Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thanksgiving will be cold this year

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey

On Sunday, November 24, 2013

Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013

Two things are for certain this week.  Thursday is Thanksgiving and no matter which of the many races you choose to run that morning, you will be cold.  None of the locations are predicted to have anything over 35 degrees.  Layer up!

Two Thanksgiving races are in Morris County; the Chatham Turkey Trot and the Morris Township Turkey Trot.  Both are 5Ks but you can enter only one of them now as the Chatham race has capped its field at 500 registrants and is now closed.

The Morris Township race drew 2,284 in 2012 and with no cap will draw the same or maybe a few less.  Those would be the ones who decide to stay in a nice warm house.  The course is both a tough course and a great downhill course.  If you are going to have a hill to climb, let it be at the start while legs are still fresh.  This one does that and runners are rewarded with a great downhill in the last mile.

Up in Sparta the Krogh’s Restaurant and Pub Turkey Trot features a course with one turn, making it probably the fastest course you could run.  It goes out on E. Shore Trail and at 2.5 kilometers the runners make a u-turn and come right back to where they started.  You can’t get any simpler than that.  The race drew 1,909 runners in 2012.

The Dick Meighan Memorial 5K in Upper Saddle River is interesting in that it is one of the few races that is not a New Balance Grand Prix race and appears to not even be USATF sanctioned.  That did not keep people away however as 2,257 runners completed the race in 2012.

The grand daddy of all the races; the one that started it all back when people said you had to be crazy to put on a road race on Thanksgiving morning, the Flemington Turkey Trot drew 4,203 runners in 2012.  They obviously thought it was a splendid idea.

But the one race that stands out from the others; not because it is a USATF New Jersey championship, but because it is two miles longer than the others, is the Horace Ashenfelter 8 kilometer race in Glen Ridge.  With all the competition from those other shorter races, the Ashenfelter still drew 2,552 runners in 2012. 

The 8K is the last championship race of the season and it will determine what teams will be declared the winner in the club and team grand prix. 

Two other races within driving distance take place on turkey day.  One is in Greenbrook that appears to be a new race and another is in Princeton.  The Princeton Trinity Church Turkey Trot drew 923 runners in 2012.

At the end of this running column, when space permits is a tag that tells the reader where to find race results and a racing calendar.  The USATF New Jersey website has a road race calendar that only shows sanctioned races.  A sanction ensures that the races have liability insurance and cover runners who might be injured during a race or while going to or leaving the race. 
Not having a sanction does not mean that a race has no insurance, however.  The event may have insurance through the town or other entity involved with the race.  Being sanctioned does not guarantee that a course is certified, or that it is in the New Balance grand prix.  If the race is in the New Balance grand prix then it must be certified and will be so noted.  On the other hand a race course might be certified but the race is not in the grand prix series.

Other sources for finding races include the various race timing companies like and  A calendar that includes races that are outside of New Jersey is  Runners can find the race forum magazine style publication at most races.  It is always loaded with ads for the races and often the race application itself.


Grand Prix becomes tighter

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


The plot thickens.  Chris Croft of Summit came and conquered at the Giralda Farms 10K in Madison last Sunday.  Croft finished in 31:25, nearly a full minute ahead of second place Stephen Mennitt of Edison who finished in 32:15.

Croft prevented Mennitt from capturing 700 points in the New Balance Grand Prix and he now trails series leader Ken Goglas who was featured here last week.  Goglas has 5,693 points to Mennitt’s 5,690; a mere three point difference.

When they raced each other at the Miles for Music 20K in the spring Goglas beat Mennitt, but at the Super Hero half marathon Mennitt was the top man as he was when they raced the Newport 10K in May. Nothing is for certain when it is this close.  The Ashenfelter 8K on Thanksgiving morning will be the deciding race if they both race as is expected.  If Mennitt has a great day and wins the race, and also finds and wins a non championship 5K he could bring his score up by four points and beat Goglas by one point.  Mennitt must win the 8K though as anything less won’t do it. The grand prix has never been this close in my memory. 

While the open men’s competition is getting attention, the spotlight was rightly on the masters women in the 10K as it was their division championship.  The race was won by Maria Dana, 34, of Kenvil, in 37:42.  Elena Rozhko, 40, of Morristown was second in 38:18.  The next three women were also masters age.

