Monday, December 19, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 18, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011
Mother Nature handed New Jersey runners a perfect day for the last USATF championship of the season last Sunday. The clear, sunny day was credited with an unheard of sixty or more race day signups for the ten miler in Mercer County Park. A low no show resulted in a record number of finishers. Five more runners would have made it an even three hundred in contrast to the 220 finishers in 2010.

Most runners had gone into the race with their positions in the New Balance Grand Prix already secured but some team contests were still undecided and the final overall club score was on the line. In the end the Raritan Valley Road Runners defended their title of top club in the scoring but it was a lot closer than in any other year.

The club was hurt by the loss of some of their top open men to the Garden State Track Club that won the Open division with Sneaker Factory coming in second. Raritan Valley was third, helped by some of their fast M40 members.

The surprise second place club was the rapidly growing Clifton Road Runners. The club is able to put teams on the line in just about every division and those scores paid off. Raritan Valley hit 442 with Clifton managing to break four hundred plus two. The Sneaker Factory was third, well back with 277 points and the Morris County Striders fourth with 257.

Raritan Valley’s Open women took the top title with Sneaker Factory second. The Sneaker Factory’s M40 team came close to defeating the Raritan Valley team, missing by just three points.

Other local teams did not fare well in the series. The Morris County Striders took third in the W50 division and the Rose City Runners were fourth as well as fourth in the W40 division.

The Strider men were fourth in the M60 division. The Strider W60 and W70 had a lock for first in both of their divisions, which helped the club to score as well as it did.


All the grand prix final scores are now posted with local men predominating in the top ten overall men scoring. Michael Dixon of Fanwood won the series with fellow teammate Michael Anis of Edison second.

Fourth place was taken by Rich Burke of Morristown with Gary Rosenberg also of Morristown fifth. The two placed first and second in the M40 division, separated by just three points. John Sabatino of Morris Plains was eighth and Antonio Massa of Budd Lake was ninth, for second and third in the M45 division. Beau Atwater of Bernardsville was tenth for second in the M50 division.

Local women did not score as high as their counterparts with only one, Joanna Stevens of Basking Ridge making it into the top ten overall. That also put her in second place in the W40 division.

Will DeRoberts of Boonton won the M50 division with Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany second. In the M60 division Franz Mitterer of Morristown was first with Roger Price of Randolph second and Bruch Langenkamp of Wharton third, for a sweep for local men in that division.

Local women did well in the age divisions with Karyn Layton of Rockaway placing third in the W40 division while Dede Paul of Madison placed second in the W50 division. Perennial winner Jane Parks of Morristown won the W55 division with Lorraine McPhillips of Basking Ridge second. Cande Olsen of Chatham was third in the W60 division.

Shirley Pettijohn of Chatham and Melva Murray of Bedminster placed second and third in the W75 division. Diane Stone of Bernardsville won the W80 division with Patricia Tummey of Randolph second.

Placing in the top three in ones age division is not good just for bragging rights. First place will receive a check for two hundred dollars, second for one hundred twenty five and third for one hundred dollars thanks to the sponsorship of New Balance of North Jersey.

Awards and checks will be presented at the USATF Awards Banquet on January 21st at the Pines Manor in Edison.

Monday, November 28, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 27 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

Close to 13,000 runners burned off some pre-dinner calories Thursday morning in what is a record number for Thanksgiving morning races in northern New Jersey.

The granddaddy of Thanksgiving morning races, the CEA Johanna Foods Turkey Trot 5K in Flemington continues to outdraw them all with 4,174 finishers. Of course they had a six year head start going back to 1994 when a relative handful, a mere 350 finished the race that started the craze.

By 2000 they could draw over one thousand runners and the first copycat was born. The Ashenfelter 8 kilometer race began that year with 493 finishers in Glen Ridge. In 2001 those two races were joined by the Dick Meighan Memorial 5K in Upper Saddle River. It was big right out of the blocks with 707 runners finishing.

By 2007 the Ashenfelter and the memorial race were over a thousand finishers and Flemington was over two thousand. But wait! The Morris township Turkey Trot came into being that year and drew 610 finishers while up in Sparta, the Krogh Turkey Trot had 720.

In 2009 those two newbies doubled. The Dick Meighan Memorial jumped to nearly 1,800 and the Ashenfelter was just over 1,800. Flemington’s race hit over 3,500 finishers.

Could 2010 show any more growth? It could. Ashenfelter added 245 in 2010. Meighan added 106 and Flemington another 287. And those two newbies? Morris Township jumped by 453 and Sparta by 207.

Along comes 2011. The day dawned cold but not too cold. It was sunny and no wind. It was a perfect day for a nice morning run, a nice morning race. The runners came out in droves.

Flemington finished 4,174 runners. The Ashenfelter had 2,484 and the Dick Meighan Memorial had 2,114. Right here at home the Morris Township race had 2,156 finishers. Only the Sparta race came in with under two thousand, but not by much with 1,829 finishing.

