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

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