Sunday, April 15, 2018

Leskow wins the 20K Indian Trails championship

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 15, 2018


It hasn’t taken Aaron Leskow long to establish his credentials as one fast young runner.  Leskow moved to Morristown in 2016 after graduating from Saint Josephs University in Philadelphia.  Leskow has always been in the top three to five in New Jersey races since his arrival.

This past Sunday he won the challenging Indian Trails 20K championship in Middletown after running down early leader Michael Dixon of Highland Park.  In an email Leskow affirmed that it was the first time to run the race.

“It was quite an experience,” he said.  “Very hilly, but nice terrain and views.”

An understatement of course.  In the final miles of the race the runners climb to what seems to be the top of the world and are rewarded with a wide, unbelievable view of the Manhattan skyline.

Leskow said that he passed Dixon right after hitting mile ten.  “He was up there for quite awhile, so it was fun to go chase for a little bit.”

Leskow finished in 1:09:57 while Dixon followed soon after in 1:10:19.  Ericka Meling of High Bridge was the top woman finisher.  She finished in 1:23:59.

Meling and Leskow share the honor of leading in their respective Garden State Track Club teams to first place in their open divisions.  The Garmin women’s team placed second in the open division and their open men placed third after the GSTC A and B teams.

The Morris area Garmin club won the M40 and M50 divisions while their women’s 40 and 50 teams placed second to the Clifton Road Runners club.

Local runners had a good showing, with  Stacey Slaughter,25, of Parsippany the seventh woman to finish.  Her time was 1:30:39.  Stuart Haynes,42, of Chatham scored as the first masters man and second in age grading with Reno Stirrat, 63, of Rockaway leading in the age grading with an 80% PLP.  Nora Cary, 63, of Morristown finished in 1:38:05 with an 84.6% PLP.  Mary Christian, 54, of Flanders finished in 1:35:38 and fifth in age grading at 77.0%.  It is interesting to note that all of the age grading percentages were a bit on the low side thanks to the difficult course.


Stephen Mennitt, now living in Brooklyn but previously a New Jersey resident was unable to wrap up a transfer to the Freedom Running Club and not able to run the 20K for his new team, instead went to Newark’s Branch Brook Park and won the Cherry Blossom 10K this past Sunday.  His time was 33:01, well over a minute ahead of second place.  Carly Graham of Hoboken was the women’s winner in 39:32.  Heather McDermott of Morristown placed third in 42:23.  Close to a thousand runners finished the race.  Only young cherry trees had begun to bloom in the park, thanks to the brutal New Jersey winter, making the title of the race quite a misnomer.


Joe Sikora of Succasunna has to be New Jersey’s ultimate Marathon Man.  On Monday he will be running in his 33rd Boston Marathon and it will be his 25th consecutive marathon.  His wife Anna Lisa has created a 3 foot by 3 foot banner to mark the occasion.  It reads “BOSTON STRONG,  JOE’S 33RD BOSTON MARATHON, 25 IN A ROW.  Thirty three marathons are quite enough, but it will actually be Sikora’s 189th. 

The sixty-six year old Sikora said that he will be doing only two or three marathons per year for now on the “preserve whatever longevity that I may have left”.

Marathoner David Epstein has posted his weather view for Monday and it will not make the runner’s happy.  He says that a storm system approaching from the west will drag a series of frontal systems through the region. 

Quoting Epstein,   For the runners, it will be quite chilly in the morning as they arrive in Hopkinton. With showers around, the wet will only add to the chill. The good news is that temperatures will get into the 50s, and perhaps even 60s, late in the morning or in the early part of the afternoon.

It seems that the runners can’t win anymore in Boston.  Either it gets too hot or too cold.  I’m not sure when they had perfect running weather for the race.  After all the training and the work to qualify for a Boston opportunity they have no choice but to go for it, weather or not.  Best wishes for all runners to have a good race.


The MK5K, now known as the Ryan Steidl Memorial 5K, has moved from its customary Saturday to Sunday, April 22nd.  The race starts and finishes on Pocono Road at the campus of St. Claire’s Hospital in Denville.   It is a fast course that the race website says has been newly repaved. 


