Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spotlight on Youth

On Sunday, October 15, 2017

Two cross country events are coming up that most readers will not qualify for.  You have to be under 18 years old for one, or in sixth, seventh and eighth grade in the other.

Most adult runners are aware that USATF and AAU offer cross country competition to our youthful runners.  Last year the Morris area Lakeland League hosted the regional USATF meet at Central Park, Greystone in Morris Plains.  Lakeland hosts meets throughout the season at Central Park.  The state meet was held at Deer Path Park in Hunterdon County.

This year the state meet is back again at Deer Path, on November 5 and the regional meet will be in Youngwood PA.

Youths in USATF are in two year age divisions with every child the age they will be on December 31 of the competitive year.  In cross country the youngest run 2 kilometers, and the oldest run a full 5 kilometers.  In between are 3km, and 4km. 

If you are an adult runner with kids you may have your kids participating in your towns program through the Lakeland League, as it is well known and highly regarded.

Another less known event is taking place on October 28 at the Montgomery School in Skillman for New Jersey middle school children.  Begun in 2013 by Andy Martin, standout runner for Hunterdon North, Martin has remained active in the sport.  Martin for a time was the managing director of the New Jersey association of USATF and then lured to the national office in Indiana where he still resides.  But Martin hasn’t quite left his roots and he said that he had seen how successful the Indiana middle school cross country program was and wanted to bring it to New Jersey. 

This is the first year in Skillman.  In 2013, 2014 and 2015 the meet was held at Six Flags, Great Adventure in Jackson.  Skillman is more centrally located for all of New Jersey kids.

 The format of the races is somewhat different from USATF, although USATF rules are applied.  All of the children run 3 kilometer.  Like USATF they are split by gender.

Take a look at the course map on the event website  It is a spectator’s dream course with four opportunities to watch your kid.  One at the start, one on the first loop and going out to a dog leg turnaround, one when coming in from the turnaround and then at the finish.

You’ve got to love this.  The individual winners in the championship races will be given a trophy, a 361 Champion Jacket and a pair of 361 shoes, thanks the Jorge Lopes, the 361 rep and Runners Haven in Randolph, both sponsors.  In fact, Maryellen and Kevin Higgins of Runners Haven will be on site with merchandize available for purchase.  Lopes, who is a competitive runner like Higgins will also be onsite.

The top 3 teams will receive medals.  The winning team will take home the state champion trophy and the top seven athletes on the team will also get a 361 Champions Jacket. 

Here’s where it deviates from USATF in a big way.  The head coach will also receive a jacket and a pair of 361 shoes.  Not bad, coach.

And guess who is going to be handing out the awards.  None other than our own New Jersey super star, Olympian Robby Andrews. 

Children who are unattached can enter either event or run on the recreation department team.  For the USATF event they must be current members of USATF. 

The Middle School championship invites schools to send children to the event, but children whose school is not participating can enter unattached.  Membership in USATF is not required.

When you see Reno Stirrat, 62, of Rockaway on the start line, you know everyone else in the M60 division is running for second.  At the 6.66 mile run that was held alongside the Shades of Death Half Marathon this past Sunday in Allamuchy, Stirrat went one better.  He was the first finisher overall in a time of 44:31. Alexandra Niles of Fairfield was the women’s winner in 43:35.

The Shades of Death was won by Sam Teigen of Hawthorne in 1:19:05.  Lauren Jackson of Augusta won the women’s division in 1:29:00.

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Little Silver Championship attracted fast women

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 8, 2017


Thirty-one women finished the Little Silver 5K this past Sunday in under 20 minutes.  The race was the open women’s championship and that statistic tells it all.  It was a resounding success.

The top three women finished in under 18 minutes; Shelby Greany of Tuxedo Park NY in 17:11, Nicolette Mateescu of Kendall Park in 17:12 and Kristin Andrews of Manalapan in 17:27.  Those three finished in 6th, 7th and 8th overall.  The top runner was Kyle Price of North Brunswick who finished in 15:23

Greany was on the first place team, the Adidas Garden State Track Club A, and Andrews was on the third place Shore Athletic Club A team.  The Garden State club scored second, fourth and fifth place team. 

Thirteen teams finished the race including the local Morris County Striders and the North Jersey Masters with their Do Run Runners, which rely heavily on their masters age women and finished well down on the list of teams.

Several New Jersey masters runners and teams competed at the masters national championship at the Festival of Races 5K in Syracuse on Sunday with outstanding performances by some.  Former Randolph resident and now from Rye Brook NY, Jonathan Frieder, 46 placed third overall with a time of 15:49.  His brother Elliott of Montville who is coming back after a long lay-off placed fourth in the M45 division in 16:18.

Mark Williams formerly of Lake Hopatcong and now of Columbia NJ finished fifth is his M40 division in 16:33. Williams was on the second place M40 team and astonishing in such an elite field, the Garmin Runners scored with 52-year-old Brian Crowley of Hillsborough and 54-year-old Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes who finished in 17:23.
It gets better for New Jersey.  The third place team was the Adidas Garden State Track Club and their third scoring runner was 58-year-old Gary Leaman of Hardwick.  Thomas Knowles of Oakland lead the team in with Chuck Schneekloth of Franklin next.  Their times were 16:42 for Knowles, 17:01 for Schneekloth, and 17:25 for Leaman.

 In the M60 team division, the Shore Athletic Club placed third with Reno Stirrat of Rockaway leading them in with a time of 18:59.

The Shore club placed fourth in the M70 team division and the Clifton Road Runners placed sixth.  That club has no man under age 75 and their top man, Tony Fiory, age 76, placed second in his age division with his time of 25:26.   The Bella N Motion W40 team placed sixth in their division.

