Sunday, March 31, 2013

Indian Trails 15K will continue the USATF-NJ open division drama

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey

On Sunday, March 31, 2013

Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

The second USATF – New Jersey Championship race of the season is next Sunday, April 7th at the Indian Trails 15K in Middletown.  The race actually is run up and over the roads of Navesink.  Some of the roads are unpaved, and all of the roads are hills.  You will be either climbing or clinging.  OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration but that last hill coming off the peak with the breathtaking view of the Manhattan Skyline might make you wish you had lifeline.
It’s a true swoosh down into the golf course for the run to the finish.

The race is for the open men and women and wisely so as some of the older masters runners would not appreciate the course.  The open division team grand prix could get very interesting this year.  Only three years back the Raritan Valley Road Runners were the dominant men’s and women’s teams.  The Sneaker Factory teams were the runners-up; placing second with both their men’s and women’s teams.  The Clifton Road Runners were the third place men’s team and the Fleet Feet Essex team was third on the women’s side.

 In 2011 Raritan Valley’s men’s team dropped to third, Sneaker Factory kept second, but the newly minted Garden State Track Club team took first.  The women’s side was unchanged from 2010.

Look what happened in 2012.  Garden State took first and third with their B team in the open men’s with the Raritan Valley team back in Second place.   Garden State took first open women, Raritan Valley was pushed to second and the Garmin Runners popped up in third.  The Sneaker Factory disappeared from the top three.

Thanks to a new rule enacted at the Long Distance Running Committee meeting in February, only an A team will be awarded a title at the end of the season, so what happened in 2012 will not happen again.  The B team will be gone.

However, B and C teams can certainly be in the mix and they have not only gotten  into the mix,  they are the story for the spring season.  The Garden State teams already have put their stamp on the open men’s competition, although not exactly as planned.  As I wrote about in my column earlier this month, at the Miles for Music 20K the Garden State A team finished with only four scoring members as their fifth man was ineligible.  Not only did the A team not score, but their B team got beat by their C team.  Raritan Valley was third and Garmin runners were fourth. The Garmin open men’s team was actually an M40 team but with enough talent to nearly beat the third place Raritan Valley team.  They were timed at just 7 seconds back.

In 2012 the Garmin women’s team was third overall in the open women’s team grand prix and first in the W40 division.  At the Miles for Music 20K on the open women’s side the Garden State A team placed first and the B team was third, with the Garmin women splitting the two teams.

So where did those Garmin runners come from?  Remember the Running Company?  Yep, most of the runners on the Garmin team once ran for the now disbanded Running Company team.  Gary Rosenberg of Morristown gathered the orphaned runners together to form the new Garmin team with a few additions, like Elena Rozhko of Morristown for the women’s team.
The Garmin team scored in another way in 2013.  They have recruited the Randolph based Geezers who will make up their M50 and M60 teams. 

As I said, it will be an interesting season.


There are many races other than the championship next weekend and some in the Morris County area.  The Green Village Fire Department is hosting a 5K on Sunday April 7th.  There is also an event at the College of St. Elizabeth in Morristown on Sunday.  The Denim Day 5K is a walk and non-competitive run, despite the running figures on the race’s logo.  It will not be officially timed. 


Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 24, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


At the Miles for Music 20K two weeks ago Kevin Higgins of Randolph  won his age division in 1:17:33 and made it to fourth place in the age grading at 83.8 % PLP.  It might have been his highest PLP but two weeks after the race he hadn’t checked to see what it was.  Never one to blow his own horn, Higgins said modestly he might just be aging more gracefully.

“I’ve never had a lot of down time,” he said.  I’ve managed to stay healthy over the years.”

This time of the year, and training for the Boston Marathon, Higgins is now running doubles several days a week.

“Where I might have done 8 or 10 in the morning I’m now doing 3 to 5 in morning and 3 to five in the afternoon,” he said.

He did just one run on Friday because he scheduled a long run on Saturday; a twenty miler as a final tune-up before Boston.  He runs with a small group that goes out around 6:30 a.m.  After a mile or two warm-up they will quicken to marathon goal pace and hold that for ten to twelve miles, followed by a cool down.  Higgins believes such runs, or longer races like the 20K two weeks ago, are a critical part of his marathon build-up. 

