Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cross Country back at Deer Path Park

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 18, 2015


New Jersey USATF has been mixing it up lately.  In 2014 the 8km cross country meet was held at Natirar Park in Peapack and the 5km was at Deer Path Park in Readington.  Now, they have switched locations.  The 5km was held on August 30th at Natirar.  This coming Sunday, October 23rd, the 8km will be run at Deer Path.

In 2014 when the 8km was run in Natirar the day was a beautiful fall day; no rain in sight.  That’s a good thing because Natirar has no shelters and no indoor plumbing.

In contrast at Deer Path the race hubbub is a sturdy gazebo and just a short distance away is a brick and motor restroom.  While one can pray for another beautiful day like in 2014 for the 8km, the niceties of Deer Path will be appreciated if inclement weather happens.  Cross country runners enjoy a good slog in the mud but all appreciate shelter when the running is done.

In my opinion, hands down, the Deer Path 5km course is a classic cross country course.  It takes the runners over rolling hills with two somewhat challenging climbs.  The runners do the course twice.   The disadvantage for the 8km course is that it is the same course, run three times, with a slight variation to make 8km, and not 10km.  While a double loop is not a serious problem, running the same course three times turns some people off.

Thanks to the strong team competition in play in New Jersey each race seems to break the previous attendance record.  At the 5km in August the increase was exceptional for a cross country race.  Three hundred and thirty runners finished as compared to 286 in 2014.

In 2013 at Deer Path, 231 runners finished the 8km.  In 2014 at Natirar, the field was just six runners shy of 300.  Many will be watching to see what the numbers will be on the 25th.


While we are talking about off road events, the annual Hounds and Harriers three mile race was held for the 19th time in South Mountain Reservation.  Amazing that this little race created and directed by Florham Park resident Barbara Rushman has been around for so long.  Rushman’s idea to have a race for runners and their dogs has since been copied all over the country.
Interesting that the top two finishers were Labradoodles and the top female runner’s dog was a rat terrier.  Certainly none fit the description of a fleet of foot canine.
According to the press release provided by Rushman, Bill Washer of Oak Ridge was first with Macy.  The duo crossed the line first in 17:14.  Brendon Brown of South Orange and Ollie were next in 17:47.  The woman’s division was won by 2013 winners, Tara Gangi of Manalapan, and Jesse the rat terrier, in 19:09.   Runner up was 2014 winner, Lauren Santonastaso of Springfield and her beagle/Jack Russell mix Macy in 19:57.


Mark Minervini of Stanhope was the overall winner of the Shades of Death half marathon in Allamuchy last Sunday.  He finished in 1:21:07.  Second place went to Lubos Matejka of Prague who finished in 1:21:31.

The two top women finishers have something in common besides running.  They are both 52 years old and that is unusual until you see that Mary Christian of Flanders who has been burning up the roads this year was the top woman.  Christian finished in 1:34:03.  Suzanne LaBurt of Greenwood Lake, New York, who crosses the border frequently to race in New Jersey was second in 1:37:22.

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, October 11, 2015

Morris runners bring home medals from national meet

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 11, 2015


New Jersey was well represented at the National 5K masters championship this past Sunday in Syracuse, NY.   The Syracuse Festival of Races is one of only a handful of road races that run the men’s and women’s races separately.  The course is mostly flat with only three turns and the red line painted on the roadway makes it easy to run the tangents. 

While most races have a marker or clock at the miles the Syracuse race also marks the kilometers.  Many racers take kilometer splits and find it much more helpful to evaluate their pace as they race since they are getting feedback four times, instead of just two; 4 kilometers versus two miles.

 New Jersey has four clubs that can be considered “travel teams”; Garmin Runners from Morris County, the Shore Athletic Club, the Clifton Road Runners and the Raritan Valley Road Runners.  All but the Raritan Valley club competed as did several New Jersey individuals who competed sans a team. Several medals came home to New Jersey and some of them to the Morris area.

The Garmin Runners with Gary Rosenberg of Morristown a scoring member of the team placed second in the M40 division.  Bill Bosmann of Rockaway placed fourth in the M65 individual division and was a non-scoring man on the M40 team.  Rosenberg’s time was 16:51 and Bosmann’s was 20:18. 
Joel Garrell of Morristown was also a non scoring member of the team.

The Shore Athletic Club placed second in the M60 division; lead in by Reno Stirrat of Rockaway who placed third in the individual M60 division with a time of 18:27.  Bill Trengove of Wharton was fourth man on the team, running 20:42.

