Sunday, December 31, 2017

New New Year's Day race in Morris County

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Madeline Bost at

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Morris area runners among top three in their age division

On Sunday, December 24, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

On Sunday, December17, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, December 10, 2017

USATF looking good

On Sunday, December10, 2017


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Monday, December 4, 2017

Running away from home is not always easy

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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