Monday, January 28, 2013


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, January 27, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

The most important meeting for USATF New Jersey long distance running committee could be the first meeting of the year, traditionally held in February, before the start of the spring racing season.  That is when rule changes that have been submitted to the committee in September of the previous year are voted on.

The New Balance Grand Prix and the two Mini grand prix have pretty much settled into an accepted format.  The last change, and it was a huge change, was to change the birthdate of each individual to the first day of the new year.  If a person is having a birthday that year that will move him or her into a new age division, they go into that division on January 1st.  So that is settled.

What hasn't been so settled is the team procedures and rules.  In 2012 a proposal was made to establish a rule that the first team of any given age division from any given club would always be the A team, and the subsequent teams, would be B or C, and so on.  This proposal was defeated and thus a rule was established to the contrary.  The A team would remain the A team and the B team would remain the B team, even if the B team finished with a faster combined time then their A team.

So that was settled.  Or was it?  Rules sometimes trigger unintended consequences.  The A team/B team is one such rule.  Did the rule make it possible to create a B team that was equal to an A team or even better on any given race day?  What if only the B team came to race but the team had many of the faster, or A team members on it.  Was that fair to the competitor teams that were now faced with trying to beat both an A team and a B team of one club in the team grand prix?

The rule enacted in 2012 allowed it, but was it what the racing community and the teams really wanted?  The LDR executive committee pondered that question and decided that it warranted another look.   The committee announced that proposed rule changes including the one proposed in 2012 can be submitted for consideration at the February 28th meeting.  The deadline for the submissions is February 1st.

Two Proposals were submitted at the September meeting, and now two more proposals have been submitted as of this writing.  One of the proposed changes would be to raise the points earned by the first place team in the open men and women’s division from ten to twelve.  This would allow for the ninth and tenth place teams to earn points.  The same is proposed for the W40 and M50 divisions but that is to raise the points for first from ten to eleven, thus adding one more team at the bottom of the scoring table.

More proposals may come in before the Friday deadline.


Trail racers have been busy this winter.  The New Jersey Trail Series held at Lewis Morris Park in Mendham/Morristown wraps up the four race series next Sunday, February 3rd.  It will offer a five mile race, ten miles and fifteen miles.

Two half marathon races were run in the series.  In the first, on December 1st, Benjamin Nilsestuen of Warwick New York won in 1:28:14.  Second place was taken by Jim Sonneborn, 53, of Morristown in 1:33:28.  He came back for half marathon number two on December 16 to win in 1:36:31.  Jessi (Jessica) Kennedy of Morristown, who was featured here on April 10, 2011, was the first woman to finish in both races, 1:38:09 and 1:40:38.  In the second race Kennedy was second overall.

The fifteen mile race on January 12th was won by Justin Scheid of Sparta in 1:48:49 and Sonneborn was second in 2:02:01.  In the women’s 15K, a young woman who knows the trails well at Lewis Morris because she ran in several of the Morris Mauler races was eighteen year old Natalie St. John of Mendham.  She finished in 2:33:02 for third overall.

The first race on Sunday will be the fifteen miler at 9:00 a.m.  All race activity is at Sunrise Lake in the park.  More information can be found at

Monday, January 21, 2013


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, January 20, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

The USATF New Jersey open and masters indoor championship meet will be held in a new location this Saturday, January 19th.  Monmouth University Multi Purpose Athletic Center in West Long Branch.  This is another move for the meet that recently has been held at the John Bennett Indoor Athletic Center in Toms River.

Field events will start at 9:00 a.m. but the first track event; the 3,000 meter race walk will start at 12:30 p.m.  Of interest to road runners who like to switch gears in the winter, the 1,500 for open and masters men will be at 1:40 p.m. and for the women at 2:25 p.m.   Not comfortable running that short and that fast? The longest track race that is offered is the 3,000 meter run.  It’s up for all men at 3:15 p.m. and for women at 4:10 p.m.

Some New Jersey runners have been honing their skills at the New York 168th Street Armory at their Thursday Nights at the Races.   On January 3rd several New Jersey clubs were represented at the mile including locals like Gary Rosenberg of the Garmin running club.  Rosenberg, of Morristown, 41, finished in 4:58.3.  His teammate Angelo Harasts of Pine Brook finished in 5:25.1.  Do Run Runner Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes, 49, finished in 4:53.5 and Paul Kildal-Brandt of Mendham, 49, finished in 5:29.2

Randy Miller of Montville, 51, representing the Essex running club finished in 5:40.6 with Charles Castiglioni, 54, of Lake Hopatcong and the Morris County Striders in 5:57.5

The Armory’s meets offer only a small slate of races and three locals came back to run the 3,000 meters; Rosenberg finished in 10:08.6, Harasts in 11:38.5 and Castiglioni in 12:57.4

I spoke with Castiglioni on Friday and he reported that most everybody has improved since the 3rd.   Unfortunately the Armory had not yet posted the previous night’s results so we could not post them here.