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, April 8, 2018

Ed Neighbour: Dedicated volunteer, dedicated runner

On Sunday, April 8, 2018


Ed Neighbour of Sparta, wears many hats in service to the sport that he has enjoyed since he was a boy.   He is currently the President of the Morris County Striders, but that pales in significant when compared to his service to USATF.   His involvement with the New Jersey association began in 2005 when he was asked to fill a vacancy on the Long Distance Running Committee.  He became the division chair in 2008.

In 2011 Neighbour was elected president of the association and served two full terms of office, vacating the position in 2017.  Presidents and vice presidents may serve for only two three-year terms.

“I always got more enjoyment out of being the LDR division chair.  Not that it hasn’t had its moments”, said Neighbour.  “I’m more in my comfort zone there”. 

One of the USATF president’s duties is to act as the master of ceremonies at the annual awards banquet, which has grown in size to 500 participants.

“That was my biggest apprehension about becoming president,” Neighbour said with a chuckle. 

Neighbour credits his father with turning him onto running.

“My father got caught up in the first running boom and I started going to races with him.  I was probably 11 or 12 years old.”

Back then Ed Neighbour the elder, was a very competitive masters runner and his son remembers how his dad would get wound up prior to races. 

“He was in his own zone,” said Neighbour.  Son and father ran in the early Ridgewood Run 10Ks and the Giralda Farms 10K.  Dad even took him to Deer Path Park to run in a cross country race.

Despite his early start in the sport, Neighbour did not run on a team while in high school nor in college.  He did continue to run while attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY and ran several New York City marathons and in Philadelphia.  While in his 30’s Neighbour ran shorter races and turned back to marathons in his 40’s.  By then he was able to choose destination marathons, including Rome, Madrid and Buenos Aires.

Neighbour has run the Big Sur marathon in California three times and clearly loves the scenic Highway 1 along the rugged California coast.  His first Big Sur was in 2011 when the course had to be changed to an out-and-back due to a portion of the highway sliding into the Pacific Ocean.  The other two times he ran the full point to point course.

“You start at Big Sur and you run through the Redwoods for five miles and then you come out and you get your first glimpse of the ocean,” said Neighbour, adding that is when the runners know how much of a head wind they will be running into.

A week after one of the Big Sur marathons Neighbour found a trail race to run and has since added trail racing to his repertoire, an offshoot that he really enjoys.  After two years with no marathons, Neighbour will be doing his 26th this year, although he is still choosing the right one

This morning Neighbour is in Middletown, running the Indian Trails 20K.  It’s a race he describes tongue in cheek as rolling, knowing full well the course is all hills.  He feels that he is ready for the distance having come through December and January training with no trouble.  It has just been February fluctuations and March’s nor’easters that have been a challenge.

“I’d always start out with a plan, a fixed idea of what I wanted to do with mileage, and always bargain myself into running more,” said Neighbour.  “I’d go out and ‘I’ll just do five’ and then, ‘I’m OK, I’ll do six’, and that would turn into seven.”

Neighbour runs with his club on Wednesday evenings, and when he is not at a race, he joins club members for Sunday runs.  Some Saturdays the club will have an impromptu run on the Columbia Trail in Long Valley, which is where they were this past weekend.  Neighbour did twelve miles on the flat converted railroad bed, ready to go the distance at today’s 12.4 miles.  After the race he will put on his LDR cap and hand out championship awards to his fellow USATF competitors. 


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, April 1, 2018

Distance races early in the season

On Sunday, April 1, 2018


Somehow it seems counterintuitive that there is an abundance of distance races in New Jersey this time of year.  With the racing season just starting, we have already had a half marathon in Montclair and a ten miler in Somerset Park.  Next weekend the first state championship of the season will be the 20K in Navesink.

Let’s get real.  With this endless winter, with snow storms week after week, who has been able to train for really long distance races?  Well, apparently quite a few runners. 

At the Baker’s Dozen half marathon last Sunday, Justin Scheid of Succasunna stayed well ahead of New Yorker Mike Horowicz to finish in 1:14:23 with Horowicz finishing in 1:14:57.   Third place was taken by the Randolph’s, Roberta Groner who finished in 1:17:21.  Behind those three was another 1,126 runners.  That’s not all.  The relay had 85 teams; all sporting unique team names that make it impossible to properly identify the top finishers.

