Monday, February 13, 2017

Short winter break - Two weeks with no column

I will be taking a short winter break this month.  The February 12th column is the last one until March 5th.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

How's that again? A fee to do it yourself?

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, February 12, 2017


Something is askew these days when registering for a race. 
Without naming names or pointing a finger at any one race let’s see what is going on.

The stated fee to pre-register for the No Name 5K is $25.00 and $ 22.00 for NJ USATF members.  It is a very nice perk for members of the organization that has been negotiated by the New Jersey Long Distance Running Committee. 

Register on-line with a credit card and you’re in.   You go online and enter all of your particulars, giving your USATF number if you are a member, or without a number you just move on to next.

All’s well and good.  They have your name, address, age division and gender, birth date and now it is time to get out the credit card.

But wait a minute.  The actual fee is $ 28.25 or $ 25.25 thanks to the $ 3.25 fee that is tacked on when you register online.  Let’s see here.  You did all the data entry that is required to get yourself registered and you are slapped with a penalty fee for having done it.

A lot of irritated runners are signing up the old fashioned way.  Address an envelope, fill out the application, write a check and put a 49 cent Forever stamp on it and drop it in the mail.  You just saved yourself $ 2.76.

If there are two runners in a household, the saving is even better - $ 6.01.  Three runners it is $9.26.

Here’s the kicker.  The race organizers now have to pay someone to do the data entry for those applications.  You would have happily done it for them except for that penalty fee.  


Karl O’Reilly of Morristown won the Pre Game four mile race on Super Bowl Sunday in 21:33.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere was the women’s winner.  She finished in 24:37. 

The weather was a little brisk on Sunday and that may have accounted for the low number of runners:  351 men and 409 women for a total of 760 finishers in staying with the pattern of women outnumbering me.  


The Long Distance Running general membership meeting is coming up later this month, on the 23rd.   This is the meeting where rule change proposals that were submitted way back in September are now voted on.   Only two proposals were submitted. 

The easy one is to allow three 700 point races to count in the Mini Three grand prix.  Currently only two 700 point races could be counted out of the maximum five races.  This will encourage more runners to compete in this grand prix mini division in which the shortest distance is now 12K.

The proposed change with more of a challenge is to apply a formula to each race’s winning time to determine the point value for that race in the grand prix.   This is one that will meet opposition for a variety of reasons.  While the intention is to level the playing field the opposing view is that a grand prix by its very existence has many variables.  Using a mathematical formula based on the world’s best time for a race distance to alter the race’s outcome is going to be confusing and unappealing to most.

One can view the agenda for the meeting and the proposed rules changes at on the LDR page. 


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, February 5, 2017

Morris runners run track

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, February 5, 2017


Problems with finding a perfect date at a New Jersey indoor track and field facility have always plagued the New Jersey USATF association.  Indoor facilities are limited and usually fully booked for high school and college meets.  Having a championship on the last Sunday in January is far from ideal.  A championship, by its very nature should take place at the end of a season, not close to the beginning.

The track and field committee had to accept that which was available for the New Jersey meet and so it was held this past Sunday at the Bennett facility in Toms River.  Several Morris area road runners made the drive down to compete.

The roadies limited themselves to 800 meters or longer with most tackling only one event.  The exception was Gary Leaman, 57, of Hardwick who raced both the 1,500 meters and the 3,000 meters.  The athlete from Hardwick finished first in his division in the 1,500 in 4:53.97 and 10:07.67 in the 3,000.

Peter Kashulines, 53, of Mountain Lakes opted for the 800 meters which he won in his division in 2:13.52.  Robert Skorupski of Rockaway finished first in the M40 division in the 800 meters in 2:18.16.  Susan Stirrat of Rockaway was first W60 in the 1500 meters in 6:57.55.

Gary Rosenberg of Morristown was first M40 in the 3,000 with a time of 10:17.37.  Randy Miller of Montville was second to Leaman in the M55 in the 3,000 meters with a time of 12:05.06.


Road runners have two opportunities to run next weekend.  Both races are 5K’s and both are more about fundraising than racing.  The Cupids Chase on Saturday in Morristown is one of several of that name that raises funds for Community Options, inc. an organization that provides assistance to people with disabilities. 

The race uses a certified course that mimics part of the Verizon Corporate Classic, the race that is run each July in Morristown.  Trophies will be given to the top three men and women, and unspecified awards in the usual age divisions up to 70 and older.

On Sunday, the 12th is another opportunity to run with a group and to raise money for a Morristown family whose daughter Hedda is dealing with an aggressive form of cancer.  Hedda was diagnosed two years ago with medulloblastoma, a tumor of the brain.  She underwent 55 weeks of chemotherapy and this past November was pronounced free of the disease. 

Hedda and her family that includes brother William, sister Elva, and parents Camilla and Per Sivertsson celebrated with a skiing trip in Colorado.  The family was devastated upon their return to learn that the cancer had reappeared.  Hedda, now 14, spent six weeks, including Christmas and New Years in hospital for more treatments.

That’s when neighbor Melissa Pappolla decided to organize a run to raise funds to help the family.  Although insurance is paying most of the medical bills, other costs are involved whenever someone is seriously ill.  In addition the family is originally from Sweden and has no relatives in this country to lean on.  They would like to be able to send for family members to come to visit.

Pappolla’s daughter Grace and the Sivertsson’s daughter Elva are enrolled in Girl’s on the Run and it was a natural for Pappolla to ask for help from the organization.  She is one of the leaders of the local troop.

They choose Central Park Greystone and runners and walkers can choose to do the one and a half mile course at the park, or go for the 5 kilometer course.  This is a no frills event with no t-shirt and no official timing, although a clock will be at the finish line so that participants can see their finish time.  There is no set entry fee and the suggested donation is ten dollars to participate.
The event will start at 3:00 p.m. 


Race Results can often be found at or at 
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at or at for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Friday, February 3, 2017

People love to read about other runners; why they run, what caused them to become runners, or they may have a great story like the one that you read recently about Gary Rosenberg.

You may have a story to tell, or you know someone who has an interesting story. 

Please send me your story tips.  They need to involve Morris area people to be considered for a story in the Daily Record.

You can reach me at

or at 973-584-9302