In fact being 48 this year seems to be a good year as places four through seven saw all four women of that age, including Susan Bessin of Madison who finished in 42:26.

Prize money was won by the top seven women in the age grading and that group was lead by Nora Cary, 58, of Morristown whose 44:28 achieved an 85.74%.  Next was Jane Parks, 60, also of Morristown, whose 46:16 age graded at 84.73%.

The Garmin Running team with Rozhko leading the way won the W40 Division, with the Raritan Valley women second and North Jersey masters third.  Not to be overlooked, Rozhko is solidly in the lead in the women’s division of the New Balance Grand Prix. 

In the W50 division the North Jersey Masters were first and the Do Run Runners were second thanks to Cary’s fast time.  The Sneaker Factory was third.  In the W60 the Rose City Runners were first, Central Jersey Road Runners second and the Morris County Striders were third.  The Strider women were the sole entry in the W70 division.

On Thanksgiving morning the Ashenfelter 8K will draw runners from all divisions for the USATF New Jersey championship for all divisions.  In 2012 the race was the championship for masters only as the Our House 5 miler fulfilled that role for the open runners.  What will make this interesting is that the race has added a competitive mile race in honor of native son Tom Fleming who won the 1973 and 1975 New York City Marathons.  According to the race website Fleming was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America distance Hall of Fame earlier this year.

After his own racing career was over Fleming was a sought after coach for elite runners including Olympian Anne Marie Letko Lauck.  Others who he coached included Andy Ball, now of Sparta, Brian Harshman of Robbinsville and Paul Friedman of Upper Montclair.

The mile which will be chip timed as is the 8K, will start at 8:15 a.m. with the 8K going off at 9:00 a.m. 
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, November 10, 2013

Goglas already a winner in New Balance Grand Prix. Maybe.

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

If you read it in the paper it must be true.  Right?   Well sometimes not so right.  Last Sunday you read here that Ken Goglas, 32, who was a standout on the cross country and track team at Randolph High School, needed to compete in either today’s Giralda Farms 10K or the Ashenfelter 8 kilometer run on Thanksgiving morning in order to win the New Balance Grand Prix.

But it wasn’t true.  Goglas had placed second on October 27th at the USATF New Jersey 8 kilometer cross country championship and with that race he finished all nine races in the New Balance Grand Prix.  The series had not been updated since October 24th so his points for that race had not been included.

What is now more intriguing is that Goglas is being trailed by a mere four points by Stephen Mennitt, 24, of Edison.  Mennitt could win today’s Giralda Farms race and collect 700 points. 

Goglas does not plan to run in today’s Giralda Farms race but he will be running in the Ashenfelter race for his team in the open men’s division.  It might be time for a bit of strategizing.  If Mennitt takes 700 points today and Goglas has a bad day at the Ashenfelter – well, maybe Goglas needs to be in Madison today to block Mennitt from those 700 points.

After graduating from Randolph, Goglas attended college at the University of Connecticut and then Georgia State University in Atlanta.  He has never stopped running and loves to race in anything from three kilometers to half marathon.  On the track where he has a 14:30 personal best for 5,000 meters, the steeplechase is his favorite.  He has recorded a 9:06 in the race that has athletes going over five barriers per lap for 3,000 meters.

A race he doesn’t like to do is the marathon.  In 2011 he finished the ING NYC Marathon in 2:29:40 according to   He feels it takes too much out of a runner to train for a marathon and if you have a bad day all that work goes for nothing.   Most important to Goglas is that training for a marathon would keep him from having the fun he has racing.

“I enjoy winning races.  I always expect to win,” said Goglas with just a touch of irony.

The irony because winning doesn’t always happen.  Goglas sometimes gets out-run by one of his Garden State Track Club teammates, as he did at the cross country 8K.  Michael Found, 27, of Tenafly finished in 25:28 to Goglas’ 25:45.

“As the team grows and gets better it’s a lot harder to be the best of the group,” he said.

Winning this year’s grand prix may be the last time if some of those faster, younger runners get caught up in the game.  This year Goglas did a neat double on September 29th.  He won the Steeplechase 10K in 34:18 and shortly after finishing that race ran in and won the Steeplechase 5K in 16:08.  Neither was particularly fast for Goglas but served as an easy way to get in a long run that day and rack up grand prix points.

