Sunday, October 20, 2013

Cross Country today and next Sunday

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


All eyes will be on Flemington today and the national USA masters cross country 5 kilometer championship races.  A record number of masters have entered the meet. As of press time Friday three hundred thirty one men were entered and one hundred and forty women.   In addition are one hundred and fifteen open division men and women in the Garden State Classic Cross Country 5 km that leads off the schedule this morning.   Late entries were taken on Saturday so those numbers will have changed.

Next Sunday the New Jersey cross country racers will return to Deer Path Park for the New Jersey 8 kilometer cross country championships.  Unlike today with several separate races to accommodate the large starting fields, the 8 kilometer race will have a combined field of open and masters men and women.

It’s an important race too.  The open teams will be competing for first place and a $500.00 travel stipend for both the men and women’s team to help with travel to the national cross country club championship in Bend Oregon on December 14th.

In 2012 both spots were taken by the Garden State Track Club and there is little reason to doubt that the same club will be repeat winners next Sunday.  The teams went to Lexington Kentucky last year where the men’s team finished 20th out of 42 teams, not a bad showing when the leading teams were Brooks – Hanson Distance Project, Asics Aggi, and Boulder Running Company – Adidas.  Their women’s team placed 14th out of 24 against similar competition. 

Other races coming up include the Great Swamp Devil Run 5K and 15K in Basking Ridge.  Once a November race the run moved to October and seems to have found a spot on the calendar at the last Sunday of the month.  Both races have certified courses and are part of the New Balance Grand Prix and that is a draw for people needing a Category Three race that can be fulfilled with the 15K. 

Being located and run on the roads in the Great Swamp naturally makes for a flat course.  Another feature is the out and back configuration.   Twice the runners can see who is coming from behind them and who is already in front.  Races like that are a lot of fun to race if a runner remembers to not give too many shout-outs to friends as they pass.  Save their lung power for their own race.

The 5K race starts at 11:00 a.m. while the 15K has a noon start.


Sixteen year old Brandon Meyer of Hackettstown established a course record in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Run in Allamuchy last Sunday.  Running at 5:58 per mile pace he finished in 39:46.  On the women’s side, masters runner Wendy Locke, 52, of Boonton was the women’s winner, finishing in 46:05.  Each age division winner now holds the course record for the event.

Gary Leaman, 54, of Hardwick won the Shades of Death Half Marathon in 1:20:53 putting him at the top of the men’s age grading list at 85.64%.  The women’s race was won by Lauren Lotruglio of Andover in 1:34:13.

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