Sunday, September 29, 2013

Teams flood half marathon at the Liberty Waterfront

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 29, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


Over one hundred USATF teams contributed to the massive field of 2,700 runners at the Direct Edge Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon at Newport Town Square in Jersey City this past Sunday.  The big story of the day was the first through fifth place sweep in the open men’s team division by the Garden State Track Club. 

Race winner Chris Croff of Summit won the race and lead in the club’s first place B team.  The D team was second and the A team was third.  The C team was fourth, lead in by former Randolph High School standout Ken Goglas who now lives in Port Reading.  Their E team was fifth.  Yes, the finishing order looks strange, but the club’s teams are basically competing against each other and so are quite evenly matched in ability. 

The Garden State Track Club dominated the women’s division as well, although not to quite the same depth. 

Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield took over a minute off her winning 2012 time of 1:22:02 to win the 2013 edition in 1:20:45.  Her A team had a clear margin over the clubs C team that took second.  Their B team took third.

The Morris area based Garmin Runners placed sixth in the open men’s division and their open women were fourth in theirs.   Their W40 team was once again in first place with Susan Bessin of Madison second woman on the team in 1:35:57.  Polly Harrison of Basking Ridge finished in 1:33:15 to help her Sneaker Factory team place third.

It was all about Morris based teams in the M40 division.  The Sneaker Factory took first with a combined five man time of 7:04:08 to the Garmin team’s 7:04:22.   In a half marathon that is almost a tie.  Gary Rosenberg of Morristown, the Garmin team captain finished in 1:18:11.  John Sabatino of Morris Plains, captain of the Sneaker Factory team finished in 1:25:09

The Do Run Runners were third, lead in by Beau Atwater of Bernardsville who finished in 1:23:41 to win the individual M55 title.  Atwater lead the Do Run Runners M50 team in but they were pushed back to third by the Shore AC and Sneaker Factory teams.

Ed Smith of Mountain Lakes won the M70 division in 1:48:28 and helped his Shore Athletic Club win the M60 team division.  Bill Bosman, 63, of Rockaway won his division in 1:31:53

Nora Cary, 58, of Morristown lead her Do Run Runners team to third place in the W50 division with her 1:37:46 that put her at the top of the women’s age grading list at 84.58% PLP.

In the W60 team division Jane Parks of Morristown brought her Rose City Runners team to first place with her 1:42:34, which age graded at 82.88% for third in the age graded division.

USATF National Masters Championship cross country race and Garden State Classic open championship deadline looms with the turning of the calendar.  Tomorrow, Monday September 30th is the last day to register for the races at the discount price of $25.00.   A notice of the rate increase was emailed to all long distance runners on Friday along with a question and answer information packed message about the events that will take place on Sunday, October 20th at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County.

Another loaming deadline is for the Shades of Death Half Marathon that is being held in Allamuchy on Sunday, October 13th.  In keeping with the sinister theme is the new Devil’s 6.6 mile run that will be part of the New Balance Grand Prix, as is the half marathon. On-line entries must be in by October 7th to avoid the bump in the race registration fee.

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, September 22, 2013

Long Distance Running Committee meeting this Thursday

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 22, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


Each September the USATF New Jersey Long Distance Running committee accepts proposals for changes to the programs affecting the New Jersey runners who compete in USATF.

These programs include the New Balance Grand Prix for individuals, the mini grand prix, the team grand prix, the cross country grand prix and tied to all are the championship races.  The proposed rule changes are analyzed and if they are determined to have merit, they are accepted for presentation at the first meeting of the following year.  This allows for time for a cooling off period of sorts while people consider the ramifications of any change.

The meeting is this Thursday, September 26th in Rockaway.  Details and directions are on the USATF website.


What may be the hottest topic at the meeting is the national masters cross country championship that will be held at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County on October 20th.  The New Jersey championship will be contested within the masters championship races.  There is also a New Jersey championship for open runners.

Combining the races makes sense from an operational standpoint but it does raise questions as the New Jersey rules differ in some regards from the national rules. 

