Monday, December 24, 2012


 Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 23, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

New Jersey runners that have competed in the USATF New Balance Grand Prix series have been finding a letter of congratulations in the mail along with an invitation to attend the Awards Banquet on January 19th at the Pines Manor in Edison.

Paul DeNunzio of Ironia can be excused for being surprised at his first place finish in the 34 and under age division in the New Balance Grand Prix.  This is but the second year that DeNunzio has competed in the series.

On the other side of the spectrum is Gary Rosenberg of Morristown who has been competing in the series since young adulthood.  Now in the M40 division Rosenberg has placed first in that division.  Scott Isgett of Rockaway placed third.

Antonio Massa of Budd Lake placed second in the M45 division with John Sabatino of Morris Plains taking third.

Beau Atwater of Bernardsville finished out of the money in the M50 division, losing third place by just three points.  That’s a tough spot to be in, but he got a fine consolation prize – first in his division in the Mini One grand prix that features the short races like 5K’s and four milers.  Better yet, Atwater was first overall in the cross country series.

Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany placed second in the M55 division with Will DeRoberts of Boonton getting third.  Bill Bosmann of Rockaway took first in the M60 division and Roger Price of Randolph was third.  Price also placed first in the cross country series in his division.

Connie Augustine of Mendham placed second in the W40 division, with Joanna Stevens of Basking Ridge in third.  Just seven points back, in fourth place was Polly Harrison also of Basking Ridge.

Stacey Graham of Morris Plains placed third in the W45 division.  Jane Parks of Morristown entered the W60 division this year and had no problem winning that division handily.

Shirley Pettijohn of Chatham placed second in the W75 division.  Diane Stone of Bernardsville, Melva Murray of Bedminster, and Patricia Tummey of Randolph finished in that order in the W80 division.

Elena Rozhko of Morristown easily won the Mini One series, having perfect scores in eight of the required nine races.  Other local women include; Karyn Layton of Rockaway, first in W40, Heather Lukeman, third in W45, Dede Paul, of Madison, first in W50, Cande Olsen of Chatham, second in W60 and Lorrie Brnic of Towaco, first in W70.

In the Mini Two series, Lorraine McPhillips of Basking Ridge placed third in the W55, and Betty Langenkamp of Wharton placed third in the W60 division.

Chuck Paul of Madison was first in the M55 division of the Mini One.  Henry Pontious of Parsippany was second in M75 and Arch Seamans of Rockaway was second in M80.  Youssef Rochdi of Parsippany was first in the 34 and under division.

 Pete Tummey of Rockaway was third in the M45 division of the Mini Two, and Mark Washburne of Mendham, third in M55.

In the Cross Country series Charles Castiglioni of Lake Hopatcong was third in the M50 division, as was Lisa Davenport, also of Lake Hopatcong, in the W50 division.  Mark Washburne was third in the M55 and Carl Weaver of Morris Plains was third in the M60.  Betty Langenkamp was third in the W60 division.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost

Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 16, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

The season for racers is pretty much over for 2012.  How well a runner or a team did is now history.  Checking out the New Jersey USATF website can inspire the runners to say, better luck next year if 2012 didn’t go as planned.  The Championship races for 2013 have been posted and it looks like a great schedule.

It is not easy to satisfy everyone, but this one looks like it can draw few complaints; at least as pertains to the recovery gaps between races for each division.   Returning once again as the first race on the schedule is the Miles for Music 20K for all of the divisions.  It takes place at Johnson Park in Piscataway on March 10th.

There will be a good gap before the next race, the April 7th Indian Trails 15K in Middletown for open men and women.  I don’t know if Indian Trails ever bids for the masters championship but I would guess that if they did it would be turned down.  It is truly a challenging course and some of the senior masters would not be able to handle it.

They can manage the Clinton Country Run 15K on April 27th.  While not exactly flat the rural course has long grades and never lung busters like the Indian Trails race.  It’s the championship for both masters men and women.

Open men and women have the next race and it is a good long gap from the Indian Trails race, Saturday May 11th.  That’s when the Newport 10,000 in Jersey City takes place.  So far everything looks like the same schedule as 2012, but here is where a change takes place.  The Run for Rachel 5K in Livingston on May 19th will not be the open women’s championship, but the masters women’s race.  So although that is only a week’s difference from the open women’s 10K, it is not a race that they need to run.

The Ridgewood Run 10K has been at various times a championship for one of the divisions and at times has not been in the line-up at all, but for 2013 it is the masters men’s championship.

Now if I were making an oral presentation this is where I would ask for the drum roll.  That’s because the next race is the President’s Cup Night Race on June 17th and it will be the open men’s championship.  Let’s hear the cheers!

In 2012 the popular 5K in Millburn was just another 500 point Category One event.  The folks were not happy.

Wrapping up the spring season is the Lager Run 5K in Glen Ridge on June 23rd and again it will be the masters men championship.

Since the masters women will have the Run for Rachel, the open women will have the Jimmy D 5K for their championship in New Brunswick on September 1st.  The Liberty Waterfront half marathon in Jersey City will be on September 22nd and it is for all divisions. 

The next road championship will be the Giralda Farms 10K and in 2013 it will be the masters women’s race.  Thanksgiving morning all divisions will race at the Ashenfelter 8K in Glen Ridge and that will wrap up the season.  Yes, or should I say No.  No Grand Finale Ten Miler in December.  The championship season will end with the 8K.  Did I hear more cheers? 

The schedule for the cross country races is still incomplete.   There is a good possibility that the 5 kilometer cross country championship will take place in August.   The 8 kilometer will likely take place in October.

What is known is that the national cross country masters championship 5 kilometer was awarded to New Jersey at the annual meeting in Daytona Beach earlier this month and it will be held on October 20th at Deer Path Park in Readington.


Catherine Smith was a solid bet for winning the New Balance Grand Prix for another year.  Smith, of Wayne, missed a perfect score of 5,700 by two points.  Michael Anis of Highland Park was a come from behind winner on the men’s side. 

His was not a near perfect score, 5,653 but 21 points up from Gary Leaman of Hardwick, who had been at the top spot for several weeks.   Anis filled in his score card in November when he took 698 points at the Ashenfelter 8 kilometer and 499 points at the Westfield Turkey Trot.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost

Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 9, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Morris County was well represented at the annual USATF national meeting in Daytona Beach this past week, with some delegates receiving special recognition.  The New Jersey association with over six thousand members was allowed seventeen delegates at the meeting.  Many associations could send only a handful of delegates.

The meeting took place from November 29th to this past Sunday, December 2nd.   Pam Fales of Boonton, the Managing Director of the New Jersey Association was in Daytona Beach even before the start for participation in special youth meetings.