We’re not done yet and I may have saved the best for last.  Nora Cary of Morristown, now age 62, won her age division in 20:33 and hit 92.46 % PLP and was ranked fifth in age grading.  Cary’s name sticks out in that file like a sore thumb.  All the other high-ranking women are well known in masters running, but Cary mostly races close to home here in New Jersey.  In 2016 she finished this race in 20:30 where she was ranked sixth with a 91:54% PLP. 

It is a little hard to follow such an outstanding performance but Madeline Bost of Randolph won her age division in 34:57. Others who raced from this area include Roger Price of Randolph, Susan Stirrat and Robert Skorupski both of Rockaway and Joel Garrell of Morristown.  

Even the women’s masters winner has a connection to New Jersey.  Sascha Scott, 42, now of Syracuse resided in New Brunswick a dozen or more years ago and was a member of the Raritan Valley Road Runners where she was their top runner.  She won the race in 17:50.

Back here at home in Madison a large field turned out for the Millie’s Pizza 10K on Sunday.  Karl O’Reilly of Morristown won the race in 35:07 with Gary Rosenberg, also of Morristown second in 37:09.  Victoria Pontecoruo of Morristown was the women’s winner in 41:21

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

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shades of Death Road in Allamuchy location of half marathon

On Sunday, October 1,, 2017


The half marathon season is in full swing.  The 13.1 mile races have been going on now for over a month.  Most famously was of course the Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon that was the state championship in September in Jersey City.

That race bills itself as the most scenic and no doubt having a view of New York Harbor, the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and the Manhattan skyline is pretty impressive.  On the opposite end of the spectrum would have to be the Shades of Death Half Marathon in Allamuchy.   

Opposite end?  It’s more like another world.  The course is a scenic tour of the bucolic farms, fields and occasional woodlands of Warren County.  While the Liberty Waterfront course is yes, flat, as in boardwalk flat, the Warren County course is while not boardwalk flat it is mostly flat with one slight grade.  Certainly not a hill.  It is considered fast.

While not a championship race in the Category three division of the New Balance Grand Prix, runners can choose to have their place and points scored as though it is championship with a high point value of 700. 

Karen Auteri of Belvidere who was a close second in the Shades of Death in 2016 is now leading the grand prix.  It is close though, with the good masters runner, Hortencia of Garfield just 16 points behind.

On the men’s side of the grand prix, Brian Crowley of Hillsborough is now in the lead with John Hogan of the Township of Washington in second place by 71 points.   The fall racing season is getting interesting. 

The long distance running committee held an open meeting at the Madison YMCA on Monday evening.

“What we have here is a failure to communicate,” is the famous quote from the movie Cool Hand Luke.   The same could be said for the bundle of proposed changes to the championships and the grand prix programs.

Not that it is a bad thing.  Actually it is a very positive thing that people in the long distance running community have spotted what they believe is a problem and then have proposed the solution. 

What is interesting is that while each person sees a problem and proposes his or her solution, another person proposes a completely opposite solution.  No fewer than four proposals were made regarding the makeup of the teams and none were remotely similar.  All will soon be posted on the USATF website where they can be viewed and contemplated before the next meeting where they will be voted on.

Elections for the LDR chairs and vice chairs were held in May and several new people are now on the committee, including three from the Morris area.  Gary Rosenberg of Morristown is now the open men’s chair.  Beau Atwater of Bernardsville is the masters chair and Bob Skorupski of Rockaway is vice chair of cross country.

 Cross country had previously been an appointed position but a by-law change this past March established cross country and Mountain-Ultra-Trail(MUT)  as full status sports committees.

A time and place for the “decision meeting” has not been determined but is likely to take place in November or December.

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

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Warm weather no deterrent to fast times in half marathon championship

On Sunday, September 24, 2017


Warm weather did not keep the runners away from the Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon last Sunday in Jersey City.  The hot weather also did not appear to have slowed the runners down.  In 2016 Will Appman of Hoboken won the race in 1:14.21.  Last Sunday Appman finished the race in 1:13:35 and place fourth overall!  Joshua Izewski of Doylestown PA won the race in 1:11:46 with Lucas Giugliano of Sparta second in 1:12:13.

The women’s race was won by Japanese runner Sairi Maeda who finished third overall in 1:12:48, a dozen minutes ahead of second place woman Brianna Feerst of Brick. 

Maeda finished one second ahead of fourth place man, Japanese runner Takashi Kakimoto.

Was Maeda being paced by Kakimoto?  Likely. But Kakimoto was a legitimate runner.  As long as he was legally entered in the race and wearing a bib number he can run at any pace he wants. 

Spectators reported that Izewski and Giugliano ran together for most of the race and that Maeda ran a smart race, not rushing but back several places through the early part of the race before picking off other runners.  It is highly likely that Izewski and Giugliano knew they were being run down by a woman and were motivated to not be caught, thus resulting in their fast times. 

The astonishing 52-year-old Brian Crowley of Hillsborough finished in seventh place overall in 1:14:42 which put him at the top of the Age Grade list with an 88.67% PLP.  Reno Stirrat,63 of Rockaway finished in 1:27:52 to claim second in age grading at 83:51.  On the masters women side Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown finished in 1:39:02 for a PLP of 87.32 % PLP.

The Garden State Track Club won the open men’s division in the team competition but the Garmin runners placed second with a fine performance by Stuart Haynes, 41, of Chatham who placed ninth overall in 1:14:54.  Garden State took the next three spots.

With Crowley on the M40 team along with Haynes the Garmin M40 team averaged 1:18:33 for first in their division.

In the women’s team division, the Clifton Road Runners placed first in the open division and first in the W40.  Local runners helped their teams to win the W50 division.  Cary was on the winning North Jersey Masters team, and Mary Christian and Susan Kinsella were on the second place Garmin team.  Cary lead in the winning North Jersey W60 team.


