Sunday, July 5, 2015

Women Ruled at Fitzgerald's Lager Run

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 5, 2015


Women represented nearly 50 percent of the runners at the Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K this past Sunday.  On the other hand men were still the predominate gender – 548 to 513.

Why is this important?  Well, in the past few years the race was host to USATF masters men and this year it hosted masters women.  Would the numbers drop with masters men staying home?  The emphatic answer is no.  In 2014 the race had 1,034 finishers, and yes men were more dominate at 585 to 449.  Last Sunday it had 1,061 finishers.  Clearly the men still like to run in this race.

In fact some very fast masters men came to run.  Forty-four year old Hector Rivera of Clifton won the race in 16:07.  Mark Zamek, 52, who splits his time between Allentown PA and his Jersey Shore home finished fifth overall in 16:39 with Gary Rosenberg, 44, of Morristown finished in16:42.

On the women’s side, the remarkable Roberta Groner, 37, of Randolph finished eighth overall in 16:49.  Four weeks earlier at the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K she finished in 17:11, and on June 22nd she finished second overall in the Sunset Classic in 29:37.  I know of no other New Jersey woman currently competing who is that fast.

The first masters woman was Catherine Smith, 42, of Wayne who finished in 18:31.  Locally, Mary Christian, 51, of Flanders was fifth masters woman in 19:58 which age graded at 83.62%, ranking her fifth in that division also.  Tops in age grading was Nora Cary, 60, of Morristown whose 20:40 hit 89.66%.

Christian’s Garmin teams won both the W40 and W50 division.  The Raritan Valley Road Runners were second W40 and the Shore Athletic Club team was third but only by a whisker.  Their top three scoring members combined time was 1:02:23 while the Clifton Road Runners team added up to 1:02:27.

The North Jersey Masters team claimed second in the W50 division with Raritan Valley third.  The Morris County Striders W60 team placed only fourth but their W70 and W80 teams were first in those divisions.

A total of 38 teams competed; 19 in W40, 12 in W50, 5 in W60 and only the Strider women in W70, and W80.


Racing still goes on this summer with the Morris County Striders Race #2 at Johanson Field in Boonton this Tuesday, July 7th.   Triathlons are also on the menu all over the state.  Close to home is the Randolph Tri that will take place next Sunday at Randolph Lake with the first wave going off at 8:00 a.m.  

The website describes the event as beginner friendly while being competitive for the experienced triathlete.  The swim is half a mile in the lake and then the 16 mile bike course goes out to Chester on Route 513 and back on Pleasant Hill Road, or more aptly – un-pleasant hills road.  The 5K run is mostly flat - part road and part trail.

If you aren’t a triathlete you may be as confused as I was when I saw that the Randolph Tri offers an Aquabike category.  Huh?   You ride a water borne bike?

Nope.  Just like they have duathlons for runners who can bike but not swim, the Aquabike is for those who cannot run but can bike and swim.  I immediately thought of some of the runners I know who are having knee troubles but who still want to compete.  This category was first offered in 2013 at the Randolph event, and a dozen athletes competed.  Last year seven choose it.


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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