“It was a good sign for Boston, assuming everything else cooperates,” said Higgins.  “I like to run a half or some kind of longer race a month or so before the marathon.  It gives me a sense for what kind of pace I should be running.”

He said that pace is the most important decision.  Most people go out too fast.  He’s done better using the Tortoise and the Hare approach; going out slow and running negative splits.

He admits that it is not easy to do in Boston where the first ten miles are very fast with the gradual downhills.  But he feels that living in Morris County helps when hitting the hills later in the race.

“The hills in Boston are not really that challenging for what we are used to running,” he said.  “It’s still intimidating.  It’s never fun to run up any hill at mile sixteen or twenty-one in a marathon.  But none the less I think we’re prepared for it.”

“Ask me if I still agree with that at mile twenty-two in three weeks and see if I still agree with that,” he said with a chuckle.

This Boston will be his sixty-seventh total and one of a handful of Bostons that he has done over the years but the most recent was in 2011.  He missed the “hot one” that nearly wiped out the field in 2012. 

When the ING New York City Marathon that was cancelled after Hurricane Sandy last fall, Higgins found a substitute.  In his case it may not have been the best pick.  He choose the Rehoboth Beach Marathon in Delaware on December 8th.  He and the front of the field went off course between mile 17 and 18, following a direction mark on the road that was not meant for the marathoners.  About fifty of the top runners ran an extra three or four tenths of a mile.  Higgins calculates that his time should have been about 2:59 but he is credited with a 3:01.19.

Despite the error Higgins placed second master overall. The man who beat him was a youngster of 41, 12 years his junior.  Higgins lifetime best is 2:46 and he points out the he was never a super star.

“I just haven’t slowed down as much as everybody else,” he said.  “A lot of guys who were ahead of me are now behind me if they are running at all.”

Higgins can be said to eat, sleep, and drink running.  He and his wife Maryellen operate the Runner’s Haven specialty store on Route 10 in Randolph.  They are also the Randolph recreation department coordinators for the youth program that is part of the Morris area Lakeland League.  He had been more active with coaching in the youth program but is now the Randolph High School girls cross country and spring distance coach.

The Higgins three children are all runners like their dad and mom.  Conor runs middle distance at Bentley University in Massachutes.  Conor's twin, Molly, a standout at both swimming and track is now running for Princeton.  Son Seamus is a junior at Randolph High School where he runs the 3,200.  Rounding out the family of runners are the family dogs, Sneakers and Lacey who jump at the chance to go for a run.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 17, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


The weather did not live up to its billing this past Sunday for mid fifties temperature.  There was a chill in the air, but runners at the Miles for Music 20K were quite comfortable running through Johnson Park in Piscataway in the first USATF New Jersey championship.

Ken Goglas of Port Reading was the eventual winner in 1:06:23.  Goglas was shadowed by Stephen Mennitt of Edison who finished second in 1:06:32 and Mike Dixon of Highland Park who took third in 1:06:41.

Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield had no trouble winning the women’s side of the race.  She finished in 1:17:15.  Elena Rozhko of Morristown was second overall and the first forty plus woman in 1:19:19.  Catherine Smith of Wayne, also in the W40 division was third in 1:20:10.  Elliott Frieder of Montville was the first master man to finish.  His time was 1:12:01.

Goglas was running on the Garden State Track Club A team that was initially listed as placing first in the open men’s team division.  But one of the team’s members was disqualified as not having current membership in USATF- New Jersey.  The team was removed from the results as an incomplete team.

Just last month the LDR committee affirmed that the team designations stand, regardless of how they finish.  In an even more bizarre twist, the Garden State C team finished ahead of its B team; scoring 5:54:45 to 5:56:26.  Now, in the open men’s team division in the grand prix the Garden State Track Club C team holds the lead after one race, the B team is second and the A team has no score.  What a way to start the season!

The club fared better in the open women division with Ogletree leading her Garden State TC team to first with the club’s B team taking third.  Sandwiched in between was the Morris area based Garmin Runners.

The Garmin team won the W40 division with Sneaker Factory taking second place and the Raritan Valley Road Runners taking third.

