Sunday, March 30, 2014

Miles for Music 20K opened the championship season

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 30, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014


Michael Founder of Plainsboro, running for the Garden State Track Club ushered in the USATF New Jersey Championship series with his win at the Miles for Music 20K last Sunday in 1:05:04.  It brought his team into first place in the open men division.   The first Morris area runner was Youssef Rochdi of Rockaway, running unattached, who finished in 1:05:49.

Winning the women’s race was Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield who finished the race in 1:15:28.  Ogletree headed up the Garden State TC women’s A team that placed first.

In the masters team divisions the Morristown based Garmin team placed first in both the M40 and W40 division.  In fact second was also a dual win for the North Jersey Masters.  Sneaker Factory took third in the M40 while the Morris area Do Run Runners were third in the W40 and fourth in the M40.

Like the Garmin team in the forty division, The Do Run team swept fifties with first in the W50 and M50.  The Rose City Runners W60 team won their division.

Will there be any Cherry blossoms at the Cherry Blossom 10K next Sunday.  Here in Iron Mountain country there are no trees breaking into bloom any time soon.  Even the first-in–the-lineup Forsythias are still in hiding with snow at their feet.

This year the Cherry Blossom is the Masters Women championship and with a solid start in the team grand prix the Garmin women will be the favorites in the W40 division and the Do Run W50 in theirs and the Rose City W60 in theirs.     

The 10K begins with an uphill start that is never compensated as the return to the finish does not go back down the hill.  It’s a tough hill too so if ever the advice to go out slow is appropriate this one is the one.  After the initial climb there are also two more substantial hills before the turn around to return.  What goes up must come down so those two are mirrored on the return with nice downhills.   The positive spin is that the return trip is easier and that is when it will be appreciated.

The race always has nice awards for the top overall runners and in the age group.  They will be giving out long sleeve fleece jackets this year.

Membership in USATF New Jersey got more valuable this year.  When the long distance running grand prix was in its infancy in the 90’s all racea in the series were required to give a two dollar discount to members when they pre-registered.  In the 90’s the cost to register for a race might be fifteen or sixteen dollars, rarely twenty.  A two dollar discount was a nice incentive to pre register and to be a member of USATF.   But with the passage of time that two dollar discount barely counts when the cost is what it is for most races in 2014.

The Long Distance Running committee recognized that the discount had lost its value and in 2014 a sliding scale was developed to require larger discounts for races that have higher fees.  Races that charge $49.00 or less must offer a discount of at least $3.00.  Races that charge $50.00 or more must offer a minimum discount of five dollars.

Thus the Cherry Blossom’s pre-registration fee is $22.00 with a three dollar discount for USATF members.   The online registration closes today so last chance to catch the discount.  After today the fee is $25.00.

If you have looked at the USATF NJ website and made a note to go run the Connor’s House 5K next Saturday at the County College of Morris, better not go.  If you clink on the link for the race you will see a notation that the race has been cancelled for 2014. 


Sunday, March 23, 2014

Local Masters Runners had a good weekend in Boston

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 23, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014


New Jersey runners were well represented at the USA national masters indoor Track & Field championship at the Reggie Lewis arena in Boston over the past weekend, including several from the Morris area.

On Friday Gary Rosenberg of Morristown placed fourth in the 3,000 meters.  Rosenberg, who is the team captain for the Garmin racing team, located in Morristown, finished the race in 9:35.98.

In the M60, M65 combined division race Roger Price of Randolph was put into the spot of pace setter.  Setting an even pace, two runners in the M60 division and one M65 dropped in behind him while he led the way.  Lap after lap Price pulled the trio along behind him, knowing full well they were waiting to pounce and pounce they did.  At the bell lap the three moved out of their comfortable positions and went streaming by him.  When it was over, Price had placed second in his age division finishing in 11:20.75, and fifth overall.

The next day Price came back to compete in the Mile, not his favorite distance, but one he enjoys racing.  Without all the drama of the 3,000 meters he finished in fourth place with a time of 5:44.24.

Two men who both live in Morristown and both in the M55 division also competed in the Mile.  Joel Garrell, a Garmin team member finished eleventh in 5:20.49.  Anthony Boyadjis, who runs for the Sneaker Factory team finished in 6:25.79.