The Morris Township race was won by Michael Franklin of Mendham in 16:07 with Mallory Anderson of Madison taking the women’s title in 18:16.


Mike Soroko of Kinnelon won the Ashenfelter in 24:54, which was the USATF New Jersey 8K championship for all divisions. Two visiting women were the top two in the women’s race with Catherine Smith of Wayne the top New Jersey finishers with her time of 29:12.

Local teams seemed to be almost shut out of first place all around at the 8 kilometer championship. The Sneaker Factory was the lone exception and with a surprise win in a division that until very recently they seldom could field a complete team. This time they had a team in the M50 division and edged out the North Jersey Masters for first with 2:36:09 to 2:36:25. The Sneaker Factory women took fourth in the Open division and W40. Their men had a third in M40 and fifth in Open.

The Morris County Striders had two second place finishes; W50 and W60. Their Open women were well down in the scoring in Open with a seventh place, and a sixth in W40. Strider men placed third in the M60 division but only seventh in M50 and eighth in M40.

The Do Run Runners fared about as well. Their best was sixth in M50 and M60, while their women took seventh in W40 and W50.

All the teams will have two weeks to recover and prepare for the ten mile championship on December 11th.


The next two weekends hold the keys for any runners who have not filled their score card in the New Balance Grand Prix. Category Two races are gone, so those with a goose egg in that division will keep it. There is one more Category Three race, thanks to the moving of the Great Swamp Devil 15K to Sunday, December 4th. Of course the Grand Finale ten miler that closes the season on Sunday, December 11th is also a Category Three race. It is a 700 point race but can be designated by the runner to be counted as a non championship 500 point race.

People needing a Category One race can still find those. The Dover Renaissance 5K on Saturday December 3rd is one, as is the AMBS Reindeer Run in Franklin Lakes on the same day. On Sunday, December 4th is the American Red Cross 5K in Millburn and the Great Swamp Devil 5K on the 4th.

Monday, November 21, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 20 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

In one sense there were no surprises at the USATF New Jersey championship 8 kilometer cross country race at Deer Path Park on Saturday. What would have been a disaster on October 30th in the snow was blessed instead with perfect running weather on November 19th.

The new comer Garden State Track Club won the open men’s division as well as the women’s. Their men had won the 5 kilometer back in October so no surprise there. But their women had only picked up fourth.

It was no surprise that there were a substantial number of no-shows. About 10% no-shows is common in road racing but in cross country I would guess that less than 5% of the people who pre-register for cross country do not show up on race day. But the change to November 19 and a Saturday at that threw a lot of people out of the race thanks to previous commitments.

In 2010 eight open teams competed in the men’s division. On Saturday six teams competed and two of them were the Garden State club and they weren’t there in 2010. It is as though the open men, and open women have disappeared, except for the new club.

Justin Scheid, 25, of Sparta won the race in 25:49. He ran alone with a wider lead as the race went on. Second place was Anthony Harris of East Brunswick and he was over a minute back in 26:56. Five men were masters in the top 16 finishers. Thomas Yakowenko of Metuchen who is 43 was sixth overall. Mark Zamek, 48, of Macungie PA was eighth and Rich Burke of Morristown, 44, the first local man to finish, was ninth in 27:46.

Zamek, who won the Midland Run in about 1992, told me after the race that a few years back that his time of 27:32 would have put him in about 30th place in the same race. I did a little research and hit pay dirt. In 1996 Zamek, then 36 finished the same race in 27:53, in 26th place. Twenty-five of the men ahead of him were under age forty. The other one, Tom Bowmaster of Morristown, at age 40 finished in 27:26.

Nine women over forty were in the top 16 in Saturday’s race and three were over age 50. The race was won by Catherine Smith of Wayne in 31:10. She had over a minute on Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield who finished second in 32:07 after outsprinting Misa Tamura of Ridgewood who clocked 32:08. The first local woman to finish was Stacey Graham of Morris Plains, 47, who finished in 39:33.

Team scoring is always subject to correction, usually due to a data entry error, but preliminary scoring shows the Sneaker Factory scoring third in open men and first in M40. The Morris County Striders open men placed sixth and third in the M40, M50 and M60 divisions.

In the women’s team division the Rose City Runners and the Morris County Striders tied for third with 67 points. In the W40 division the Striders placed fourth and Rose City fifth with the Do Run Runners sixth. In the W50 division the teams traded places with Rose City second and the Striders third. Do Run Runners followed in fourth. The Striders picked up firsts in W60 and W70 thanks to their dedicated senior women. Notable by their absence were the women runners from the Sneaker Factory and the Raritan Valley Road Runners. Those clubs have women who are running this morning in the Philadelphia Marathon, and obviously unable to compete in both races.

Their absence will have an impact on the team and overall club scoring. Each team earns an extra two points for competing at the cross country races. Next up for the teams is the Ashenfelter 8K on Thanksgiving morning in Glen Ridge. After that race the tally for the teams from the race yesterday and the Ashenfelter will tell the teams what they need to do at the USATF ten mile race on December 11th.


