Sunday, December 31, 2017

New New Year's Day race in Morris County

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, December 31, 2017


Morris area runners have had to drive out of the Hillsborough, or Fair lawn or Westfield in other years to celebrate the first day of the new year with an invigorating run.

Not anymore.  Now, right here in Morris County a new race has sprung up.   St. Mark the Evangelist church in Long Valley is putting on a 5K tomorrow morning at 11:30 a.m. 
Although the address of the church is 59 Spring Lane in Long Valley, in fact the location is not actually in the valley but more up and out of the valley and features some climbs. 

Race director Patrick Regan said in an email that the course uses five different roads and winds and rolls through the quiet Nestlingwoods neighborhood.

Regan said that the church got a late start with organizing the race and did not have enough time to get the race in the New Balance grand prix, nor have the course certified this year.  That is in the plans for next year’s race.

Hot chocolate and bagels will be distributed inside where the awards program will be held; sure to be welcome after a cold run.  In addition to awards there will be a drawing for donated prizes.
For more information go to the church website 

Some of course will want to go to their old favorites like the Hangover Run 5K in Westfield in and around Tamaques Park.  The race starts at an easy to make 12 noon.

Or travel due south to run in the Hillsborough 5K; not a hangover run, but in keeping with the spirit of the new year, the Resolution Run. 

The 5K in Fair Lawn is also aptly named; the First Day 5K, and it starts at 11:00 a.m. All three of those races are 500 point grand prix races.

 Of course, to be able to capitalize on that fact, runners must have renewed their membership in USATF.  This is when having multiple year membership can become a liability.  Runners can become complacent and forget that their three year membership ended on December 31.  Ooops.  Of course it can be renewed online today.  Make a resolution to dial up before the ball drops tonight.

New Jersey runners have plenty of incentives to be members of USATF New Jersey.  There is always a discount when pre-registering for New Balance grand prix races.  Just racing in ten or more races and the thirty-dollar ( the Daily Record sports editor changed the copy to ten dollars in the print edition - they don't understand the race discounts)  membership pays for itself.  In addition is discounts on two national car rental companies and 15% discounts at all of the Choice hotels and a minimum of 10% at Best Western.
 If you do any traveling these discounts can be a big savings.  Savvy travelers who care not a whit about running and racing could make up the thirty-dollar membership in no time.

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, December 24, 2017

Morris area runners among top three in their age division

On Sunday, December 24, 2017


Several local runners placed in the top three in their age divisions in the New Balance Grand Prix. 

In the M45 division first place was taken by Gary Rosenberg of Morristown.  Has Rosenberg ever finished out of top three in his division?   Wesley Cole of Basking Ridge placed third.
Long time racing rivals placed first and second in the M55 division.  Gary Leaman of Hardwick placed first with Beau Atwater of Bernardsville second. 

All top three men in the M60 division were locals; Reno Stirrat of Rockaway placed first, Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany was second and James Button of Mendham took third.

Again, a trio from Morris area took the top three in the M65, with Carl Weaver of Morris Plains taking first, Bruce Langenkamp of Wharton was second and Peter Auteri of Pompton Lakes finished in third.

Old runners never die, they just keep on running.  In the M85 division seven men duked it out for first.  Nathaniel Finestone of Mountainside won the contest and Arch Seamans of Rockaway finished in second.

In the open women division Stacey Slaughter of Parsippany will move into third place when Karen Auteri and Lauren Jackson are moved out of the age division as they placed in the top three overall.  It’s the same story in the W45 division.  Hortencia Aliaga, 45, will be removed from the division and that will move Polly Harrison of Basking Ridge into second place.

In the W50 division, Susan Kinsella of Millington finished in third.  Also placing third, in the W55 division is Lisa Davenport of Lake Hopatcong. 

No surprise for the W60.  It’s Nora Cary of Morristown in first.   Roseanne Svihra of Gillette placed third in the W65 division.  Shirley Pettijohn of Chatham placed second in the W80 division and Diane Stone, also of Chatham won the W85 division.

All the division winners and friends and family have been invited to the annual Awards Banquet that will take place on January 20th at the Pines Manor in Edison.