Singlets or jerseys worn by team members must be essentially identical in the national rules but that is not a New Jersey rule.  Double dipping, or the use of one man or woman on two club teams for different age divisions is allowed in the state meet, but not allowed in the national meet.     The team captains will need to be briefed on how they will declare teams for both of the races as that could seem confusing to the un-initiated.

One age group could also cause some confusion for team captains.  In national championships the Men 60 to 69 teams must have five members to score in cross country championships.  Up until 2013 that group needed only three men to have a full team.  But due to the Baby Boomers aging up there is now an abundance of men in that division.  New Jersey has been slow to make that change so only three men are needed for the association teams.

Perhaps the biggest change for New Jersey runners is that in the masters men’s competition there will be three separate heats.  In all there will be five separate races, beginning with the open championship, the Garden State Classic; next will be for all masters women, then men 40 and 45, then men 50 and 55, then all men age sixty and older.

Having several races is quite customary in cross country races nationally and internationally.  It makes for a full day of racing and allows runners to become spectators for the other four races, something that cannot happen when all are in the same event.

Several Morris area runners made their way to Long Branch last Saturday, September 14th to compete in the Ocean Avenue Mile and some came home with medals.  Susan Bessin of Madison won the masters women race with her time of  5:46.  Bessin, with Connie Augustine of Mendham, who finished in 6:10 and Debbie Hall of Westfield, who finished one second behind Augustine, claimed victory for the Garmin team in the W40 division.

The Morris County Striders team of Charles Castiglioni of Hopatcong, Ed Neighbour and Leo Smuda both of Sparta took third place in the M40 and M50 division.


In the latest issue of the Reader’s Digest an article dealing with high school coaches a point is made that kids can get cut from a team, but that in cross country and track no one is cut.  It is something that parents should keep in mind if they have a kid who doesn’t make the cut in a team sport.  Kids who get cut loose from their sport are vulnerable to less than desirable associations.

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

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Half Marathon in Jersey City will attract the numbers

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 15, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


If you recall in last week’s running column I wrote that half marathons were passé and the mile was the new distance.  Of course that was a bit tongue in cheek given the number of half marathons now appearing locally.  We have the Shades of Death Half Marathon in Allamuchy on October 13 and the North Jersey half in Pequannock on the 19th of October and that is just some of the half’s in the state.

But they all must bow to the Direct Edge Newport Liberty Half Marathon that will take place next Sunday, September 22nd at Newport Town Square in Jersey City.  While the sponsors may have changed over the years and the actual name of the event, this race has taken place for nearly twenty years.   The first reference to it was in the CompuScore archived files from 1996.  Joe McVeigh, then 33, won the race in 1:09:28 and Laurie Corbin, then 28, was the female winner with her time of 1:21:20.   The race had a good turnout; 738 finishers.

Contrast the 2012 version of the race.  Ken Goglas, 31, of Randolph won the race in 1:09:11 with Cheyenne Ogletree, 25, of Garfield the women’s winner in 1:22:02.   So the times are much the same, within less than a minute difference from the 1996 race.

The difference is that in 2012 two thousand, six hundred and forty one people finished the race.  Now that’s growth!

Another difference from the 1996 race is the addition of team competition.  Thanks to the popularity of team competition and the USATF New Jersey team grand prix 29 women’s teams and 38 men’s teams competed in 2012.   They certainly added to the growth of the event but the majority of the runners were not on teams and were part of the newest running boom that is being fueled by half marathon runners.  While the road mile is certainly coming back we can’t dismiss the phenomenon of the half marathon.

Some changes at the Jersey City half marathon that will be enforced this year have been brought about by the Boston Marathon bombings last April.  Now most high profile races are establishing strict rules for security.  Bags will have to be checked before entering the race entry and packet pick-up area, or left in cars in the parking deck.  Since these changes may slow down the pre race process people are urged to plan to arrive early and to expect delays.


Can it get any tighter than a one point difference in scores?  That’s the spread between leader Raritan Valley Road Runners Club and Garden State Track Club in the overall club grand prix; 200 to 199.  Garden State put a lot of open women on the line at the Jimmy D 5K on September 1st.   Their A and B teams took first and second; their D team took fifth and their E team took 9th for a total of 30 points to add to their club total.