Many runners will stay local and run in the Morris Township Turkey Trot to benefit the Interfaith Pantry on Thanksgiving morning. Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. The headline 5K starts at 8:30 a.m. with a mile fun run at 8:40, and a kids trot for the under 12 year’s olds at 9:15. The distances for the kids are graduated based on ages of the kids. The awards program is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. 

Monday, November 14, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 13 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

The Halloween snow storm that was not actually on Halloween but will forever be tagged with that moniker, has caused even more shifts in runners scheduling. The Great Swamp Devil 15K and 5K that would have been held on October 30th is now scheduled for Sunday December 4th. The start times have also been changed. The 5K will start at 11:00 a.m. and the 15K will go off an hour later, at noon.

This means that those who are planning to run in the Grand Finale ten mile championship on Sunday, December 11th will be running back-to-back longer races. Running 9.3 miles on one weekend and 10 miles on the next might not be too bad earlier in the year, but runners are going to be tired by the time the racing season ends.

They will have run in today’s Giralda Farms 10K, or 5K in Madison and the next weekend, on Saturday, November 19th will be running the USATF New Jersey 8 kilometer cross country championship in Deer Path Park in Readington. That race was another casualty of the Halloween storm.

A new Turkey Trot 5K is being held in Basking Ridge on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, November 20th. The race in Mountain Park will begin at 9:00 a.m.

As was noted here in last week’s column, they then have their choice of Thanksgiving morning races. For USATF New Balance Grand Prix runners and members of teams, the Ashenfelter 8K in Glen Ridge is almost a must do race as it is the championship for all divisions.

Other races beckon as well. In Morris Township, the Ginty Field course will be used for the Turkey Trot 5K being put on to benefit the Interfaith Pantry and the Literacy Volunteers of Morris County.

The nearness of that race makes traveling to the Flemington Turkey Trot not so enticing. That race has the longest history and has attracted the highest number of finishers – nearly four thousand in 2010. The Morris Township race had a mere 1,800. Of course I say that in jest as attracting close to two thousand runners on Thanksgiving morning is no joke.

Don’t overlook the Kroghs Restaurant and Brew Pub Turkey Trot that takes place on Thanksgiving morning. It has an early start of 8:45 a.m. with a one mile at 8:15 a.m.

A race that was missed last year is back in the line-up but not at its customary place. The Dover Renaissance 5K will take place on Saturday, December 3rd at 9:00 a.m. Of course race director Peter Lee couldn’t have known that the Swamp Devil races would be on the following day when he scheduled the Dover race. An interesting twist on awards is that the depth of each age division is based on the previous year’s participation.


A new novel has just been released that should be on your night table. HOHAs in Love may sound like a romance novel, and it may be that, but it is also a novel whose characters are runners. Set in New Jersey, the author, Laurence Graham does not shy away from placing his characters in the Hoboken Harriers club in Hudson County. Although the protagonists are fictional, there are resemblances to real people in the New Jersey running community that are fun to pick out. Some events are also quite easily identified.

Graham, who uses the less formal Larry, now lives Florida. When he was living in Jersey City he was a regular on the New Jersey racing scene and an extremely talented age division competitor. Graham places his characters at what is clearly the Healthy Heart 5K that was put on by Morristown Memorial Hospital for several years. It was the masters 5K championship for two or three years, and in 1998 Graham, then 46, scored second in the age grading with his 16:09 that hit 87.3%.

He clearly knows about running and racing, and now he shows that he knows about running clubs and the camaraderie that is built among their members. And yes, about love. [ Also see ]

Monday, November 7, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 6, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

Last Saturday as the snow continued to fall and it was becoming more and more obvious that this was going to be a snowfall for the history books, the USATF New Jersey long distance running executive committee members were making a decision that no race organizer wants to make.

The eight kilometer cross country race that was scheduled for the next day at Deer Path Park would have to be cancelled, or at least postponed. They were not the only ones who were facing that prospect. In this area the Great Swamp Devil 15K in Basking Ridge with its revised course and earlier starting time was also on the line. In Convent Station, the Safe Dating Challenge 5K at St. Elizabeth’s was also scheduled for Sunday, October 30.

As the afternoon wore on it soon became apparent that no race would be held the following day. Roads were closed due to fallen trees and downed power lines. It wasn’t safe to go anywhere. In some towns the public works departments had not anticipated the extent of the snowfall and had not salted the roads and they were treacherous, never mind the downed trees.

Cancelling is actually the easier option. Postponement implies that there is an alternative date. That is usually not the case. A date is set months in advance. Police and volunteers are set for that date and not available for an alternative. Timing companies are booked for other races. It just isn’t feasible in most cases to move to another date.

A perfect example is the Almost Fall Classic four mile race that should have been run in Cranford on August 28 but was postponed thanks to Hurricane Irene. When was it finally run? Yesterday morning, Saturday, November 5th.

