Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 10, 2016
NEW COURSE FOR THE VERIZON CORPORATE CLASSIC IN MORRISTOWN
Sure, you got to run down Speedwell Avenue at the start of the Verizon Corporate Classic in Morristown, then hang a left and run down Atno Avenue. Sounds good, doesn’t it. But what happens in an out-and-back race? You had to run back up those two hills to get to the finish.
Now maybe that didn’t bother the elite runners who fly up hills like they are not there. For the five thousand other runners in the race, those hills became mountains as they struggled to finish their 5K.
Well, now those mountains are gone. You don’t even go near Speedwell and only down Early, at the start of the newly remodeled 5K that will take place on Thursday evening in Morristown.
“All the hilliest parts of the course are still there,” said race director and course designer Dan Brannen of Morristown.
When pressed about those “mountains” Brannen did opine that the significant climb in the last half mile has been eliminated and that may be welcome news to the many recreational runners in the race
“In fact you have a significant downhill coming into the finish,” he pointed out.
All staging of the huge event will take place in Morristown High School’s parking lot, a far larger venue than the plaza on Speedwell. It will allow for an orderly arrangement of tables for each of the companies fielding teams and where each team can meet-up. A map will be produced in advance showing where every company is, laid out by a combination of team size and the alphabet.
“We feel that we are making some significant improvements and that is one of them,” Brannen said.
There will be plenty of pre and post race water courtesy of first time sponsor Culligan water company, and boxes of bananas, but no more elaborate spreads.
“This is a big evening for most companies and this is a team bonding opportunity,” said Brannen. “Most of them go out to the local restaurants after the race.”
Having an easier course could help with the bonding as well, with a little less late-in-race fatigue. Brannen explained that the start on Speedwell Avenue was very congested with those five thousand plus runners.
“We had that wide street (Speedwell) and within a couple hundred yards we had to narrow down to that left turn onto Early,” he said. “Now there is no narrowing after the start. Narrowing of a course from the start line into the course always causes bottlenecks. Now we don’t have that.”
Runners may recall that for the past two years the event had to use wave starts to handle the volume of runners. With the start now on Early Street it will not be necessary. They will line up curb to curb and run curb to curb.
Although much of the course will be on the same streets that have been used in the past, it could look different for the runners. On many parts of the course they will be running in reverse of the old course and adding additional streets to get the mileage needed. Heading back they will return to the high school not on Early Street where they started, but on Washington Street and then onto Atno Avenue with the nice downhill run to the finish
As of Friday afternoon the race had reached its cap and all team entries had been closed earlier in the week. No registration will take place on race day. Timing is done using computer chip timing due to the large number of entrants. Only the top three overall men and women receive awards but all runners will have their chip time registered and published after the race.
Free parking will be available at the Headquarters Plaza parking garage as in the past. Runners are encouraged to go to verizoncorporateclassic.com for more information and a look at the new course layout.
Follow up: GRONER WINS ANOTHER
Roberta Groner of Randolph won the women’s race at the Brentwood 5K on July fourth in PA with a time of 17:00.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at firstname.lastname@example.org.