous years when only Club Reps could do so. We've tried to answer a few questions about the process and the competition for anyone either new to the NCC or who will be entering miles for the first time.
Q. Do I have to enter the exact date when I ran/cycled/swam?
A. No but you should. By entering the date you actually completed your workout or training session we can accurately track when teams reach the session benchmark distance. Before we started tracking workout dates we found that the competition had become about which team could enter their mileage first, not which team could DO the mileage first. So please enter your workout dates.
Q. What if I forget to enter my miles and the month ends?
A. Each month we grant 48 additional hours to enter miles accumulated during the previous month. In the past this was to allow club reps enough time to get everyone's miles entered, but we will continue to have this grace period this year. After the 48 hours is over however, you will not be able to enter any miles for previous months.
Q. Should I enter miles for all 3 disciplines in each month?
A. Absolutely. All miles count towards the overall awards at the end of the competition, so make sure you enter all your miles in each month.
Q. What's this weighting thing all about?
A. Since it's easier to accumulate miles on the bike than it is running or swimming, we level the playing field by weighting swim and run miles accordingly. Each swim mile counts for 10 'NCC miles', and each run mile counts for 3. Bike miles are not weighted at all - what you ride is what you get.
Q. Do I have to calculate my mileage weighting myself?
A. Nope. Just enter the miles you actually swam, biked or ran and the system will perform the weighting for you. This year there is an exception for elliptical machines. See the next question for details.
Q. Elliptical running machines are allowed this year. How do I record elliptical miles?
A. Since 'running' on an elliptical trainer is easier than real running, the weighting for elliptical miles is being calculated differently than run miles.
For every 3 miles completed on an elliptical machine, you should enter only 1 mile into the 'Run' category when entering your miles. They will count as run miles, but are not worth the same number of 'NCC miles' as actual running. Here's how it breaks down for hypothetical athlete Terry Trifan. If Terry does 6 miles in each discipline and then cools down with another 6 miles on an elliptical trainer this is what the mileage entries will look like:
|Event||Mileage||Entered into system||Weighting||NCC Miles|
So you can see that swim and run miles are weighted while bike and elliptical miles are not. Since Terry only entered 1 run mile for every 3 miles on the elliptical trainer the end result is as if those miles were not weighted at all.
Q. What about miles ridden on a bike trainer?
A. Anyone putting their bike on a standard bike trainer (which will be most cold climate athletes) should ensure that the tension is set correctly - riding with little or no tension on the back wheel is the indoor equivalent of an endless downhill ride... with a tailwind. Not very sporting. Also since your bike's computer calculates mileage based on the rotation of the front wheel it won't be possible to measure your miles unless you can switch your odometer to the back. If that isn't possible, we will grant a maximum of 15 miles for every hour logged on a stationary bike trainer. That includes spin bikes.
Q. How do you know I actually swam / biked / ran the miles I say I did?
A. We don't. But since this is a friendly competition we expect every athlete to act honourably and enter only the miles he or she actually swam, biked or ran and on the day they actually happened. If an athlete appears to be consistently or frequetly entering heroic / epic miles however, USAT may ask for verification of those miles. See the official rules on the USAT site for exact details.
Q. I made a mistake in my mileage entry. Now what?
A. If you accidentally enter an incorrect amount into the system you can correct it by adding a corresponding negative amount to cancel out the error. For example if you entered 450 bike miles when you really meant 45, just make another entry of -450 miles to cancel out the first one, then make another entry of 45 miles. We do this so we have a record of all miles entered, which prevents anyone from changing previously entered mileage for dubious reasons. We don't anticipate that this would be a problem but we have to account for the possibility.
Q. How are the different divisions determined?
A. Which division your club belongs to is determined by the total number of athletes in your club, not the number of athletes participating in the National Challenge Competition. It is critical that club reps submit their FULL club roster to USA Triathlon as soon as possible so that they are placed in the correct division. All clubs must submit their roster or risk being removed from the competition.