 Fales is the east region representative of the associations committee; the masters track & field east region representative; is on the executive committee of masters long distance running. Most recently she has served on a task force for creating an on-line system for event sanctioning.

At the opening ceremony on Thursday evening Fales was seated with fellow New Jersey delegates as national President Stephanie Hightower announced her selections for the President’s Award.  The President’s Award is one of the most coveted as it recognizes the accomplishments of the awardees and more importantly, the contributions of the winners.  Many have been “in the trenches” for years before they receive the award, and of course, many never receive this highest of recognition.

Fales had been nominated by New Jersey president Ed Neighbour of Sparta, but even he did not know that Fales would be an award recipient.  Hightower had chosen to give the name of the person receiving the award before reciting his or her achievements.  So with no preamble, Fales was caught completely by surprise. 

After a shocked look around at her fellow New Jersey delegates, she quickly made her way to the stage to receive the award, along with a handshake from Hightower and then a pose for a photo.

Fales has been the managing director since July of 2003 and the organization has had a steady climb in services, revenues and increase in programs for New Jersey members.  Almost immediately after taking the job, Fales implemented streamlined procedures that resulted in a significant drop in expenses.  Thanks to Fales, the association has reached a comfortable bank balance, in keeping with not-for-profit organizations that strive to retain a comfortable cushion in the event of a decrease in revenue or an increase in expense.

The New Jersey association is often looked to for advice or as an example of a well run and balanced organization.  Obviously Fales is at the core of this attention and along with her service on the various national committees, it is one of the reasons for her receiving the President’s Award.


The name Kim Keenan is a familiar one to those who raced or followed road racing in the 90’s.  Keenan was winning local Morris County and state races.  She won the USATF New Jersey grand prix for several years.  She is an associate athletic director at Seton Hall University.  Keenan is married to Brian Kirkpatrick, another long distance runner and living in Hunterdon County.  Both continue to run for the Sneaker Factory when time and schedule permit.

 Keenan-Kirkpatrick has been active on New Jersey USATF committees and has been involved at the national level in women’s long distance running for over ten years.   In 1999 she was the team leader for the women’s Ekiden in Yokohama Japan and has since served on seven other team staffing spots, including acting as the assistant women’s coach for distance for the US Olympic team in Beijing China.   She was part of the 2008 Olympic Trials site selection committee.

Keenan-Kirkpatrick has been the women’s long distance running vice chair since 2002 and has been on the executive committee since 1999.  At the meeting in Daytona Beach she was elected to the position of chair of the committee.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 25, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Well what would you expect with the weather sunny, bright and wind free?  Record numbers of runners for this year’s Thanksgiving Day races.  The Flemington Turkey Trot grew by another 29 runners to 4,203 to top the races.  The Dick Meighan Memorial in Saddle River increased by 143 to 2,257 and the Morris Township race grew by another 128 to finish with 2,257 runners.

At the Horace Ashenfelter 8 kilometer in Glen Ridge, the race drew 2,551 finishers, up by 67 runners.  It was won by John Thou of Patterson in 24:04.  The 8 kilometer was both the masters men and masters women USATF championship and the most outstanding performance was by William Zink of Wyckoff whose 28:15 at age 52 graded at 87.21%.  On the women’s side Jane Parks, 59, of Morristown finished in 35:25 for a score of 87.75%.

 The USATF teams turned out in what could be record numbers.  On the men’s side the M40 division had 15 teams with the Morris area Sneaker Factory taking the top spot.  The Do Run Runners, also a local club, took third.

In the M50 division the race was won by the Shore Athletic Club.  The Shore club also won the M60 division.  Eleven men’s teams entered the M50 division and the M60 division.

Running on home turf the North Jersey Masters club scored in several divisions as did the neighboring team, the Fleet Feet Essex club.  That club placed first in the W40 division, with the Morristown based Garmin team second and the Sneaker Factory third.  Eighteen teams competed in the W40 division and 14 in the W50.  Only three women are required in Masters team competition.

In the W50 division the Sneaker Factory team was first and the North Jersey Masters second with the Morris County Striders taking third.  The Madison based Rose City Runners were first in the W60 division while the Morris County Striders fielded a W70 team to take first once again in that division.

According to my unofficial calculations the always mighty Raritan Valley Road Runners brought in 17 more points to solidify their lead at 378 points and the Clifton Road Runners brought in 24 points to stay in second with 330 points.  Third and Fourth place changed with the Shore Athletic Club bringing in the highest number of points from the race at 32 to total 295 for the season.  The Garden State Athletic Club is in fifth with 293.

The next championship race and the final of the season is the Grand Finale Ten Miler on December 9th in Mercer County Park will be the championship for all divisions and give the younger teams a chance to bring in points for the final count.


Talk about bad luck.  In 2010 the Dover Renaissance 5K could not take place due to road construction on the route.  In 2011 the Halloween snow storm kicked the Great Swamp Devil to the same weekend as the Dover race and people had to choose one over the other.

This year the race was scheduled for Saturday November 3rd and we all know what happened when Hurricane Sandy shut down a good part of New Jersey.  Bruised and battered the race is now on the schedule for this Saturday, December 1st.  It is one of the last remaining chances for runners to better their score in the New Balance Grand Prix.  Race registration and the start and finish are at the corner of Blackwell and Prospects Streets in front of the Casa Di Puerto Rico Club.

Runners are directed to park in the public lot on Prospect Street and not at the club lot or on Blackwell Street.  The race starts at 9:00 a.m.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 18, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Folks in New Jersey have a new marker in their family calendar – before Sandy and after Sandy.  We’ve had two USATF New Jersey championships since Sandy.  Actually to be technical, Hurricane Sandy hit after the 8 kilometer cross country championship was held, but with no electricity this reporter has not been able to send a column to this esteemed newspaper until this week.

So like everyone, we are catching up.  The 8 km took place on Sunday, October 28th with warnings to not linger because the storm was on its way.  The traditional post race barbeque was cancelled although the runners were able to chow down on potato salad that had been purchased prior to the park closing warning.  It needed to be consumed, or thrown away.

One hundred and sixty six men ran in the race and 86 women, which could be a record for that event.  The now dominant Garden State Track club took first through fourth in the open men’s division.  It has been a long time, or never since the North Jersey Masters won the M40 division but they did so that day, knocking off the Shore Athletic Club that finished in second. The Sneaker Factory was third.

The best that a local team did in the M50 division was the Do Run Runners who finished in fifth place. The Shore AC took first in the M50 and the M60 division and the best local team for the M60 was the Randolph based Geezers.

The Morristown based Garmin Runners placed second in the open women’s division to the Garden State Track Club.  The Garmin women won the W40 division by two points over the Shore club, while the Sneaker Factory took third.