Open women have the next championship to run.  They’ll be sorry if they missed the deadline for the $32.00 entry fee.  It is now up at $40.00.

It’s the Little Silver 5K.  Long Distance Running chair Ed Neighbour of Sparta has given the race a thumbs up to his Morris County Striders teammates.  In an email to the club members he wrote, “Consider running this event.  The race has an excellent post race at the firehouse with lots of food and assorted beer and wine.”

Before the food, beer and wine he told them, “Great course with 5 turns and finishes on the track.”

Morris area runners who want to stay closer to home can run in the Millie’s Pizza Run 10K in Madison.  The 10K is a loop course that starts and finishes at Bayley Ellard and appears to run around but not in the Giralda Farms corporate complex bordered by Madison Avenue, Treadwell Avenue, Woodland Avenue and Loantaka Way.  The start is a 11:00 a.m.; late enough to make a post-race pizza slice enticing.

In addition to pizza, for USATF grand prix racers the 10K is a 500-point New Balance Grand Prix event.


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

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Garmin Grand Prix Standing

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 17, 2017


The USATF Garmin sponsored club and team grand prix was updated this week.  To no one’s surprise the Garden State Track Club has a substantial lead, thanks in part to the mile championship in August as well as the cross country championship at Natirar Park where they fielded several strong open teams.
The club has 470 points with the Clifton Road Runners next with 395 and the Shore Athletic Club in third with 351 points.

The Garden State open men and women’s teams also have the lead in those divisions.  Their men’s B, A and C teams have the top three spots in that order. The women are in first in their division but the Shore team is in second and Clifton third.

The Clifton women are on a roll with their W40 and W60 teams in first place and tied with the North Jersey Masters women in the W50.  The Garmin Women are second in W40 and third in W50. 

Thanks to the merger for racing purposes with the Morris area Do Run Runners, the North Jersey Masters club is second in W60 and First in the W70 division.  The Morris County Striders that had until this year been unchallenged in the W70 division  have been pushed down to second and third in the W70 division.  They still reign supreme in the W80 division.

The Garmin M40 team is in first place with the Garden State team in second.  The places are reversed in the M50 division with the Garden State team holding first place while the Garmin team is tied with the North Jersey Masters for second.  The North Jersey Masters are in second place in the M60 division with the Shore club in first.  Clifton is first in the M70 while the North Jersey Masters are in second place.

Local clubs like the Morris County Striders, the Rose City Runners and the Geezers are competing but are not in the top five in any of the divisions.  Counting B and C, and in the case of Garden State even below C teams, a total 26 teams so far year this have competed in at least one championship race.

This morning all of the clubs are racing at the Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon in Jersey City.  How they do will determine how the numbers will change.  The preregistered number of runners as posted on Friday is down slightly from 2016 when 3,140 runners had registered.  This year’s number is 2,957, although a handful of duplicate entries had been spotted in the list. 


The Morris County Striders club may not be the fastest in the state, but what they lack in speed they possess in team spirit.  It has been reported that the club was the largest club to compete in Sparta on Labor Day weekend and again at the Netcong 5K this past weekend as they have been in previous years at Netcong.

David Lerman of Hopatcong won the race in 17:41 while Corine Macaluso of Hopatcong won the women’s race in 21:12.  Both also won the 2016 race.

Randolph’s Roberta Groner showed she has quite a range this month.  Groner placed tenth in the National 20K in New Haven CT on September 4th in 1:10:05.  Last Sunday she finished the Fifth Avenue Mile in New York in 4:51. 

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

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Cross Country Triple Tie

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, September 3, 2017

For Sunday, September 3,, 2017
By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302


The USATF NJ cross country meet that was held last Sunday had a rare tie in the open men’s division.  The Garden State Track Club’s C team placed first.  No surprise there, the club has a large roster of fast young runners.  No, the surprise was the three-way tie for second for their B, A and D teams.  Ties in cross country are not uncommon as the points are assigned by place rather than time, but a three way tie is much rarer.  The Shore Athletic Club took fourth with the Garmin Runners taking sixth out of thirteen teams. 

The Garmin M40 A team won that division, with the Garden State team taking second and the Shore team in third.  The Garmin M50 team also won their division with the Shore in second and the Garden State team in third.   Yes, there were other teams competing but were shut out by those three hot clubs; thirteen open men’s teams, eight M40, and ten M50.

Fourteen  teams competed in the M60 division and six in the M70.  Those divisions require only  three runners to make up a scoring team.  The Shore club took advantage of having a larger squad requiring fewer runners and scored first and second in the M60 division.  Their B team scored 17 points to their A team at 18.  The North Jersey Masters took third.  Clifton won the M70 team division with the Shore team in second and the North Jersey Masters in third.
If the Shore Athletic Club’s open women’s team had not raced, the Garden State women’s teams would have swept that division’s top spots, but the Shore team grabbed second while the Garden State teams placed first, third and fourth.  The Garmin team placed fifth out of ten teams.
The Garmin women were on top in the W40 division, with Clifton second by just one point, with the Garden State team in third out of eleven teams.  The W50 division was the same for the first two spots, with the Shore team taking third.  The Shore team was first in the W60 division with Raritan Valley in second and Clifton in third.

The race was won  by Garden State’s Matt Gillette of Orefield PA in 16:08 and on the women’s side by Emily Rosario of Brooklyn NY in 19:09.
Elena Rozhko of Morristown was the top masters woman to finish and second woman overall in 19:20.   Suzanne LaBurt, 54, of Greenwood Lake NY was the top age graded woman with a 85.10% PLP for her time of 20:17.  Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown was second with an 84.88% PLP for her time of 22:22.  Mary Christian of Flanders and Rozhko were third and fourth in Age Grading.
Brian Crowley, 52,  of Hillsborough topped the men’s age graded chart with an  86.01% for his 17:24.   Reno Stirrat, 63, of Rockaway was next with an 84.47% on his 19:22, and Gary Leaman, 58, of Hardwick finished in 18:50 for an 83.34% PLP.
Labor Day is a day of rest, but for a runner it is a good day to find a Labor Day race to run in and get a start on the fall racing season.  