For the races scheduled for this past Sunday one was cancelled, the Safe Dating Challenge. Pre-registered runners should go to the OYMP website after November 9th for information on race shirt distribution. The Great Swamp Devil races, 15K and 5K, are on hold while looking for an available date. The cross country 8 kilometer race at Deer Path Park is rescheduled for Saturday, November 19.

Whoa, you say. The Giralda Farms 10K in Madison, which is the USATF New Jersey championship, is on Sunday, November 13. Runners who compete in the championships will have less than a week to recover before running the cross country race. To make matters worse, the 8K road championship, the Ashenfelter in Glen Ridge is on Thursday, November 24th, Thanksgiving morning.

If you think this is folly please refer back to the paragraph regarding postponements. If you want to complain you may want to take it up with Mother Nature. Otherwise plan your training and recovery accordingly. There is really nothing else you can do about it.


For several years the Giralda Farms 10K in Madison has been a USATF New Jersey championship. This year it is serving as the championship for both genders with a purse that begins with $200.00 for first, for both genders going down to eighth place using the age grading calculation. There is also a purse for the open runners that does not go quite as deep.

The 10K course is not an easy course and deceptively starts on a substantial downhill. In fact that hill is the basis of the entire race. One is either running up the hill, across the top of the hill, the bottom of the hill, or running back down. I would suppose that there is a net downhill, thanks to the start, but am not sure.

For those who wish to avoid the challenge of 6.2 miles of said hill, there is a 5K that is no less hilly, but blessedly half the distance.

Both races start promptly at noon and for that reason it is advised to not be tardy as the road into the parking garage can become quite congested by late morning.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 30, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

Deer Path Park in Readington saw a record number of cross country runners last Sunday [edit: October 23, 2011] for the USATF 5 kilometer championship for all divisions.  The recently formed team, the Garden State Track Club showed their strength and numbers with a win in the Open men division for their A team and second place for their B team.  Raritan Valley Road Runners took third but the start up club also took fourth and fifth.  The Sneaker Factory open men were sixth with the Morris County Striders taking eighth out of eleven teams. [results here]

Raritan Valley took top honors in the M40 division with Sneaker Factory second.  The North Jersey Masters were tops in the M50 division with local clubs all out of the top three.  The Rose City Runners were fifth and the Do Run Runners were sixth and the Striders seventh.  The Striders placed third in the M60 division.

The Open women’s division was won by the Running Company solely on the strength of their W40 squad.  The Sneaker Factory women took third, the Rose City team was sixth and the Striders were seventh.  Rose City had the best local team in the W40 division finishing in fourth place with the Striders placing sixth.

Sneaker Factory has been dominating the W50 division and they did it again at the cross country meet.  Rose City was second and the Striders took fourth.  It was all Morris County Striders in the W60 and W70 division taking in first in both divisions with no other club able to field teams.

This morning, weather and course conditions permitting, the teams will all be back for the 8 kilometer contest on the same grounds.  A lot more is up for grabs with the top open men and women’s teams earning that five hundred dollar travel stipend to Seattle in December for the national club championship cross country race.


It can’t get any better than what the Clifton Road Runners and the Raritan Valley Road Runners teams experienced this past weekend.  Both teams, the Clifton club’s M70 team and the Raritan Valley club’s M60 team came home with gold from the USATF national cross country 5 kilometer championship in Fairpoint NY that was held on Saturday. [results here]

The Clifton team was unchallenged in their division with Hilary Peterlin of Oak Ridge leading his squad in with a time of 26:37.  Hard on his heels was James Leitz of Bayonne who finished just six seconds back in 26:43.  Joseph Saley of Teaneck was the next man to finish, in 28:32 with Al Swan of Clifton fourth man on the team in 31:17.

The Raritan Valley team was far from unchallenged with seven other teams to contend with in the M60 division.  Roger Price of Randolph led in the team in 20:27 placing him third in the M60 division.  Terry Delph who lives in Coopersburg PA was the second man on the team and his 21:39 gave him third place in the M65 division.  Carl Weaver of Morris Plains was third scoring member with his time of 22:35.  Doug Brown of East Brunswick was fourth on the team in 24:52.


Race directors shy away from holding races on the first weekend in November fearing a loss of runners thanks to the ING New York City Marathon.  But not all runners are marathoners, and not all marathoners run in New York each year.

Some race organizers recognize that and in the case of the Friend2Friend half marathon trail run next Sunday, the race is billed as “The perfect antidote to the N.Y.C. Marathon Lottery Blues.”    The race offers cash awards and trophies to the top three overall as well as medals in five year age divisions.  The location is at Kittatinny Valley State Park in Andover.

If a half marathon is not what a runner is looking for, then the Transitions Autumn Fest 5K in Hackettstown is another alternative on Sunday.  It has the added perk of being one of the last Category three 500 point New Balance grand prix races on the calendar.