In one of the closest and most exciting races, Mark Williams of Columbia, formerly of Hopatcong, ran a near perfect race.  Williams sat in second place for four laps then going into the fifth lap he took over the lead.  Going into the bell lap two runners who had been trailing him threw in surges and Williams dropped to third.  It’s where he stayed until coming off the final turn.  Then heading for home he moved back up and the three men ran nearly stride for stride.  With ten meters to go Williams was in front and crossed the finish line in 4:42.50.  Second place finished fractions back in 4:42.81.

 On Sunday Williams ran another brilliant race in the 800 meters.  Williams sat in third place until the bell lap when he began to move up on the back stretch.  As they rounded the turn for home he went wide and with the crowd cheering the two men fought for the win.  This time the other runner hit the wire first in 1:59:09 with Williams timed at 1:59.24.  

Williams will be flying to Budapest next week to compete in the world masters championship.

Williams wasn’t the only runner to have a near photo finish.  In the M50 race Do Run runner Peter Kashulines, Jr. of Mountain Lakes fought for the win, just missing with his time of 2:08.69 to 2:08.43.  In that race Bill Zink of Wyckoff placed third in 2:10.50.

While the tracksters were running in Boston there was plenty of running going on in Morris County.  Over twelve hundred runners ran in the St. Patty’s 5K on Saturday in Morris Township.  Ben Clarke of Morristown won the race in 16:15   Danielle Czohla of Lafayette was the first woman to finish in 18:30.

Robert Skorupski of Rockaway was the first masters to finish with Debby Hall of Westfield the first masters woman in 21:01.

This column often carries a tag about where to find a schedule for races.  Runners looking for a calendar of USATF sanctioned events that are noted as being a New Balance Grand Prix race must remember to limit their search to the USATF website at  Other race calendar sites cannot be relied on for current grand prix information.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Some runners got innovative this winter

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 16, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014


Running may be a lonely activity but many runners are eager to share their horror stories of this winter that we can hope is now past.  On the other hand sometimes it is all in your perspective.  For Carol Chen of Wharton who said that she hails from the coldest region in China, frigid temperatures were not a big deal.

She donned an extra layer of clothing on her torso and double layers of gloves along with a hat and she was ready to go. She said her main issue was icy road conditions, especially when she ran after work in the dark. 

“At least I could spot icy spots on roads during daytime,” said Chen who will be running in her first marathon this weekend.  The alternative was runs on the treadmill, which she classifies as “Dreadful!”

All the runners said that the icy roads were their biggest concerns, especially if they had tried to run after sundown.  Runners like Wendy Locke of Boonton who normally have access to off road trails that do not get cleared of snow had to find an alternative. 

Locke said that she prefers to run outdoors despite the cold, since she works in an office all day.  She avoids using a treadmill.

“For safety I’m sticking to quiet residential back roads where traffic is at a minimum,” said Locke, “And keeping a wary eye out for potholes and icy patches.”

“It has been very tough training for Boston this winter,” said Cande Olson of Chatham.  “I have kept up with my training plans by moving my long runs to days I could run outside and running the rest inside.”

Olson can handle temperatures down to 10 degrees, but she too is very wary of ice.  Her alternative is to run on the treadmill.  She said that the longest treadmill run was seven miles but she also ran indoors sans the treadmill.

“I also moved the furniture around in my finished basement so I could do short runs (2-3 miles) inside without a treadmill,” said Olson. “Ten second laps around the furniture.  I estimated 66 laps to the mile!”

On Thursday of last week she wrote, “Today I ran 20 miles outside! It was luxurious!”

Olson is not the only runner to get innovative this past winter.  Pete Lee of Randolph who is the team captain of the Geezer squad within the Garmin racing team said that his team has been trying to prepare for the Miles for Music 20K that is next weekend.

Like Locke he and his team have been shut out of the trails they normally run.  “We miss running Madeline’s trails in Roxbury (the West Morris Greenway in Randolph and Roxbury) and the Columbia trail,” said Lee.  “Our normal weekend routine when we are not racing is to run one day on the asphalt and one day on the trails or a track to save our aging joints.”

When he can’t run on trails or roads Lee runs in his covered, well lit and mostly ice free parking garage.  He says he is not a treadmill guy.  Like Olson he isn’t above turning his house into an indoor track. 

“When no one else is home I have even resorted to running back and forth [in the house] when the temperature dips below twenty.”

What has impressed me was the dedication of the runners who responded.  Many of them were training for early spring marathons and managed to get the mileage they needed.  Perhaps the people who I know are the true hard core runners.  Two who I contacted admitted that the winter had been too much for them or were limited by their lack of access to safe running locations.  Both of these were eager to get restarted when spring arrives.  Perhaps it has.