Twelve kilometers is now in the Category Three division of the New Balance Grand Prix and that makes the distance attractive for a USATF championship.  Look for information soon about the new 12K championship in Mercer County Park for all divisions on March 11, 2018.

The Indian Trails 20K on April 8th, will once again be the championship for all divisions, and the Clinton Country Run 15K on April 28, will return for all divisions.
The Newport 10K on May 5th returns to host the open men and women.  Now here’s a twist.  The Our House Four mile on May 19th is the championship for all divisions.  Yes, four miles.  Not the five miles that Our House once was when it was a championship. 

Masters men and women will compete at the Ridgewood 10K on May 28th.  The Lager Run 5K on June 24th will host open men and women.

The Midland Mile on August 19th is for all divisions, and the USATF hosted 5km cross country on August 26th is also for all divisions.  Moving into September, the Liberty Newport half marathon for all divisions is on September 16th.  The Little Silver 5K on September 30th is host for masters men.

October 21st is the date of the 8km cross country and the Harrington Park 5K on November 3rd will host masters women.  The Horace Ashenfelter 8K on November 22, Thanksgiving will be the championship for all divisions.

Look for information next Sunday about a new 5K on New Year’s Day.


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, December 17, 2017

On Sunday, December17, 2017


It has happened before.  Someone shoots up in the New Balance grand prix from way down in the rankings to first place. 

This year when I saw that Joshua Izewski of Doylestown ran in the Philadelphia 8K on Saturday, November 18, finishing second in 23:34 at 4:44 pace, and the next day ran the Great Swamp 15K in a slow time for him; 56:55 at 6:06 pace, but fast enough to stay ahead of the rest of the runners.  That’s when I knew that Izewski had realized that if he got to the right races he could win the New Jersey New Balance grand prix and take home a nice check for $500.00.

He was in 91st place on November 9th and missing four races.  By December 1st he had added the Great Swamp 15K and the Westfield Turkey trot 5 mile and had moved up to 25th place.  All he needed was a non championship 5K and he smartly went to the Trinity Academy Reindeer Run and collected $250.00 for his 15:33 win.

The only race that Izewski didn’t win was the Ashenfelter 8K when he finished in fourth place.  With such a huge field in that race he still came away with 699 points out of a possible 700.

Karl O’Reilly of Morristown had been in the lead at the previous publication of the grand prix series and finished with 5,685 points.  Kyle Price of Milltown, a previous winner was third trailing O’Reilly by only five points.

On the women’s side there was no surprise with Karen Auteri of Belvidere having had the lead for some time now.  She won with 5,689 points.  Hortencia Aliaga of Garfield was second trailing Auteri by 12 points; a remarkable performance for a 45-year-old.  Lauren Jackson of Augusta placed third with 5,659 points.

Rob Albano of Mahwah won the men’s Mini One series and Elena Rozhko of Morristown won the women’s Mini One grand prix.  Ruscel Kirkland of Haledon won the men’s Mini Two, with Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany taking second and Craig Roushinko of Succasunna in third.  Aya Leitz of Jersey City won the women’s Mini Two. 
James Button of Mendham won the long distance men’s Mini Three with Roushinko taking second. 


The Shore Athletic Club’s M60 team took home a bronze medal at the national club cross country meet last Sunday in Lexington Kentucky.   Reno Stirrat of Rockaway finished in 33:43 for 14th in his age division, well off his game.

All of the runners came away from the meet chilled by vicious winds and frigid temperatures.  The ground was frozen and Stirrat reported later than he came away with a sore hip probably caused by the unyielding ground.  Susan Stirrat finished the 6 kilometer masters women’s race in 30:05 for tenth place in the W60 division.   

Here in New Jersey it looks like donut lovers converged on Montclair for the Donut Run 5K last Sunday.  At least 1,847 donut lovers finished the race.  Rob Albano won the race in 15:34 with Justin Scheid of Succasunna in second in 15:59. Scheid must have made a beeline for home from Lexington, as he also competed in the national cross country meet on Saturday where he finished the 10km in 31:52, not far behind Aaron Leskow of Morristown who finished in 31:50.

Leskow and grand prix winner Izewski, who finished in 30:49, were on the adidas Garden State Track Club team that finished in tenth place out of 49 teams.