The Shore’s M70 team also placed second in their division while the Clifton Road Runners placed fourth with Craig Wunderly of Hackettstown leading the team in.  His time was 24:14.

Running without his Raritan Valley Road Runners team, Roger Price of Randolph finished in the M65 division in 20:56.

The Shore’s W60 team placed second with Susan Stirrat of Rockaway first woman on the team in 24:19.   Cande Olsen of Chatham placed third in the W65 division with a time of 25:32.  Madeline Bost of Randolph placed first in the W75 division in 34:21.

Next up for these teams is the national 5 kilometer masters cross country race championship on Sunday, October 18th in Saratoga Spa State Park in Saratoga Springs, New York.

The Little Silver 5K that was to host the open women’s 5K state championship was washed out by the nor’easter that hit last weekend.  The Harrington Park 5K in on Saturday, November 14th has been selected to replace the Little Silver race.  Harrington Park is a small borough in Bergen County.  In 2014 the race had 568 finishers; a number sure to be exceeded with the addition of the championship status.


Roberta Groner of Randolph and Gary Rosenberg of Morristown placed first in their division of the Fast Five grand prix.

Rosenberg competed in all five of the possible races that began with the Ridgewood 10K in May and ended with the Belmar Chase in August.  Other races were the College Avenue Mile, the President’s Cup Night Race 5K, and the Lager Run all in June.

Groner won the Ridgewood race and the Lager Run, and while not winning the other races she did well enough to beat all other women.


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, October 4, 2015

Grand Prix standings have been posted

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 4, 2015


Both the USATF team and individual standings have been posted with some surprises and some, “well, no surprise there”.

The club standings combine all of a club’s scores, from the A team to the E team.  Of course only one club has been able to field an E team and that is the Adidas Garden State Track Club and there is no surprise there that the club is first. 

The Morris based Garmin team has the distinction of being second with the Shore Athletic Club in third place.  Garmin’s strength comes from their younger older teams, an oxymoron of course.  It is their masters teams, leading in the M40, M50, W40, and W50.

The Do Run Runners are the next strongest local club with thirds in the M40 and M50 divisions.  In the M50 division the Do Run team is only one point back from second – 56 to 57 points.


John Hogan of Washington Township (Bergen County) has the lead in the New Balance individual grand prix with 5,551 points and all nine races filled.  Second place is David McLaughlin of Rockaway and in third is Gary Leaman of Hardwick.  All three have something in common – all are over age 50 with Leaman highest at 56.

Of course lurking in the shadows are other runners who have not filled out their card, like Atilla Sabahoglu of Somerset who is in fourth with a Category Three race missing.  Once that race is run, Sabahoglu, who won the 2014 grand prix, will spring to the top.  Gary Rosenberg of Morristown is also missing one race and is sitting in fifth place.

Other fast open men need to fill in their score cards and if they do they too will displace the fast 50+ men.

Hiding in seventh place on the women’s side is Randolph’s Roberta Groner.  She needs to run a 500 point Category Three race to move to first, displacing Mary Christian of Flanders who now is at the top spot.

Hurricane Joaquin has thrown the USATF championship open women’s division into limbo.  Races down the Shore were canceled due to the possibility of local flooding.  The Little Silver 5K that was scheduled for today was one of those races.  Expect the LDR committee to have an emergency meeting to find another race that will be a good substitute for the Little Silver race. 


It has been a few years since the USATF association held their 10K in December that was a Wild Card race.  Runners could choose between 500 or 700 points.   That meant that runners who needed a Category Three championship score could choose to have their place in the race scored as though it was a championship, which it was, or be scored as though it was a 500 point non-championship race.  Category Three races -15K to half marathon in length - were less common than the other shorter categories and having that option was a godsend to runners who needed one or the other.  When the ten miler was stopped, that option disappeared.

Enter the Shades of Death Half Marathon, a race that is hosted by USATF as a fund raiser for the association.  This year, for the first time, the race next Sunday, October 11, will be a Wild Card.  It will not be a championship race but it can be scored as a 700 point race if a runner chooses that option.  If not, the default will be 500 points.

The half marathon double loop course is run on flat to rolling country roads in the Allamuchy farm country north of Route 80 on the border of Warren and Sussex County.  One loop makes for a perfect 6.6 mile course.  Only the half marathon will have the Wild Card option.


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