Sunday, December 10, 2017

USATF looking good

On Sunday, December10, 2017


USATF LOOKING GOOD

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.

GRONER PLACES SECOND IN NATIONAL MARATHON

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.

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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net


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"

RUNNING AWAY FROM HOME NOT ALWAYS EASY


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.

SAFE RUNNING IN NEW JERSEY

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.

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Monday, November 27, 2017

Ashenfelter 8K surprises

On Sunday, November 26, 2017


ASHENFELTER 8K SURPRISE WINNER

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.

OTHER TURKEY DAY RACES

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.
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Runners start Thanksgiving with a fast run

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


RUNNERS START THANKSGIVING WITH A FAST RUN       

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.

GIRALDA FARMS 5K DREW THE MEN’S TEAMS
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.

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Local races for Morris runners

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

LOCAL RACES FOR MORRIS RUNNERS

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.  

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New Jersey will be will represented in New York this morning

On Sunday, November 5, 2017



NEW JERSEY WILL BE WELL REPRESENTED IN NEW YORK THIS MORNING

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.

GIRALDA FARMS MASTERS MEN CHAMPIONSHIP

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.

CORRECTION

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.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

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

On Sunday, October 29, 2017


FAST TIMES AT STATE CROSS COUNTRY MEET AT DEER PATH PARK

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.
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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.

Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net

Monday, October 23, 2017

Frost wins half marathon


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




FROST WINS HALF MARATHON

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.

CROSS COUNTRY WIN IN BOSTON

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. 

GRABOW PLACES THIRD IN IRONMAN          

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.

DEER PATH PARK THIS MORNING

All USATF teams are at Deer Path Park in Readington for the state 8 kilometer cross country championship. 
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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.

Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Spotlight on Youth

On Sunday, October 15, 2017


SPOTLIGHT ON YOUTH
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  http://www.njmsxc.com.  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.

SHADES OF DEATH AND 6.66 MILE RUN
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 www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.

Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net

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


LITTLE SILVER CHAMPIONSHIP ATTRACTED FAST WOMEN

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.



NEW JERSEY MASTERS EXCEL AT THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
 
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.

MILLIE’S RUN
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
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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net













Sunday, October 1, 2017

Shades of Death Road in Allamuchy location of half marathon

On Sunday, October 1,, 2017



SHADES OF DEATH ROAD IN ALLAMUCHY LOCATION OF HALF MARATHON

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. 

  
USATF LDR COMMITTEE MET IN MADISON ON MONDAY
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.
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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net





Sunday, September 24, 2017

Warm weather no deterrent to fast times in half marathon championship



On Sunday, September 24, 2017


WARM WEATHER NO DETERRENT TO FAST TIMES IN HALF MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP

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 5K IN LITTLE SILVER NEXT WEEK

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.

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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net











Sunday, September 17, 2017

Garmin Grand Prix Standing

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



GARMIN CLUB AND TEAM GRAND PRIX STANDINGS

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. 

ENTHUSIASM COUNTS

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. 
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Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net


Sunday, September 3, 2017

Cross Country Triple Tie



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

RUNNING COLUMN for the DAILY RECORD
For Sunday, September 3,, 2017
By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302



CROSS COUNTRY TRIPLE

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. 

. ##



Race Results can often be found at www.compuscore.com or at www.bestrace.com
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.

Contact Madeline Bost at madelinebost@verizon.net

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Run on the wild side

RUNNING COLUMN for the DAILY RECORD
on Sunday, August 20, 2017

RUN ON THE WILD SIDE


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.

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Sunday, August 13, 2017

Midland Avenue Mile next Sunday


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.


TEAM BLOKE 5K DREW NEAR TWO-HUNDRED

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.

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