Verona has hosted their Labor Day Classic 5K for 35 years.  They must be doing something right.  It helps that the Essex Running Club is a co-host of race.  The description states that the course is fast but makes no claim to be flat.  It is an out-and-back course with a cone turn-around and a few corners to navigate.

Pre-registration is closed but race day registration fee is only $25.00.   Age divisions are in five years and go up to 85 +.   The top three in those age divisions win gift certificates to shop at the Fleet Feet store in Montclair.  Top overall man and woman get one better -  free shoes!

Lake Mohawk is the featured site for the Labor Day 5K in Sparta.  If you don’t like to run around corners this is the course to run.  It is a straight out-and-back with the only turn the cone turn-around. It is described as flat with some rolling hills. 

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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

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run on the wild side

on Sunday, August 20, 2017


They say you can't go home again, but I sometimes think it is not true.   I grew up on an island in Washington state and when I return, as I do every year, I feel like I am home again.  In my youth I was not a runner.  Occasionally I would slip off the back of my horse and run along side  her on the hidden logging road in the woods not far from my home.   

Every year I make sure to run on that old logging road at least once, in memory of Candy, the lovely palomino who loved to race, to swim in a farm pond, and to patiently trot along side me when I got the urge to run.

The trail has changed since Candy and I were the rare riders of the trail.  The old road has been partially paved to accommodate the scattered homes in the woods now.  The pavement ends at a sharp 180 degree turn where a sign warns ominously, "No Turnaround Beyond this Point."   

What is a fun old road to run or ride on is a "no-go"  for cars, with serious potholes and extreme dips and climbs.  On that stretch it is easy to get lost in the stillness of the woods and to feel blissfully alone.   I came out of my reverie when I remembered that the cougar that had been feeding on the livestock on the small farms on the island, and not the numerous deer also inhabiting it, could actually be lurking in those very woods.  

When I emerged from the woods and back onto the paved road that would lead me home, it was with a little sigh of relief that I had not met up with the animal, also known as mountain lion, or catamount.  I learned later that the cougar had killed two donkeys in the same area as my run that day. 

 A trap was set and the animal was lured with one of the donkey carcasses and it was killed, deemed too much of a danger for the island livestock.  I can breathe easy when I next go on that run although sad that the cougar had not stayed with a deer menu and kept away from sheep, goats and donkeys.

Natirar Park in Somerset has never reported sightings of cougars, mountain lions, or catamounts.  More likely it will see  runners racing on the cross country course that winds around and through the park.  On Sunday, August 27th, the runners will be onUSATF teams  in the state 5K cross  country championship. 

 The Natirar course features an easy flat run interspersed with two extreme hills that some love and others hate.  Young runners charge up those hills and fly down like a herd of deer running from, well, cougars, I suppose.  The race will start at a cool 8:45 a.m.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Midland Avenue Mile next Sunday


The introduction of the Midland Avenue Mile race in 2016 was not exactly

auspicious.  In fact, it was pretty dreary, as in misty, moisty rain dreary.  Not that

running a mile in the rain on a Sunday evening in summer is all bad. Consider the

cooling off factor.  On the other hand, run in the rain, but celebrate in the sun can't

always be achieved.

In 2016 the Midland Avenue Mile in Montclair was the first year being the USATF

New Jersey state mile championship.  This year, the race was again selected for

hosting the mile championship for all divisions.  It will take place next Sunday,

August 20th.

Of course you can't put an entire field of runners on the line for a mile race.  it will

be much too crowded.   The schedule calls for several heats, starting with a family

division at 5:00 p.m. before the first masters heat at 5:30 p.m.  Men 60 and up will

be first, followed by Women 60 and up.  Then Men 50 to 59, on down to the open

categories.  Looking at the Practice Hard website, it looks like the open division will

be combined men and women and using seed times to create three different heats.

In 2016 Atilla Sabahoglu of Manville was the fastest man with a time of 4:39.32.    

the fastest woman was Roberta Groner of Randolph in 5:05.04.  Despite road

runners apprehension at racing a mile, the race had a good masters turnout in 2016.

Team captains are hoping to coax even more of their team members to turn out.

Those who raced in 2016 found out that running a mile fast did not hurt them and

was actually fun.  They should be back.

The rain in 2016 put a damper on the really fun part of a mile race; the post race

beer and food.  It will be back this year and hopefully not the rain.

Race registration and packet pick-up can be done on Friday and Saturday at Fleet

Feet Sports in Montclair, and on Sunday prior to the race.


The Team Bloke 5K in Mendham last week drew nearly two hundred runners who

likely knew or knew of Doug Clark, the international level triathlete who lost his

battle with a brain tumor last year.  The race raises funds that are used to support

familes that are dealing with cancer.

The race was won by Lucas Peterson of Waterford MI in 16:34, followed closely

by Morristown's Karl O'Reilly in 16:36.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere was the women's

winner in 18:55.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Dover Renaissance 5K turns twenty-five this month

Published by the Daily Record
of Morris County, New Jersey
Sunday, August 6, 2017


It was in 1992 when brothers David and Daniel Cruz of Dover ran the first Dover Renaissance 5K with the respective times of 15:59 and 16:05.

Much has happened since then in this historical town that sits on part of the Rockaway River.   As the Dover Renaissance 5K has its Silver Anniversary Run, it is somewhat bittersweet, as one of the founding members of Dover Renaissance, Mrs. Ellen Forbes, passed away earlier this year.