Head east and south and catch the Not Quite Fall Classic four miler on Saturday in Cranford.  The race was postponed in August when Hurricane Irene blasted through.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey

On Sunday, October 23, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

[The Great Swamp Devil 15K and 5K was postponed due to the unexpected October snow storm! ~editor Thinnmann on 10/30/11]

In 2009 the Great Swamp Devil 15K and 5K in Basking Ridge took a bye.   No, not because they did not want to put on the races, but because of construction on a bridge on the course there was no way the races could be held.

When the races came back in 2010, they came back a month earlier than was customary.   The Swamp Devil races had fallen into a pattern of coming a week after the Giralda Farms races in November, which are positioned to come the week after the ING New York City Marathon. 

Last year they were held on October 24th.  This year they are being held next Sunday, October 30th.   According to race director Tom Miller of Chatham the race organizers are considering making the last Sunday in October the date each year. 

Miller believes that a 15K race the week before the New York marathon is a good final tune-up.  Although he is currently dealing with a knee problem and has not been able to race of late, he said that his best marathon times have come off races very close to the target marathon.

The Amazing Feet Running Club is now the official organizers of the Swamp Devil races.  It is a natural progression for the club after several years of supplying members as volunteers.

When the races were held in mid November the start time of 1:00 in the afternoon made sense.  It could be expected that the daytime temperatures would have reached their peak by one o’clock.  Now, with the race in late October it makes sense to move the times up earlier and so the 5K will go off at 10:00 a.m. and the 15K at 11:00 a.m.  Miller also pointed out that we will still be on Daylight Savings time as the switch to Standard time doesn’t occur until the following weekend, November 6th.

Having the 5K start an hour before the 15K will insure that  most of the 5K runners will have finished before the first 15K runners begin to hit the final stretch.  In the past there had been overlap when the 5K race started shortly after the 15K runners took off.

While the new date and new start time are notable, the biggest change is to the course.  The old course was an out and back with one side trip, also an out and back.  These types of course are fun as they allow the runners to see their competition coming back from a turn-around and to see those who are stalking them.  It gives the entire field a chance to see the leaders in a race.

The new course has a third out-and- back and it will make for a great spectator course for the runners.  The first turn around is just after the first mile, meaning that the field will still be relatively bunched.  The second turn around is a dog leg that goes off the main course, White Bridges Road, just after three miles.  The turnaround is more than a mile off White Bridges, meaning that the most of the field will be somewhere on that section of the course when the leaders are coming back to White Bridges.  From there it is a straight line up White Bridges to the final turn around and then straight back to the start and finish line at Lord Stirling School.

In previous years the 15K was a magnet for runners who needed a Category Three race in the New Balance Grand Prix.  This year has seen an increase of Category Three races, particularly the half marathons that have sprung up.  While the 15K race may not be as strong a draw this year, there is no doubt that for those looking for a relatively easy Category Three race, picking a 15K over a half marathon is a no brainer.

Some runners who will be missing the Great Swamp Devil races will be those going to the Safe Dating 5K in Convent Station, and others, especially USATF team runners, will be at Deer Path Park in Readington for the 8K cross country.
[The 8K XC was postponed due to the unexpected October snow storm! ~editor Thinnmann on 10/30/11]

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 9, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011
The two championship cross country races are next on the USATF New Jersey championship schedule.  The first, the 5K will be held Sunday, October 23rd at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County.  The 8 kilometer championship is on the following Sunday, October 30th, also at Deer Path. [edit: 5K Results here]

Deer Path Park is well liked by most cross country fans as it features a true cross country course.  There are some hills, but nothing like the Bowl at Holmdel Park, and the surface, while not as groomed as that at Holmdel is level with no roots or rocks to trip up an unwary runner.  If it has rained there may be some wet spots with a little mud but easy to get through.

For the 5 kilometer race the course is a double loop, which makes it a good spectator course, something that cannot be said of many cross country courses.  The 8 kilometer also features multiple loops but with a more intricate layout than the 5K.

 Map of the Deer Path 2 lap 5K XC course 

Team competition is the emphasis for cross country racing and many a road runner has had his or her arm twisted by a team captain who needs to fill out a racing team.  In cross country the open women’s teams must have five runners, rather than the four that is currently needed for road races.  Open men and masters 40 and 50 teams also require five members to score.  All masters women and masters 60 and 70 teams require only three.

Of the local teams the Sneaker Factory has the most teams in top positions in the team grand prix.  That club is leading the open men division and is tied for first with Raritan Valley in the M40 division.  Their W50 team is leading their division.
Because road racers need a little enticing to coax them off the roads and onto the dirt and grass there are incentives in the team grand prix.  All teams receive a two point bonus, even those teams that finish below the usual scoring place.  For instance a team that finishes ninth will still garner two points for completing the race.
There is another enticement for individuals in the New Balance Grand Prix.  The floor is raised from 200 that is in place for road championships to 300 for the two cross country championships.  One hundred is the floor for non championship races that have a top score of 500 points.

The national USATF cross country committee now offers a very valuable incentive to the top open teams in the 8 kilometer race.  Each winning team, male and female will be awarded a $500.00 travel stipend to the national club cross country championship in December in Seattle WA.  Last year the Raritan Valley Road Runners men’s team was able to go to the meet that was held in Charlotte NC.