Last Sunday the Giralda Farms 10K was host to the masters men championship. Gary Rosenberg, team captain for the Garmin M40 team came away with a huge smile on his face after his team won that division.  It had been a long time coming with injuries plaguing the Morris County based team.  The Sneaker Factory team took second.

Another group of men with smiles on their faces was the Morris County Striders M50 team.  Although they placed third it was the highest score they had managed in some time.  The Do Run Runners took the third spot in the M60 division and second in the M70 division.

The club and team scores have been posted on the USATF website and they show the Raritan Valley Road Runners in their customary first position.  The Clifton Running Club is in second and trailing by just over fifty points.  That Garden State Track Club is not far behind the Clifton Club but they have only a thirty point lead over the Shore club.  That may sound like a good size lead, but the Ashenfelter race is for masters men and women and the Garden State team is made up of mostly open runners.  Their lead could disappear after the 8K.

The next and final Championship is the Grand Finale Ten Miler on December 9th.  All divisions are represented.  The Garden State club could come back to capture more points but so to can the masters clubs.  It could get very interesting.

Clearly it is Game On for the upcoming Ashenfelter 8 kilometer race on Thanksgiving morning.


Ashenfelter may be the draw for USATF New Jersey masters runners and last year close to 2,500 runners turned out for the race.  But there are rival races throughout the state.  The biggest and oldest is the Flemington Turkey Trot.  Last year it finished over four thousand runners.

Olympian Julie Culley of Annandale won the women’s race in 15:06 to place seventh overall.  Since Culley ran a personal best in London last August of 15:05 at the Olympics in the 5,000 meter race, the stats for the 5K in Flemington last year would have you scratching your head.  But the course was cut short last year through a marshalling error.

In the heart of Morris County is one of the newer Thanksgiving races; the Turkey Trot 5K that takes place in Morris Township at the Ginty Field location.  Last year the race drew over two thousand competitors.

If race days dawns as pleasantly as the long range weather forecast are predicting, all of the races could have record turnouts.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 4, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

The fall racing season is in its final stage with November and December races offering the last chance to improve on USATF New jersey New Balance Grand Prix scores.  A look at the current standings makes for interesting reading and analysis.

Gary Leaman of Hardwick has the lead on the men’s side.  Leaman, who runs for the Sneaker Factory team has had an outstanding year, but at age 53, it is unlikely that he will stay on top as the season concludes and younger, faster men come in.

All non championship grand prix races give 500 points to the first place man or woman, with the points descending from there.  Championship races start at 700 points, which is a wonderful way to maximize points.  But each distance category allows for only two championship scores.

Leaman has all his nine races and scores 5,632 points.  At this point in the season there is always someone lurking below who is missing a race or more.  Michael Loenser of Piscataway is one such “lurker”.  He is in 17th place with 5,101 points and missing one race and only needs to score 532 points to beat Leaman.

Further down the list is Youssef Rochdi of Parsippany.  His score is 4,683 points and with two races missing there is no doubt that he could capture 950 points to go ahead of Leaman as well.

Can a runner who is missing three catch up?  Tim Morgan of South Plainfield has 3,968 points and is lurking in 75th place. He needs one championship and one non championship in the Category Two, and one non championship race in Category Three in order to pick up 1,665 or more points to topple Leaman.  He can find that at the Great Swamp Devil 15K taking place today, or wait until the Ten Mile Season Finale in December.  The next weekend he can run the Giralda Farms 10K, or go to the Ashenfelter 8K on Thanksgiving.  He would still need a non Championship Category Two and the Westfield five mile Turkey Trot on the Saturday after Thanksgiving is back in the grand prix.

On the women’s side there is not as much drama.  Kavitha Manley of Piscataway is in the lead with 5,677 points but that spot is in jeopardy with Catherine Smith of Wayne needing just one race to take over the lead.  Smith won the overall grand prix in 2011 and there is no reason to expect otherwise of her.  She has perfect scores in six races and two 698 point races.

Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield has been winning races this year but she would need over one thousand points to take the lead.  She would need to score 500 points in a non championship Category One and a Category Three.  Her weakest scores are her Category Two races where she has 697, 683, and 496.  She would need to improve on at least two of them.  Like Morgan, she could find the races but would have to win them all to beat Smith with her near perfect scores.

[Editor's Note: Cheyenne now has a 700 point Cat 2, and Catherine Smith has a 500 pt Cat III.  She could win with just four points under a perfect score.  But the women's race could be very close!]

ING New York City Marathon

Many New Jersey runners will be on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge on Staten Island next Sunday for the ING New York City Marathon.  Each runner paid $255.00 for the privilege or $216.00 if they were a member of the New York Road Runners club.  It raises the question of whether racing, or at least racing in a high profile race, is becoming a sport for only the wealthy.  Certainly costs have gone up to host a huge event like the one in New York but can costs have gone up to that degree?

A recent article in the New York Times pointed out that the fee is “more than the $100.00 more than the fee for any of the four other major world marathons and nearly five times the cost of the London Marathon alone.”

I wonder how many runners have opted to not run in the New York race because of the high fee.  I do not run marathons so I cannot be objective on this but I would like to hear from those who do.

[Editor's Note: Of course the NYC Marathon was subsequently canceled due to Hurricane Sandy.]

Monday, October 8, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 7, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

For five years the Syracuse Festival of Races 5K has been the national USATF masters 5K championship.  Participation by New Jersey runners was sparse the first year or two but they made up for it in a big way last Sunday for this year’s race.

Five New Jersey teams competed and the team with the biggest payoff was the Clifton Road Runners whose M70 team won that division and whose B team took fourth.

The Clifton club is now in the lead in the team grand prix in that division and their B team is in third, and only off second by one point.  Two more races are to be run this season and the club should get to at least one of them.  The potential spoiler is the Shore Athletic Club that placed second in the division at the race.  They cannot pass Clifton but they could keep the B team from placing in the top three.  Shore would have to run in both races to do that.

Expectations were high for Ed Smith of Mountain Lakes who aged up to that division this year and his Shore AC team was not disappointed.  Smith won the division with a time of 22:01.  Jim Leitz of Bayonne placed third in 23:19.  New Jersey dominated the division with seven of the 14 runners who finished.

Shore’s M60 team placed third and the Raritan Valley Road Runner’s were sixth.  Despite the Raritan Valley name, two of their men are from this area.  Roger Price of Randolph finished in 19:00 for seventh and Carl Weaver of Morris Plains finished in 22:05.  Also in that division was Steve Austin of Long Valley, a Morris County Strider who finished in 22:41.

The Striders were represented by USATF NJ President Edward Neighbour of Sparta, who finished in 22:24 in the M45 division.  Also in the M45 division was Peter Tummey of Rockaway who finished in 20:20.

Cande Olsen of Chatham had a good race, placing third in the W60 division with a time of 24:53.  In 2010 Olsen won the division with a 24:13.