Castiglioni has teamed up with Randy Miller to try to put together a ten person team for a relay at the Armory on February 23rd.  That’s right, ten persons, and they don’t have to be from one USATF club.  The relay is 10,000 meters and each member will run five, two hundred meter legs.  That is, of course, the distance of one lap on an indoor track.  It sounds like fun.

All the races at the meet on Saturday will be strictly USATF rules, so the two relays will be the standard, 4 X 200 and 4 X 800, and both are for the masters athletes.

Another very important item to note.   You cannot wait to decide to enter.  The meet is Pre-entry only.  All entries must be received by this Monday, January 21st or online by Wednesday, January 23rd at noon.

Any questions should be directed to David Friedman at 201-271-4422, or to


Back for its second year, the Super Sunday Four Mile race returns to Morristown on DeHart Street on Super Bowl Sunday on February 3rd.  As it did in 2012, the race is offering a category for the least clothed runner, following a sort of “taunt the cold” theme.  The first one thousand registered runners will be able to cover up after the race with a long sleeved t-shirt.  New this year is a one mile walk that will follow an hour after the four mile race that starts at 11:30 a.m.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Madeline Bost Receives USATF-NJ President's Award

At the USATF-NJ Banquet on January 19, 2013, Madeline Bost was given the Presidents Award. The text of USATF-NJ President Ed Neighbor's presentation of the award to Madeline is below.

President’s Award: Presented to an association member, official, administrator or volunteer, who has aided the association in its commitment to improve its services to or events staged for its members.
This year the recipient is no stranger to this award. You can either credit or curse this year’s recipient as the reason I am standing at this podium as President of the New Jersey Association.

I was approached by this year’s recipient to join a running club called the Morris County Striders. I was welcomed into the club and became the club’s secretary taking notes. I guess because of my note taking ability I was asked to take notes at LDR Committee meetings. From there my involvement in the NJ Association grew. I am standing here as President because of that first step in bringing me into the New Jersey Association.

During my term as President I have come to rely on her advice. She is always willing to listen and express her opinion. She is not shy about calling me up and telling me when she thinks I am wrong, need to step up and provides me with guidance and support.
She has come to recognize my phone number on her caller ID and still she will pick up the phone and listen and mentor me in leading this Association. I am forever grateful for all the help she has given me during my term as President.

This year’s recipient has served the NJ Association as a member of the Track and Field and LDR Committees. She has also served the Association as Treasurer, Vice President, President and is current Secretary. She has helped build the New Jersey Association and put in place the strong foundation on which we continue to build and grow the NJ Association into one of the strongest and most respected Associations within USA Track and Field.

At the National Level she has been on the Masters Track and Field Committee and currently serves as the secretary of the Masters LDR Committee. She was instrumental in developing New Jersey’s successful bid to host the 2013 USATF National Master’s 5k Cross Country Championship to be held on October 20th at Deer Path Park in Readington New Jersey.

It is my honor to present this year’s President’s Award to Madeline Bost.

Monday, January 7, 2013


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, Janury 6, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

When you run over thirty races a year and you are fast enough to sometimes win them outright, like Beau Atwater did at the Morris County Striders Summer Series cross country race last July, things can happen.  Atwater, of Bernardsville won the M50 division of the Mini One grand prix and his name is on the top of the charts in the Cross Country Grand Prix as well.

That’s the good news.  The darn it moment came in the New Balance Grand Prix when Atwater missed third place in his age division by a mere three points.  It shouldn’t have happened either, but injuries can really mess things up.

After the Liberty Half Marathon in September, Atwater was nursing a groin injury.  It wasn’t bad enough to keep him from running but he didn’t want to jeopardize his training for the ING New York City Marathon so he skipped a half marathon that he might have run in October.  That was crucial, because without that non championship five hundred point Category Three race he was going to have to count the Grand Finale Ten Mile championship in December to round out his nine race in the grand prix.  With a much smaller field the ten mile race is a poor place to get points and Atwater walked away with only 455 points – about twenty points below what he might have earned at the October half marathon.

The story gets worse.  Atwater skipped that crucial October race so he would be OK to race the New York race and we all know what happened – Hurricane Sandy blew the race right off the map.

Not that Atwater is crying over spilled milk, but the other of his two marathons a year was the Boston Marathon.  Remember that?   It was so hot at Boston last April that runners were being encouraged to defer and not even start.  Atwater was not one of those.  He choose to run it and in his words, it was not pretty.

“I ran the first half in ninety-one minutes, which was insanely fast, and then just blew up at mile fourteen and started walking and barely finished in three and a half hours,” he said.

In high school Atwater was a four hundred and the 800 meter guy.  His first forays back into racing was at the now discontinued Midland Run in Far Hills and he was not racing a lot until about three years ago.

