Sunday, October 9, 2016

Nora Cary Medals at national race

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 9, 2016

For Sunday, October 9, 2016
By MADELINE BOST, 973-584-9302


Out of 216 women who ran in the USATF national masters championship 5K in Syracuse last Sunday at the Festival of Races, only seven hit 90% PLP  (performance level percentage) or higher.  Nora Cary, 61, of Morristown was one of them, coming in ranked 6th  for her 20:30 in the W60 division for a 91.54%. 

“My ultimate goal in doing this race was to do 90,” said Cary, who did that and a point and a half better.

Cary competed in the Club cross country championship in Bethlehem in 2013 where she finished the 6km in 26:38.  In 2015 she ran in the 5km cross country championship in Saratoga NY and finished in 21:40 and third in her age division and scored 85.6% PLP.   Syracuse was her first road race championship.

“I was very surprised,” said Cary of her performance.    “I was thrilled,” she added.

The men run separately from the women at Syracuse and that is not the only difference in the hugely popular masters race, part of a country-wide series.  Just like in big marathons, a blue line leads the runners on the shortest distance by tracing the course route tangent to tangent.   In addition to the conventional mile markers, each kilometer is also marked. 

Once she hit her first kilometer in four minutes she targeted four minutes per kilometer.  She was not able to hold that pace but she found it helpful nonetheless.  All the masters competitors in the race wear their age division on their backs and all Cary saw were women in their 50’s or younger.  Her time put her behind just three women in the W55 division.  The first W60 woman finished in 20:03 so was never in sight.

“I didn’t know that she was ahead,” said Cary.   “She was never anywhere near me.”

Cary pointed out that the New Jersey racing schedule made it quite difficult to run a fast 5K at this point in the season.    The season actually started in August with the Midland Mile on August 21st, followed by the 5km cross country on the 28th.  Three weeks later for the Newport Liberty Half Marathon on September 28th.

“I did want to target this race, but you had the half marathon, the mile a few weeks before,” she said.  “So I had to get in some distance running too.  It’s real hard to do that.”

“I was not happy with Newport (1:41:29) and not happy with the mile (6:30),” she said.

Cary ran 22:06 for the 5km cross country and scored first in age grading so we can assume she was satisfied with that race.

Cary does not have a coach and she says that she does get advice about training from other runners.  She’s not sure that having a coach would fit in with her busy life.

“I have a lot going on in my life and it’s hard enough to get my running in - to stick to some kind of coaching plan.”

Cary works full time, has a household to run, and looks after an elderly father.

 “I’m lucky to get home before dark and try to get a run in,” she said.  “I run faster, and faster if I feel good, and slower if I’m tired.”

That training plan seems to work for this speedy woman.  She’ll be at the 8km cross country race later this month, the Giralda Farms 10K in November and at the Horace Ashenfelter 8km on Thanksgiving morning.


Kristen Andrews of Manalapan won the USATF NJ open women’s race in 17:45 this past Sunday.  Andrews led her Shore Athletic Club to first in the open women’s team division.
The highest scoring local team was the Garmin women, using all masters age women.  They took 5th.
Stephen Minnet, North Brunswick, won the men’s race in   16:21. 

Connie Augustine of Mendham was the first female to finish the Mendham Harvest Hustle last Saturday.  She finished the race that was well populated with Mendham residents in 22:08.
Richard Leuttchau of Metuchen was first overall in 16:26.             

The Super Hero Half Marathon and relay is next up for local runners.  It is on Sunday, October 16th.   The race starts and finishes in downtown Morristown.


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Contact Madeline Bost at

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