It was Ellen Forbes,  along with three of her neighbors, that founded Dover Renaissance in 1985 when Downtown Dover was not in a good place, with empty storefronts and a sad look.  One of her goals was to help preserve and restore the historic downtown, as well as to beautify the old homes of Dover.

When the runners take off on Saturday, August 12th, they will run down a vibrant Blackwell St., much improved and beautified since that first race.   They will start by the Story Poles and landscaped Triangle Park, both Dover Renaissance  projects.  They will pass the Verdin Town Street Clock, one of Ellen Forbes's proudest achievements.

The 5K race achieved one of Ellen Forbes' goals - to bring people to Dover to experience the vibe a historic town can emit.  The initial’s E F are proudly displayed on the back of this year’s running shirt as a tribute to her legacy.

In 25 years a  lot does happen.  Forbes is gone now, and when was the last time the talented Cruz brothers raced in the Dover race?  A very long time since these young men were part of the the New Jersey running scene.  In 2016 the race was won in 17:43 by David Lerman of Hopatcong.  The first woman was Gradie Carrol of Morris Plains in 21:29.  No, not earth shaking times, but a great testament to the local flavor ot the race.  Less than a hundred runners competed, but most were loyalists who had run in many of those 25 races, and had seen the transformation of Dover thanks to Ellen Forbes.

It appears that the race has finally found a permanent date, after moving to May in 2016, for a one-time tribute to Armed Forces Day.


Jaren Cooper of Mountain Lakes lead a pack of teen runners to finish first at the Morris County Striders Cross Country final 5K this past Tuesday.  Cooper finished in 16:21
Finishing in 11th place was Reno Stirrat of Rockaway who finished in 19:40 followed closely by his running buddy Robert Skorupski also of Rockaway, who finished in 19:41.

 Sarah Dalfol of Sparta won the women's race in 22:12.


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sabatino takes a spill in biggest triathlon in the state

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 30, 2017


“I was hoping to defend my title,” said John “Chachi” Sabatino, of Morris Plains.  Sabatino had won the M50 age division in the New Jersey Triathlon Championship in 2016, finishing with a time of 2:04:53 for the Olympic distance triathlon

On Saturday, instead of another title Sabatino was in the road bed trying to shake off a sudden spill. 

A lifeguard in his youth Sabatino counts on a good swim leg before hopping on the bike.  He came out of the water in fourth place in his heat.  Things were looking good.

When a kid on a bike decided to dash across the road in front of him he clearly underestimated the speed of the racers.  Sabatino estimates he was traveling at 22 miles per hour.  There was no way he was going to miss the kid.  Over the handlebars he went.  Miraculously he did not hit his head but there was plenty of unseen damage and plenty of damage to the bike.

In a Facebook post Sabatino states that, “Of course I hopped back on my bike to finish.”

With a front derailleur bent and broken and the chain severally bent Sabatino was able to force it to work, but with scraping sounds as the front derailleur switched on its own from the big to small ring.

Once his bike was racked Sabatino was off on the run portion of the race, only to realize that it wasn’t just the bike that was damaged.  Instead of the seven minute per mile pace he expected, he was running at 8:20 pace.   He finished the race in 2:42:29 – 38 minutes off his 2016 time.

“After the race, I went to medical and was cleared to go,” he wrote in his post.  Later he went to the hospital in Morristown where he was diagnosed with a cracked rib and sporting a sizable area of road rash on his shoulder.  Just go home and rest.

That didn’t happen.  Later that night Sabatino’s wife Sara, found him passed out on the bathroom floor.  She called for an ambulance and Sabatino spent the next three days in the hospital.  Not one rib, but four ribs were cracked.  He had what was rated as a Grade 1 liver bruise as well as contusions on the lung.  He was cleared to go home Wednesday when his liver bloodwork came back clear.

He’s on the mend now but with those cracked ribs he isn’t sneezing or laughing.  The doctors say it will take six to eight weeks to recover. 

That will put him into mid-September before he is able to train or compete.  This hasn’t been his year.  A pulled hamstring in March set him back and now it’s a question of whether he will be able to gather the points he would need to make it into the top three in his age division in the New Jersey grand prix, a spot where he usually finishes.  At mid-season Sabatino is missing four races and two of those are in the Category Three division.  Yes, it could have been worse but hard not to wish that kid had stayed home last Saturday.

Other local runners who also do triathlons did well in the race.  Liam Gallagher of Morristown finished fourth in the Elite Men division and second in the New Jersey Elite Men. 

  Rich Burke of Morristown was the second M50 New Jersey finisher. Taryn Ferrara of Morristown was first in the W25 division and  Olivia Christmann of Mendham won the W20 division.

Susan Olesky of Mendham was first in the W60 New Jersey division with Susan Jankowitz of Sparta in second place.

Cande Olsen of Chatham won the W65 division with Mary Hager of Randolph second. Over a thousand athletes competed in the race, the largest in the state.


Doug Clarke of Mendham, an outstanding runner and triathlete lost his battle with brain cancer but the race in his honor goes on to raise funds to help those afflicted with this deadly form of cancer.

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

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Remembering back in the day

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 21, 2017


My decision to add the DVR element to my cable service was one of the best I’ve ever made.  I can record a televised marathon and watch it the next day, or I can delay watching the coverage by an hour or more, and then catch up by fast forwarding through the commercials.

During the summer season with the Diamond League  track and field series in Europe where the elite athletes compete I am in heaven, watching at my leisure, backing up to do my own “instant replay”.  I came across a column I wrote more than twenty years ago and now, watching female athletes compete, it hit me again, what a change has occurred in my lifetime.