“I was running maybe six or seven races a year,” said Atwater.  “It wasn’t until I met Mark Washbourne and his club (Do Run Running Club) that I started running a lot.”

While he runs a lot of 5K’s and hovers a bit over and under 18 minutes, they are not his favorite distance.  He thinks he does better at distances from 15K to half marathon.  A marathon is a gamble from his perspective.

“You can gut out a half marathon.  Its’ so much more different than a marathon,” he said.  “In a marathon you have no idea what’s going to happen; nutrition is critical, weather is critical, all these things are critical.”

“In a half marathon almost nothing is critical.  If you feel good you can get up and run well.  It can be bad weather, you can run well, you can have not eaten well and still have a good half marathon.  In a marathon you will just crash and burn.”

When Atwater is not building mileage for a marathon he trains around thirty-five miles per week, and when in training it goes up to sixty to sixty-five miles.  He is happy to have races in his marathon build-up phase.

“I  don’t think the marathon training is so horribly hard that I can’t run races in there,” said Atwater.  “In fact I prefer the races over the marathon.”

The marathons keep him motivated to train but he says self deprecatingly he would be too lazy if it weren’t for the marathons being his goal.

During the week Atwater trains in Johnson Park in Piscataway near where he works and speed work at Bernardsville High School or at the track at Rutgers.  On Saturday’s he trains with the Do Run club in Randolph, weather and trail conditions permitting.

Atwater is looking forward to success in the grand prix this year.  He will be the baby of the class in the M55 division, a spot runners get every five years.  Atwater is happy to be getting out of the M50 where the top two men were in the top three overall in 2012, Gary Leaman of Hardwick and Rodrigo Caceres of Elizabeth.

Atwater is hoping to run a good Boston Marathon this April.  He will need it if he is to qualify for Boston in 2014.  He can qualify for the New York marathon by using one of his half marathons but for Boston he needs to run a good marathon this year.

“I don’t need another two “bad weather – act of God marathons”, he said.  All the Boston and New York marathon fans will say “Amen” to that.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


Written by Madeline Bost
Originally Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 30, 2012
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2012

The Club and Team Grand Prix is over for 2012 and the final tally has been published.  Things are looking a lot different this year.  Until now the front runners were always predictable.

The Raritan Valley Road Runners were always first.  Next you could expect the Sneaker Factory in second place and the Morris County Striders in third.  Some years the second and third place clubs traded places.

Well look at what has happened!   Yes, the Raritan Valley club is still in first, but the rest of the line-up has changed.  Now the Clifton Road Runners Club has taken second and not that far behind first either.  Raritan Valley finished with 424 points but the Clifton runners are only 31 points back with 393 points.

The Shore Athletic Club that hardly competed in the first years of the series finished in third place just 29 points back with 364.  The Garden State Track Club, with mostly open runners, but plenty of them, finished fourth with 293 points. 

The Sneaker Factory Running Club finished in fifth place with 278 points.  Sixth place was taken by the Do Run Running Club, the North Jersey Masters finished in seventh place.  The Morris area Garmin Runners finished in 8th place and the Morris County Striders placed ninth.  The rest of the line-up was; Central Jersey Road Runners Club 10th, Rose City Runners Club 11th, Fleet Feet Essex 12th and the Randolph based Original Geezers thirteenth, and last.


The Garden State Track Club created their own contest in the open men division, finishing their A team in first, their B in third, their C in sixth and their D in 8thRaritan Valley’s team took second and the Sneaker Factory was fourth.

The Sneaker Factory took first in the M40 division but it was their women’s team that pushed the numbers up.  They placed first in the W50, second in W40, and fourth in the open women’s division.

The Do Run Running Club that runs from Randolph’s Freedom Park each week placed third in the W40 division, fourth in the M50, and fifth in M40 and M60, and fifth in the open women’s division.  The Garmin runners dominated the W40 division and placed third in the open women’s division. 

The Morris County Striders had a rough year but they placed fourth in the M60 division and fifth in the W50.  In the W60 division they were third and they had it all to themselves in the W70 and W80 divisions.  The Rose City Runners Club placed third in the W60 division.

Many things account for the shift in the clubs.  Runners have moved from one club to another and new clubs have been formed.  Those changes have weakened some clubs and strengthened others.  A member of one club must delay switching from one club to another for ninety days after competing for a club.  So this winter period from the last championship, the ten miler that was held on December 9th, to the first of the 2013 season, the 20K Miles for Music on March 10th easily satisfies the ninety day rule. 


For runners who just can’t get enough racing, New Year’s Day offers the opportunity to start 2013 with a 5K or even a five miler.  Fair Lawn, Westfield, Hamilton and Hillsborough are four races that are sanctioned and on the USATF New Jersey calendar.

Membership in USATF begins anew in 2013 so runners who want all of their races in the new year to count in the New Balance Grand Prix need to make sure that they have renewed.  It is easily done on-line, or the old fashioned way via mail.  Information is available at