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, December 10, 2017

USATF looking good

On Sunday, December10, 2017


Now home from the USATF annual meeting in Columbus, Ohio, I have been able to look over the notes that I took and can share some information with New Jersey runners.

Masters Track & Field has done a good job of advancing their group and getting funding.  Although the national office has apparently had some accounting difficulties, the Masters Track & Field committee has received over $200,000.00 in funding in 2017 and will receive the same in 2018. 

The athletes who competed in Canada for the North American Caribbean meet in October were all clothed in USA gear paid for by the federation.  That was really huge as until now the athletes had the privilege of buying old Nike uniforms and they were generally a mish mash of old and older uniforms.  At the Canadian meet they all looked and felt like part of the same team.

CEO Max Spiegel spoke to the group and pointed out that USATF is the only federation not funded by their government.  Obviously, the fortunes of USATF have improved.  The detested $25.00 surcharge that had been imposed on the masters athletes registering for championship meet is being dropped.

When President Vin Lannana spoke to the group he told them to let him know what the athlete’s needs were.  Mark Clearly of California responded by saying that many high schools, and other venues will not allow athletes to use their facilities.  I know that some New Jersey schools do lock out runners who would like to use their track for speed workouts.
In Masters Long Distance Running the championship races for 2019 have been scheduled.   For New Jersey runners, the championships are doable if they are willing to travel a bit.  They are the Shamrock 8K in Virginia Beach, the James Joyce Ramble 10K in Dedham MA, Atlanta’s Finest 5K in Atlanta GA, the HAP Crim Michigan Mile, and the USATF Masters 5K XC in Buffalo NY.

Another race that may not be too close, but might be tempting, is the winter cross country meet in Tallahassee in February.  To qualify for the LDR grand prix a runner must have run in a minimum of three races and can count up to five races.  The same is true for the teams.

The big news for New Jersey runners is that the 2019 club cross country meet has been awarded to Lehigh University in Pennsylvania.  Yes, the same venue as in 2013 when most, if not all the New Jersey clubs sent teams.   The New Jersey delegates have been approached by the organizers of the Lehigh meet to ask New Jersey to host the masters 5km xc meet sometime near the Columbus Day weekend in October.  The PA runners would come to support the 5km meet and NJ would support the club cross country meet in PA.  This reciprocity worked well in 2013.


Roberta Groner of Randolph placed second in the California International Marathon which was the USA national championship.  Groner, who’s PR had been 2:36:33 finished the race in 2:30:38.

 It was an amazing improvement, but you read here in March of 2017 that her coach, Hector Matos predicted a big improvement.  He said at the time that Groner had a lot of untapped talent and that her training was very moderate considering that she was training for the marathon.
I quoted him at the time saying that, “She is responding very well so far.  It is only a matter of time before she has a huge breakthrough in the marathon.”

But even Groner seemed surprised at her performance, according to an article in Runner’s World on-line on December 6th.  She actually ran a negative second half as she felt strong enough to go after the other women to work her way through the field into second place.

In less than a month Groner will turn 40, and watch out folks.  She is close to the 2:27:47 masters record set by Deena Kastor in 2015.


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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Running away from home is not always easy

Published in the Daily Record of Morris County
on Sunday, December 3, 2017
titled "Little girls foil plans for a predawn run at USATF Annual meeting"


There we were ready to sneak in a workout  before daybreak  through the long hallway at the Columbus Ohio Convention Center.  We had attended a meeting in one of the convention center's meeting rooms the night before. 

 "Hey, this would be a great place to run in the morning."

Now, walking through the adjoining door from the Hyatt Regency hotel, we were puzzled to see not an empty walkway but  little girls along with adult escorts, sporting huge bows on the top of their heads, wearing sparkling little dresses .  They were everywhere.  What was supposed to be our workout venue had been invaded by a cheerleaders competition.

Such are the perils of trying to run while attending the USATF annual meeting.  Outside it was hovering around 30 degrees and we learned later that the more daring of our fellow attendee runners had hit black ice while running outside along the river walks; obviously much more perilous than dodging costumed little girls.

The annual gathering of volunteers engaged in one or more sports of track and field, road and cross country running, coaching, officiating and management calls for scores of meetings.  On Saturday there were 43 meetings.   I was attempting to attend three disciplines; masters long distance running, masters track and field, and cross country.  Of those, the track and field is further broken down into regional meetings separate from the general meeting.