Three clubs sent masters teams to the Syracuse Festival of Races 5K last Sunday.  This is the fourth year that the race has been the masters championship and the fields keep getting stronger each year.

In the M60 division Roger Price, 62, of Randolph placed sixth in 18:41.  Larry Price, 63, of Summit finished in 10th place with 19:33.  Other top scoring men in that division included Harold Nolan 64, of Navesink who finished in 19:45 and Carl Weaver 62, of Morris Plains who finished in 20:33 in 18th place. [results]

In the M65 division J.L. Seymore, 66, of Somerset placed sixth in 20:05.  Przemyslaw Nowicki, 67, of Holmdel finished in 20:32 for seventh and Douglas Brown, 66, of East Brunswick was eighth in 20:53.
The Raritan Valley Road Runners finished in fourth place in the M60 team division with the Shore Athletic Club fifth.  The Shore club won the M70 division, lead in by Ralph Garfield, 76, of Manalapan who placed third in his division.  Jim Leitz of Bayonne placed fourth in the M70 division to lead in his Clifton Road Runners that placed second to the Shore team.

Next up for the Masters nationally is the 5K cross country championship that will be run on October 23rd in Fairport NY, near Rochester.  That is in conflict with the 5K cross country race here in New Jersey so teams will have to dig down to put teams at two different venues on that day.

Both the Clifton M70 team and the Raritan Valley M60 team are in contention in the new national masters team grand prix.  They will have met the three race in the series requirement but still need to get to the cross country race this month and the one in Seattle in December to maximize their points. [edit: National Masters 5K XC Results here]

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 2, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

Training for your fall marathon got easier this year with the addition of the Shades of Death Half Marathon.  If the marathon in question is the ING New York City Marathon on November 6th then the Shades of Death on Sunday October 9th is placed just about perfect. 

What will make the half marathon a good choice for a tune-up race is the nature of the course.  While the name, Shades of Death, might conjure up truly horrific hills, such is not the case.  The road was named way back two hundred or so years ago and is attributed to a variety of legends, as chronicled in Weird New Jersey. Perhaps a murderous gang of lowlifes, perhaps a propensity of death from Malaria from the swamps nearby, but the name came to the region long ago and it had nothing to do with hills. 

In fact the area is quite flat, as would be natural to a swampy area that is part of the terrain of Shades of Death Road.  Of course for those who like to wow their more sedentary friends, being able to tell them that you ran in and finished the Shades of Death Half Marathon is sure to draw praise and awe.

But point of fact is that the half marathon course is two loops of mostly flat, scenic country roads with beautiful farms on either side.  It is expected to be a personal record course for those who want to go for it.  For those training for a full marathon it will be a way to get in a long, easy run on a mostly flat course.

Along with the half marathon is a two person relay.  Each will run about six miles.  The distances are not quite equal due to the nature of the staging area at the Allamuchy Township School on Johnsonburg Road.  The school has only limited parking and that is reserved for the staff for the races.  Runners will gather at the nearby Panther Valley shopping center and then be shuttled to the school.

As is now routine for important races, the Shades of Death has its own Facebook page, and its own website   The website has photos of the views along the course as well as an elevation chart.

A late September race is always at risk of being more summer-like than fall and the Newport Liberty Half Marathon last Sunday in Jersey City had one of those days when the runners were wishing for a little more fall and a lot less summer.  Several runners reported debilitating leg cramps from running in the heat.  Still a full field of 2,222 runners finished the race.

John Thou, 38, of Paterson is credited with the win in 1:08:03.  Thou won both the 10K and 5K Brian’s Run in Wayne earlier in September in 31:24 and 15:28 respectively.   Jennifer Malavolta of Reeders PA is having a great season and Sunday she was the first woman overall as well as taking the top masters title in 1:24:57.  Malavolta is a potential winner of the New Balance Grand Prix but is missing two Category Two and two Category Threes races.  The fall racing season is still early and all of those can be filled in with the right selection of races. 

Local teams added to their points in the team grand prix.  Sneaker Factory was the winner of the Open men’s division as well as the M40 division.  Their women’s teams had a win in the W50, a second in W40 and third in the open division.  The Morris County Striders medaled in two divisions.  They took second in the M60 division and third in the W50.  The Do Run Runners open women took second in their division.   Next up for the USATF New Jersey teams is the 5K cross country race at Deer Path Park on October 23rd.

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 24, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011    

Morris area runners need not travel far to find a race in October.  Between established races and new ones there are plenty of races right here in northwest New Jersey.

Stirling has a 5K on Saturday, October 1st.  The FORCE Tiger Tracks 5K will start at 8:30 a.m. from Central School on Central Avenue.  The race is a New Balance Grand Prix (NBGP) event. 

On the same day the Run for Life 5K at the Mack-Cali Business Campus in Parsippany will start at 9:30 a.m.  The race features five year age divisions and is a NBGP event.  The course is described as a flat, fast, out and back.

