Sunday, April 28, 2013

All Star Masters Teams at Our House Five Mile

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 28, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

How often does a team captain get to put together an all star team?  USATF rules do not allow them, except as exhibition teams at some track meets.  Even when allowed, they must be created within an age division; M40, M50, for instance.  But look what is happening at the Our House Five Miler next Sunday in Summit.

The race was not awarded a championship in 2013 and race director Mark Zenobia was looking for a draw outside of championship status.  His organizing committee said it had the money, if he had a plan to draw in teams that might otherwise skip the race.

“I asked myself how often do masters teams have a chance to fill their running club coffers with a pretty big size money.” Said Zenobia, whose company On Your Mark Productions still puts on several races in New Jersey despite Zenobias attempts to phase out and enjoy retirement. “Six hundred for first, three hundred for second and two hundred for third,” he said.

Add it up and it is a sizeable stash of cash; eleven hundred for both men and women’s teams for a total of twenty two hundred dollars.   

But Zenobia says that the team entries have only trickled in and that is surprising.  It may be that the team captains do not realize that they must have all of their team members pre-registered and their team declarations in ahead of time.  Captains usually have until the night before a race and they may have missed the information that this team competition is different than in a USATF New Jersey championship.

And is it ever different.  Has there ever been an opportunity to put together an all star masters team?  Not an M40, M50 or a M60 team, but a team made up with the fastest and best masters runners in their club.

The Ashenfelter 8K was the masters men and women’s championship in 2012.  What would the teams have looked like if this opportunity had been presented at that race?  The three strongest masters men clubs are Raritan Valley, Shore Athletic Club and the Sneaker Factory.  Shore has some amazingly fast runners in the M50 and M60 divisions. Gravesande, Price (Larry), Brody, Cawley and Gensib.  Add those five runners’ age grade percentages and it totals 415.28%.

Raritan Valley would have had Lehman, Price (Roger), Van Langen, Jorrison and Carr; a mix of all ages from Van Langen at 46 to Carr at 66.  Between the five they totaled 395.49%.

 Although the Shore team had two men above 85%PLP, they didn’t come out on top.  The Sneaker Factory had Gary Leaman of Hardwick with their highest scoring man at just under 85%.  It was the rest of the line-up that put them in first.  Rich Burke of Morristown was next with 84.80%, John Hogan of Washington Township at 83.54%, Doug Clark of Mendham at 82.97% and John Sabatino of Morris Plains at 82.9% for a total of 418.27% making the Sneaker Factory the winning team by three percentage points.  Take home $600.00 men.

Of course they aren’t taking home any prize money from the Ashenfelter but this is my fantasy so now let’s look at the women.  Masters women’s teams always score only three runners so this Our House purse obligates a team to find more fast women.  On the other hand they have a wider age range to choose from – 40 through 80+. 

So how would it have gone if the women’s team scored the highest five age graded?  Well Raritan Valley would have been in fifth place.  Everyone’s sweetheart Imme Dyson, 75, of Princeton finished in 46:37 and would have been their top person with a score of 84.55%.  But their fifth place woman scored only 40.84% and that took them down to fifth at 343.37%. 

The Garmin women who have been taking the top spots in the W40 division would not have done as well with age grading.  Debby Hall of Westfield would have been their top scorer with 77.14%  and all of the top five women scored in the 70 to 77  percentile range but it would have given them only 366.45% for fourth.

So who would have been third?  The Morris County Striders Wendy Locke of Boonton scored 80.98% and Linda Mirabella of Rockaway was next with 80.34%.  Rene Rovtar of Basking Ridge was next with 71.60%, Eva Fisher of Boonton next at 68.71% and last was Joyce Morgan of Boonton with a 68.99%.  The two women with above 80% helped to give the team 370.62%.

The Fleet Feet Essex Running club team would have been led off with by Catherine Smith of Wayne with her 85.54%, Amanda King of Montclair scored 82.63, Karen Merz of Montclair scored 74.83%,   Nora Candelera of North Bergen scored 74.11% and Andi Robik of North Bergen scored 64.67% for a team total of 381.78

Amy Rappaport of Califon lead off the Sneaker Factory fantasy team with 83.41%, Carolyn Blackmeister of Upper Montclair was next in 77.85%, Angie Dello of Whippany was third with her 77.70%, Susan Olesky of Mendham in 77.19% and Sharon Briden of Glen Ridge was fifth with 71.24%.  So while only one of the Sneaker Factory women scored above 80%, their fifth woman was above 71% so hand them their check for scoring 387.39%.