New Jersey has over seven thousand members which gives the New Jersey association the right to send 18 delegates.  Those 18 spots are coveted by many and a selection vote is held in September to determine who will attend and cover the many meetings.

Important issues are decided at these meetings after sometimes vigorous discussions.  Masters championships for 2018 have been announced and the line-up is interesting and enticing, from a full marathon in the state of Washington to a winter cross country meet in February in Tallahassee Florida. 

In the general long distance running meeting on Friday it took maybe half an hour to change the wording in an assistance rule, and now if a fallen runner is assisted in rising it is allowed as long as he or she is not assisted in forward motion.  Of course it is worded much better than you are reading here.

The meeting ends this morning (Sunday).  Check back here next week to see what changes that might affect New Jersey runners will be.


The Daily Record ran a three part series this past week on the efforts being made to restore portions of the long abandoned Morris Canal.  Not many sections still contain water but the goal is to repurpose the old mule paths, where possible, into greenways for walking, biking, and shall we dare say it, running.

As someone who now runs almost exclusively on the West Morris Greenway just steps away from my door I fully appreciate the value of these off road sites.  The West Morris Greenway section that I run on begins at Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna and goes into the wildlife management area in Randolph and Chester.  

Tomorrow, Monday, December 4th is the opening day for shotgun hunting of deer and in some areas of bear.  Hunters have been in the woods with us trail runners since September, some with shotguns for small game, and some with bows for archery hunting of deer and even bear.  But this week the woods and fields will be especially busy thanks to shotgun hunnting.  Whether you support or decry hunting, we must remember that these men and women have paid fees and have the legal right to be there.

The hunters will be clad in bright orange for safety and runners are urged to wear similar clothing if  running through hunting areas.  On another safety note - have you put new batteries in your after-dark running headlights and flashlights ?  Stay safe.


Monday, November 27, 2017

Ashenfelter 8K surprises

On Sunday, November 26, 2017


No doubt that the Horace Ashenfelter 8K on Thursday had all the excitement that this race always generates.  The race that is just shy of five miles features a perfect course of slight grades and only one tiny hill that tests all the runners as it comes in the last mile of the race in Glen Ridge.  It has been the championship race for all divisions in the USATF New Jersey line-up for some time. 

All the teams come to race that one last time against their rival teams, and one last time for the individual to grab higher points in the New Balance Grand Prix.

So, it wasn’t surprising to see Aaron Leskow of Morristown, Kyle Price of North Brunswick, Joshua Izewski of Doylestown PA and Tim Ball of Piscataway on the starting line. 

But Morgan Pearson?  The former Del Barton standout who was running in 2011 with the Rosa twins, Joe and Jim in the Meet of Champions 3200 meters when the officials stopped the race with one lap to go due to lightning approaching the track?  Yeah, that Morgan Pearson, who after graduation went to Duke for a year or two and transferred to Colorado where he was a seven time All-American.

Pearson hit the finish line in 23:14.14, nearly a minute and a half before Leskow finished in 24:37.  Price was next in 24:55, holding off Izewski by one second and Ball next in 25:14.  Justin Scheid of Succasunna finished in 8th place in 25:33.

In the women’s race, Shelby Greany of Tuxedo Park NY and Nicolette Mateescu of Kendall Park NJ ran together for much of the race.  With the finish line in view the two put the hammer down with a race to win.  Greany hit the line in 27:52 with Mateescue next in 27:54.

The best masters women’s performance was by Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown whose 34:11 hit 91.89% Performance Level Percentage.  On the men’s masters side, Mark Zamek’s (54) 28:01 was graded at 88.27% with Gary Leaman 58, of Hardwick scoring only ticks off in 88.21% for his 29:01 finish. 

While Pearson’s appearance was a surprise, likely the debut of the Team Leonia, coached by Hector Matos, Jr. was an even bigger surprise.  Team Leonia placed first in the open men’s division.  How could that happen with all those talented and fast adidas Garden State Track Club men there?  Garden State spread their talent amongst their six teams; a strategy that works well for the club by creating an inter-club competition within a race.