In Mendham on Saturday the Mendham Harvest Hustle 5K will start from Mendham Borough Park at Mountain and Park Avenues at 9:00 a.m.  The course that winds through the borough streets has a short out and back section in the last half mile that will give runners a chance to see who is ahead and who is chasing them.  Age divisions for awards are five year and the race is a NBGP event.

On Sunday, October 2nd the Wrobo Run 5K at the Jefferson Municipal Building will go off at 9:00 a.m.

Also on Sunday the 2nd, the Keeping Babies Safe 5K Run and one mile walk will be held at Harry Dunham Park in Basking Ridge.  Registration opens at 8:00 a.m.  with the one mile walk starting at 9:30 and the 5K 30 minutes later at 10:00 a.m.    It is a NBGP event with five year age groups.

A race of a different kind is on Saturday, October 8th, at Loantaka Park in Morristown at 10:00 a.m.  All runners are teamed up with their dog for the Hounds and Harriers three mile run.  There is no race day registration and there is a limit of 150 dog and person teams.  The race usually closes before race day so it is advised that runners register now.

The Mack-Cali Business Campus in Parsippany is the site of the Morris County Heart Walk and 5K run to raise awareness of heart health.  The run begins at 9:15 a.m.  The race features computer chip timing and unconventional age divisions for awards that end at fifty and over.

The debut of the Shades of Death Half Marathon and Relay is on Sunday, October 9th beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the Allamuchy school.  It is a NBGP event with 5 year age divisions.  The course is a six mile double loop on country roads and described as both beautiful and flat and fast.  Relay team members will run one loop.

Back in Allamuchy on the following Saturday, October 15th, is the Harvest Festival five mile race from the General Store on Old Hackettstown Road.  It has a 10:00 a.m. start and is a Category Two NBGP event with ten year age divisions.

On that same Saturday is the brand new Run N’ Rock 5K at Roxbury High School off Hillside Avenue in Roxbury.  The race will start at 9:00 a.m.  It is not a NBGP event and features ten year age divisions that end at 60+.  The loop course will utilize a section of the Horseshoe Lake park with the finish on the high school track.

On Sunday, October 16th, the Liberty Corner 4 Miler will start from Harry Dunham Park at 9:30 a.m.  It is a NBGP event with five year age divisions.

The inaugural Pequannock Half Marathon, Relay and 5K is taking place on Saturday, October 22nd.  Both races start at 8:15 a.m. at Greenview Park off Hill view Road near the Lincoln Park airport.  Both the 5K and the half marathon are NBGP events.

A 5K cross country race at Horseshoe Lake Park off Eyland Avenue in Succasunna will be held on Sunday, October 23rd.  Anna’s Run and Walk to stop domestic violence will start at 9:00 a.m.  The race is not a NBGP event.

Also on Sunday, October 23, the Colonial Challenge 5K will take place from Ginty Field in Morris Township at 10:00 a.m.  The race features five year age divisions all the way to 80 plus and is a NBGP event.

On that same Sunday, October 23rd, is the St. Patrick’s Community 5K in Chatham with a 10:30 a.m. start.  Awards are for first in ten year age divisions ending at 70 plus.  It is a NBGP event.

The Great Swamp Devil 5K and 15K is on Sunday, October 30th in Basking Ridge.  The 5K starts at 10:00 a.m. with the 15K going off at 11:00 a.m.  Both races are NBGP events with five year age divisions.

Also on Sunday, October 30, is the Safe Dating 5K at the College of St. Elizabeth in Convent Station.  It features a 12 noon start and is a NBGP event.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 11, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

Jimmy D 5K opened the USATF New Jersey championship fall season on Sunday, September 4th in New Brunswick.  Jennifer Malvolta, 40, of Reeders PA finished in 18:21, defeating all women in the field of over eight hundred runners for the title of fastest masters woman in the championship for that division.

Two local women from Morristown were the top age graded masters women.  Nora Cary, 56, hit 86.92% with her 20:49 finishing time and Jane Parks, 58, was scored at 84.03% for her time of 22:08.

The Sneaker Factory was the most successful of the local women’s teams competing.  The club’s W50 team placed second in their division and third in the W40 division.  The Morris County Striders took fourth in the W50, second in W60 and had the sole team competing in the W70 division.  The Rose City Runners placed sixth in both the W40 and W50 division.


Currently on the men’s side of the year long New Balance Grand Prix series, the top ten is dominated by masters runners and many are from the Morris area.  John Hogan, M45 division, of Washington Township is leading the series with all nine possible races on his score card.  Franz Mitterer, M60 division, of Morristown is in third, also with all nine races.

Antonio Massa, M45 division, of Budd Lake, is in fourth.  Mark Washbourne, M50 division, of Mendham is fifth.  Beau Atwater, also of the M50 division is in sixth place and Michael Hespos, M45 division of Wharton is in eighth.

