Sunday, April 27, 2014

Exception to the rule at 10K on Saturday

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 27 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

What race inspired a unique rule in the New Jersey long distance running grand prix?  It was instituted a few years back.  Give up?

The Newport 10,000 that will take place this Saturday at Newport Town Square in Jersey City.  The rule?

That elite runners, make that Elite with a capital E, will be removed for the purpose of scoring the New Jersey runners in the race.  The rule that works just fine for all other races is that each runner is assigned a point score based on their finishing place in the grand prix.  Most often the first place man and first place woman will be a member of the New Jersey association of USATF and will garner 500 points if the race is a non championship, and 700 points if a championship.  Normally all’s well and good.

But the Newport 10,000, which is a 10 kilometer race, offers prize money to elite runners in two Elite categories; American Elite, and Elites from anywhere in the world.  These are professional racers and they do come and they do take home some nice fistfuls of dollars.  The first American Elite runner, for instance will win $2,000.00 and the second earns $1,000.00, third is $500.00, fourth is $300.00 and fifth is $250.00.

Elites from any country, including the U.S. start at $600.00 and go down five deep also, just not as high as American Elites.  An American Elite, who is also a New Jersey USATF member, could conceivably earn money in all three categories although it is not too likely. 

In 2013 the winning time was 29:00 and for the winning woman it was 33:07.  The first New Jersey runner was Rob Nihen of Glen Rock and he finished in 31:31 and in thirteenth place.   The first New Jersey woman was Cheyenne Ogletree of Garfield who finished in 36:47 and tenth place.

Since the race is the open men and open women’s New Jersey championship the points awarded would have been really skewed if the professional runners’ places had been assigned points.  The rule was actually invoked recently for another race; the national masters 5 kilometer cross country that was held last fall at Deer Path Park.  The “visitors” were removed for grand prix scoring and team scoring.

A new rule for 2014 requires five women on open teams, whereas in 2013 only four were required.  In 2013 there were seventeen complete open women’s teams and sixteen open men’s teams with three incomplete men’s teams.  Those 36 teams made up part of the 1,355 finishers.  If history is a guide there should be as many if not more for the 2014 edition of the race next Saturday.

Earlier in the year the new CompuScore website was missing the age grading calculator that masters runners find so handy.  It is now back with an added feature.  Now when you enter the PLP that you might want to achieve you will see the pace per mile that you would need to run in order to reach it.  For instance a 45 year old man may want to see what time he would need to score 77% PLP in a 5K race.  The answer is 18:23 and 5:55 per mile to get that time.  For a 10K, he would need to run at 6:09 pace to finish in 38:18. 

What about a 65 year old man?  For 5K he needs to run at 7:00 minute pace to finish in  21:46 to reach 77% PLP.  For 10K he needs to run at 7:17 pace to finish in 45:19.  Have some fun.  Go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom to find the link to the calculator.

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, April 20, 2014

Clinton Country Run 15K next championship on the schedule

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 20 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

Here it is only the middle of April and one group of runners will be running in their third championship of the season on April 26th.  Masters women, along with all the other divisions ran in the Miles for Music 20K in March.  Then earlier this month masters women had their own 10K championship at the Cherry Blossom 10K in Newark and now coming up is the Clinton Country Run 15K next Saturday, April 26th.  That race is also a championship for all the other team divisions.

Early results are showing the strength of the top teams.  The Garmin racing team has two wins in the W40 division, North Jersey Masters two second places, and the Do Run Runners have two thirds.  In the W50 the Do Run team has two firsts, while the North Jersey Masters have two seconds.  The Clifton Road Runners have one third and one fourth.  In the W60 Clifton has two seconds with the Rose City Runners taking first in both races.

The Clinton Country Run is truly a country run using about a mile and a half of the Hunterdon County Trail that is really an old road converted to non vehicular traffic.  After the “trail” comes the tougher part of the course – what race directors love to call rolling when they don’t want to admit rolling is a euphemism for challenging.

