CAN I RUN WITH WHISPER AND MY (MIDDLE SCHOOL / HIGH SCHOOL) TEAM?
If your child is in high school, then they cannot train or race with Whisper until their HS season has concluded. If they are in HS but not participating in XC or TF, then they may train with Whisper, but not compete. An example of this is if a female athlete plays HS soccer in the fall, meanwhile trains with Whisper in the fall to remain in shape for spring track.
If your child is in middle school or elementary school, they can participate in training and/or racing with Whisper during their season. This is very common.
DO RUNNERS RACE IN ALL OF THE RACES ON THE SCHEDULE?
They may, but they certainly do not have to race in all the meets. We typically have 8-12 meets per season. Some runners run 1-2 regular season meets, then Junior Olympics, while other runners run all the meets. It really depends on the commitment your child may have to other sports and activities.
HOW DO I REGISTER MY CHILD TO RACE?
First, register them with USATF and Whisper (see the instructions on the Join the Team page). Meet registrations typically close one week prior to the meet date, so expect an email two weeks prior to a meet seeking RSVP’s. For example, if a meet is on October 15, the meet host may close registration by October 8. Therefore, an email will be sent to team parents by October 1, for the October 15 meet, seeking RSVPs by Oct 7, so we have time to get kids registered, and the host coach can get organized for the meet.
WHAT ARE THE REGISTRATION COSTS?
RACING: USATF registration is $33 and is good for the calendar year. Whisper registration is $29 and is good for the season. Races are paid as we go, and rates vary depending on the meet. Race registrations are typically $20-30 per race.
TRAINING: There is no registration for training. Most often, kids train using a Runcard or an Annual Training Membership. Runcards are $149 in the spring and fall, $189 in the winter and summer, and are good for eight sessions. Once your child reaches the seventh session, an update about your child’s progress will be sent via email, along with an update on the Runcard, at which time you may purchase a new Runcard. Annual Training Memberships are a one-time purchase for training that spans 365 days. It’s much more economical, and good for kids who wish to fully commit to training for both track and XC. Whisper does offer Winter Training and Summer Training packages for middle school and high school runners, which are typically $499 for nine weeks.
HOW MUCH IS A UNIFORM?
Uniforms consist of a top (singlet) and bottom (shorts). Uniforms are free to borrow for the season, and unreturned uniforms are $129. Warm-ups, which consist of an Adidas zip-up jacket and sweat bottoms, are $149 for the set and yours to keep. Returned warm-ups may be borrowed to runners for the season.
WHAT ARE THE JUNIOR OLYMPICS?
The regular season consists of 7-10 meets in September and October. These meets are typically for middle school-age runners, but you’ll often find elementary age runners racing in these same races. Regular season meets that Whisper participates in are within 2-hours of Vancouver.
Junior Olympics commence the post-season, and typically begin on the second Saturday in November. There are three JO races, starting with the Association Meet, then the Region Meet, and finally Nationals. The Association Meet consists of teams from western Washington. The Region Meet includes teams from Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, and is on the weekend after the Association Meet. The National Meet can be anywhere in the nation, falls on the second Saturday in December, and typically rotates annually between western, central, and eastern states. Junior Olympic races are divided into age divisions (U8, 9-10, 11-12, 13-14, 15-16, 17-18).
IS THERE A DEADLING BY WHICH MY CHILD SHOULD REGISTER FOR JUNIOR OLYMPICS?
The worthwhile answer is that race registration closes approximately one week prior to the first JO meet. Your first step will be to register your child with USATF ($33), being sure to upload a copy of their birth certificate for age verification purposes. Plan to have your child registered by November 2. Registering your child after November 1, ensures your child will have a valid registration through the end of the following year (membership is good for 14 months). If you register your child prior to November 1, then their membership will only be good for the rest of the calendar year. Be sure to let Coach Dave know of their interest in participating in the Junior Olympics, so he can keep you up to date with general information (i.e., travel, overnight plans, meet information) before registering with USATF.
The short answer is November 1. Runners will need to be registered with USATF ($33) and Whisper ($29).
CAN RUNNERS PRACTICE AND NOT RACE?
Of course! This happens a lot with runners who are more committed to other sports but wish to gain skills or stamina through running training. However, don’t be surprised if Coach Dave continues to encourage your child to race – it’s fun!