In June Goglas won the President’s Cup Night Race 5K in 15:08 and had a fast time of 31:59 at the Newport 10K in May although not close to winning that race.  The Newport invites elite athletes from around the country, attracted by hefty prize purses.  Goglas won both the Miles for Music 20K and the Indian Trails 15K last spring; the 20K in 1:06:23 and the tough 15K in 50:38.

Goglas runs with the Garden State club on Tuesdays and on Sundays when there are no races.  On Wednesdays he said that the club has informally partnered with the Morristown Running Company.  Even now with Daylight Savings gone for the winter, he said the course they run in Morristown is pretty well lit.  In addition they all wear runners flashing lights.

With the club winning both the men and women’s division of the 8 kilometer cross country race two weeks ago they have claimed the travel stipend that is offered by the national organization to go to the national club cross country championship in Bend Oregon on December 14th. 

The club will have two women’s teams and either two full men’s teams of eight runners, or three men’s teams of six runners.  With more and more talent coming to the club the expectation is to move up from the middle of the pack to being more front runners.

And along the way, Ken Goglas will be having fun.


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, November 3, 2013

Who's not in the lead in the New Balance Grand Prix

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 3, 2013
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2013


The usual suspects are in the lead in the New Balance Grand Prix.  These are the folks who fill out all nine of the required races and are fast enough to have tallied the points to bring them to the top.

The interesting story this time of the year, with only five weeks to find and run in a required race or races in order to maximize your score, is who has blanks in their score card.

Ken Goglas of Randolph should be in the lead on the men’s side of the ledger.  He will have no trouble filling out his card.  He lacks a championship Category Two race and next Sunday he could run in the Giralda Farms 10K and if he wins it he will have 700 points to add to his 4,996.  That would put him four points away from a perfect 5,700 and the win.

If Goglas misses the 10K he would still have the Thanksgiving morning race in Glen Rock; the Ashenfelter 8K.  It is the open and masters championship so he should be expected to run for his club.

So Goglas appears to be a shoe-in for his gender’s top prize.  But over on the flip side is his fellow Garden State Track Club star Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield.  Like Goglas, Ogletree wins races.   But Ogletree is shy four races.  She can find a 5K easily enough, but she would have to plan carefully to get the other races.

Lacking both a championship and non championship Category Two race she needs to get the Giralda Farms 10K or the Ashenfelter 8K and she must also run in the one and only remaining non championship race in that category, the Westfield five mile Turkey Trot on November 30th.  Ogletree also needs a non championship Category Three race and because of that she has run out of options. 

There are two races on the New Jersey schedule that would fit that category but they are not in the New Balance Grand Prix.  Ogletree will be roughly 500 points out of first place even if she gets the other three races.  No, the sleeper is not Ogletree.

No, the sleeper is right here in Morris County.  Elena Rozhko of Morristown was at the Great Swamp Devil 15K last Sunday and finished in tenth place overall in 59:32.45 and first woman.  That gave her 500 points in Category Three and finishes that category for her.  Now all that she needs is a championship in Category Two and she can get it next Sunday or on Thanksgiving morning.  While Rozhko won’t have a perfect score she will pass all the other women and take the top prize of $500.00 in the grand prix.

The Giralda Farms 10K is the masters women’s USATF championship.  Some of the masters women may wonder at the choice of the race for their championship.  It has to be the most difficult of all the championship 10K’s in the line-up.  In the six plus miles are three substantial hills to climb and yes, what goes up must also go down, but those climbs take a lot out of a runner.

While those hills hurt, the event itself is well coordinated by the Rose City Runners.  The club has hosted the race for nearly all of its 29 editions.  The race has changed over the years as the site, the Giralda Farms corporate campus has also changed.  Where runners once parked on the grassy expanse at the former Geraldine Dodge estate, they now are directed into the parking garage in the center of the complex. 

A 5K was added several years ago and both races start together promptly at noon. Back of the pack runners enjoy a stunning visual at the start.  The fast runners lead all the rest in a serpentine line down through the middle of the complex creating a colorful moving ribbon of runners.

This is one race to plan for an early arrival; before 11 a.m. at least, to avoid the inevitable back-up at the parking garage. 

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