Michael Dixon of Fanwood, last year’s winner is hanging in 13th place while missing two Category Two races to complete his score.  Dixon won the series in 2008, 2009, and 2010.

On the women’s side the local women are not dominating like the Morris area men, and only one Morris woman is in the top ten.  Diane Ross, W40 division, of Flanders, is in eighth place.  Ross won the series on the women’s side in 2007.  Open runner Tara Zimliki of Branchburg is currently the top woman overall. 

The team grand prix is now posted including last week’s masters women’s 5K scores.  The clubs are running for second with Raritan Valley well in the lead.  The Sneaker Factory has a one point lead over the Clifton Road Runners for second place.  The North Jersey Masters are in fourth place with the Morris County Striders in fifth and the Rose City Runners in sixth.

The Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon in two weeks will give all the clubs an opportunity to rake in points as it is the championship for all divisions.


Two New Jersey masters teams ran in the Fleet Feet Run into Buffalo 15K, the national masters championship on Labor Day and came home with medals for their efforts.

Roger Price, 62, of Randolph placed third in his division with his time of 1:01:36, leading in his Raritan Valley Road Runners M60 team to second place.  Carl Weaver, 62, of Morris Plains was second man on the team with a time of 1:07:59, just one second ahead of third man on the team, Doug Brown of East Brunswick.  Brown, 66, placed third in the M65 division.  Rounding out the team was Michael Carr, 64, of Somerset.

The Clifton Road Runners M70 team was a shoe in to win their division with Hilary Peterlin, 70, of Oak Ridge first in the division in 1:11.04 and James Leitz, 72, of Bayonne second in 1:12:43.  Also on the winning team were Matt Lalumia and Al Swan of Clifton and Joe Saley of Teaneck.

Next up for masters nationally is the Syracuse Festival of Races 5K on October 2nd.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Written By Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 4, 2011
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2011

The fall racing season begins this weekend as does the fall USATF New Jersey championship series.  The first in that series is the Jimmy D 5K in New Brunswick, which is the USATF masters women championship.  The race is staged from Memorial Stadium between 9th and 12th Streets on Joyce Kilmer Avenue.  The start time is 9:00 a.m.

This is a fun race that is a Plain Jane out-and-back down Joyce Kilmer.  But Plain Jane pulls a trick on the unwary runner.  Adrenaline fuels a fast start that is aided by a slight downhill that is not felt until the turn-around.  Then you’ll notice that you have not just been feeling good, but have been running downhill for a mile and a half.  Now you must make the return to the stadium on tiring legs.  It’s a hard course to combat.

Once back at the stadium runners are rewarded with a picnic lunch washed down with a runner’s favorite beverage – cold beer from the tap.  As a championship the race is a 700 point New Balance Grand Prix event.


Races have always come and gone but it seems like a number of smaller races have either disappeared or are not printing applications or getting listed in race calendars.  Still there are a number of local races in September to consider.

This Thursday, September 8th, the Share the Care 5K will go off at 6:30 p.m. in Morris Plains.  The location is at Trinity Lutheran Church at 131 Mountain Way.  The race is a fund raiser for Habitat for Humanity and it appears that only the top overall Male and Female runners will take home an award.

Next Sunday, September 11, is the Netcong Day 5K starting at 10:00 a.m. from the Netcong Borough Hall on Maple Avenue.  Trophies will go to the top men and women and medals to the top three finishers in five year age groups to 70 and over.  This is a NBGP 500 points event.

On the following Sunday, September 18th is the Cheshire Homes 5K in Florham Park.  Registration opens at 8:00 a.m. at the Madison High School with race start at 9:00 a.m.  The race is a point-to-point from the high school to Cheshire Home’s residence in Florham Park.   Awards are generous, starting with top three overall and to top three in each five year age group.  The most senior runners will love that the last age group is 80 and over.  The race is a New Balance 500 point grand prix event.

A race that was moved to September from June due to high temperatures, is the YMCA Flag Day 5K on Saturday, September 24th at 140 Mt. Airy Road in Basking Ridge.  It features a 3:00 in the afternoon starting time.  It is a 500 New Balance Grand Prix event.

Not much information was available for the September 25th , Miles for Mike 5K, at Greenview Park in Pequannock.  The race starts at  8:30 a.m., and awards are in ten year age divisions ending at 70 and over, with three youth divisions.  It does not appear to be a New Balance Grand Prix event.

On Sunday, September  25th  the  Miles for Melanoma 5K will start at 9:00 a.m. from, I am guessing, Ginty Field,  in Morris Township.  This is another race with limited information.  Assume that it is not in the grand prix series.

Most experienced runners know that if a race is not in the USATF New Jersey race calendar it is not sanctioned, and if it is not sanctioned there is no chance that it is a New Balance Grand Prix event.  However some sanctioned races are also not in the grand prix so runners need to look for that information.  Sanctioning also does not imply certified, but grand prix races must be certified.  Confusing?  Check out the rules at, and go to the LDR (Long Distance Running) page for more information.