Sunday, June 19, 2016

New Milford 5K Masters Championship

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 19, 2016


It was a new race for many but the New Milford 5K in Bergen County was a pleasant surprise on Saturday morning.  Although it was a masters championship the race was won by Charlie Murphy of Philadelphia in 15:32, and on the women’s side Roberta Groner, 38, of Randolph finished in 16:35 and in seventh place overall in a field of 660 runners.

Masters racers were in abundance with Jonathan Frieder of Rye Brook NY edging out his twin, Elliot of Montville - 16:31.9 to 16:32.4 for fifth and sixth overall and taking first and second in the M45 division.  Terry Davidson of Randolph was next, after Groner, in 16:40 to win the M40 division.

Outstanding performances were turned in by several Morris area runners, including Beau Atwater of Bernardsville who topped the age grading at 88.83% for his 17:40 at age 58.  Finishing two tics of the clock in front in 17:38, Gary Leaman age 57 scored 88.29%.  Reno Stirrat of Rockaway won his M60 division in 18:28 which put him in third in age grading at 87.84%. 

Nora Cary 61, of Morristown hit the finish line in 20:52 for an 89.86% and second in the age grading. She was topped only by national elite masters Marisa Sutera Strange, 53, of Pleasant Valley NY, who finished the race in 17:39 and topped the age grading in 96.69%.  Sutera Strange was second woman overall with Elena Rozhko, 43, third in 17:53 and leading her W40 Garmin team to first place.


Beer loving runners have to love this coming week with the President’s Cup Night Race 5K tomorrow night in Milburn and the next Sunday evening in Glen Ridge at the Fitzgeralds Lager Run.

The President’s Cup race was not selected this year to host a USATF New Jersey championship but that should not keep the number of runners down.   This popular race will draw a fast group of runners, championship or not.

The race was won in 2015 by Kyle Price of North Brunswick in 14:49.  Alyssa Douma of West Milford was the women’s winner in 18:06.

Fast times are the hallmark of the race that twice climbs the hill on Millburn Avenue and goes down the next street over, Essex,  at the same grade.   Add to the fast course adrenaline firing up the runners in this most competitive New Jersey races in the northern region of the state.  

One thing that sets this evening race apart from other evening races is the very late start time of eight o’clock.  Post race the race has a party atmosphere with many people milling around the Charlie Brown parking lot turned into a street fair.


Now let’s see, the President’s Cup is not the open men’s championship this year.  The
Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K is.   The Lager Run has long been associated with the masters men but that group ran in yesterday’s New Milford 5K that hosted both masters men and women.

The Fitzgeralds 1928 Lager Run is on Sunday, June 26 in Glen Ridge.  The course is described as having a net downhill and is considered fast.  The race starts at 6:15 p.m. when it can still be hot from the afternoon heat.

Since it has never hosted open men, the results for open men is not that strong.  The fastest time since the race’s inception in 2006 was Haddonfield’s Joseph Norton’s 16:00 flat in 2013.  Youssef Rochdi of Rockaway finished in 15:17 in 2012.  Michael Dixon of Fanwood has the third fastest time of 16:04, done in 2011.

Open men team standings in the Investors Bank team grand prix shows Morris area Garmin in first with 32 points after three races, the North Jersey Masters next in 27, and the Shore Athletic Club third with 21points.   Garmin’s B team is in tenth place with no other local teams above ten points.

The Morris County Striders will host their first summer series race of the season, this Tuesday at Johanson Field in Boonton Township.


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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