Wilma Rudolph, the Olympic triple gold medalist had died, and I wrote of the difference between Rudolph’s experience and my own.  I grew up in Washington state on an island in Puget Sound that was, and still is, isolated yet near the bustling cities of Seattle and Tacoma.  We lived on a small berry farm surrounded by giant Douglas firs – a perfect environment for the tomboy that I was.

When I wasn’t doing chores, I was free to run and explore and play.  My dad was an amateur athlete – a good boxer, diver and gymnast.  My sister and I were willing students and he taught us how to box and do basic gymnastics.  At school, I looked forward to playground where tag was a staple game and where we sometimes held impromptu races.

In a game of tag I could never be caught.  In a race, no girl could beat me and there were two boys who could only sometimes outrun me.  On field days, I would win all my events.  It was my favorite day of the school year.  I was in heaven.  Then I moved up to high school and everything changed.  Girls were no longer encouraged to participate in sports.  Indeed, I learned that running and jumping would somehow injure me.

My grade school running rivals became stars of the football and basketball teams where their leg speed was put to good use.  Me, well, eventually I learned how to twirl a baton and became a majorette.

Oh, we girls could pay volleyball, tennis, baseball and basketball in our physical education classes and intramural sports.  That was because they weren’t considered too vigorous and didn’t involve serious running.

Girls’ basketball allowed only three steps with the ball.  No running and dribbling down the court.  You must pass almost as soon as you receive the ball.  I would look with envy as the boys played their basketball and puzzle with resentment at the restrictions placed on me because of my gender.

On my own time, when no one was looking, I did run.  I ran on the logging trails near my home with my horse.  There I was safe from prying eyes that might find me foolish or unfeminine.

Then when I probably first became aware of the Olympics, I heard and read of this Wilma Rudolph – an American girl who was competing with other women in track running events.  It blew my mind.  How did it happen?  Who let her and the others run?

Obviously, they had been encouraged to do so by adults who were coaching and training them.  But why had my school and all the others that I knew, never allowed girls to run or compete in serious sports?

While Rudolph was blazing down the track, except for those occasional runs with my horse, I long abandoned my tomboy ways.  If I was not quite a demur young miss, I was certainly not an athlete.  That didn’t come for twenty more years.  My first competition was in 1982 when I was now a master.

Which brings me back to those Diamond League meets.  Friday night, New Jersey’s Ajee Wilson set an American record in the 800 meters, while finishing in third place in 1:55.61, Caster Semenya was first in 1:55.27, with Francine Niyonsaba second in 1:55.47.  What a thrilling race to watch as the three women battled three across down the home stretch.

We can look forward for more meets this summer and this tomboy can enjoy and remember back in the day when girls weren’t allowed to run.


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

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Verizon Corporate Classic went off without rain or lightning

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 16, 2017


Would they have to cancel the Verizon Corporate Classic 5K again in 2017?  Heat was building on Thursday morning with dreadful thunder and lightning storms predicted.  But in Morristown the heat began to drop and a mild rain was all that fell as race time at 7:30 p.m. approached.

Not that is wasn’t uncomfortable.  The humidity was heavy as the nearly three thousand runners began the race down Maple Avenue and then down Route 202, Mt. Kemble Avenue.  Out in front a lead pack formed with close to ten runners a half mile into the race.  Down they sped to the turnaround just north of Harter Road, and back up on the same road that they had gone down. 

The lead pack had spread out after mile two with only a few left in the fight.  In the end Kyle Price of North Brunswick managed to make it to the finish line first, with Joe Mummert of Mahwah running for Merrill Lynch next and Liam Boylan-Pett of Clinton in third.  Their chip times were 16:25, 16:31 and 16:44 respectively.

Not far behind those lead men was Ashley Higgonson of Morristown.  She finished in seventh place overall in17:12.   Higgonson, running for Riker Danzig then and now won the 2014 race in the nearly identical time of 17:10.

The second place woman was Diana D’Achille of Denville, running for Verizon who finished in 18:33. D’Achille won the 2015 race in 18:17. Karen Auteri of Belvidere, running for Quintilesims finished third in 18:38.  Auteri finished second woman overall in 2014.

While the speedier runners were challenging themselves in the humidity on the deceptive course that drops down on the way out on Route 202 with the subsequent climb back to the finish on Maple Avenue with a short serious climb on Market Street, other participants were happily walking the length of the race.

  When Price was finishing five hundred participants had not yet hit the one mile marker.  One hundred sixty-two participants finished in over an hour - averaging each mile in slower than 19 minute per mile pace.

This is not to be scoffed at as the race invites people to come out and work toward fitness and health and if that means a 20 minute pace so be it.  The participants were out there and who knows, an elite runner may be hiding undiscovered in their ranks needing just this one event to inspire them to future fitness.  It happens.


Looking for another race this summer?  Look no further. 

 The Morris County Striders summer series 5K cross country race is this Tuesday, July 18th at Johnson Park
 in Boonton.  Each race is part of a series that scores the best three out of the four races in the series.  
Robert Skorupski, 44, of Rockaway is in contention on the men’s side with two teenagers, Tommy Carney, 
14, of Denville who finished ahead of Skorupski in the first race, as did Noah Schagelin, 16, of Rockaway.  
Skorupski came back in the second race to finish in second place to Carrington Retzios, 17, of Budd Lake
 who finished in 17:30.  While the two teens finished in third and fourth.
On the other side of the ledger, Kayla Schramm, 12, of Goshen NY won the first race in age division 
course record time of 19:35.  Astonishingly right behind her was Allison Lounsbury, 13,
 of Franklin Lakes in 19:44.  Christine Carny, 17, of Denville was third in 22:05.
Schramm returned in the second race to win in a slower paced 21:00.  Carney returned for the second 
race making those two the leaders in the series on the female side.   Any runner who has completed
 just one race can hop back into the series by competing at this Tuesdays race and the next one on
 August 1st.