At more than a week out from the second annual Shades of Death Half Marathon in Allamuchy the entries have already gone one hundred over the number of finishers the first year.  Runners have been meeting at the Allamuchy Township School for the past few Saturdays to run the course.  Since the course is a double loop it has been easy to run just half of the half or all of it on a training run.  Next Sunday, October 13th, they will be running the real thing.

Thirty or more of the runners will be partnering up to do the relay, since that double loop makes for a perfect relay setting.

With growth comes change and this year the registration will be in the school gym and not the cafeteria.  Good news all around as runners will have access to indoor plumbing, although there will be outdoor toilets in the parking lot and on the course as well.

In 2011 the weather was perfect but a little warm so just in case of a repeat warm day, there will be another water stop on the course making it four for every loop.  Parking will be at the Town Hall and Green Acres rather than the Panther Valley Mall.  There is no parking at the school but shuttle buses will be taking the runners to the start.

The Allamuchy Harvest Fest is taking place that weekend and the shuttle buses will be making trips to the festival as well.


It was the race that wasn’t last month.  The Run 4 the Seeing Eye couldn’t go on in September.  A little issue with a tornado closed down Morristown, but the race is taking place next Saturday, October 13th.  The start has been moved up to 3:00 p.m. in deference to an earlier sundown.  The one mile Doggie Dash/Walk will start at 2:30 p.m.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost

Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 30, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

It is no secret that half marathons are the new in thing in road racing.  At last Sunday’s Newport Liberty Half Marathon in Jersey City the crowds of runners were staggering to anyone who has come to the race in past years.  They filled the streets and the lines for the portable toilets snaked up and down the street.  Just getting into the parking deck was a challenge for anyone arriving after 7:00 a.m.

Three thousand, two hundred and twenty six runners entered the race while 2,641actually finished.  So many no-shows is common for half marathons according to race timer David Siconolfi of CompuScore whose company scored the race.  Still, the number of finishers was up over four hundred from 2011.  Given that the runners were offered perfect race weather, albeit windy on parts of the course it is surprising that so many did not show.

One who did show was Ken Goglas of Randolph who lead an elite pack of runners out and he stayed in the lead to finish in 1:09:11.  Jeff Perrella of Westfield was second in 1:09:21.   Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield won the women’s race in 1:22:02.

Goglas and Perrella were on the winning open men’s team for Garden State Track Club.  The club’s C team was second while the Morris area Garmin Running club took third.

Team competition has had a changing cast of clubs.  The Garden State club that didn’t exist until late 2010 is one and the Garmin club that was created out of the disbanded Running Company is another.

Perhaps the oldest running team in the state is the Sneaker Factory and their M40 team took first in that division.   Relative newcomer team, the Do Run Runners were third as was their M50 team in that division.    The Morris County Striders M60 team finished in fourth place.

Ogletree lead her Garden State Track club team in for first in the open women’s division while the Garmin runners took third.

In the W40 division it was all local clubs in the top three; Garmin, Sneaker Factory and Do Run.  The Sneaker Factory took first in the W50 division.

Two Morristown women won prize money when they hit the top numbers in age grading; Jane Parks, 59, whose 1:40:04 was scored at 83.77% and Nora Cary, 57, whose 1:39:09 was scored at 82.26%.

Four local men were age graded above 80%; Beau Atwater, 54, of Bernardsville was scored at 84.25% for his 1:22:13 finishing time.  Bill Bosmann, 62, of Rockaway was scored at 82.37% for his 1:30:29, Antonio Mass, 48, of Budd Lake reached 81.94% for his 1:20:17, and Roger Price, 63, of Randolph reached 81.66% for his time of 1:32:09.


Team scores in championship races and thus in the team and club grand prix are subject to change.  Team captains are required to verify that their runners have current membership in USATF-NJ and that they are citizens or have valid green cards.  A number of teams have not done so and the verification process for the USATF staff and the Long Distance Running committee is proving quite troublesome.

Team captains and club members should be able to see the up-to-date scores for the team grand prix but there has been a lengthy lag in posting the scores due to the verification problem.


As more and more runners discover the wealth of trails in Morris County and beyond, they need to be aware that they may not be alone.  Several areas are now allowing bow hunters to hunt on land that was previously closed to hunting as the defoliation of native flora by deer is becoming a serious problem.  Runners need to wear bright colors, not white, when running trails during the fall hunting season that has begun in many areas.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 16, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

It is at the September meeting of USATF New Jersey’s Long Distance Running committee where members may submit proposals for changes in rules and regulations for the coming year’s competitions.  One proposal made by Sneaker Factory team captain John Sabatino of Morris Plains was well received by the attendees at the meeting.  Sabatino pointed out that the points table for team scoring has undergone changes over the years in an effort to keep the divisions balanced.  He feels that the system is currently out of balance.

Sabatino had noticed that older teams were able to garner far more points than is possible in the open and younger masters divisions due to allowing each runner to run on two different age divisions teams.  When the fields in the older divisions are small as in the age 70 and 80 divisions, one team of three runners can win in two age divisions and bring to their club twelve points.  This is important in the overall club grand prix where the scores for all the team divisions are totaled.

His proposal would not cut down the top points in the older age divisions but add points to the younger divisions.  For instance the open men division that currently has ten points for the first place team would be raised to twelve points.

The committee asked Sabatino to analyze the scores for 2012 and make a comparison using his proposed new table.  Once it is done and perhaps adjusted the proposal and the analysis will be posted on the USATF website.

Another proposal, made by Division Chair Ed Neighbour of Sparta, was also addressing the issue of the so called “double dipping”.  His proposal may catch more push back from the clubs.  Each team whose scoring members were in the same age division would receive one bonus point.  A M50 team that had one or two runners who were over age 59 would not receive a bonus point while a team whose members were all in the 50 to 59 range would.

Rule changes are proposed at the September meeting.  This allows for time to review and consider them before the vote at the February meeting.


It is quite common to find races that are run in memory of someone, but memorial races for runners are not as common.  Two such races are coming up on the calendar.

On October 9th, 2011 lifelong Montclair resident and member of the Essex Running Club, Doug Williams was struck and killed by a hit and run driver.  On the club website, Williams is remembered for his caring soul and gentle nature.  He is also remembered for his passion for running marathons.

The 5K race that was formerly known as the Goodwill 5K has been renamed in his honor. The 500 point New Balance grand prix race is being held on Sunday October 7th starting at 9:00 a.m. from the Montclair Art Museum.  The course is described as a USATF certified three turn route.

Proceeds will benefit a Scholarship in his name at Montclair State University, School of Business, where he graduated in 1985.

