Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 1, 2012
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 warriordash.com.
HOT AND HUMID AT THE FITZGERALD’S LAGER RUN ON SUNDAY
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.