Championship racing begins next Sunday in Johnson Park in Piscataway with the Miles for Music 20K.  All divisions will be on the line hoping for a good start to the team racing and New Balance Grand Prix season.  The race will start at 9:00 a.m. and later a mile and 5K will start at 12:30 p.m.  More information can be found through a link on the USATF New Jersey LDR race calendar or at

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, March 10, 2014

Another race coming up this Saturday is the Crusader Challenge 5K St. Patrick’s Day road race.  The race starts and finishes at Morris Catholic High School on Morris Avenue in Denville. 

The race was won in 2013 by Gregory Arabagian of Morristown in 16:10.  On the women’s side the winner was Kerry Rodimer of Rockaway in 21:39.

Registration will open at 7:30 a.m. and the race will start at 9:00 a.m.  The deadline for pre-registration is Monday, March 10th . 

 Runners can register on-line through a link at  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Endless Winter takes its toll on Runners

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, March 9, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014


I have a confession to make.  I left town, so to speak and got away from this endless winter.  I spent time in Colorado, Nevada, California and Florida enjoying mild temperatures while many of you were dealing with snow and ice here in New Jersey in February.  Feeling a bit guilty about my defection I queried some Morris area runners to see how they have coped.

Bill Bosman lives in Rockaway and he says that he is lucky to live in a well plowed and well maintained condo complex.  Although he can stay safe on the interior roads of the condo he does have to fight the boredom of endless of loop-the-loops.

But Bosman said it is preferable to his alternative.  “I bought a nice elliptical unit about six years ago for my family,” he said.   “I hate using equipment and never could use a treadmill.”

So it was the elliptical that most years he used about twice a year at most, on days with a wind chill below zero or the heat index over 100.

“This winter I have used it 14 times and probably should have used it more,” he said.  “I really hope I do not have to use it ever again.  Ninety-six minutes on an elliptical is really a drag.”

For Joyce Morgan of Boonton, it is not the icy, snowy roads that give her the most trouble.  She suffers from Reynaud’s syndrome.  “Trying to keep my hands and feet warm has been a challenge with most of my runs taking place early in the morning or after work at night when the temps were below freezing,” she wrote in an email.

She wrote that she purchased a pair of socks that are classified as weather proof and they really make a difference.  Runners will go to extremes to get in their runs and Morgan says that she is not above duct taping the tops of her light weight mesh sneakers to keep out the cold.

Morgan’s running partner Pete Tummey of Rockaway pointed out that once a runner gets out and gets running he soon heats up.  He says that the roads haven’t been a big problem.  He and Morgan avoid busy roads and they always run against traffic.  The “always” was in all caps in his email.

“When we run at night it is usually in the neighborhoods with little traffic....monotonous but safe,” said Tummey.  “We've had to switch very few training days around.  I personally don't think it’s been that bad.”

John Sabatino of Morris Plains has managed to keep his mileage at about the same level as in other years.
“The cold doesn’t scare me,” he said.  “It’s when there are unsafe conditions outside.”

He’s had to change his running route on some days he said because of snow on the shoulders of the road.  It wasn’t all bad.  After one snow storm with six to seven inches on the ground he had the roads all to himself.  “It was great,” he said, “I was running practically out in the middle of the road.”

Morgan isn’t the only one with issues with cold extremities.  Karyn Layton of Rockaway uses hand warmers in her gloves and foot warmers in her shoes.  She doubles her socks and refers to them as “storm socks” which might be kin the Morgan’s weather proof socks. 

“I can’t wait until spring and the roads are clear again!” said Layton, echoing all the runners.  “ It’s dangerous right now with the snow making roads narrow and the melting/freezing of the snow makes sidewalks dangerous as well.”

Stay safe runners. 


Winter weary runners can rejoice!  The first race of the season is on tap in Morris Township next Saturday, March 15th.   Yes, the St. Patty’s Day 5K will start at 10:00 a.m. at the Ginty Field location off Woodland Avenue.

The race has attracted large fields in recent years, partly due to being the only game in town, and partly because people are usually eager to race by mid- March.   Will that be so true this year after the endless winter with no safe place to train outdoors?    In 2013 Justine Scheid or Morris Plains won the race in 15:26 while his brother Jeremy of Hoboken placed second in 16:31.  Eleana Rozhko of Morristown was the women’s winner in 18:18.   There were 1,210 finishers that year.
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