Had their top men been on their A team the new kids on the block, Team Leonia, would not have captured the Gold.

In an as-close-as can-be finish in the M40 division, The Garmin racing team scored first with a combined time of 2:24:12, while the Garden State’s time was 2:24:17 – a mere five seconds difference.  And that wasn’t the only close one in the M40.  Fleet Feet Essex finished with 2:43:34 with Garden State’s B team hitting 2:43:37.

In the M50 division the Garmin team was on top.  The Shore Athletic Club was first in the M60, and the Clifton Road Runners were first in M70.

Garden State won the open women’s division.  The new in 2016 club, the New Jersey Racing Project in second.  The Garmin women took first in both the W40 and W50 while Cary’s North Jersey Masters team won the W60 division.  The durable Morris County Striders W70 and W80 teams were the sole competitors in those divisions.


There were 4, 072 finishers at the Flemington Turkey Trot with Robert Whitney of High Bridge winning the race in 15:59 and Kristen Prendergast of Annandale the first woman in 18:12.

At the Morristown 5K Matti Groll of Scottsdale AZ won the race in 15:44 with Cecilia Barowski, no town noted, first in 18:15.  Nearly 2,300 runners finished the race at Ginty Field in Morris Township.

Runners start Thanksgiving with a fast run

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, November 19, 2017


When did this madness start? Way back in 1993, the little town of Flemington New Jersey put on a tiny road race on Thanksgiving morning.  What foolishness they said, but a few runners turned out.  Woody Geary of Bangor PA was hired to time the race.  Geary wasn’t exactly high tech, even for then.   Each finisher got one click of a timing device that printed onto a tape with each click’s time.  Each finisher was herded to the end of the finish chute and handed what I think was a card with his or her finishing place.  If you finished in tenth place your card was printed with ten.  The card might have been a popsicle stick, the details have faded from my memory.  Both were used back then for timing.
The cards, or popsicle sticks were lined up on a board and the finishing times were matched to the sticks.  This was how your time and place were made official.  
In 1996 Geary had to be replaced by CompuScore, a budding computer timing company that had snuck into the industry; throwing the popsicle stick guys out of business.  It was a good move for the Turkey Trot in Flemington that year.  It had grown into a field with 753 finishers.

Did you happen to notice how many finishers there were in the 2016 Flemington Turkey Trot?They had 4,085 runners.  The fastest man last year was Matt McDonald, 23, listed as from Atlanta.  Someone can probably clue me in, but I am guessing that McDonald was home for the holiday and just happens to be a very fast New Jersey bred runner with a finishing time of 14:49.

McDonald wasn’t at the Horace Ashenfelter 8 kilometer last year in Glen Ridge where a stampede of very fast runners competed.  The elite New Jersey runners were competing at the Ashenfelter as it was and is again this year the New Jersey 8km championship for all USATF divisions.  Steven Flynn of Edison won the2016 race in 23:56 while Succasunna resident Justin Scheid finished second in 24:35.   Roberta Groner of Randolph, ran her last New Jersey USATF race as a New Jersey athlete at Ashenfelter, finishing first woman in 27:16.  She would switch soon after to become a New York member in order to compete with a national elite team in the city.

Searching for all of the Thanksgiving morning races has proved to be a daunting task.  The USATF web calendar has nine races listed for Thursday morning.  The Flemington Turkey Trot and the Ashenfelter race are there and in this area is the Morris Turkey Trot that will take place on the Ginty Field course in Morris Township.  Also, a Chatham race and the Krogh’s turkey day race in Sparta.  From there it gets a little sketchy.  The Race Forum lists several races other than those mentioned, and many of them are not within easy driving range.

One that is not listed anywhere is a 5K Turkey Trot in memory of three teens who lost their lives in car accidents while students at West Morris Central High School in Chester.  Look for information on the school’s Facebook page.

Masters men turned out for the Giralda Farms 5K in Madison last Sunday.  Karl O’Reilly of Morristown, two years shy of being a master, won the race in 16:31 while Terry Davidson, 46, of Randolph finished fourth overall and first master in 16:54.  Davidson lead in his Garmin racing team to first in the M40 team division, ahead of eleven other M40 teams.  The club did it again in the M50 division with Brian Crowley of Hillsborough leading the way in 16:57.