Also on the 7th is the Jonathan Slusher Memorial 5K in Califon.   According the website that is set up for the high school scholarship fund in his name, Slusher was a lifelong runner.  While in high school he ran in the cross country Meet of Champions and was the second scoring man for Voorhees and 37th in the state with a time of 16.42.  In recent years, the website said that he ran with a running club in Pennsylvania, and his name can also be found in New Jersey races.  Slusher was a journalist by trade who died at age 45 in 2010 from brain cancer.

The race starts out on River Road and then doubles back on the Columbia Trail to the finish at Califon Island Park in Califon.  The race has a late start at 1:00 p.m.  It is not a New Balance grand prix event.


Next Saturday, September 29th, the Mendham Harvest Hustle 5K and a one mile fun run is taking place at Mendham Borough Park on Mountain Avenue.  It features a USATF certified course and it is part of the New Balance grand prix.  The one mile run starts at 8:00 a.m. with the 5K going off at 9:00 a.m.  The race is clearly an event for families with an expo and family fun fair that starts after the race awards ceremony.

Monday, September 17, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 16, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Two hundred and forty-six runners were on the line at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County last Saturday for the USATF New Jersey cross country 5 kilometer championship.
Eleven open men’s teams finished the race with the Garden State Track Club taking the top four spots by spreading their talent among all four teams.  Their fastest runner, Anthony Harris of East Brunswick who finished first overall in 15:51, was on the club’s C team.

The Shore Athletic Club took first in the M40, M50, but a ploy similar to the Garden State club backfired in the M60.  Shore had sufficient men in the M60 to field two teams and they split their speedster between the A and the B teams, hoping to push the Raritan Valley Road Runners team that is currently in the lead in the team grand prix to third place.  They were cutting it close and when one of their men went down and another team member stopped to give aid, the Raritan Valley team grabbed first.  Both Shore men finished but they had lost precious seconds.

If that wasn’t bad enough, the Shore’s B team placed second while their A team was pushed to third.  In February a rule was established that a B team would remain a B team even if it finished ahead of an A team of the same club.  This is important for points in the team grand prix.  Fourth place was taken by the Morris County Striders in the division.

On the women’s side, winner Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield (18:06) brought the Garden State’s open women’s team in for first place, but second went to Raritan Valley and third to the Morris area Garmin Runners.

The Garmin Runners have been dominating the W40 division and they did so again on Saturday.  Second was taken by the Sneaker Factory and third by the Do Run Runners.  In the W50 division first was taken by the Sneaker Factory and second went to the Clifton Road Runners.  The Morris County Striders were third, with the Rose City Runners fourth.  The Morris County senior women took first in the W60, W70 and the W80 division.

Thirty-nine men’s and 28 women’s teams competed.  Even teams that did not finish high enough to earn points in the team grand prix, did win points at the race.  As an incentive to the clubs all teams receive a bonus of two points.  Even a team that finishes in eleventh place is valuable to a club’s score in the cross country races.

The next cross country championship, the 8 kilometer, will be at Deer Path Park on Sunday, October 28.


The Newport half marathon is the championship for all divisions of USATF clubs.  It will take place next Sunday at the Newport Town Square in Jersey City.  Last year over twenty-two hundred runners finished the race and more can be expected this year.


But sometimes a race can’t be held.  No, a little rain won’t stop it but when a tornado appears heading your way, the show stops.  That’s what happened last Saturday afternoon in Morristown when the first annual Run 4 the Seeing Eye had to be cancelled.  Organizers are looking at a date in October for it to be held.  Runners will be notified via email and can always go to for the latest update.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 9, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

The JimmyD 5K in New Brunswick last Sunday was the USATF New Jersey masters women’s championship and it showed. Even in a big race like the Jimmie D with 747 finishers the first men and women to cross the finish line are usually younger runners. Not so on Sunday when Catherine Smith of Wayne finished first woman in 18:55.

Smith has been a top woman for several years in New Jersey and now that she has aged into the masters ranks she is sure to get more notice. Until 2011 Smith had run unattached but now is the top female for the Fleet Feet Essex club and she delivered the club a win in the W40 division.

The Garmin running team, new this year, placed second in that division with Susan Bessin of Madison bringing that team in with her time of 20:38.

Fifty-seven year old Nora Cary of Morristown led the Do Run Runners team in for third. She finished in 21:00, the fourth fastest women over forty. The Do Run runners placed third also in the W50 division. The Rose City running club placed fourth in the W50, with Dede Paul of Madison whose time was 22:51 first woman on her team. The Morris County Striders were fifth.

The Striders hit pay dirt in the more senior divisions. They placed second in the W60 division but first in the W70, and in the W80 division.

The Striders now have three women over 80 who love to run and love to race. Diane Stone of Bernardsville finished in 47:03 while Melva Murray of Bedminster finished in 49:42. Patricia Tummey of Randolph who at 83 has been waiting for her teammates to age up to her age group finished in 56:19.

Of course the men raced at JimmyD also and Anthony Harris of North Brunswick won the race in 15:47. There were plenty of young men racing, but amongst the top ten was 49 year old Mark Zamek of Macungie PA. His time of 16:51 put him at the top of the list in age grading at 86.81%. The first local man was Gary Rosenberg of Morristown who finished in 17:30. Rosenberg was the second masters man to finish.

Monday, September 3, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 92, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

This morning the USATF-New Jersey masters women’s championship 5K is taking place at the Jimmy D race in New Brunswick. The course is a straight out and back and deceptive to the unaware. Going out on Joyce Kilmer Avenue the runners will have a sense that they are having a good race. And they will be. Until they make the turn around. What happened?

No, it wasn’t that the body ran out of juice. It is that Joyce Kilmer has a gentle slope on the way out. It’s not noticeable until you have to run back on it. So the first mile split will be the fastest and for the incautious runners the last will be, well, painful.

Next weekend, on Saturday September 8th, the USATF New Jersey cross country 5K is taking place at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County. September is a bit early for cross country, but it has been held in some other years in September. Still there will be some grumping if the weather is warm. If you like cross country you will love the Deer Path course. It has the requisite hills around the fields at Deer Path Park and the surface is good and makes for easy running. It is a favorite for many New Jersey runners who prefer it to the Holmdel course and its heart stopping Bowl.

By the way, for those who seek cross country racing, the USATF-NJ website has a separate calendar listing for just cross country races.

Also next weekend is a four mile race that is bound to be a hit. The Run 4 the Seeing Eye is on Saturday the 8th in Morristown. The course appears to be the exact replica of the Super Sunday 4 miler that was held this year on February 5th. If so, then there are probably plenty of age division records that could be reset with such a young course. The Super Sunday race was won by Thomas Poland of Morristown in 20:59 and Elena Rozhko, also of Morristown in 23:52, so the overall times might be a bit tough to break but surely some age division records will be broken.

