Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, August 21, 2016
AUGUST IS A MONTH FOR FIRST FOR USATF NJ RUNNERS
This evening runners will be competing in mile races in Montclair. This is not the first year for mile races in the USATF-NJ New Balance grand prix schedule, but it is the first for the Midland Mile.
Although the name evokes nostalgia for the Midland Run, this Midland race is only one mile while the old Midland Run was a tough 9.3 miles. I don’t think that I know why the 15K was named Midland, but this Midland is so named because the course begins and ends on Midland Avenue. As described on the race website, the race is a point to point with no turns and just a slight upgrade. That it is newly paved and tree lined should make up for that slight upgrade.
Looking at the pre-registration list it is clear there will be a good turnout. Late breaking news has the number of runners now over 400. These are not one mile fun runs, but serious competitions.
In 2015 when the mile races were the College Avenue Mile in New Brunswick, the fastest time was 4:21.76 run by Joshua Neyhart of Port Reading and the fastest woman was Ester Erb of Lawrenceville who finished in 5:02.74. Masters racers in 2015 included Reno Stirrat who won the M60 division in 5:28.16, Gary Rosenberg of Morristown who placed fourth in the M40 division in 4:55.15, and Beau Atwater of Bernardsville who won the M55 division in 5:17.84 and fourth man over age fifty. All three of the men will be running tonight.
The first heat, the Family Mile, will go off at 5:00 p.m., followed by the Public Service division, and then the first USATF division, the M60 and up that will start at 5:30 p.m. Each heat will begin approximately ten minutes apart.
Post race refreshments include hot dogs and beer, always welcome after a summer night race.
CROSS COUNTRY NEXT SUNDAY AT THOMPSON PARK
The next “first” is the cross country 5 kilometer race at Thompson Park in Monroe Township. To my knowledge this is the first time, at least in recent history, that the USATF NJ 5 kilometer has been run in this park. A look at the course map, which is available on the USATF NJ webpage, shows an opening mile loop that almost returns to the start before heading out for a larger loop for the next 2 miles. Of course a map does not illustrate terrain. Most runners from this area will be on it for the first time so need to be prepared for anything – including hills.
Pre-registration for the cross country race ends on Tuesday, August 23.
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.