At the Garden State ten miler that is run from Colonial Park in Somerset, Aaron Leskow of Morristown led in 453 runners with a finish time of 53:33.  Kristin Andrews of Manalapan was the first woman and finished in 1:03:44.  In the 5K, Kyle Price of Milltown won the race in 15:40 and Emily Rosario finished in 18:30 for first woman.  Over 340 runners finished the 5K.

Only two weeks later and these runners can go to Middletown to run in the Indian Trails 20K that takes them up and down the hills of Navesink in what has to be the most challenging 20K, for sure, and maybe most challenging of any race in New Jersey. 

Last year was the first year that the Indian Trails morphed from a 15K into a 20K and the first year that it was the 20K championship.  Joshua Izewski of Doylestown, who won the New Balance grand prix in 2017, won the 20K in 1:08.06.  Justin Scheid was second in 1:09.53.  Hannah Echstein of Middletown was the first woman in 1:19:29.

Runners have been flocking to shorter races too.  At the Are You Faster Than a Ridge Runner 5K in Basking Ridge last Sunday, 259 runners finished.  There was a race at Duke Island Park on Saturday although I haven’t been able to find the results.


With the snow finally melting, Friday was the first day that I tried to run on what I call the Chester Trail, other’s call it Madeline’s Trail, and what it might be called by others is the Black River Wildlife Management Trail, or the West Morris Greenway.  It runs from Horseshoe Lake Park in Succasunna down to Chester Township.  I start in Ironia at Pleasant Hill Road.  I went in about an eighth of a mile and encountered a tree across the trail. 

It was easy to climb over so I resumed my jogging pace, sidestepping branches and sticks that were littering the trail.  At the little parking area that is at the end of Main and Chester, a very, very large tree is covering the entire parking area.  I climbed over it, and then found myself ducking and climbing for the next mile and a half. 

A railroad bed trail is obviously an out-and-back trail and on my way back I took photos of each tree; duck-under or climb-over.  I didn’t photo the last two because my cell phone ran out of power.  There were 14 blockages in that mile and a half! I don’t know how bad it is on the next three miles of trail down to Pleasant Hill Road in Chester, but I am sure there have to be other trees down.

I’ve notified the Morris County Park trail manager, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes some time to clear the trail.  Similar trails throughout the county are surely in the same condition and as of Friday “my” trail was too soft to hold up under heavy equipment. 


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, March 25, 2018

New Jersey runners took home medals at national championships

On Sunday, March 25, 2018


Can there ever be too much of a good thing?  Well sometimes, in running, there is an abundance of events to choose from in which to compete.  Such was the case last week when masters runners had to pick from two national championships.

In Landover Maryland the national masters track and field championship was held from Friday, March 16th to Sunday, March 18th.  Just another state south in Virginia Beach the national 8 kilometer road championship was held on Saturday March 17th.

Most competitive runners are willing, even eager to do both track and long distance running, and the conflict made it hard for some to choose.

Peter Kashulines, Jr. of Mountain Lakes picked the track and it paid off for him with third in both the 800 meters and the 400 meters in his M50 division.  He hit 58.52 in the 400 and 2:11.59 in the 800.

Mark Williams of Columbia placed second in his M45 400 meter race with a time of 55.52.  Williams attempted to break the American M45 record (1:56.10) for the 800 meters.  Running solo with the rest of the field trailing, he was well on his way until the proverbial piano landed on his back in the last 200 meters.  He finished first in what was basically a time trial, but well off his previous time of 1:58.62, instead falling across the finish line in 2:07.67.  

Fellow Garmin teammate Brian Crowley of Hillsborough took third in the 1500 meter race in his M50 division in 4:29.74.  Garmin team captain Gary Rosenberg of Morristown finished just out of the medals, in fourth place in the 3,000 meters in the M45 in 10:03.99.

Other New Jersey medalists included Dianne DeOliviera of Brick who placed second in in the 1500 meters and the 800 meters, and third in the 400 meters in the W45 division.  Harold Nolan of Navesink also took third in the M70 1500 meter run.   Chuck Schneekloth of North Brunswick placed first in the M40 800 meter race and Tony Plaster of Neptune won his M50 division of the 800 meters.


While all that activity was taking place in Landover, down at Virginia Beach on Saturday, under sunny skies and perfect running weather, other New Jersey runners were looking for medals in their division in the 8 kilometer.

