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 athlinks.com. 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.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at email@example.com.