For a twist on the race. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and that means of course, that post run socializing can take place in one of the many restaurants and bars in Morristown.

Another local race has a 6:30 p.m. start and that is the Share the Care 5K that takes place next Thursday, September 6th in Morris Plains. The certified course starts from Trinity Lutheran Church at 151 Mountain Way. Share the Care benefits Morris Habitat for Humanity. Bring the kids for kiddy dashes once the 5K runners are in.


It’s not always easy finding a date for a race. Sometimes the problem is the venue is not available when you might want it. Other times each weekend date is already booked and it is hard to find an open date that is not in conflict with other races.

This is especially true for USATF New Jersey championships. As hard as the Long Distance Running committee works on selecting races that do not conflict or are not too close to another championship, grumbling about the championship line-up is almost inevitable. The committee does not choose the dates for races and on some occasions has asked a race to move change their date in order to be considered for hosting a championship. But the schedule is never perfect. Is life?

Monday, August 13, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, August 12, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Beau Atwater of Bernardsville was the top man in Morris County Striders cross country series that concluded this past Tuesday in Boonton.  Not bad for a 54 year old man.  His best time in the series, 18:10, was done on July 31st.  Mike Lynch, 48, of Pearl River NY placed second.  His fastest time was 18:14.

Caroline Wolfe, 17, of Florham Park wasn’t at Tuesday’s race but she had the required three races out of four to win the series.  Her fastest time of 19:33 was done on July 17th.  Valerie Zielinski, 20, of Hackettstown had a season PR of 20:47 on Tuesday and took second in the series.   The real story is the third place finisher.  Allison Lounsbury of Franklin Lakes is all of eight years old.  On Tuesday she finished in 22:21.  They age grade children too and Allison scored 81.01% on the children’s scale.


With the fall racing season less than a month away what better time to have a Running Summit?  And who better than a team of well known running coaches to have as speakers?

Those speakers include Dr. Jack Daniels and Joe Vigil.  The two day summit on August 25th and 26th is being hosted by Atlantic Sports Health and will be held at Morristown Medical Center in Morristown.

Daniels is the head coach of cross country and track at Brevard College in Brevard, NC.  He’s been named National Coach of the Year by the NCAA but he is known far beyond collegiate coaching.  It is probable that if you are a runner you have read an article, or a book by Daniels.  The list of athletes he has coached or worked with includes Jim Ryun, Alberto Salazar and Joan Benoit Samuelson.

Joe Vigil was head coach at Adams State College where his teams won nineteen NAIA Team Championships.   Athletes he has coached include Deena Kastor and Meb Keflezighi. His training method for teaching end-of-race sprint training was featured in a recent Running Times article by Greg McMillan that he titled the Vigil Acceleration Workout.

More about these coaches and the summit, as well as cost to attend can be found on the website,


The Hounds and Harriers Run™  that has been taking place at Loantaka Park in Morris Township each October has made a move to South Mountain Reservation reports race organizer Barbara  Rushman of Florham Park.  The race has also moved to a Sunday; October 7th.  Rushman said that the new course is a race director’s dream with far fewer course marshals needed.  She also notes that the course stays on the mostly flat plateau atop South Mountain.  For more information go to


The Morris County Parks folks have opened a new trail link between Roxbury and Randolph that connects the Black River railroad bed trail that goes south to Chester.  Lucky me, I live just a javelin toss away.  I need only cross a small field to reach it from my home to head north to Roxbury on the new stone dust trail.  Where the trail crosses my road there is a sign warning drivers to stop for trail users, of which there are many.  That the local drivers have gotten the message, albeit a bit skewed was illustrated last Monday.

It had rained the night before so I knew the field would be still be wet and not wanting to keep my feet dry,  I opted to go out my driveway and use the road for the fifty yards between me and the trail.

I stood patiently at the end of my driveway, waiting a clear road so that I could do the unthinkable and scamper the short distance on the right, or as we all know, on the wrong side of the street, with my back to traffic.

A car was approaching, with another right behind.  As I waited for them to pass, the first car slowed and stopped.  Oh no!  The driver was giving me safe crossing to the other side.  But I didn’t want to cross.  I hesitated.  She gave me a commanding wave of the hand.  “Cross now, I am waiting,” her gesture said.

I hesitated for a second more, and then I obediently crossed the road as she had commanded.   I trotted down to the trail and crossed back over to begin my run.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 22, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012 

There is always an energy, always excitement at the Verizon Wireless Corporate Classic 5K that takes place in Morristown each July.  This past Thursday was no exception.  The plaza at Headquarters Plaza was full of milling crowds of runners, easily identified by their company clothing.  Verizon Wireless always has the largest team and they turned the plaza a brilliant red in their classy racing shirts.

While many of the participants in the field of close to four thousand might have wanted to run a competitive race, many were there to be a part of the huge event and part of the excitement.  It’s hard to get a good start with a field like that.  Even using only your chip time it will be slower than usual.  If you are not on the front line you will likely be dodging people while being bumped by others faster than you.

If you can hit five or five-thirty minute miles you are on the front line and on Thursday there were a dozen or so who could do that.  From the gun Tyler Gibbons of Basking Ridge immediately went to the front.  Chris Johnson of Berkeley Heights and Jonathan Squeri became a dogged duo following in Gibbons wake.

Running seemingly alone Gibbons passed the one mile clock in around five minutes.  Up and down with turns at every block at the far end of the course he held the lead, going through the second mile only a bit slower.  Then the insurmountable lead narrowed and then it was gone.

“Once I got past the two miles, I started feeling my legs a little bit,” said Gibbons.

As he slowed, Johnson pounced, taking over the lead in that crucial third mile, just as he had planned as he waited to go into another gear.

“That was my plan all along, to let him go out,” said Johnson.

Johnson said he had hoped that no one would go out hard, so that he could steal an easy win.  Gibbons made him work for it.  It got them both fast times; Johnson finished in 15:55 and Gibbons crossed the finish mat in 16:05.  Jonathan Squeri of Princeton finished third in 16:11 and said later that he knew he would have a race on his hands.

“Just looking at these guys I know they are great runners,” said Squeri.  “I’ve run against Chris before and I heard that Tyler is good, going to Columbia next year.  So these guys are the real deal.  I was just enjoying myself.  Putting myself behind them and seeing what happens.”

The first woman, Rachael Sorna of Hopewell Junction NY, had no such race.  Surrounded only by men, she finished in 17:59, sixteenth overall.

“I was hoping one [another woman] would come up on me and run with me but I didn’t see anybody, said Sorna.”

There was plenty of competition behind her.  Ten seconds separated the next three at the finish, and there was a lot of action heading there.

