Friday, September 19, 2014

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 14, 2014
Copyright, Madeline Bost, 2014

Half Marathon championship next Sunday in Jersey City

Whew!  It’s a long name but perhaps appropriate for a half marathon - BATS Global Markets Newport Liberty Half Marathon has gone through some name changes.  What hasn’t changed is the location at Newport Town Center in Jersey City and in a first for the race the course is the same as in the previous year.

Construction in Jersey City and along the way to Liberty State Park has always caused a change to the 13.1 mile course.  This year no changes were needed.  The race course makes its way to the park like a snake with a couple of switchbacks that allows runners to see who is ahead and who is behind them in the race.

In 2013 Chris Croff of Summit won the race in 1:08:58 and on the women’s side Cheyenne Ogletree then of Garfield and now of Port Reading won the race by nearly two minutes in 1:20:45.  Both runners compete for the Garden State Track Club that swept the top five men’s team spots in 2013and the top three on the women’s side.

Registration opens and packet pickup at 6:45 a.m. on race day.  The pre-registration fee goes up in two days so procrastinators still have time to beat the deadline. 

Runners can race locally next Sunday at the Cheshire Home 5K in Madison.  Funds raised go to the home in Madison that cares for young adults with spinal cord injuries.  Registration begins at the Madison high school at 8:00 a.m. with the start at 9:00 a.m.

The New Balance New Jersey individual grand prix results have recently been posted.  They can be found on the USATF New Jersey website.  As is usual the leaders are masters runners with the fast open runners still trailing with fewer races in their scorecard.
The overall and team grand prix will soon be up after checking for corrections from the Jimmy D 5K that was the masters women’s championship.  This morning’s 5km cross country race scores will need to be added after those results have been checked.

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.  Grand prix scores are listed at .

Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Drama at the Jimmy D 5K

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 7, 2014


Stephen Mennitt of Edison won the Jimmy D 5K this past Sunday in New Brunswick with a comfortable margin of thirty-one seconds.  That margin forestalled any possible complaints that Mennitt did not run the exact course.  The race finishes on the track at Memorial Stadium off Joyce Kilmer Avenue.

Spectators saw the lead motorcycle cut into the sport complex at the first available gate and Mennitt followed it.  He then ran to the track and completed three quarters of the oval to the finish.  His time was 16:06 and it can be argued that rather than cutting the course he actually ran longer than any others.

The correct course continued up Joyce Kilmer to the second gate where the runners entered the complex and ran about one third of the oval.  Mike Soroko of Kinnelon was in second place and he also turned into the wrong gate. Rather than let him go, spectators called out to him and he dashed back out to Joyce Kilmer.  By that time Michael Daigeaun of Philadelphia who was running in third had reached the first gate, but Daigeaun eased off his drive, allowing Soroko to resume his place.  I have seen this kind of good sportsmanship happen in other races where the trailing runner does not take advantage of a mistake by the runner in front.  Soroko finished in second in 16:37 with Daigeaun third in 16:42.

While the race was a masters women’s championship there was other drama up front as well.  Mark Zamek who won the Midland Run 15K in the early 90’s and who is now 51 years old finished in fourth place in 16:57 for an 87.71 % PLP.

The women’s winner of the race was the “new kid on the block” Roberta Groner, 36, who recently moved to Randolph from outside the state.  She finished in 17th place in 18:22.

Misa Tamura of Ridgewood, now 48 years old finished second woman overall in 19:24.  Mary Christian, 51, of Flanders was fourth masters woman in 20:33 and Nora Cary, 59, of Morristown was eighth masters woman in 21:11 and tops in Age Grading at 89.03%.

The Shore Athletic Club women’s 40 team handed the Morristown based Garmin runners their first defeat this year with the North Jersey Masters bumping them out of second as well, thanks to Tamura’s outstanding performance.  Cary brought her Do Run Runners W50 team into victory in that division.