The Garden State Track Club’s M40 team did just that, placing first in their division with Sam Teigan of Hawthorne running 26:05 for third in the M40 division and Jonathan Frieder of Rye Brook New York second in his M45 division in 26:09 and Gary Leaman of Hardwick taking second in his M55 division in 28:25, and third scoring member of the team.

In the highly competitive M60 division the Shore Athletic Club took fourth place out of nine teams with Reno Stirrat of Rockaway one of the scoring members of the team.  Wife Susan was dropped down to the W40 division where the team placed third with Christine Hill of Middletown leading them in and placing third in the W45 division.

The Clifton Road Runners W50 team placed second with Suzanne LaBurt of Greenwood Lake NY taking third in her division, and Laura DeLea of Sparta fourth and Kerry Monahan Gaughan of River Vale third in her W55 division.

In their respective divisions, the Clifton M70 team placed fifth and the Shore’s M50 team placed fourth.  Like their women’s team that had older women drop down for the W40 division, the Shore M50 team had one man in his 50’s and two in their 70’s who dropped down to fill out the team.  In national competition, just having a team finish garners points toward the year long team grand prix.

Not to be overlooked in all of the championship reporting, Randolph’s Roberta Groner placed first masters woman in the United Airlines NYC Half Marathon on Sunday the 18th with a time of 1:15:14.  And down in Virginia Beach, Justin Scheid of Succasunna placed second overall in the Shamrock half marathon with a time of 1:09.18.

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, March 19, 2018

Storm took out the power and the column for three weeks

This page has not been updated since the February 25, 2018 post.  On Friday, March 2, 2018 the power to my home and office was taken out by a powerful nor'easter storm.  A second storm followed within days.  The power company did not restore power until Saturday March 10, 2018.   

Although the power was restored, my well, having been idle for such a long time, failed.  It lost its "prime" and could not be re-primed.  It took several more days before the well was working correctly.  As can be imagined, my focus was not on writing a Running Column, and so three weeks of the column were lost and not to be regained.

The column will return on Sunday, March 25, 2018 in the Daily Record.  


Sunday, February 25, 2018

Get it done!

On Sunday, February 25, 2018


Writing a newspaper column about running means that I am often approached by race organizers asking me to promote their event.  When I ask for details I am faced with a disappointing decision.  Is this a race I should tell my readers about?

Is your race sanctioned?  Is your course certified?  Will it be in the New Balance grand prix?  If the answer is no, then I have to wonder if the organizers really want to put on a quality race that will please and attract the runners.  I don’t want to send them to an unorganized, uncertified, unsanctioned event with no grand prix points.

Sanctioning with USATF, the national governing body of the sport, has a cost.  That sanction though covers the event’s host location, such as a school, or church, and the town in which it will be held.  This sanction insurance is very inexpensive as compared to the prices of most event insurance policies.

Any athlete who is a USATF member and is injured while participating in a sanctioned event will be eligible for secondary medical insurance coverage for the injury.  Think that is not important?  A New Jersey USATF member was injured at a non-sanctioned event last year.  Her medical costs were not covered.

Sanctioning a race in New Jersey means that the local USATF association will have the race listed in its race calendar.  This is important if the race is using a race timing system that is not well known in the area.  Runners in New Jersey know to check the CompuScore and Best race timing website for races.  A start-up timing site will go unnoticed, but if the race is sanctioned the runner can see it at the USATF calendar.

By far the most compelling reason to not only sanction a race, and to get the course certified is to place it in the New Balance grand prix.  Yes, that costs money.  A course certifier will charge for certifying the course and it might be several hundred dollars and the longer the course, the larger the fee.  But the certification remains valid for ten years, so a good accountant will pro-rate the cost over ten years.  If the fee is $300.00 then the cost per year is $30.00.

Now here’s where it gets tricky.  You pay the sanction fee based on the number of runners you attract.  The New Balance grand prix is $ 75.00 if you are holding just one race, $ 100.00 for two.
How many more runners do you need to attract in order to benefit from putting the race in the grand prix?  Let’s just say that your pre-entry fee is $ 25.00 and you give the USATF member a discount on the pre-entry, so let’s say that the average fee – adding together pre and post entries and dividing by the number of runners is $26.00.  I said it was tricky but let’s go with it.

