Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 18, 2012
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.
THANKSGIVING MORNING THE BIGGEST TURNOUT OF THE YEAR
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.