Sunday, September 17, 2017

Garmin Grand Prix Standing

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 17, 2017


The USATF Garmin sponsored club and team grand prix was updated this week.  To no one’s surprise the Garden State Track Club has a substantial lead, thanks in part to the mile championship in August as well as the cross country championship at Natirar Park where they fielded several strong open teams.
The club has 470 points with the Clifton Road Runners next with 395 and the Shore Athletic Club in third with 351 points.

The Garden State open men and women’s teams also have the lead in those divisions.  Their men’s B, A and C teams have the top three spots in that order. The women are in first in their division but the Shore team is in second and Clifton third.

The Clifton women are on a roll with their W40 and W60 teams in first place and tied with the North Jersey Masters women in the W50.  The Garmin Women are second in W40 and third in W50. 

Thanks to the merger for racing purposes with the Morris area Do Run Runners, the North Jersey Masters club is second in W60 and First in the W70 division.  The Morris County Striders that had until this year been unchallenged in the W70 division  have been pushed down to second and third in the W70 division.  They still reign supreme in the W80 division.

The Garmin M40 team is in first place with the Garden State team in second.  The places are reversed in the M50 division with the Garden State team holding first place while the Garmin team is tied with the North Jersey Masters for second.  The North Jersey Masters are in second place in the M60 division with the Shore club in first.  Clifton is first in the M70 while the North Jersey Masters are in second place.

Local clubs like the Morris County Striders, the Rose City Runners and the Geezers are competing but are not in the top five in any of the divisions.  Counting B and C, and in the case of Garden State even below C teams, a total 26 teams so far year this have competed in at least one championship race.

This morning all of the clubs are racing at the Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon in Jersey City.  How they do will determine how the numbers will change.  The preregistered number of runners as posted on Friday is down slightly from 2016 when 3,140 runners had registered.  This year’s number is 2,957, although a handful of duplicate entries had been spotted in the list. 


The Morris County Striders club may not be the fastest in the state, but what they lack in speed they possess in team spirit.  It has been reported that the club was the largest club to compete in Sparta on Labor Day weekend and again at the Netcong 5K this past weekend as they have been in previous years at Netcong.

David Lerman of Hopatcong won the race in 17:41 while Corine Macaluso of Hopatcong won the women’s race in 21:12.  Both also won the 2016 race.

Randolph’s Roberta Groner showed she has quite a range this month.  Groner placed tenth in the National 20K in New Haven CT on September 4th in 1:10:05.  Last Sunday she finished the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York in 4:51. 

Race Results can often be found at or at
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Cross Country Triple Tie

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 3, 2017

For Sunday, September 3,, 2017
By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302


The USATF NJ cross country meet that was held last Sunday had a rare tie in the open men’s division.  The Garden State Track Club’s C team placed first.  No surprise there, the club has a large roster of fast young runners.  No, the surprise was the three-way tie for second for their B, A and D teams.  Ties in cross country are not uncommon as the points are assigned by place rather than time, but a three way tie is much rarer.  The Shore Athletic Club took fourth with the Garmin Runners taking sixth out of thirteen teams. 

The Garmin M40 A team won that division, with the Garden State team taking second and the Shore team in third.  The Garmin M50 team also won their division with the Shore in second and the Garden State team in third.   Yes, there were other teams competing but were shut out by those three hot clubs; thirteen open men’s teams, eight M40, and ten M50.

Fourteen  teams competed in the M60 division and six in the M70.  Those divisions require only  three runners to make up a scoring team.  The Shore club took advantage of having a larger squad requiring fewer runners and scored first and second in the M60 division.  Their B team scored 17 points to their A team at 18.  The North Jersey Masters took third.  Clifton won the M70 team division with the Shore team in second and the North Jersey Masters in third.
If the Shore Athletic Club’s open women’s team had not raced, the Garden State women’s teams would have swept that division’s top spots, but the Shore team grabbed second while the Garden State teams placed first, third and fourth.  The Garmin team placed fifth out of ten teams.
The Garmin women were on top in the W40 division, with Clifton second by just one point, with the Garden State team in third out of eleven teams.  The W50 division was the same for the first two spots, with the Shore team taking third.  The Shore team was first in the W60 division with Raritan Valley in second and Clifton in third.

The race was won  by Garden State’s Matt Gillette of Orefield PA in 16:08 and on the women’s side by Emily Rosario of Brooklyn NY in 19:09.
Elena Rozhko of Morristown was the top masters woman to finish and second woman overall in 19:20.   Suzanne LaBurt, 54, of Greenwood Lake NY was the top age graded woman with a 85.10% PLP for her time of 20:17.  Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown was second with an 84.88% PLP for her time of 22:22.  Mary Christian of Flanders and Rozhko were third and fourth in Age Grading.
Brian Crowley, 52,  of Hillsborough topped the men’s age graded chart with an  86.01% for his 17:24.   Reno Stirrat, 63, of Rockaway was next with an 84.47% on his 19:22, and Gary Leaman, 58, of Hardwick finished in 18:50 for an 83.34% PLP.
Labor Day is a day of rest, but for a runner it is a good day to find a Labor Day race to run in and get a start on the fall racing season.  

