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

No comments:

Post a Comment