The half marathon next Sunday will give both of the leading clubs a chance to earn points with the young track club team able to score big in the open division while the Raritan Valley club will have their masters teams to bring in points.

The Clifton Road Runners are in third with 149 points and two Morris County area teams are tied for fourth; Do Run Runners and Garmin.  It could be an interesting fall season.

In last week’s column when writing about the configuration of mile race courses I wrote that:
“Both the Ridgewood mile and the New Brunswick mile races are loop courses that bring the runners back to near the starting line.”
I have been corrected by Bill Zink of the North Jersey Masters club that puts on the Ridgewood races that the mile course was changed two years ago to a point-to-point race.  I regret the error.

 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, September 9, 2013

Bringing Back the Mile in New Jersey

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 8, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013



Hey!  Forget that half marathon stuff.  It’s already passé if you follow the sport through the running magazines and online.  The newest distance to train for is the mile.

The mile?  Yep.  A dozen New Jersey masters runners traveled to Pittsburg in August to compete in the GNC Live Well Liberty Mile, a race that is part of a series of mile races taking place around the country.  Both Runner’s World and Running Times magazines have featured articles about the mile recently. 

While there was a sprinkling of racers, who specialize in the mile or the 1500 meters on the track, a good number at the Pittsburg race, probably the majority of entrants were road racers looking for a change of pace.

 Officially the first New Jersey man in the Masters race that was a national championship was Bill Zink of Wykoff who runs for the North Jersey Masters team.   In 2012 running in the 40+ mile in Pittsburg Zink hit the tape in 4:56.4 and was the first masters man to finish.  The 2013 championship changed the competition bringing in elites from across the country.

Zink, 52, ran the exact same time this year but the field had changed and he finished down quite a bit but still a respectable 18th overall and better yet, 18th in the Age Grading list at 87.64%.

Alan Wells, 50, who lives in New Jersey, but most often lists his town as Orlando FL when he races here, finished in 4:40 for a 91.31%.

Three Morris area men competed at Pittsburg.  Charles Castiglioni, 54, of Lake Hopatcong, and a member of the Morris County Strider club finished in 5:41, and fellow teammate Ed Neighbour, 50, of Sparta formed an incomplete team due to injuries that kept their third man home.

The same fate befell the Raritan Valley Road Runners whose member Randolph resident Roger Price, 64, had to run unattached to finish in 5:52.

The Clifton Road Runners had the only complete team and their M70 team finished second to rival Ann Arbor.

On the women’s side a very impressive performance is credited to Erika Campbell. 64, of Ridgewood who finished in 6:30; a time that age graded at 93.91%.

Next week those men and women can renew their quest for a fast mile time right here in New Jersey.  On Saturday, September 14th, the Ocean Avenue Mile races will be held in Long Branch. 
Mile races are rare in New Jersey but not unheard of.  The Ridgewood Run has always had mile races for elite runners in both the open division and in masters.  The Garden State Track Club hosted a mile race in New Brunswick in 2012 and again this year.  Both the Ridgewood mile and the New Brunswick mile races are loop courses that bring the runners back to near the starting line.  The Ocean Avenue Mile is a point to point race, meaning runners will finish a mile away from where they start.  The registration area and the starting line are close to Seven President’s Park where the runners can park.

The first of several races will begin at 8:55 a.m.  After a children’s mile race the serious racing will begin with the division for males age 14 to 39 at 9:30 a.m.  Female racers 14 to 39 will start at 9:45 a.m.    Masters women, all age divisions 40 and older, will follow at 10:00 a.m. and men forty and older will run at 10:15 a.m.  Recognition will go to the first runner across the line and age grading will not be done.  USATF runners will run together with non USATF runners in each of the division races and then will be scored by USATF rules. 

The event will wrap up with a seeded elite mile that will offer prize money for the fastest in the field. 

The races will have a team component but the scores will not be added to the USATF Team Grand Prix.  It is also not in the New Balance Grand prix – it doesn’t quite fit the description of a long distance race.  The requirements for the teams for this are to score only three runners on  a team.

For more information check it out at  Get a feel for the mile and have some fun next week. 


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