Verona has hosted their Labor Day Classic 5K for 35 years.  They must be doing something right.  It helps that the Essex Running Club is a co-host of race.  The description states that the course is fast but makes no claim to be flat.  It is an out-and-back course with a cone turn-around and a few corners to navigate.

Pre-registration is closed but race day registration fee is only $25.00.   Age divisions are in five years and go up to 85 +.   The top three in those age divisions win gift certificates to shop at the Fleet Feet store in Montclair.  Top overall man and woman get one better -  free shoes!

Lake Mohawk is the featured site for the Labor Day 5K in Sparta.  If you don’t like to run around corners this is the course to run.  It is a straight out-and-back with the only turn the cone turn-around. It is described as flat with some rolling hills. 

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Race Results can often be found at or at
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.

Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run on the wild side

on Sunday, August 20, 2017


They say you can't go home again, but I sometimes think it is not true.   I grew up on an island in Washington state and when I return, as I do every year, I feel like I am home again.  In my youth I was not a runner.  Occasionally I would slip off the back of my horse and run along side  her on the hidden logging road in the woods not far from my home.   

Every year I make sure to run on that old logging road at least once, in memory of Candy, the lovely palomino who loved to race, to swim in a farm pond, and to patiently trot along side me when I got the urge to run.

The trail has changed since Candy and I were the rare riders of the trail.  The old road has been partially paved to accommodate the scattered homes in the woods now.  The pavement ends at a sharp 180 degree turn where a sign warns ominously, "No Turnaround Beyond this Point."   

What is a fun old road to run or ride on is a "no-go"  for cars, with serious potholes and extreme dips and climbs.  On that stretch it is easy to get lost in the stillness of the woods and to feel blissfully alone.   I came out of my reverie when I remembered that the cougar that had been feeding on the livestock on the small farms on the island, and not the numerous deer also inhabiting it, could actually be lurking in those very woods.  

When I emerged from the woods and back onto the paved road that would lead me home, it was with a little sigh of relief that I had not met up with the animal, also known as mountain lion, or catamount.  I learned later that the cougar had killed two donkeys in the same area as my run that day. 

 A trap was set and the animal was lured with one of the donkey carcasses and it was killed, deemed too much of a danger for the island livestock.  I can breathe easy when I next go on that run although sad that the cougar had not stayed with a deer menu and kept away from sheep, goats and donkeys.

Natirar Park in Somerset has never reported sightings of cougars, mountain lions, or catamounts.  More likely it will see  runners racing on the cross country course that winds around and through the park.  On Sunday, August 27th, the runners will be onUSATF teams  in the state 5K cross  country championship. 

 The Natirar course features an easy flat run interspersed with two extreme hills that some love and others hate.  Young runners charge up those hills and fly down like a herd of deer running from, well, cougars, I suppose.  The race will start at a cool 8:45 a.m.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Midland Avenue Mile next Sunday


The introduction of the Midland Avenue Mile race in 2016 was not exactly

auspicious.  In fact, it was pretty dreary, as in misty, moisty rain dreary.  Not that

running a mile in the rain on a Sunday evening in summer is all bad. Consider the

cooling off factor.  On the other hand, run in the rain, but celebrate in the sun can't

always be achieved.

In 2016 the Midland Avenue Mile in Montclair was the first year being the USATF

New Jersey state mile championship.  This year, the race was again selected for

hosting the mile championship for all divisions.  It will take place next Sunday,

August 20th.

Of course you can't put an entire field of runners on the line for a mile race.  it will

be much too crowded.   The schedule calls for several heats, starting with a family

division at 5:00 p.m. before the first masters heat at 5:30 p.m.  Men 60 and up will

be first, followed by Women 60 and up.  Then Men 50 to 59, on down to the open

categories.  Looking at the Practice Hard website, it looks like the open division will

be combined men and women and using seed times to create three different heats.

In 2016 Atilla Sabahoglu of Manville was the fastest man with a time of 4:39.32.    

the fastest woman was Roberta Groner of Randolph in 5:05.04.  Despite road

runners apprehension at racing a mile, the race had a good masters turnout in 2016.

Team captains are hoping to coax even more of their team members to turn out.

Those who raced in 2016 found out that running a mile fast did not hurt them and

was actually fun.  They should be back.

The rain in 2016 put a damper on the really fun part of a mile race; the post race

beer and food.  It will be back this year and hopefully not the rain.