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


Sunday, July 9, 2017

Verizon Corporate Classic Thursday changes course

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 9, 2017


How does that old song go?  “There’s gonna be some changes made today.”

Well, maybe not today, but on Thursday there will be changes to the Verizon Classic 5K that could have some people unprepared.  Yes, last year the staging area was changed from the Headquarters Plaza to Morristown High School, and then, yes, a really nasty storm changed everything.  No race at all.  A make-up run was held a couple of weeks later.  

Well, here it is 2017 and the Verizon Classic is sporting a new venue and a new course.  Nothing like the course of 2016 and nothing like 2015.

Nope, runners will leave from the Verizon Building at 37 Maple Avenue and head down Mt. Kemble Avenue.  Yes, Route 202.  Down and back as in a true Out-and-Back course.  The turnaround will be just before Harter Road.

An out-and-back course with 400 people is pretty easily managed.  An out-and-back with 4,000 runners, which is possible on a good night for racing is not so easy.  In 2015 when the race was last conducted as a race, the winning time was 16:22.  When he was finishing the 3,491st runner was passing mile marker One.  Get the picture?

The course marshals will be experienced runners from two running clubs whose job will be to keep those slower runners on their own side of the road, while making sure that the returning runners coming back to the finish have their side of the road free from – well – slow moving bodies.

The staging has all been figured out with traffic posts and tape delineating the course right down the middle of Route 202.  Those runners-turned-course marshals will be making sure that the returning runners have their space.

With a field that could be as large as 4,000 runners and walkers, the timing has to change.  The runners chip time will be their actual time when scoring the event.  This means that each runner is timed only when he or she crosses the computer timing mat at the official start point of the race, and when they have crossed the finish line.

This race does not score age divisions as the focus is on the many corporate teams that compete.  However, runners with no affiliation are also free to register and run, although there are no age division awards.

The race has a 7:30 p.m. start time. For more information check out

Continuing to use old metaphors:  what we have here is a horse of a different color.  As in the Ellie’s 5K at Horseshoe Lake park in Succasunna.  The course has to be the most challenging that anyone has ever run, and yet it has no hills.

The park has a perimeter path of less than two full miles, so to run a 5K the race organizers have been creative to find a full 3.1-mile course.   It is all for a good cause.  The race benefits the Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation.

At the Race for Recovery 5K at Central Park on the July 4th, 44-year-old Elena Rozhko of Morristown almost won the race outright.  She finished in 18:52 for third overall.  Youngster Patrick Mullen, 16, of Morristown won the race in 17:43, with Sean Thoulitus, 18, of Gillette second in 17:55.   An enthusiastic group of supporters of the Market Street Mission boosted the number of finishers to 240, many of them walking the 3.1-mile cross-country course.


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

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Thirty-six teams at Fitzgerald's Lager Run

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, July 2, 2017


Whew!   Championships all done for the spring season.  The Fitzgerald’s Lager Run 5K this past Sunday drew a full field of young men to compete for the open men’s championship, along with a full field of others who are enthusiastic fans of the race that takes place in Glen Ridge each year.  There will not be another championship until August with the Midland Mile and the first of the USATF cross country races.

Joshua Izewski of Doylestown, PA won the race in an impressive 14:27, with Eric Chirchir of Irvington second in 14:40, and Aaron Leskow of Morristown third in 15:05.

Leskow was on the winning Garden State Track Club C team.  The club put five teams in the top five spots with three other teams also in the mix.  The abilities of the top tier men on the teams is so well balanced that it is not always the A team that places first.  At the race on Sunday the C team was first, the B team second and the A team third.

Justin Scheid of Succasunna placed fifth overall in 15:17 to lead in his Shore Athletic Club team to eighth place.

Thirty-six teams competed, but that number is misleading, as many of the teams were made up of masters men.  As there was no masters team competition the older men were free to run in the open division, and they did.

Roberta Groner of Randolph won the women’s race in a personal best time of 16:24. Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown was the top masters woman with her 21:34 hitting 88.03%.  Brian Crowley, 52, of Hillsborough was the top masters man going up to 90.88% with his 16:28 finishing time.  Gary Leaman, 58, of Hardwick was next with his 17:38 at 89.00% PLP.

If you like to race on the Fourth of July but hate the travel to Fourth of July races like the Cranford Firecracker we now have a fun race in Morris County.
The Race for Recovery 5K is being held on the high school cross country course in Central Park in Morris Plains.  The race is a USATF cross country grand prix race.  Except for the Morris Country Striders 5 K race series in Boonton there has not been any other local cross-country races in the series that is close to home. 

The course is a mix of hills as well as flat sections on well groomed trails.  It is not only used by the local high schools but also by the younger set.  The youth Lakeland League uses the course and it was the New Jersey Junior Olympic site in 2015 and 2016.  Roadies should be able to handle it

The race is being put on by the Market Street Mission in Morristown that helps people who are struggling with addiction.   Stay for a picnic for the participants with hot dogs and hamburgers included on the menu.  It is suggested that you bring a lawn chair or a blanket.  Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. with the race start at 9:00 a.m.  The pre-entry deadline has passed. The day of race entry fee is $35.00. 

While a morning race on the Fourth of July is great, an evening race on the Fourth is not.  The Morris County Striders moved their 5K race for this one week to Thursday, July 6th.  Registration begins at 6:00 p.m. with the race start at 7:00 p.m.

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

Sunday, June 25, 2017

President's Cup Night Race almost a washout

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 26, 2017


And then there are those days.   Days, or in this case, nights, when things don’t go exactly as planned.  The President’s Cup Night Race 5K in Millburn didn’t plan for lightning, thunder, and downpours for most of the day leading up to the race at 8:00 pm this past Monday night.