In the M60 division the Shore Athletic Club ruled with Rockaway’s Reno Stirrat heading up the A team with their B team finishing right behind in second place.  The North Jersey Masters finished in third.   The M60 and older teams need only three men to score which results in the clubs all able to field more teams.  Sixteen teams competed in the M60.  Only five in the M70 division that was won by the Clifton Running Club.
Not to be overlooked is Betsy Eickelberg of Leonia who won the women’s race in 18:26.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere was second in  18:32, and Elena Rozhko, 44, of Morristown was third overall in 18:38.


Local races for Morris runners

First published in the Daily Record
on Sunday, 11-12-17


Like to run long.  Like to run short.   Morris runners can do it all this coming weekend.    On Saturday the   Florham Park PBA is hosting a 5K run or walk and as of the end of October they had 382 registered.  A list of those are posted on-line and many appear to be children so it is a good guess that many will be walking the 5K, not running.  In 2016 Laura DeLea of Sparta won the race outright in 21:00 and over one thousand finished behind her.  The race is not a New Balance Grand Prix race and appears that the course has not been certified.

On Sunday in Florham Park is the Park Avenue Friendship 5K.  The race does offer a certified course and  is in the grand prix.  In 2016 the race had far fewer finishers than the PBA race;  only 109.  In 2016 Michael Logue, whose home "town" is listed on CompuScore's results as Ireland, won the race in 18:42.

The Great Swamp Devil races offer both a 5K and a 15K.  At one time the Swamp Devil race was a big draw as it was a last chance for runners to fill out their New Balance Grand Prix score card.  In those years Category Three races were rare and if you couldn't get to the Great Swamp race you were sitting with a big goose egg.  These days with so many half marathons most runners have all three Category Three races.  

Still this race has a loyal following.  It is uncommon to have such a flat 15K course in northern New Jersey.  But a swamp does not feature hills and the 15 kilometer course stays on the roads that cross through or around the Great Swamp that was once targeted as a perfect site for an international airport.  Nothing doing said the folks in the area.  They mounted a defense of the site, and the Great Swamp was allowed to remain a swamp.  Perfect for a flat and fast 15K. 

 In 2016 Justin Schied of Succasunna finished the race in 49:51,  two or more minutes faster than the winners in the last few races.  Hortencia Aliaga of Garfield was the women's winner in 1:04:55.  One hundred sixty-five finished the race.  Karl O'Reilly of Morristown won the 5K in 16:33, ahead of 99 other runners.

The addition of a Category Three Mini grand prix is both an opportunity and a complication.  Avid USATF grand prix runners who might finish out of the top three in the New Balance Grand Pix in their age division have the opportunity to win one of the mini grand prix.  When the mini's, as they are called, were established several years back, it was decided that the overall top three in the New Balance Grand Prix would be taken out of any Mini at the end of the season. 

 Thus, for instance, the amazing Brian Crowley of Hillsborough, who at age 53 appears to be winning the New Balance Grand Prix, will disappear from all the Mini's, thus moving all the men in the M50 division up.  

Not only that, the next three men in that division will be pulled out of the Mini's as well.  If the scoring were final as of November 9th which is the day that the grand prix were just posted, that would mean that in the M50 Division, John Hogan of Township of Washington, Boris Gavilanes of Hackensack and Sergio Cano of Kearny would be pulled out of Mini Three.  

The next three men, Mike Hespos of Wharton, Nolan McCarty of Princeton, and Karl Leitz of Jersey City are missing one race on the Mini Three score card and are sitting in that order.  Where do you think they are this morning?

Can anyone guess how many Thanksgiving morning races are being held this year in New Jersey?  Plenty, that's for sure.  We'll take a look next week.  


New Jersey will be will represented in New York this morning

On Sunday, November 5, 2017


Mention the New York City Marathon and we begin to think of who we know who will be running in the marathon, which is taking place this morning.

Many runners from this area of New Jersey will be at the race, but not all will not be racing.  Some will be there as part of the paid staff, like Dan Brannen of Morristown, who is a professional event organizer.  Brannen and his crew which includes Jane Parks of Morristown, and Wendy Van Dyk of Green Pond been at work all week in the city performing pre-race tasks.   