Oh, that’s right.  This is my fantasy.  The team captains need to make it their reality next Sunday, but they have to act fast.  Race Director Zenobia has given the teams a new deadline.  They have until noon on Tuesday, April 30th to get their team declarations in.

All of the team members must be preregistered by Tuesday a.m. to be on the team roster.  All registrations must be done on-line and there is no service fee to do so.  Team captains need to contact Zenobia at or call 908-902-8587 for instructions. 

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, April 21, 2013

Boston Massacre Hits Home

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 21, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

BOSTON MASSACRE HITS HOME                     
It’s a small world, so the saying goes.  In the world of runners our connections can take us anywhere.  Here in New Jersey one connection to Boston begins in Madison, then to the Rose City Runners, to New Hampshire and then to Boston. 

Jim McGrath of Madison is a member of the Rose City Runners club.  He works with Dan Peterson at Cadence Design Systems in New Providence. 

Peterson and his family have a summer home in New Hampshire as do Bill and Denise Richard.  Those names have become all too familiar to us in the days following the massacre in Boston on Monday.  Their son Martin is the little boy who was killed in the blast at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.  Martin Richard’s  picture has been shown many times this week, holding a sign promoting peace, bringing tears to ones eyes at the irony of the little boy’s prayer for peace that didn’t reach his assasins.

“Their daughter Jane was critically injured and has lost part of her leg. Denise, Martin's mother, is currently undergoing a second surgery to remove shrapnel from her eyes after her first brain surgery,” wrote Peterson in a post that was sent to McGrath who sent it on to the emailing list of the Rose City Runners.  “Bill and son Henry are not injured. They were all there watching the race.”

Peterson’s post is poignant.  “We have watched the Richard's children each summer as they have grown up before our eyes.”  He writes that his sons have adopted the Martin children each summer as their younger "siblings" teaching them how to swim, wakeboard, and tube.

“Martin and Henry loved to have older "brothers" and Jane puts them all to shame with her love of life and a tenacity second to none,” he wrote.   “This senseless attack has changed the Richard family forever in such a tragic way.”

“My oldest son Christopher and his classmates at the MIT Center for Civic Media have worked with the Richard family to establish a fund in their name to assist the family in any way we can under the circumstances,” he wrote.  “ If you feel you can help, a contribution to the fund would be greatly appreciated.

The Richard Family Fund - -is coordinated by friends of the family, with the approval of their representatives, to help provide an avenue of assistance for those who wish to contribute.

According to the website, donations are collected via WePay and deposited directly into a special bank account administered by St. Mark's Area Main Street.  SMAMS is a non-profit member of the City of Boston's network of local Main Street programs devoted to helping the local community.

“One hundred percent of the donations collected via the campaign will be disbursed to the Richards,” wrote Peterson.  “We expect the funds to be used for medical expenses, for memorial services, or other appropriate expenditures at the family's discretion.”

Television coverage has shown a bank of barrier fences near the marathon finish where people have set up a spontaneous memorial of flowers and stuffed animals to show their sympathy for those affected by the massacre.  It is moving to see, but a better way; money better spent is a donation to a fund for the victims of this crime.


Next Saturday the Clinton Country Run 15K is the New Jersey masters championship.  After the Indian Trails 15K that was the open championship, the Clinton race will feel like an easy lope.  Although it does offer one long grade in the middle of the race, that grade can’t compare to the hills of the Indian Trails race.

The Clinton race could actually be more accurately called a trail race than the Indian Trails.  For a time the course goes along an abandoned road with no cars, making for a very pleasant venue for at least part of the race.


Some New Jersey teams will be sending at least one team to Dedham Massachusetts for the national 10K masters championship that will take place on Sunday, the 28th.  The Clifton Road Runners M70, and the Raritan Valley and the Shore Athletic Club M60 teams should have at least an A team to be in the national competition.  Other clubs have been encouraged to send teams to the national championships this year, which would put them in contention for the national team grand prix.

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, April 15, 2013

Denville teens top Stiedl MK5K on Saturday

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey

On Sunday, April 14, 2013

Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

The Ryan Stiedl Memorial MK5K had a decidedly local flavor Saturday in Denville.  Both winners of the race were from Denville and both still in their teens.

Maximino Meneses, 18, finished in 17:17 to win on the men’s side and Allyson Black, 17, was the women’s winner.  Meneses took the lead from the start and never relinquished it to Ted Mussano, 31, of Wayne who finished in 17:27.  The race was on for third and fourth with Norbey Gonzalez, 40, of Dover and Hugo Vadillo, 44, of Wood Ridge vying to be the top masters runner.  At the finish it was Gonzalez by two seconds in 17:48 to Vadillo’s 17:50.

