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