In the last mile, Lyndsay McMeen, whose hometown is not listed, was running in second place.  Kavitha Manley of Piscataway was trying to run her down and did so.  She moved into second place.  Then just before the line Manley was caught by Mollie Pozolo of Michigan, presently living in Hohokus.  Pozolo finished in 19:33, Manley in 19:36 and McMeen in 19:43.

“I knew I wasn’t going to catch her [Sorna], but I was just happy to catch second and third place,” said Pozolo.

For Manley the whole night was a heady experience, her first time to race at the Verizon Wireless 5K.

“I never thought I would be part of something huge like this,” she said, summing up what many felt.  “It’s a little intimidating I think, but it was good.   A lot of energy.”

Monday, July 16, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 15 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012 

All you procrastinators out there, I have bad news for you.  The Verizon Wireless Corporate Classic 5K in Morristown this Thursday has closed registration.  This is the first year that the race has reached its cap so early.

“Last year we shut it down about 40 minutes before the scheduled end of registration on race night,” said race director Dan Brannen of Morris Township.

“We had people waiting in line and they were disappointed,” said Brannen.

So this is probably a good thing that the runners know well ahead of race day that there will be no race night entries accepted.  Last year 3,726 runners and walkers officially finished the race, almost exactly five hundred more than in 2010. 

The 3.1 mile race has taken place in Morristown since 2006 when it replaced the three and a half mile Corporate Challenge.  The course is downright challenging and running a little shorter met no resistance from the runners.

This year there is a minor change to the course that most people will not notice.  The start will be further north on Speedwell, away from the plaza, and the finish will also be a small distance away from the previous finish line.

“It will give us an additional two hundred feet to play with,” said Brannen.  “It will alleviate some of the crowding that has existed in the start and finish area.”

“It will give us more room to get people off the plaza and out into the street for the start and it will also give us more room for the walk off into the refreshment area after the finish.” 

Brannen explained that the area had become extremely crowded in the last few years as the runners stacked up after finishing.   The refreshment area is being reconfigured as well to make it more open and spread out, eliminating the tunnel effect of previous years.

Shortening the course at the start and finish means there must be a corresponding lengthening and that will be achieved by rerouting just one small section of the course at about the two mile mark.

None of the changes should have an appreciable effect on how fast a runner can complete the challenging course.  For the record, or more precisely, according to my unofficial record keeping, the fastest time on the course was run by Chris Pannone of Lambertville in 2009.  He averaged 4:50 minutes per mile and hit the tape in 15:01.  In that race Justin Scheid of Sparta gave Pannone a good challenge but faded toward the end to finish in 15:29 for the second fastest time on record.  In 2010 Scheid came back and ran a 15:30 to win.

In 2011 Elena Rozhko of Morristown won the women’s race in 17:49 nearly a full minute faster than any other woman has run. 

The irony of those fast times is that the Verizon Wireless Corporate Classic does not emphasis speed.  It is all about inclusion and the encouragement to exercise through running.  After the top three men and women are recognized there are no other individual awards.  Corporate teams do compete and that is to encourage the local companies to support good health in their employees.

Not that the teams aren’t competitive.  One hundred and nine teams competed in the men’s division with host company Verizon Wireless taking first place with the combined first three runners time of 54:41.  Alcatel Lucent was second in 55:05.  Hatch Mott MacDonald squeaked to third in 56:48 with Foster Wheeler just two seconds back in 56:50.

Ninety-six women’s teams finished the race in 2011 with Verizon Wireless again the winner.  Novartis was second and AT&T third.

Times for all of the runners are based on their actual running time from when they first cross the starting line and when they finish.  Doing the timing this way ensures that runners get a more accurate time for their race, although the start for most of the nearly four thousand runners will be so congested at first that even though they have crossed the start line they will still be only walking or jogging.

Packet pick-up on race day will begin at noon at the Headquarters Plaza just off the Green.  The race start is at 7:30 p.m.   

Monday, July 2, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 1, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Now that summer is here, it’s time for some fun.  The Morris County Striders summer series begins on Tuesday night, the eve of Fourth of July.  The course is an almost dead flat cross country run at Johanson Field in Boonton Township.  In 2010 the course was redesigned to an almost perfect double loop.  Ben Vanwyk set the course record in 2010 of 15:43, and Diana D’Achille set the women’s record of 18:53.  Age division best times are recorded so all runners have a chance at setting an age division record.

The club offers scoring in a series that counts the best three races out of four that will be held on alternating Tuesday evenings.   One exception is the last race on August 7th is one week after the July 31st race.

If you’ve been running for a few years you remember when the Firecracker Four Miles in Cranford was the only race on the Fourth of July.  Not so anymore.  Just take a look at the calendar’s that are listed at the bottom of this column for races.  The Firecracker for sure, but also one in Maplewood, and others that are farther away.

Summer time is also when runners get in the water and on their bikes so a lot of triathlons are on the schedule.  One that is right here in Morris County is the Randolph Tri on Sunday, July 8th that takes place from the Randolph Township swimming lake off of Route 10 on the border with Roxbury.  When I checked the website on Friday registrations were still being accepted.  As triathlons go, this one is a sprint featuring a one half mile swim, a bike leg of 16.4 miles, and 5K run.

Another big event in July is the Verizon Wireless Corporate Classic on Thursday the 19th in Morristown.  At one time this event was restricted to only those running for a corporate team, but it has been opened to all runners in the past few years.  It’s a huge draw with plenty of once a year runners.   Last year it drew 3,700 finishers.

Another fun night race is the Downtown Westfield 5K on Wednesday, July 25th.  It draws a huge crowd who come as much for the after race pizza as for the race.  If you go to that one be sure to plan to arrive early in order to find a parking spot.

OK.  Now for the real racing fun;  that’s if you think running over and under hellish obstacles, including fire pits is fun.  The first Warrior Dash 5K is taking place right here in our locale, in Lewis Morris Park on Saturday, July 14.  This is another of the new genre of adventure runs that have become so popular.  Being a spectator might actually be more fun, and less harmful to your body.  Check it out at


The weather gods played a mean trick on the runners this past Sunday.  Both Saturday and Sunday were beautiful, with clear skies and fresh, dry air.  Then along about 5:00 Sunday afternoon, in Glen Ridge, those pesky gods ushered in a very un-nice front of warm sticky humid air.

When the gun went off for the Fitzgerald’s Lager Run 5K at 6:15 p.m., runners were well warmed up and not necessarily from a warm up jog.   Still some of the runners managed to get through the heat and humidity and register a fast time.  Youssef Rochdi of Morris Plains won the race in 15:17, with Morristown’s Ben Clarke second in 15:51.

David Craig of Westfield finished in 16:20 in fourth place overall, the first masters man and the lead runner in the winning M40 team, Fleet Feet Essex.  Elliott Frieder of Montville was fifth and brother Jonathan of Hartsdale, NY finished 10th.