Next Sunday the teams from all divisions will be at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County for the 5 kilometer cross country championship.  Cross country racing is where racing began but many present day runners started out on the roads and are reluctant to go onto dirt and grass.  In my opinion the Deer Path Park course is the best cross country course that I have ever run.  It has hills but nothing as brutal as can be found at Holmdel Park with its infamous Bowl.  The course is mowed grass with no rocks or roots to trip even the clumsiest runner.

Look for the Garden State Track Club to be out in force racing in the open men and women divisions.  Favorites in the M40 and W40 will be the Garmin team although the Shore Athletic Club proved last Sunday that they have the women who can match the Garmin women.  Men 50 is up for grabs with the Clifton Road Runners, Do Run Runners, Shore AC and the North Jersey Masters all contenders.


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

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Official Club and Team Grand Prix has been posted

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, Aug 31, 2014

To no one’s surprise the Garden State Track Club is leading the USATF New Jersey club and team grand prix.  With squads that go far beyond A and B teams they dominate the open team competition on both men and women’s divisions.  At the College Avenue Mile races in June, the club was able to put an H team on the starting line and that team came up with four points to help with their total count of 351 points. 

No, the club has first sewed up, but that doesn’t detract from the competition for the next spots.  Currently the Clifton Road Runners club is in second place with 227 points with the North Jersey Masters in third with 173.  Fourth is held by the Do Run Runners club at 166 points with the Garmin team close at 164.

The Garmin open men’s team is the first non Garden State Track Club team in that division, at fourth place.  Open men have raced in five championships so far, while the open women have raced in six.   The Garmin racers are in second in that division, after the GSTC women team that is well ahead with 70 points to Garmin’s 46.

The Garmin clubs M40 team is in the lead with 36 points while the Do Run Runners team is second with 30 points but the Clifton Road Runners team is but one point back at 29.

By far the closest contest is in the M50 divisions.  Clifton has the lead with 37 points but the Do Run Runners and the Shore Athletic Club are only one point back – tied with 36 points.  And they are only two points ahead of the North Jersey Masters with 34 points.

The Shore club has a four point lead in the M60 division at 38 points to the North Jersey Masters 34 points.  Clifton is in third with 19 points but the Raritan Valley Road Runners are right behind with 18 points.

All of the masters men’s teams have the greater chance to bring in points.  They have raced in only four championships out of the nine championships. 

Still up for them is the 10K and 8K in November as well as the 5km cross country on the 14th of September.  All divisions race at the Liberty Waterfront half marathon on the 21st and the 8km cross country on October 26.  With those five still on their schedule any team could make a huge move.

That is really still true for all of the clubs.  While Garden State Track Club has a lock on the Overall standings there is plenty of opportunity in all of the masters divisions. 

As was mentioned in this column last week, disqualifications in some divisions in spring races have occurred.   If a team has only the required number of runners needed to score and one of them is dq’d the team is gone from that race. 

That can really hurt now that teams can no longer drop their lowest scoring race in the team grand prix. 


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

Jimmy D opens the championship season next Sunday

Published in the Daily Record of Morris County New Jersey
August 24, 2014

The Jimmy D 5K next Sunday opens New Jersey’s fall USATF championship season.  The 5K in New Brunswick is host to the masters women and masters women’s teams.
Several local clubs have teams that are in contention in the team grand prix.  In the W40 division the Garmin runners are standing at 46 points with the Do Run Runners in second place but 16 points back from the Garmin women.  The Clifton Road Runners and the North Jersey Masters are tied for third with 24 points.

In the W50 division the Do Run Runners are in the top spot with 39 points but the North Jersey Masters are only two points back.  The Rose City Runners team is in fourth place behind Clifton.
In the W60 division the Rose City team is first with 18 points but they are being stalked by the Central Jersey Road Runners with 16 points.  Clifton is well back in third with nine points.

