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 For more information contact Jim Schulz at 973-219-4494 or

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