Slower runners will be able to start at 8:30 am and the full field will start at 9:30 a.m.  A one mile race is at 9:00 a.m. and a 5K will start at 9:40 a.m.   In 2013 the 15K was only a masters championship with the Indian Trails the open 15K championship.  With the open runners now competing there should be a real infusion of upfront talent.


The first 2014 New Balance Grand Prix standings were posted this past Thursday.  In the history of the grand prix think there has never been a husband wife duo in first place, but in 2014 let it be so noted that Karl and Aya Leitz of Jersey City share that distinction.  The couple, who run for the Sneaker Factory, each have seven races already in their score card, out of the maximum nine races.

Four area women are in the top ten.  Gretchen Atwater of Bernardsville is in fifth place with four races and Jane Parks of Morristown also with four races is in sixth place.  Allison Dublinski of Morristown is in eighth and Joanna Stevens of Basking Ridge rounds out tenth place.

Nearly all the men in the top ten are Morris County men; Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany is in third place with six races run, Mark Washbourne of Mendham has six and is in fourth place.  Youssef Rochdi of Rockaway is fifth with five races run, Beau Atwater, Gretchen’s husband, is seventh, Robert Skorupski of Rockaway is ninth and Ben Clarke of Morristown is tenth.


At the Ryan Steidl Memorial MK5K in Denville last weekend the race was won by Youssef Rochdi of Rockaway in 15:20.  Second went to Ben Clarke of Morristown in 16:01 and third to Tim Murphy also of Morristown in 17:29.  The first masters runner was fifty year old Terry Lusardi of Madison who finished fourth in 18:21.  Lusardi was outscored in the age grading by 65 year old Roger Price of Randolph who finished in ninth place at 19:57 for an 84.05% PLP.

Allison Dublinski or Morristown won the women’s side in 18:59, with Ali Locke of Boonton second in 20:48.  Gina Baker of Rockaway was third in 21:11.  Susan Plutchok of Rockaway was the first masters woman to finish. Her time was 24:09.


Many of us will be focused on the Boston Marathon tomorrow.  As always a very large contingent of runners from New Jersey and Morris County will be running.  Some were not able to finish the race last year and were turned back when the bombs went off.  To say it will be an emotional day for those runners is an understatement.  Those of us who will be here at home will be sending our best thoughts to Boston and our friends.  May they all have a great marathon.

 Here's a video you will find interesting about last year's spotlighted runner at Boston Marathon.

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, April 13, 2014

Morris County runners win at Cherry Blossom 10K

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 13 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014


Morris County runners were well represented in the Cherry Blossom 10K this past Sunday at Branch Brook Park in Newark.  Elena Rozhko not only won the masters women division, but won the women’s race outright with her time of 37:44.  Rozhko lives in Morristown and carried her Garmin teammates to victory in the W40 team division.

On the men’s side Youssef Rochdi of Morris Plains out ran Justin Scheid of Sparta, 32:11 to 32:21.  Ben Clarke of Morristown finished third in 33:13.  Gary Rosenberg, also of Morristown was eighth overall and first master to cross the line in 35:59.

Susan Bessin of Madison was the second scoring woman on the Garmin W40 team, finishing in 42:53.  The North Jersey Masters W40 team was second and the Do Run Runners were second with Nora Cary of Morristown heading up the team. 

Cary was also the fastest woman on her winning W50 team, finishing in 44:04.  Also scoring for the team was Joyce Morgan of Boonton who finished in 44:55 and Diane Naughton of Mendham whose time was 49:03.

Jane Parks of Morristown headed up the Rose City Runners team that won the W60 division.  Parks finished in 45:09 and placed second in the age grading .  Parks, 61, and Cary, 59, often trade places in the age grading and this time Cary scored below Parks.    Cary achieved an 87.72% PLP and Parks 88.04% PLP.  Winning first place prize money in that division was Erika Campbell, 64, of Ridgewood, who scored 92.28% PLP for her 45:01 finishing time.