The team grand prix standings have not been posted on the USATF website much to the distress of all involved.  Much of the delay has to do with the verification of eligibility of the runners who have been put on the teams.  Reliable sources have told me that at least six runners were put on teams at the Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K in June who appear to not be eligible.  This will change the scoring in at least one division; a team that placed well in the M40 division will not have five scoring members once the runner is removed from the results for that race.
The rules are clear about eligibility and are posted on the association website, but the team captains have not been vigilant about confirming eligibility of their team members.  What is frustrating to many is that the teams have fourteen days after a race to prove eligibility and once that time has passed the runners should be removed.
The sticking point is usually not membership in the New Jersey association which is fairly easy to obtain,  but having to do with citizenship or a valid green card and proof thereof.  With nine championships conducted and seven to go this bottleneck needs to be cleared.

Next up after the Jimmy D race is the 5km cross country race at Deer Path Park on September 14th.  All divisions will be competing in the race, and the same is true for the Newport half marathon on September 21st and the 8km cross country on October 26th.
 A scheduling conflict has risen with the Jimmy D race. Glenn Hartrick is well known in triathlete circles, even beyond New Jersey.  Among other exposures he has been featured on a Runner’s World cover.  This past spring Hartrick was seriously injured in a cycling accident while on a training ride.  Friends have created a race, also on Sunday, August 31st in Millburn as a fund raiser to help with the mounting medical bills.  The race will start at noon so friends of Hartrick who also would like to run in the Jimmy D race could do so, since the Jimmy D has a nine o’clock start.


Dover Renaissance becomes a summer race

Published in the Daily Record of Morris County
on Sunday, August 17, 2014,  

The Dover Renaissance 5K may have a mostly flat course but it has had a very bumpy recent history.  An act of God in some cases and in some an act of the public works of Dover has caused headaches but this year the race may be the only race “in town”.  At least the only race in Morris County and set at 9:00 a.m. in late summer should make for a good draw.  It may also be the only 500 point New Balance Grand Prix race in the entire state that day.

Originally schedule each year at the end of October, the 5K was pushed around in recent years escaping conflicts with other races or severe weather.  Race director Peter Lee of Randolph has hit on what he hopes is a better fit by situating the race on Saturday August 23rd.

Lee recalls that in 2009 he noticed that the race was drawing fewer runners than in previous years.  Some rainy race days and a wicked Nor’ Easter in 1996 may have set people’s attitudes against the race.  Then in 2010, barely two months before the race Lee got a call from the Dover police.  Construction along the race route and the rerouting of utility lines would make it impossible to hold the race.  It was cancelled.

“I made sure we sent a note out to our main Sponsors stating that we would be back in 2011,” said Lee.

Little did he know what 2011 would bring.  That year Hurricane Irene in August rocked New Jersey and that only set the stage for Mother Nature’s cruel trick – the Halloween snow storm.  Races scrambled to reschedule.

“We had to let everyone catch their breath,” said Lee.  We decided to hold it in early December, but we were competing against some other races who were under the same fate.”

Surely 2012 would be benign.  Not so.  The race had been scheduled for early November but Hurricane Sandy wiped that out.  Lee moved the race to early December once again.  Race t-shirts carried the November date. 

Last year the race moved to early November and though no natural disasters interfered, it didn’t help to be on Marathon weekend.   The perpetual moving and rescheduling of the 5K didn’t help either and only about 120 runners came to race.  It was disappointing, especially since the newly designed and certified course should have attracted more runners.  Lee made a huge move to August this year in an experiment of sorts.

“People told me it might be too hot but I’ve noticed that by mid-August lately the leaves are falling,” said Lee.  “The bad heat is in June and July.”

He added a wry comment that the area could have a heat wave next week in keeping with weather related attacks on the race.  However the start is at 9:00 a.m. and even with a heat wave the runners should enjoy fairly cool weather.  Lee is aware that some families will be taking the last week of the month for vacations going into the Labor Day weekend.  But he is hopeful that runners will give the race another try.  The long sleeved 50/50 t-shirt has morphed into a cool short sleeve wicking shirt in keeping with the summer schedule. 

The out-and-back lollipop course is considered very fast with only one hill and it occurs fairly early in the race.  It could be a P.R. course to start the fall racing season.  On-line registration has been extended to Wednesday, the 20th.