Hmm,  let’s see, “go out in the pouring rain and deal with likely rain-induced-travel-nightmares to go to run in the rain, or stay home nice and dry and unfrazzled”.  About three to four hundred  runners, who were either pre-registered for the race or who had planned to post enter decided to choose the later and stayed home.

The number of finishers was the lowest in recent memory.  The highest number of finishers was just seven years ago in 2010 when Justin Scheid, then of Sparta and now of Succasunna won the race in 14:50, with 1,496 runners finishing behind him.  There has been an almost steady decline in number of runners since then, with last year at 973 finishers the lowest until Monday night at 649 finishers.

It wasn’t a championship race and that may also have contributed to the lower numbers and the thinner New Jersey elite field.  At less than a mile into the race only a small number of men were in the lead pack.  Past the mile and that small pack had already broken apart with the original leaders now strung out, and strung out they stayed for the rest of the race.

Joshua Izewski of Doylestown PA won the race in 15:16, with Rob Nihen of Glen Rock, second in 15:31 and Stephen Rathbun of Seattle, WA third in 15:59.

The women’s race was actually much closer with Corey Weiss of Short Hills finishing first in 18:12 with Aimee Chegwidden of Hamburg second in 18:26. Alyssa Vassallo of Florham Park was third with Lauren Jackson of Augusta just three seconds back in 18:38.

The Coed teams made for interesting reading after the race with some local clubs doing better with coed teams than in straight USATF competition. 

The New Jersey Racing Project club with several Morris County residents won the open division and the Morris County Striders were fifth, and the Rose City Runners took sixth place.

The North Jersey Masters with Do Run Runner Nora Cary of Morristown scoring with the highest PLP of 84.1%, topped the masters coed division based on age grading.  The Morris County Striders placed fourth.

The Garmin masters team won both the open division and also the masters division.  Not all clubs participated in what was an exhibition event with no points going into the team and club grand Prix.

The New Jersey Racing Project won the women’s open division and the Rose City Runners were third with the Morris County Striders fourth.  Several clubs had incomplete teams indicating that weather or traffic kept runners away who had planned to compete.


It was all about the young at the Morris County Striders cross country 5K on Tuesday night at Johanson Fields in Boonton.  Sixteen-year-old Karos Sadeghi-Nejod of Essex Fells won the race in 17:41, with Tommy Carney, 16 of Denville second in 18:07 and Andrew Goldsmith 16 of Rockaway third in 18:12.

Young girls were the winners on the other side.  Kayla Schramm, 12, of Goshen NY placed first in 19:35, with Allison Lounsbury not far back in 19:44.  Christine Carney, 17 of Denville placed third in 22:05.

The Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K is this evening in Glen Ridge as noted in last week’s column.  It is the open mens championship and should draw some fast young men.

Everyone may feel “run-out” but there is good reason to go to Bloomfield this Thursday night for the Tom Fleming Sunset Classic 5 mile.  Running legend Bill Rodgers, who was a very close friend of Fleming who died earlier this year, will be there signing autographs for fans.  The race starts at 7:30 pm.


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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rozhko wins masters championship

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 18, 2017


The race was billed as a masters women’s championship and the first woman across the line was indeed a master.  Forty-four-year-old Elena Rozhko of Morristown finished the New Milford 5K Saturday morning in 18:01.  She was one of six over age forty women in the top ten and her time put her in 9th place overall.

Out of all masters women the finest performance was put in by Morristown’s Nora Cary who at age 62 bested all women in the age graded Performance Level Percentage by scoring 91.64% for her 20:43 finishing time.

Rob Albano, 26, of Mahwah won the race in 15:42, but the best man’s performance might have been fifty-eight-year-old Gary Leaman of Hardwick who finished sixth overall in 17:36.  That time put his performance at the top of the age graded Performance Level Percentage list at 89.17%.  Next was Reno Stirrat, 63 of Rockaway whose 18:45 finishing time age graded at 87.24%.

Although the race was held in Bergen County the top two masters W40 teams were from out of the county.  The Morris based Garmin Runners were first in the division with the Shore Athletic Club second.  Twenty W40 teams finished the race.
Cary who now competes for the North Jersey Masters club was second on the clubs winning W50 team, and the first scoring member of the W60 team that won the W60 division.  Mary Ann Murphy of Livingston led in the North Jersey Masters W70 team to claim first in that division.  In all the North Jersey Masters club with their runners from the Do Run Runners swept all but the W40 and W80 division.   The Morris County Striders took second in W70 and their B team was third.  They also won the W80 division.


Runners can have their fill of races in the next week.  As you read about here last Sunday, tomorrow the President’s Cup Night Race 5K is taking place in Millburn at 8:00 p.m. 

On Tuesday evening the first of the Morris County Striders 5K cross country race will take place at Johanson Memorial Fields in Boonton.  This is a no-frills, low cost series of four races that take place every other week on Tuesday evening.  The exception is Tuesday, July 4th.   Instead, the race will be held that week on Thursday, July 6th.

Runners who run in the President’s Cup Night Race with its hill that is run twice on the double loop course, will appreciate the Striders cross country course.   There isn’t a hill in sight – the location was once a small airport.  At one time the race was run all on grass but a cinder path now lines most of the course with footing better assured.   

Although this is a no t-shirt race, recognition is given in five year age divisions and there is always a plethora of trophies to choose from for all age division winners, thanks to new face plates on donated trophies.  Other items are also offered for selection.

Next Sunday is the Fitzgerald Lager Run 5K in Glen Ridge.  The race is the Open Men’s Championship.  Like the President’s Cup race, cold beer is on tap for adults after they finish, along with an assortment of foods.  The course is considered fast with a net downhill and the finish is on the track at Hurrell Field.   All pre and post-race activity takes place in the track infield.

Contact Madeline Bost at