The Sneaker Factory took second in the M40, and the North Jersey Masters were third.  In the M50 division the North Jersey Masters pulled off an upset in beating the Shore AC team.  The Shore team stayed ahead of the third place team,  Fleet Feet Essex by only seven seconds.

The Shore AC took first in the M60 division with the Raritan Valley Road Runners in second.  The Do Run Runners edged out a third by only four seconds over the Clifton Running Club.

Elena Rozhko of Morristown won the women’s side in 17:24.  Over a thousand runners finished the race on the track at Hurrell Field on Bloomfield Avenue.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 24, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012 

The Fitzgerald 1928 Lager 5K this evening in Glen Ridge is the final USATF New Jersey championship of the spring season. This is the second year for the increasingly popular race to host the masters men’s championship. In 2011 it drew 1,130, up by nearly 400 runners the previous year. Statistics can lie, however. In 2010 masters men had competed at Pine Beach that morning in what was then their championship 5K. A few people did drive to Glen Ridge that day, but not many wanted to do double 5K’s on a hot summer Sunday.

The 5K will be the third championship for masters men and it is very early to see a trend, but it is fun to speculate on what the season will be for the teams.

In the M40 division the Sneaker Factory has a two point lead after placing second at the Miles for Music 20K and winning the Clinton Country Run 15K. Raritan Valley won the Miles for Music 20K and placed third in the Clinton Country Run 15K. The possible spoiler team is the Fleet Feet Essex team that took second at the 15K and could easily win tonight if all their top M40 men are running.

The Shore Athletic team has two first place finishes in the M50 division and another will clinch their dominance in that division.

In the M60 division Shore and Raritan Valley are tied with a win and a second apiece. When the team grand prix first began, very few teams competed in the M60 division. Now it is on par with the younger men’s teams. That is actually not surprising, given that the Baby Boomers are now in, or soon to enter that age division.

Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. at Hurrell Field on Bloomfield Avenue with the start at 6:15 p.m. The race course has a net elevation drop with the best downhill in the first mile. The finish is on the track at Hurrell Field. Post race refreshments include Brooklyn Lager Beer from Fitzgerald’s 1928 for adult runners. Water or soda for the underage and pretzels for all runners.


A night race is closer to home tomorrow night in Florham Park. The Battle of the Business 5K will be staged from the Green in Florham Park with registration opening at 6:00 p.m. with the race start at 7:30 p.m.

Not surprisingly, the race is heavy on corporate categories with men, women, and coed teams in two groups based on size of the company and a non corporate category as well. In addition to individual age division awards, the oldest and youngest runners will be recognized along with the largest corporate team.


If you prefer cross country racing, then Tuesday night is your choice. The Frantic Fun Run is put on by the Morris County Parks and although the name implies a fun run, it is actually a competitive race with five year age divisions. It takes place at Fosterfields Living Historical Farm reached on Kahdena Road in Morris Township. Registration begins at 5:00 p.m. with the start is at 7:00 p.m.


On a perfect night to run fast, the top of the field didn’t quite have it. That’s according to the man who would know. Jeff Perrella of Westfield, who won the President’s Cup Night Race 5K in Millburn on Monday night, said as much after the race.

Temperatures were cool by June standards, and certainly in comparison to other years, but they just weren’t on, according to Perrella who finished in a less than astounding 15:02. In 2011 Perrella won the race in 14:50. Elena Rozhko of Morristown also won in 2011 and again on Monday night. Her time of 17:23 was only a tick off from 2011, but it was slower by two seconds.

Second place on the men’s side went to Youssef Rochdi of Morris Plains in a disappointing 15:12. Rochdi has a goal of 14:37 for 5K this year. He went out fast, perhaps hoping to meet that goal, but was reeled in by the others after two miles.

The race was not a championship for the first time in several years and that may have accounted for the drop from 1,344 finishers in 2011 to 1,117 this year.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 17, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012    

No, it’s not a USATF New Jersey Championship this year.  Not for open men, or open women.  Does that mean the runners won’t come to Millburn tomorrow night?  I wouldn’t bet on it.

Yes, championships do draw runners and some races would be a bit smaller if they weren’t a championship.  But some races can draw a good crowd of runners without the championship affiliation

The President’s Cup Night Race 5K is one of those.  Most years it has been the open men’s championship although occasionally it hosted the open women.  Last year’s race drew a strong field from both camps.  Jeff Perrella of Westfield won the race in 14:50 and the next seven men finished in under 16 minutes.  Eighth and ninth were just a squeak over sixteen.

On the women’s side Elena Rozhko of Morristown won in 17:21, and the next eight women finished in under twenty minutes. 

Bringing all those fast people together makes all those fast people even better.  There is no question that runners do better when there is competition and the President’s Cup almost guarantees fast times. 

However, not all of the runners are looking for fast times.  Some come for the fun night in Charlie Brown’s restaurant parking lot when Samuel Adams parks a beer truck and the amber fluid flows.  All in all there is something for everyone.  Registration begins at 6:30 p.m. in Charlie Brown’s parking lot.


While the President Cup race is not a championship, there is one more on the spring schedule.  That is the Fitzgerald 1928 Lager Run in Glen Ridge next Sunday evening.  If the name sounds faintly like a beer run, it is.  Hosted by Fitzgerald 1928 it features Brooklyn Brewery Lager. 

Masters men are in the spotlight at this championship.  Age grading picks the top three for prize money and that went to a range of ages in 2011, from Mark Zamek, 48, of Macungie PA who was scored with the fastest age graded time with his 16:23 hitting 88.53% PLP.  Roger Price, 62, of Randolph was a half percentage point behind with his 18:32 scored at 88.05% and Hector Rivera, 40, of Clifton next in age grading with his 15:45, 86.66%.

Team competition within the age divisions draws many clubs.  Eighteen M40 teams were entered with the top spot taken by the Essex Fleet Feet club.  Shore Athletic Club won the M50 division with ten teams entered.  As many teams were entered in the M60 division with Raritan Valley scoring first, and in the M70 division saw the national caliber Clifton Running Club team with an easy win over the Central Jersey Road Runners.  All of those teams and individuals are expected back to defend their titles in the 2012 edition.

Registration and packet pickup begins at 4:30 p.m. at Hurrell Field on Sunday afternoon.  All that can be done the night before at Fitzgerald’s 1928 at 13 Herman Street between 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.


All the age division winners at the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K run on Monday, June 11th set records on the new course.  The race was won by James Lothian of Morristown in 17:21 and by Dianna D’Achille of Denville on the women’s side in 18:46. 

While talking about course records, did you catch the error in last week’s column?  Anthony LaMastro of Flanders set the course record on the old Roxbury course in 2011.  His time was 15:33, not 16:08 as was printed.  I do regret the error.