Monday, April 9, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 8, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Races have sprouted all over the calendar [ USATF-NJ | CompuScore | RaceForum | Runner's World ] like daffodils this month.  Spring may have made an early entrance here in the east but the spring races are right in step. 

Two USATF New Jersey championships have already been run and three more are up for April.  The first was the Miles for Music 20K in Piscataway which was the championship for all divisions.  It was followed by the IndianTrails 15K in Middletown last week for open men and women.  After some glitches in the scoring were worked out, the results have been posted.

The Garden State Track Club put their men’s and women’s A team in first place, with Garden State men’s B team in second.  Raritan Valley took third in the men’s division with the Sneaker Factory fourth and fourth again on the women’s side.  It was the best showing for any Morris area teams.  Individually it was a great showing for Thomas Poland of Morristown who won the race in 48:18.9

This coming Sunday, April 15th a different division comes out to play.  The Cherry Blossom 10K in Branch Brook Park is the masters women’s championship.   The famed cherry trees might have passed their peak but the park is still beautiful.  The course is an out-and- back with a decidedly unlovely uphill start.  But once that has been conquered the course is rolling and not too difficult.  The race offers nice fleece jackets to the top three in each age division and there is a nice prize structure going down seven places based on age grading for the masters women.

There’s a championship a week during April.  That might sound like a problem but after the masters women’s championship, the Stomp the Monster 5K in Marlboro on the 22nd is for open men.  They will have had a break of two weeks after the Indian Trails 15K. 

The out-and-back 5K course is described as fast and flat.  In 2011 Chris Platt of Haddonfield won the race in 15:33, with eventual New Balance grand prix winner Mike Dixon [ results | blog ] of Fanwood second in 15:42. 

The following Saturday, April 28th is the ClintonCountry Run 15K, a championship for both masters men and women.  The 9.3 mile course ranges from flat and along an off road path to one long grade with a good bit of traffic, but the consensus is that it is a nice course.  Especially if one has run the Indian Trails course with its killer hills.

The prize money structure is a bit confusing on the website for the race but there is a purse for open men and women, and for the top age graded masters men and women.  Medals will be given to all age division winners.

Of course not all New Jersey runners are planning for April races here in their home state.  There is a little race up in Boston next Monday that will be drawing a few.  We wish all the Boston Marathon qualifiers good speed, lasting endurance and a great race. 

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