The Morris area Do Run Runners women’s team won the W50 division, with the Clifton Road Runners in second and the North Jersey Masters in third.  The Madison based Rose City Runners W60 team was first and the Central Jersey Road Runners placing second.

Raritan Valley took the top spot in the M50 division with the Do Run Runners in second and the Shore Athletic Club in third.  The M60 division was won by the Shore team with Raritan Valley in second and the Clifton team in third.  Clifton won the M70 division and the Central Jersey club was second.

In a 20 kilometer race you would not expect close calls in the team scoring, but it happened.  The Clifton M60 team had a combined time for the three scoring members of 5:00:08.  Right behind them getting fourth place was the Morris County Striders in 5:00:13. 


On Saturday at the St. Patty’s 5K in Morris Township, the Scheid brothers, Justin and Jeremy took first and second with Justin, 27 or Morris Plains beating his Jeremy, 24 of Hoboken by over a minute, 15:26 to 16:31.  Jeremy Garrell of Morristown was third in 16:46.

Some people used the 5K as a tune-up for the next day’s race in Johnson Park.  Elena Rozhko was one of those, winning the race in 18:18 on the women’s side.  Lia Bella, also of Morristown was second in 19:29 just a few ticks ahead of Jessica Byrnes of Pompton Plains who finished in 19:32.  Over 1,200 runners finished the race that took place prior to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade that took over the streets of Morristown at noon.

Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Monday, March 11, 2013

Race Offerings at slow pace for March

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 10, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

March is going to be a slow month for racing if you look only at the Morris area events.

Next Saturday is the second annual Morris Catholic Saint Patrick’s Day 5K in Denville.  There is a lot of emphasis on participation of the students, but it is also open to non students.  Registration, start and finish, all take place at Morris Catholic High School on Morris Avenue.  The race starts at 9:00 a.m.
The next day, March 17th in Kinnelon is the KEA Pot of Gold Scholarship 5K run.  All activities take place at Kinnelon High School on Kinnelon Road.  Registration will begin at 7:00 a.m. and the race start is at 9:00 a.m.  The race also offers a one mile fun run.

On Sunday, March 24, the Are You Faster than a Ridge Runner 5K takes place at noon in Basking Ridge at Mountain Park located at Martinsville and Mountain Roads.  The certified course runs through the park.

Two races are missing from the March line-up but they didn’t disappear, they just moved a little.

In the case of the Loschiavo Run four miler that had taken place at Mount Olive High School for many years, you won’t see it on any schedule but you will see a new race at Turkey Brook Park in Budd Lake on April 20th called the Mount Olive Momentum that is two races; a 5K and a 10K.   Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m. with both races going off at 9:00 a.m.  The proceeds will support the Loschiavo Memorial Scholarship Fund.

The Apple Chase 5K and 10K is still listed on some race calendars but it has moved to the much warmer month of May.  It is now on May 4th at the Pequannock Regional High School in Pompton Plains. 


Two New Jersey teams had a blast this past Tuesday evening at the New York City Armory running in a 10K relay on the 200 meter track.  Organized by Randy Miller of Montville and Charlie Castiglioni of Lake Hopatcong, the duo was able to put together two teams of ten runners to run in the very unconventional relay.

“We broke the record for 10K,” said Castiglioni, tongue in cheek.

Castiglioni’s team finished in 26:39 and Miller’s team did 30:19.   The baton was passed on every lap, meaning that each runner was supposed to run five laps of the fifty that make up ten kilometers.  But it didn’t always work that way.  Catherine Smith of Wayne, who has won the USATF New Jersey New Balance grand prix, was tasked with doing a double due to injuries that were springing up during the event.  She wasn’t the only one who was asked to do more than planned thanks to hamstring pulls and a variety of injuries.  The two squads even had an extra man that was called off the bench to take over late in the race.

Miller is a member of the Essex Running Club and Castiglioni is a Morris County Strider.  It was an ecumenical bunch with representatives also from the Do Run Runners, Garmin Runners, the North Jersey Masters and Raritan Valley Road Runners.  Runners from this area included Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes, Paul Kilndal-Brandt of Mendham, Jim Murnane of Andover and Patricia Butcher of Stockholm.
Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at