Race registration and packet pick-up can be done on Friday and Saturday at Fleet

Feet Sports in Montclair, and on Sunday prior to the race.


The Team Bloke 5K in Mendham last week drew nearly two hundred runners who

likely knew or knew of Doug Clark, the international level triathlete who lost his

battle with a brain tumor last year.  The race raises funds that are used to support

familes that are dealing with cancer.

The race was won by Lucas Peterson of Waterford MI in 16:34, followed closely

by Morristown's Karl O'Reilly in 16:36.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere was the women's

winner in 18:55.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dover Renaissance 5K turns twenty-five this month

Published by the Daily Record
of Morris County, New Jersey
Sunday, August 6, 2017


It was in 1992 when brothers David and Daniel Cruz of Dover ran the first Dover Renaissance 5K with the respective times of 15:59 and 16:05.

Much has happened since then in this historical town that sits on part of the Rockaway River.   As the Dover Renaissance 5K has its Silver Anniversary Run, it is somewhat bittersweet, as one of the founding members of Dover Renaissance, Mrs. Ellen Forbes, passed away earlier this year.

It was Ellen Forbes,  along with three of her neighbors, that founded Dover Renaissance in 1985 when Downtown Dover was not in a good place, with empty storefronts and a sad look.  One of her goals was to help preserve and restore the historic downtown, as well as to beautify the old homes of Dover.

When the runners take off on Saturday, August 12th, they will run down a vibrant Blackwell St., much improved and beautified since that first race.   They will start by the Story Poles and landscaped Triangle Park, both Dover Renaissance  projects.  They will pass the Verdin Town Street Clock, one of Ellen Forbes's proudest achievements.

The 5K race achieved one of Ellen Forbes' goals - to bring people to Dover to experience the vibe a historic town can emit.  The initial’s E F are proudly displayed on the back of this year’s running shirt as a tribute to her legacy.

In 25 years a  lot does happen.  Forbes is gone now, and when was the last time the talented Cruz brothers raced in the Dover race?  A very long time since these young men were part of the the New Jersey running scene.  In 2016 the race was won in 17:43 by David Lerman of Hopatcong.  The first woman was Gradie Carrol of Morris Plains in 21:29.  No, not earth shaking times, but a great testament to the local flavor ot the race.  Less than a hundred runners competed, but most were loyalists who had run in many of those 25 races, and had seen the transformation of Dover thanks to Ellen Forbes.

It appears that the race has finally found a permanent date, after moving to May in 2016, for a one-time tribute to Armed Forces Day.


Jaren Cooper of Mountain Lakes lead a pack of teen runners to finish first at the Morris County Striders Cross Country final 5K this past Tuesday.  Cooper finished in 16:21
Finishing in 11th place was Reno Stirrat of Rockaway who finished in 19:40 followed closely by his running buddy Robert Skorupski also of Rockaway, who finished in 19:41.

 Sarah Dalfol of Sparta won the women's race in 22:12.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sabatino takes a spill in biggest triathlon in the state

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 30, 2017


“I was hoping to defend my title,” said John “Chachi” Sabatino, of Morris Plains.  Sabatino had won the M50 age division in the New Jersey Triathlon Championship in 2016, finishing with a time of 2:04:53 for the Olympic distance triathlon

On Saturday, instead of another title Sabatino was in the road bed trying to shake off a sudden spill. 

A lifeguard in his youth Sabatino counts on a good swim leg before hopping on the bike.  He came out of the water in fourth place in his heat.  Things were looking good.

When a kid on a bike decided to dash across the road in front of him he clearly underestimated the speed of the racers.  Sabatino estimates he was traveling at 22 miles per hour.  There was no way he was going to miss the kid.  Over the handlebars he went.  Miraculously he did not hit his head but there was plenty of unseen damage and plenty of damage to the bike.

In a Facebook post Sabatino states that, “Of course I hopped back on my bike to finish.”

With a front derailleur bent and broken and the chain severally bent Sabatino was able to force it to work, but with scraping sounds as the front derailleur switched on its own from the big to small ring.

Once his bike was racked Sabatino was off on the run portion of the race, only to realize that it wasn’t just the bike that was damaged.  Instead of the seven minute per mile pace he expected, he was running at 8:20 pace.   He finished the race in 2:42:29 – 38 minutes off his 2016 time.

“After the race, I went to medical and was cleared to go,” he wrote in his post.  Later he went to the hospital in Morristown where he was diagnosed with a cracked rib and sporting a sizable area of road rash on his shoulder.  Just go home and rest.

That didn’t happen.  Later that night Sabatino’s wife Sara, found him passed out on the bathroom floor.  She called for an ambulance and Sabatino spent the next three days in the hospital.  Not one rib, but four ribs were cracked.  He had what was rated as a Grade 1 liver bruise as well as contusions on the lung.  He was cleared to go home Wednesday when his liver bloodwork came back clear.