Black was running alone among the men to finish in 21:27.  In second place and nearly a minute back was Lauren Marciano, 31, of Morristown in 22:15 with Heather Hornyak, 38, of Mountain Lakes in third in 22:41.  The masters women’s title was claimed by Eva Fisher, 53, of Boonton whose time of 24:29 was also the highest women’s age grade at 71:09%.   Roger Price, 64, of Randolph scored the highest masters men at 82.82% for his time of 20:04.

Most of the nearly 400 finishers had praise for the new course that was an out-and-back on Pocono Road to Old Boonton Road and back.  There was only a little lamenting the previous course that had a net drop, making it a faster course.  But there was compensation in being able to see the leaders returning and those trailing you.  A fact that was cited by the mostly local area runners. 

Not all were local though.  Bill Welsh, 83, came from Staten Island to claim second place in his age division in 51:34.  Arch Seamans, 80, of Rockaway took first in 40:41.  Coming all the way from Hillburn, NY was Kathleen Davies who won the W65 division in 40:41.


Most high school runners are busy in their own competitions, but at the Newark Cherry Blossom 10K last Sunday high school sensation Edward Cheserek of Newark ran alone to win in 30:44.  The next finisher was nearly a full four minutes back.     

Boston marathoners are being promised more runner friendly weather than what they faced in 2012.  The weather forecast for Monday is a high only in the mid fifties - perfect for running 26.2 miles.


Morris area runners looking for more local races will find the Momentum 5K and 10K in Mt. Olive next Saturday and the Miles for Matheny in Peapack on Sunday.   
Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at also has running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 7, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

What would you think if you were invited to enter a race that would pay you a one thousand dollar prize for being first to finish, but you were warned that you would be disqualified if you actually ran?

The easy answer is that you would think it was an April Fool’s Day race.  But it was not a joke.  My nephew is a teacher in Kuwait, one of several teachers from around the world who travel far for a new experience in a foreign land.  He has been in Kuwait for several years and before that he taught in Thailand.

He’s a runner, but more of the Hash House Harrier type that enjoy the fun of the run before the fun of the beer drinking.  In Kuwait the only beer is the non-alcoholic type but that is another adjustment he’s made living in a culture far different than our own.

According to nephew Jeff, the race was a walkathon that featured the aforementioned thousand dollar prize for first.  In all about $10,000.00 in cash was awarded as well as two new cars, video cameras, cell phones and gift certificates.  Well worth the effort to win an age division or overall award if you can just figure out how to do it without a dq.

Women, some wearing full face coverings, were in a five kilometer race and men did an 8K.  The men started a half hour earlier than the women and three kilometers behind women’s start.  This is pretty effective in separating the sexes according to Jeff.

“It’s an odd event,” writes Jeff, “because running is strictly forbidden.  If one of the many referees sees you breaking into a jog, your number will be jotted down and you will be disqualified.”

Referees are stationed all along the race course so the peril of cheating is very real.  Two leaders of an age group were spotted throwing elbows at one another’s face as they jostled to be first at the finish and both were disqualified.  The winner of the event was clearly a trained race walker, and not a Kuwaiti.  Jeff described him as about “six foot five with a strange muscular structure that made his hips swivel unnaturally”.  Those who have watched a good racewalker will recognize the description.

In Kuwait Jeff has explained in emailed letters to family back in the states, that the people are so wealthy from their country’s oil income that they can afford to eat well and do none of the manual labor; it is done by foreign workers.  Because of that they equate exercise with manual labor.  Consequently the people of Kuwait are obese beyond anything that we have seen in this country.  Their diabetes rate is 23%; the third highest rate in the world and the highest in the Middle East.  The walking “race” was an effort to encourage exercise to help stem this epidemic.


We can be sure that no racewalker will win the Ryan Steidl Memorial MK5K next Saturday, April 13, in Denville.  After seven years of starting the race on Diamond Spring Road and finishing on Pocono road, the loop course has been abandoned and a new out-and- back course will be used.

The new course will now start on Pocono Road by St. Clare’s Hospital and run out to Old Boonton Road where it will make an eventual turn around for the run back to the finish on Pocono Road, or more precisely off Pocono Road in the parking area that serves the hospital complex.  It will be essentially a flat course except for a short hill on the return onto Pocono Road. 

The MK5K is now dedicated to Ryan Steidl who lost his life in a pedestrian car accident while training for the race in 2011.  On the race website,  is a complete list of safety tips for runners, walkers and cyclists that the organizers hope will help prevent the kind of accident that took Steidl’s life.

Registration opens at 6:45 a.m. and the start is at 8:30 a.m.  It is a 500 point New Balance Grand Prix event.
Publish only when space permits.
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