Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tortoise and the Hare at Verizon race

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 19, 2015



Call it a tactical race or another case of the tortoise  and the hare.  At the Verizon Corporate Classic on Thursday evening in Morristown it was the turtle that beat the hare.

When the starting horn sounded at 7:30 p.m. and the over four thousand and more runners began to move, Jeremy Scheid of Sparta quickly jumped off the starting line. 

“I felt good for the first mile, mile and a half,” said Scheid.

With perfect weather – cool with low humidity - Scheid slowly pulled away from the trailing pack of men behind him.  By a mile and a half Scheid would turn a corner in the neighborhood east of Sussex Avenue and he would be out of sight.

It appeared to be an insurmountable lead.  But back in that lead pack Chris Nocera of Stamford CT, running for Stryker Orthopaedics, noticed that the lead was narrowing.

“I’ve been running for a long time,” said Nocera, who is 30.  “I’m a steady pace kind of guy.  Most people tend to go out a little faster because they feel good.”

Nocera maintained his pace through mile one, which Scheid passed in 5:01.  At mile two he still had the same lead but his pace had slowed and he went through in about 10:20.

“When we came to two miles he still had about the same lead he had, which was about 30 seconds,” said Nocera.  “I just held that same pace and that last mile I started to see him creeping back toward me a couple seconds every 100 of meters.”

Scheid said he was feeling good going out, but he noted that when he hit the hills in the last mile he slowed a bit and then tied up at the end.

By the time the two runners were on Mills and heading toward Speedwell and the finish Nocera had caught up to Scheid.

“You are taught when you are running, when you catch someone like that you want to immediately go, trying to make them quit on you, and not make it a sprint finish,” said Nocera.

“That’s what I did and he fell off just enough for me to get the win.”

Nocera finished in 16:23 if you go by his gun time, 16:22 by chip time.  Scheid finished in 16:36 with Peter Ehmann of Mendham third in 17:06. 

At press time for this column we have not been able to reach Diana D’Achilles of Denville who won the women’s race.  In a mixed gender race the drama is usually missing.  The fast women are lost in the crowd of men upfront.  Look for a feature here next week with D’Achille who won the women’s race in 18:17.

By last Friday, the race had stopped accepting registrations at 5,000 entries.  Races generally average a 10% no-show and the Verizon race was only slightly over that with  4,262 finishers.  .

The Downtown Westfield race is this Wednesday evening, and the Morris County Striders cross country race is this Tuesday.  But things are slowing down for the summer.  Look for it to pick up in August.


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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