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.

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