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.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 10, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

Most runners have a preference for the way a race course is laid out. A pure out and back course gives you a runners-side view of the race. You see the field as it comes back on the other side of the road. A lollipop course is part out and back and part loop. A pure loop course begins and ends at the same place but arrives at that spot by circling the area.

While runners have preferences, there is another group that has preferences that have nothing to do with running. Those people are the police officers who must control and often stop traffic while the race is going on.

In the case of the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K that will take place tomorrow night in Succasunna, Roxbury Township, the police have made their preference known. The popular out-and-back, with a lollipop, had to go.

With the growth in population over the years since the races’ inception, the traffic that had to be held up while the runners used Eyland Avenue, could not be managed. The road was being used for just too much time with no place to stall the drivers trying to use it. A new course had to be designed.

Enter Jim Schulz who lives in the area of the race and who is the director of the race with assistance from the Morris County Striders who took over the race from the Merry Heart Health Care Center.

Schulz found that if the runners start on Eyland, in front of the Eisenhower Middle School where all race activities takes place, he could route a loop through the neighborhoods and up to Hillside and then back to the middle school via the roadway to the adjacent high school.

But then things get tricky. Roxbury High School needed to be free of any evening activities, with no vehicles blocking the racers. That meant that the race would need to move to the second Monday in June, not the first. At one time every Monday night in June sported a 5K race, but the race that normally used the second Monday has folded. Smart race organizers never want to schedule the same day as another established race. With the other race gone, the calendar was clear for the Roxbury race. It takes the second Monday, the President’s Cup Night Race in Millburn has the third and the Battle of the Business 5K in Florham Park has the fourth.

Any time you change a course significantly you open the race up to the setting of course records.
Anthony LaMastro of Flanders set the course record of 15:33 in 2011. Ali Caruana of Succasunna has the women’s course record of 17:15 that she set in 2006. Some of the age division records are not shabby either. Doug Smith of Succasunna had the record for one year with his 16:08 that he set in 2010. It stands for the 15 to 16 year old division. Smith also has the 13/14 division record of 17:17. On the girls side of the ledger, Roxbury High School standouts have them all sewed up, with Jenn Ennis holding the 12 and under record of 19:29, Ashley Cromartie has the 13/14 record with 18:52 and Mary Migton the 15/16 of 18:54.

Some of the masters age division records are held by runners who no longer race, but some still active runners include Jeanne Pare of Mendham who claims 18:07 and 19:12 for the W40 and W45 records. Triathlete Linda Mirabella of Rockaway has the W50 and W55 records of 21:44 and 21:58 respectively. Cande Olsen of Chatham has the W60 record of 24:00.

The runner with the most course records is Bill Hagman of Morris Plains, who has the M55, M60 and M65, of 19:06, 18:22 and 21:32 respectively. All the records will be retired and fresh names and times will be recorded on Monday night.

Not just the course and the date have changed. This year the post race refreshments will be pizzas donated by several local pizzerias; Papa John’s on Route 10 West in Succasunna, Domino’s on Route 46 west in Ledgewood, Joe's Pizzeria on Route 46 East in Kenvil and Luigi's Pizza on Route 10 East in Succasunna.

Pizza will be washed down by a brand new sports hydration beverage, Powercoco that is made from coconut water. Of course the big draw for the runners is the post pizza treat from Cliff’s Ice Cream.

Details about the race can be found at morriscountystriders.com. For more information contact Jim Schulz at 973-219-4494 or rcb5k@optonline.net

Monday, June 4, 2012


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 3, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

The Garden State Track Club if hosting what they expect to be the first of annual College Avenue Mile festival of miles in New Brunswick next Sunday, June 10th.           

Beginning at 10:00 a.m. with the youth divisions going off first, there will be a succession of races.  After the youth will come the elite divisions with high school, open, and masters 40 to 59, and senior masters 60 and over.  Then the fun begins for the other folks who want a taste of competitive mile races that fit with their running pace.  Starting those races will be the division for those who will run a ten minute mile or slower.  Then nine to ten minutes, on down to the last one that is faster than five minutes.

How to determine a winner of a heat if he or she goes under the division time will be tricky but the club has people working on that.  Runners should probably assume they will run their mile a bit faster than they think they can and seed themselves appropriately.

The course will be flat and fast.  It is two 800 meter loops making it a very friendly spectator course that starts and finishes in front of the College Avenue Gym.

Once the runners have finished with their race, they can drift to the Olive Branch Bar and Restaurant that is on the race course to enjoy two dollar beers being served all day.  Not a bad way to watch the races.

Pre-registration is greatly encouraged.  Day-of-race registration must be done at least one hour prior to the selected race.  The schedule and other information can be found on the club website, gardenstatetc.org. 


Track runners are at Monmouth University today for the USATF New Jersey open and masters track and field championship. 

This evening the Pleasant Valley Twilight Challenge 5K will start at 6:00 at Pleasant Valley Park on Valley Road in Basking Ridge.  The course is a combination of roads and dirt surface – part cross country and part roads.

Next Saturday is the Chatham Fishawack Four mile race and a one mile run.  The mile race begins at 9:00 a.m. while the four mile starts at 9:30 a.m.  On the same day in Florham Park is the Jaycees 5K starting at 8:30 a.m.  On Sunday, June 10th is the Run for Marge 5K in Pequannock.  The Run for Julianna 10K in Denville that has been shown for the 10th has moved to the fall.

Central Park in Morris Plains will be the site of a 5K Cross Country run at 9:30 a.m. on the 10th.  It is a new addition to the USATF-NJ cross country grand prix series.

Don’t look for the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K tomorrow.  The race has been moved to the second Monday evening in June, June 11th.


The Ridgewood Runs on Monday always draw elite, professional runners from outside the state and that was true this year as well.  First place in the 10K was won in 30:18, followed by a handful of said runners, but Morristown’s Ben Clarke finished sixth in 34:09.  Clarke’s friend from Atlanta Allison Dublinski placed third in 39:27.  Clarke and Dublinski won the Pfizer Run With Pride, respectively on May 23rd in Madison.

In the 5K, Youssef Rochdi of Morris Plains, who was featured here onMay 6th, finished third in 15:09 while Elena Rozhko of Morristown took second woman in 17:46.  Just as the professional runners are almost guaranteed to show at Ridgewood, so it seems are hot and humid conditions.   That was the case on Monday resulting in disappointing times for the racers.