He’s on the mend now but with those cracked ribs he isn’t sneezing or laughing.  The doctors say it will take six to eight weeks to recover. 

That will put him into mid-September before he is able to train or compete.  This hasn’t been his year.  A pulled hamstring in March set him back and now it’s a question of whether he will be able to gather the points he would need to make it into the top three in his age division in the New Jersey grand prix, a spot where he usually finishes.  At mid-season Sabatino is missing four races and two of those are in the Category Three division.  Yes, it could have been worse but hard not to wish that kid had stayed home last Saturday.

Other local runners who also do triathlons did well in the race.  Liam Gallagher of Morristown finished fourth in the Elite Men division and second in the New Jersey Elite Men. 

  Rich Burke of Morristown was the second M50 New Jersey finisher. Taryn Ferrara of Morristown was first in the W25 division and  Olivia Christmann of Mendham won the W20 division.

Susan Olesky of Mendham was first in the W60 New Jersey division with Susan Jankowitz of Sparta in second place.

Cande Olsen of Chatham won the W65 division with Mary Hager of Randolph second. Over a thousand athletes competed in the race, the largest in the state.


Doug Clarke of Mendham, an outstanding runner and triathlete lost his battle with brain cancer but the race in his honor goes on to raise funds to help those afflicted with this deadly form of cancer.

Race Results can often be found at or at
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Remembering back in the day

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 21, 2017


My decision to add the DVR element to my cable service was one of the best I’ve ever made.  I can record a televised marathon and watch it the next day, or I can delay watching the coverage by an hour or more, and then catch up by fast forwarding through the commercials.

During the summer season with the Diamond League  track and field series in Europe where the elite athletes compete I am in heaven, watching at my leisure, backing up to do my own “instant replay”.  I came across a column I wrote more than twenty years ago and now, watching female athletes compete, it hit me again, what a change has occurred in my lifetime.

Wilma Rudolph, the Olympic triple gold medalist had died, and I wrote of the difference between Rudolph’s experience and my own.  I grew up in Washington state on an island in Puget Sound that was, and still is, isolated yet near the bustling cities of Seattle and Tacoma.  We lived on a small berry farm surrounded by giant Douglas firs – a perfect environment for the tomboy that I was.

When I wasn’t doing chores, I was free to run and explore and play.  My dad was an amateur athlete – a good boxer, diver and gymnast.  My sister and I were willing students and he taught us how to box and do basic gymnastics.  At school, I looked forward to playground where tag was a staple game and where we sometimes held impromptu races.

In a game of tag I could never be caught.  In a race, no girl could beat me and there were two boys who could only sometimes outrun me.  On field days, I would win all my events.  It was my favorite day of the school year.  I was in heaven.  Then I moved up to high school and everything changed.  Girls were no longer encouraged to participate in sports.  Indeed, I learned that running and jumping would somehow injure me.

My grade school running rivals became stars of the football and basketball teams where their leg speed was put to good use.  Me, well, eventually I learned how to twirl a baton and became a majorette.

Oh, we girls could pay volleyball, tennis, baseball and basketball in our physical education classes and intramural sports.  That was because they weren’t considered too vigorous and didn’t involve serious running.

Girls’ basketball allowed only three steps with the ball.  No running and dribbling down the court.  You must pass almost as soon as you receive the ball.  I would look with envy as the boys played their basketball and puzzle with resentment at the restrictions placed on me because of my gender.

On my own time, when no one was looking, I did run.  I ran on the logging trails near my home with my horse.  There I was safe from prying eyes that might find me foolish or unfeminine.

Then when I probably first became aware of the Olympics, I heard and read of this Wilma Rudolph – an American girl who was competing with other women in track running events.  It blew my mind.  How did it happen?  Who let her and the others run?

Obviously, they had been encouraged to do so by adults who were coaching and training them.  But why had my school and all the others that I knew, never allowed girls to run or compete in serious sports?

While Rudolph was blazing down the track, except for those occasional runs with my horse, I long abandoned my tomboy ways.  If I was not quite a demur young miss, I was certainly not an athlete.  That didn’t come for twenty more years.  My first competition was in 1982 when I was now a master.

Which brings me back to those Diamond League meets.  Friday night, New Jersey’s Ajee Wilson set an American record in the 800 meters, while finishing in third place in 1:55.61, Caster Semenya was first in 1:55.27, with Francine Niyonsaba second in 1:55.47.  What a thrilling race to watch as the three women battled three across down the home stretch.

We can look forward for more meets this summer and this tomboy can enjoy and remember back in the day when girls weren’t allowed to run.


Race Results can often be found at or at
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at