So, your costs are $ 30.00 for the certification, $ 220.00 for the sanction and $ 75.00 for the grand prix for a total new cost of $ 325.00.   Now divide $ 325.00 by $ 26.00 and you know that you need to attract 12.5 runners. Go ahead and say the average entry fee comes out to $24.00, so you need to attract 13.5 runners.  In this area where local runners won’t waste their energies on non-grand prix races, it’s a no brainer.  In fact, here’s another tip - there are runners who won’t go to a race unless it is timed by CompuScore or Best.

If the race is in the late winter, or early spring it’s a double no-brainer.  Runners want to get to the grand prix races early and often.  They may have better races later in the year, but there is no guarantee that injuries won’t pop up.  The early races are insurance against injury lay-offs.

If you know someone who is talking about putting on a race in the state, share this column with them.  Tell them, “It costs money to make money.”  It is sure true in New Jersey road racing.

For info go to 


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 18, 2018

Track and Field Championship dual meet was a success

On Sunday, February 18, 2018


In the January 28th running column here, I suggested that road runners could run a 5K indoors.  While my suggestion was slightly tongue in cheek, 11 men, and two women did run the 5,000 meter race at the Ocean Breeze indoor track and field facility on Staten Island this past Sunday.

It was a dual meet between the New York association and New Jersey.  Others from outside the two associations were excluded, causing many other athletes such as ones from the Long Island association and MidAtlantic to be quite unhappy.  As this was the first time for the event to be run as a dual meet, there is talk of making it a “tri-meet in 2019 and scoring all the others as a single group.

New Jersey outscored the home association 264 to 184 on the women’s side and 404 to 183 on the men’s side.  The highest scoring women’s club was Bella N Motion with 120 points over second place Shore Athletic club with 82 points with the Raritan Valley Road Runners third with 80 points. 
The Shore Athletic Club far outscored all the men’s clubs with 485 points but the Morris area Garmin club pulled in 176 points for second place.  Local long distance runners represented a good many of the track athletes.

Reno and Susan Stirrat of Rockaway hung up their cross country spikes and changed into track spikes for the meet.  Susan Stirrat was the work horse in the family.  She started off with running the mile in 7:28.75, then the 800 meters in 3:39.79 and finished her day with the 3,000 meters in 15:15.4.  Hubby Reno focused all of his energies on the 3,000 and finished in 11:22.59.

Kevin Higgins of Randolph traded in his marathon shoes for track spikes to win the M55 division in the mile in 5:32.4.  The mile race that drew the most attention was the heat with Gary Rosenberg of Morristown, still sporting injuries from his fall at the Millrose Games relay, attempting to break five minutes in order to keep his sub five streak alive. 

Rosenberg had missed it in previous attempts this season.  He was ready to go and his Garmin teammates were there to spur him on.  With a 4:21 split with one more lap to go Rosenberg picked up the pace to hit 35.9 for the last lap and a finishing time of 4:57.254.

The Garmin team nearly took over the track for the 800 meter run.  Five Garmin men out of the six in the M50 finished:  Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes in 2:10.5 was first, then Tom Metz of Denville in 2:33.63 in second, John Hanlon of Riverdale in 2:37.50 for fourth, Angelo Harasts of Pine Brook in 2:38.7 and Richard Carlson of Boonton in 2:45.43.  Harasts also ran the mile, finishing in 5:43.51

Mark Williams of Columbia, still recovering from the exhibition Masters Mile at the New Balance Games the day before in Boston, won the 800 meters M45 division in 2:02.74.  Robert Skorupski  of Rockaway finished in third in the division in 2:13.07.  At the other end of the age spectrum, John Saarmann, M75, of Stanhope finished the 800 meters in   3:53.16 and the 400 meters in 1:39.27.

By far the biggest buzz of the meet was Nora Cary of Morristown, running in her first ever indoor track meet.  The 62 year old finished the mile in 6:27.75 that age graded at 91.16% and the 3,000 meters in 12:55.39 for an 89.5% PLP.

Lori McGill of Budd Lake did the same double and medaled in both events as well.
The Garmin club put together an M40 and M50 4 X 800 relay team to add a few more points to their tally, knowing that the Shore AC, with all their sprinters and field event men would outscore them.   