Many people like to volunteer when their marathon ambitions have cooled.  Runners like Tom Miller of Chatham who will be at his usual spot for the 8th year of volunteering.  Will DeRoberts of Boonton will be helping out as will Dave Lazarus, one of many of volunteers performing vital functions.

Joe Sikora of Succasunna, who might be the local with the most number of marathons in his log book will be running the NYC this year.  His best, he says, was in 1978 in 2:47.  Now 39 years later he is expecting to be well over four hours.  Age does have a way of slowing you down.

Kevin Higgins of Randolph ran in the Hartford CT marathon three years weeks ago in just over three hours.  Higgins says that his best, a 2:53, some 20 years ago, is making it NYC #28.  He is giving his legs a rest after Hartford and will just have fun; no racing.

Eugene Napolitano of Morris Plains says on a Facebook post that he, like Higgins, will not be racing.  As he put it, he will be participating.  In his post on the Old New Jersey Runners website Napolitano wrote that he ran his fastest time of 3:20.43 in 2001.  He said that Mayor Giuliani “had us on fire with his pitch at the start” after the horrors of 911.   In light of what happened on the bike path in New York City this week, one has to wonder if the current mayor will be delivering another inspiring message to the runners.

We wish them all well and best of racing luck.


Next Sunday, the masters men in the USATF circuit will be running in the Giralda Farms 5K, and that is quite a change.   There will be no Giralda Farms 10K; just the 5K. 
That is not the only change.  The course will be very simple, but also challenging.  The start is uphill on the Dodge Drive, the road that cuts the corporate campus in two.  Before reaching the top, the runners will make a 180 around a cone and go speeding downhill to Woodland Avenue.  After that the runners just keeping turning right.  First right is on to Woodland heading west, a right turn onto Treadwell and another right turn when reaching Madison Avenue, but running along the pedestrian path that parallels the street.  Another right turn to run down the campus road to the finish.  A breathless slow start with a fast finish.

Only the masters men will have teams and it will give them a chance to boost their scores in the Garmin Team Grand Prix.  Appropriately enough the Garmin team leads in the M40 division and are in second in the M50.  The adidas Garden State men lead the M50 and are second in the M40 divisions.  Trailing in both those divisions in third place is the Shore Athletic Club. They are in first in the M60 division.

The race starts promptly at noon.  Runners are always admonished to plan to arrive early as traffic leading into the complex can get very backed up.  It will be interesting to see if the participation in the 5K doubles over last year with no 10K to run.


A tie between the Clifton Road Runners and the North Jersey Masters in the cross country 8km two weeks ago was broken by applying USATF rules.  That put the Clifton team in first place in the W60 division and the North Jersey Masters in second.  Last week’s column  had the teams reversed.


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fast times at the state cross country meet at Deer Path Park

On Sunday, October 29, 2017


Last Sunday proved that although it was too warm for an 8 kilometer cross country championship it wasn’t too warm to run the fastest time ever on the triple loop course at Deer Path Park in Readington, Hunterdon County.

Thanks to that triple loop course spectators were anticipating fast times as they had seen Joshua Izewski of Doylestown PA leading a string of fast young men going into their second of three loops.  Izewski held a fairly comfortable lead going into the last loop.  Maybe he could break 24 minutes if he stayed on pace, was the buzz from the on-lookers.

When Izewski came into sight again for the finish, he appeared to be coasting, thanks to his lead. 

“Pick it up!” shouted a small posse of teammates who had sat out the race.  “You can break 24!”

Pick it up he did.  Digging down into another gear, Izewski finished in 24:52 to set a course record.

Brian Quilty of Glassboro, running for the Breakneck Track Club finished next in 25:14 for the second fastest time on the course.  In fact, Justin Scheid of Succasunna posted a 25:19 for the third fastest time on the course.  Rounding out the top five was Eric Dubois of Pittsgrove who finished next in 25:32 and Aaron Leskow of Morristown in 25:41.

Not to be outdone, Kristin Andrews of Manalapan lowered the women’s course record to 29:12, aided perhaps by the presence of her father and coach Bob Andrews.  And perhaps by her famous brother Bobby Andrews, who graciously poised for photos with other runners after the race.

