Sunday, June 25, 2017

President's Cup Night Race almost a washout

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Rozhko wins masters championship

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, June 11, 2017

President's Cup Night Race with a twist

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 11, 2017

It has often been a 5K championship race for open women and more often open men, but this year the President’s Cup Night Race, taking place in Millburn next Monday night, June 18th. has a real twist.  USATF teams will compete in a special coed division.   Most corporate coed teams count the top three on a huge team with the top three fastest runners, usually two men and one woman. 

These USATF NJ teams will score men and women equally.  They can declare four men, and four women.  These teams will count the top two men, and top two females combined times to determine the winners. 

The masters teams will be made up of the same configuration, four and four, but here’s where it will get fun.  The top two men and top two females will be selected by using the Performance Level Percentages age grading percentages of the runners, not their actual times.   The team captains are studying their members to see who would score the best using their PLP’s, not their times. 

Those teams will have a combination of ages with the club’s older runners as valuable as their younger counterparts.   For instance, Rockaway’s Reno Stirrat, 63, will certainly be on the Shore AC’s A team.  His wife Susan, 62, could be on the team as well. 

 Now that the Do Run Runners are running with the North Jersey Masters, who will bet against that club with Misa Tamura, 51 and Nora Cary, 62, on the A team.  The Garmin team should have Mary Christian of Flanders and Susan Kinsella of Millington, both in their fifties declared on the A team, along with Elena Rozhko, 44, of Morristown.   Terry Davidson, 45, of Randolph, and Gary Rosenberg, 46, of Morristown will be on the Garmin A team.

Other local clubs, like the Morris County Striders will use Bruce Langenkamp. 67, of Wharton on the team.  Beau and Gretchen Atwater of Bernardsville will be high scorers on the New Jersey Racing Project team.

It won’t end with the coed scoring.  The computer will also calculate the top three women and the top three men on the teams for a separate team division.   All this fun will give the President’s Cup Night Race a 700 point value for the New Balance grand prix, but the team scores will not be counted in the overall and team division grand prix scoring.

The whole weekend is packed with opportunities to compete.  Masters women will be heading to New Milford for the 5K state championship next Saturday, June 17.  This is the second year as a championship where in 2016 Roberta Groner of Randolph placed in the top ten with her 16:35 and Charlie Murphy of Philadelphia the overall winner in 15:32.

A lot can change in one year.  Last year Groner was racking up points for a perfect score in the New Jersey New Balance grand prix and this year she is affiliated with a New York club so no longer a member in New Jersey.

Last year the race was a championship for both masters men and masters women and this year the masters men will be having their championship at the Giralda Farms 5K in November.  Will it make a difference in the number of runners?  Last year 695 runners finished the race with 374 of them male.

The weekend is crammed with other events, including the New Jersey USATF Track & Field Championship being held at the Peddie School in Hightstown.  The distance events, 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters will be held on Friday, June 16 and the shorter track distances on Saturday, June 17. 

The fields are really thin for these distance events.  In an effort to make them more attractive to roadies both have a 500 point value in the New Balance grand prix.  In reality though, only the winner can profit from this.  Imagine second place’s score in a ten person field.

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, June 5, 2017

Crowley and Dyson set age division records at Ridgewood

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, June 4, 2017


Two masters runner lowered the age division record at last Monday’s Ridgewood Run 10K.   Not a surprise at all that Brian Crowley took down the M50 record of 34:00.7 set by Peter McArdle years ago.   Crowley finished in 33:52.92 in fifth place overall and topped the age grading chart at 90.19%.  

Not to be outdone, Imme Dyson of Princeton who has aged up into the W80 division, finished the race in 1:05:20 to establish a record in that division.

Jonathan Frieder, 46 of Rye Brook NY finished in sixth place overall off the record of 33:15 for the M45 division.  His time of 33:59 put him in fifth place overall in the age grading at 85.49%.   The top masters in age grading was of course Crowley, followed by Beau Atwater, 59, of Bernardsville who finished in 36:42 and at 88.53%.  Reno Stirrat, 63, of Rockaway finished in 38:40 and at 87.20%.   Gary Leaman, 58, of Hardwick was fourth in age grading at 86.51% for his time of 37:13.  Morris County has a hefty helping of top masters men in the state.

Susanne LaBurt, 54, of Greenwood Lake NY topped the masters women’s age grading division with her 40:03 at 89.81%.

At age 39 and not quite a masters, Roberta Groner of Randolph placed second overall in 34:43.  The first local man was Karl O’Reilly of Morristown who placed third overall in 33:41.

There were plenty of masters teams, but the only local club that was able to put teams in the top three in their division was the Garmin club.  They took first in the M40 and M50, while the Garmin women were third in the W40 and first in W50.

Aaron Leskow, 25, of Morristown won the 5K in 14:45.  Elena Rozhko, 44, also of Morristown was the top masters woman in the 5K and fourth overall in 18:41.  Rozhko came back to run in the masters elite mile which she won in 5:33.


Yes, the Roxbury Community Benefit 5K is always on the first Monday in May, but sometimes always isn’t always.  The race, organized by the Morris County Striders and ably directed by Jim Schulz of Succasunna made a change this year.  A scheduling conflict with another local event caused the club to move to the second Monday of the month.

In 2012  the race course was changed from an out-and-back to a loop course and when that happens it opens up opportunity to set a course and age division record.  In 2016 four records were set.   In the M13/14 division Jeremy Hajil of Succasunna took his division down to 19:12.  The other three were masters athletes.  Bill Trengove of Wharton lowered the M60 to 20:53, while Bruce Langenkamp, also of Wharton set the M65 at 21:42.  Helen Ray of Randolph set a new record in the W75 of 43:10.

The overall records are pretty stiff.  Youseff Rochdi of Rockaway finished in 15:19 in 2014 to set the men’s record.  In 2015 Roberta Groner of Randolph finished the race in 17:11 for the women’s record.

All of the records are listed on the event home page at the course link.  Scroll down past the course map to see them.

Pre-Registration is strongly advised as registering on race day carries a big penalty jump.  The fee will rise from $20.00 for Roxbury residents and members of USATF New Jersey, and $23.00 for all others to $30.00 for all.  Families of four that pre-register will pay only $55.00 while on race day they will pay $70.00.

Registration will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Eisenhower Middle School on Eyland Avenue.  Parking is at the Roxbury High School lot off Hillside Avenue, a short walk from the middle school.

The race is a 500 point New Balance grand prix event, but what really draws the runners is the emphasis on families and fun.  Family teams are encouraged and post race is like a party with pizza, ice cream, yogurt and nutrition bars.


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