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. 


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