Masters runners were no slouches either with Brian Crowley, 53, of Hillsboro the top overall masters as well as the highest ranking in age grading with his 27:32 finishing time.  A fine performance was put in by Terry Davidson, 46 of Randolph who finished in 28:26, and Reno Stirrat of Rockaway whose time of 31:27 put him second to Crowley in age grading.  On the women’s masters side, Nora Cary, 62, of Morristown topped the age grade table with an 88.80% for her finishing time of 35:22.

Of course, teams are the thing in cross country and the Adidas Garden State Track Club ruled in the open men’s division with Izewski and Leskow their top two men.  The unexpected appearance of the Breakneck Track Club upset the usual results line-up as the team from South Jersey finished in second place with Quilty and Dubois their top two men.  The Garden State’s B team finished in third and the Garmin Runners in fourth.

The Garmin runners topped the M40 team division thanks to Crowley and Davidson, while the Garden State men took second with the Shore Athletic Club in third.

It was close in the M50 division with the Garmin runners only two points up on the Garden State team.  The Raritan Valley Road Runners took third.

The Shore M60 team placed first in their division lead in by Stirrat, with the Fleet Feet Essex taking second with Charlie Slaughter of Parsippany bringing that team in.  The Shore’s B team place third.

In the M70 division the top finishers were Clifton, North Jersey Masters, and the Shore AC in that order.

The Shore’s open women won their division with the Garden State team taking second and 
their B team in third.
The Shore’s W40 team also won their division with the Garden State women taking second 
and Clifton third.
Mary Christian, 54, of Flanders brought the Garmin W50 team in to first place in their division. 
The Clifton Road Runners were second and the North Jersey Masters third.
With Cary at their helm the North Jersey Masters won the W60 division, with the Clifton Road Runners in second and the Raritan Valley team in third.  The Morris County Striders W70 team was the sole competitor in that division.
Counting all divisions, 75 teams competed with most of the 258 runners on a team.

The outstanding performances by the Adidas Garden State Track Club resulted with a strong lead for the club in the overall Garmin sponsored club grand prix., with the Clifton team well back in second and the Shore club in third.  Rounding out the top five are the North Jersey Masters and the Garmin team.

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

Monday, October 23, 2017

Frost wins half marathon

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, October 22, 2017


Former Randolph standout Colin Frost, now 24, showed his heels to the rest of the field on Saturday at the Halloween Half Marathon in Morristown and hit the finish line in 1:09:32, six minutes before second place Karl O’Reilly finished in 1:15:47.  If youth prevailed on the men’s side, then Hortencia Aliaga, 45, of Garfield showed what a master can do to win the women’s race.  Her time of 1:26:13 did not have the gap that Frost had, as Caroline Day of Rockleigh finished not far back in 1:26:30.

Kevin Fitzgerald, 44, of Wharton finished fourth overall and first masters runner with a time of 1:20:59.  Close to 800 runners finished the race on what was a beautiful Indian Summer Saturday.


Teams are the focus in cross country racing and one New Jersey team hit the proverbial jackpot last Sunday at Franklin Park in Boston at the USATF national masters 5 kilometer championship.  Lead in by Rockaway’s Reno Stirrat, the Shore Athletic Club’s M60 team placed first with 17 points, over rival Atlanta Track Club by two points.  Stirrat’s time was 19:51, good for fourth in the M60 division.  Second man on the team was Kevin Dollard of Hopewell Junction NY in 20:21 and third man was Scott Linnell of Colts Neck in 20:55.

The Adidas Garden State Track club finished sixth out of 11 teams in the M40 division.  Fifth man on their team was 58 year old Gary Leaman of Hardwick, whose 18:34 earned him 9th place on the age grading table at 84.61% PLP.

At the individual level, Jonathan Frieder, formerly of Randolph, now of Rye Brook NY won the M45 division in 17:01, and 13th place in age grading with an 84.16% PLP.  Frieder’s brother Elliott of Montville finished in 6th in the M45 division in 17:32. 


Mountain Lakes Natalie Grabow, who was featured here a year ago, returned to Kona for the Ironman Triathlon.  She finished third in her W70 division despite being the oldest competitor in the race.


All USATF teams are at Deer Path Park in Readington for the state 8 kilometer cross country championship. 

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 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