Sunday, December 20, 2015

New Jersey runners did well at club cross country meet

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 20, 2015


In 2014 the USATF club cross country championship meet was held at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA.   New Jersey runners and clubs turned out in droves helping to make the meet the highest attended meet in the history of the event.

That title remains although the attendance at the meet in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco came close.  Teams from up and down the coast from Seattle to San Diego filled the fields.   

New Jersey was well represented, thanks for the most part to the Adidas Garden State Track Club.   The clubs open men’s A team placed seventh out of 59 teams – huge move up for the club from 19th in 2014.

Youssef Rochdi of Rockaway was a scoring member of the team.  Not only did the club have an A team, they had a B, C, and D team that competed in the second open men’s race.   The field had reached too large a size so it was split into an A race, that had 411 finishers, and a B race with 137 finishers.  The club’s B team placed first in that race.

The women’s race was won by former New Jersey standout Amy Van Alstine who now competes for the HOKA, ONE, ONE team.  The AGSTC women’s A team finished 15th out of 41 teams.

In the masters races the Shore Athletic Club fielded a W40 team and a M70 team.   Susan Stirrat of Rockaway was on the Shore’s W40 team and finished 17th in the W60 division.   Husband Reno, running without a team, finished in fourth place in his M60 division.  Finishing in the medals was the Shore team’s Przemyslaw Nowicki who took third in his M70 division and Ralph Garfield who took second in the M80 division.  The team placed third in the race and has sewn up first place in the Team Grand Prix.


Now’s the time to renew your membership in USATF or if you have never joined, now’s the time to do so.  Memberships need to be renewed by January 1st if you are planning to run in a January first race that is in the New Balance grand prix. 

Membership makes sense for New Jersey runners although the benefits are hard to find.  The biggest benefit is to secure a discount when pre-registering in a grand prix race.  That discount can range from two dollars to five, depending on the registration fee.

At thirty dollars for membership, you can reap the benefit with just a handful of races.  Less well known and less well publicized are the discounts on hotels, car rentals, and even airline fares.   For some reason the national website has hidden these discounts and the participating companies in the members only link.  I am going to spill the beans here.

 For instance, when traveling to a city for a USATF event, both Delta and United airlines offer a 10% discount.

Choice Hotel member hotels, which include a dozen or so hotels, offer a minimum 15% discount when pre-registering.  The Hilton brands hotels also offer a 15% discount.  Subject to availability Best Western also offers a discount.

Enterprise has a 10% discount on car rentals and National goes a bit further with up to 20% off.

I will bet that most current members of USATF did not know about all these discounts.  I confess that I did not until researching for this article.

To sign up for membership in USATF go to the national website   and clink on the link for “Products/Services” and then scroll down to “individual memberships”.  You can sign up for one year or several. 


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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