Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Super Hero Half Marathon is becoming a fixture

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, May 12, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


When does a race become a fixture on the calendar?  Maybe a dozen years or so, but a race that attracts over a thousand runners in its first year doesn’t have to wait that long.

In its inaugural year, the Super Hero Half Marathon saw 1,018 runners cross the finish line in 2010, lead in by Karl O’Reilly of Morristown in 1:15:17.  That time remains the time to beat to establish a new course record for the double loop course that utilizes the Ginty Field location for its start and finish and Loantaka Park and country roads into Harding for its course.

In that same year, the women’s record was set by Jeanne Pare of Chester, who was 49 years old at the time.  She finished in 1:24:42 and achieved an age graded 86% score.  Although Pare has the record, Misa Tamura of Ridgewood can claim her own distinction.  She won the race in 2011 in 1:25:24 and again in 2012 in 1:27:40.  Tamura at age 47 in 2013 appears to back in form after a down season in 2012 thanks to injures.  The cliff hanger here is whether open women will come to set the beat the fast times set by these two masters women.

While fast times are interesting for the statisticians, the race is really more about participating and having fun after a seemingly endless winter.  Costumes are encouraged and prizes awarded for the best costumed runners.  A relay last year brought in 123 two person teams, bringing in about 1,500 runners in total to the race.

The race website is projecting over 2,000 runners this year and with the growth that has been seen in the three previous years it is entirely possible.  More information is at CompuScore website with a link to the race website, or runners can stop in at the Morristown Running Company store to register and to pick up their race packet.


This year masters women might be skipping the half marathon for the Run for Rachel 5K in Livingston.  Long an open women’s USATF-NJ championship, this year it is a championship for masters women.  The course is a series of long grades with one short challenging hill. 

If you are looking for a wrinkle in the course, it is at the end.  The runners emerge from the neighborhood and begin a long, maybe 600 meter, half circle to the finish.  Because it can be seen on the other side of the park, runners tend to begin their drive well before they might in another race. 

That is not a bad thing.  Coaches will tell you to begin your drive to the finish before you think you should, and this race does what the coach can’t do.  It fools you into going into top gear, and then forces you to hang on longer than you think is possible.

Other races are coming up in Morris County and beyond of course.  A new race last year in Basking Ridge, the St James Men of Charity 5K has changed from a weekend date to this Thursday, May 16th with a 6:45 p.m. start.

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

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