In the age of distracted driving it is beyond understanding that people tie up their sneakers and go out for a run with their back to traffic.  I have a ring side view of runners with my office on the second floor of my house and a large corner window.  Now that the West Morris Greenway has become so well known and popular with Roxbury and Randolph runners I see more and more runners coming down Pleasant Hill Road to access the off road trails.  Pleasant Hill Road has only a narrow shoulder or no shoulder at all.  Yet I see people with their heads down, maybe even with ear buds blocking the sounds of oncoming traffic, trustingly running with their backs to traffic.

Saturday’s race in Denville was renamed the Ryan Steidl Memorial race because Steidl lost his battle for life after being  struck from behind while running on the right side of the road.  We have had other cases of people being hit from behind.  William Wright was possibly the most well know victim.  Back in 1997 Wright was running with his back to traffic on Route Ten in Randolph.  In the pre-dawn light Wright was wearing reflective gear and lights, but the driver that struck him was distracted by a tail-gaiting truck.  With his attention in his rear view mirror, he moved to the shoulder to let the truck pass and did not see Wright who he struck and killed. 

I am fortunate now that I can run off road but when I was running more often on the roads around my Ironia home I recall several times when I had to jump sideways out of the road so as to be missed by an oncoming car.  Yes, those cars might have given me a wide berth, but what if the drivers were blinded by the sun, distracted by the radio, kids or pets.  No, I am safe because I was facing them and could see when I needed to make that jump off the road and out of danger.

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, April 6, 2014

Denville race honors Steidl

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 6, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

It began as an event to raise funds for the Morris Knolls baseball team and two years ago it became a memorial for an athlete who was first a baseball player and only secondarily a runner.  His story is well known now and the story helps to illustrate running safety in the most profound way possible.

In 2011, on a sunlight Saturday in March Ryan Steidl set off for an afternoon training run.  In previous years he had helped out at the MK5K that is held in Denville in April, but that year he had decided to support the race by entering and running in it.  With his back to traffic, with the sun in the face of drivers, he was struck by a car and thrown into a telephone pole.  He suffered a devastating injury and after six months of countless surgeries; of hopes and prayers for his recovery, Steidl succumbed to his injuries.

The MK5K is now known as the Ryan Steidl Memorial MK5K and it is being held next Saturday April 13th in Denville.  A portion of the funds raised will go to the Ryan Steidl Memorial Scholarship fund. 

The race starts and finishes in front of St. Clare’s Hospital on Pocono Road.  It is an out and back on Old Boonton Road.  Mostly flat the course has one downhill at the turn onto Old Boonton Road with a corresponding uphill on the return.  Race day registration begins at 7:00 a.m. with the start at 9:00 a.m.  Technical tops are being given to the first 250 entrants. 


After the Boston Marathon bombings last year, a trio of runners from England organized a cross country relay from Santa Monica to Boston to support the survivors of the bombings.  The One Run for Boston is back for a second year and the relay will be crossing New Jersey this week.

One of several runners who will be running in the relay is Joyce Morgan of Boonton who will be running the leg from Mendham to Green Village on Friday, April 11th.  Morgan was a finisher at Boston last year before the bombs went off.  She gives as her reason for participating in the event precisely because she was there that day. 

“I’m running because it is the one thing I can do for the people affected by last year’s bombings.  As a finisher last year, I had a helpless feeling that left me with wanting to do more.  I couldn’t think of a more perfect opportunity.  This gives me a chance to do something positive for the city and the people of Boston who were affected.”

Local runners still have time to sign up for leg in the relay.  The group that Morgan is running with has several runners who will be running the nine miles to Green Village on Friday.  They and those who would like to sponsor a runner and donate to One Run for Boston can do so on the website 

Mark Williams of Columbia and formerly Hopatcong had great races at the World Masters meet in Budapest, Hungary last week, mixing it up with the best in the world.  Williams finished the 800 meters in fifth place while bettering his time from the Boston national championship last month.  His time in the world meet was 1:58.05 – Boston was 1:59.24.

In the 1500 Williams placed third at the world meet with a time of 4:09.75 clearly a much faster pace than his mile at the Boston meet which he won in 4:42.50.  Williams runs for the Morristown based Garmin racing team.


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