Although from outside the Morris area it is worth noting that an enthusiastic group of Raritan Valley Road Runners women ran in distances from the 60 meter dash up to the 3,000 meters and did both the 4 X 400 and 4 X 800 to gather points for their club.


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 11, 2018

Unexpected outcome

On Sunday, February 11, 2018


The Garmin Men’s 40 team began with six men on the squad but by the time the Millrose Games Masters 4 X 400 went off last week, the six were now four and the anchor leg was by his own admission the most unlikely guy on the team.  Mark Williams of Columbia put the squad together and got them registered for the prestige event. 

Bobbie Brown of South Orange who was a standout on the Notre Dame football team back in his collegiate years, and then spent some time in the NFL was supposed to be on the squad.  He might have been the fastest if he had been able to run.  But a strain in the week before the event took Brown out of the line-up.  The same goes for Rob DeCarlo of Saddle River.

So, the six were now four.  Williams, who had national and international wins under his belt in the mile and the 800 meters, including the Harstshorne Masters Mile in 4:31.81 in January, was expected to be the fastest man on the team.  Peter Kashulines of Mountain Lakes at 54 was the most senior member of the squad.  His specialties were the 800 and the mile with a 2:08 in his race log in 2017.

A standout at Morristown High School in the field events, Jason Lattimore of Morris Plains had added sprints to his resume in his senior year at Morristown.  He had only recently joined the club and probably the only one who actually runs the 400 meters in regular competition.

And then there was Morristown’s Gary Rosenberg whose sub five-minute mile streak you read about here last year.  Williams had decided to start with the fastest man and work down to the slowest.  That put Rosenberg in the anchor leg spot, he told me when we talked this week.

The club had run a team in the 2017 Millrose and had finished sixth out of seven teams, so their expectations were more along the lines of “don’t finish last”.

“Mark told us that the two fastest teams are not coming, so we’re “’oh good, that means we won’t get crushed,’” said Rosenberg.

“I didn’t really want to anchor but what are you going to do?  We are going to be so far out of this that it doesn’t matter,” he said he was thinking.

It actually didn’t play out that way though.  Williams lead off with a 55 second quarter and he handed off to Kashulines in third place out of the nine teams on the track.

“We figured we’d hand off somewhere near the front and then just keep going backwards,” said Rosenberg.

But Kashulines put them in second place at the hand off.

“Well, that was unexpected,” Rosenberg said he was thinking.  The team that was hoping to not finish last was actually gaining ground.  Lattimore moved them up one spot and now he was handing off to Rosenberg and no one was in front of them.
Going through Rosenberg’s mind is that he hadn’t raced a quarter in some time, has no speed and has no confidence that he could run fast. Brown or DeCarlo were supposed to be in this race. But there he was on the track at the Millrose Games Masters Relay and he is leading a race that his team had hoped to just not finish last.

Running scared Rosenberg went through the first lap in first place, waiting for the inevitable to happen.  Waiting for everyone to come by him.

As he came off the first turn on the second lap, the second-place man began to come around and with an elbow flying, he bumped Rosenberg.

 “It threw me off balance.  I was running hard and if someone touches me I can’t hold my balance,” he said.  “I’m already giving it everything I have.”

“I started falling and I thought I could catch myself.  The next thing I know I am on the track.”

Back up on his feet Rosenberg is now in fifth place and trying to get moving again, hoping he can catch up to the guys in front of him.  But his momentum is gone and although he passed one man, three others finished ahead of him.

“It was disappointing and I’m not saying that if I didn’t fall we would have won,” he said.  “But I think it is safe to say that we would have come in second.”

The man that Rosenberg passed was in the same team age division, so despite the bad luck of going from first to fourth in the final lap, they came home with a medal.

“I never expected to leave with a Millrose medal so it was kind of cool,” said Rosenberg shrugging off their rags-to-riches-to-rags tale. 

 “Better luck next year,” surely applies.
Contact Madeline Bost at

Thursday, February 8, 2018

New Jersey runners run with the stars

Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, February 4, 2018

New Jersey runners run with the stars

It has often been said that running is a unique sport where the very non-professional runner competes in the same race as the elite.  While this is certainly true in road races like marathons and championships, it is closer to real in a national cross country meet.

The elites in cross country warm up on the same grounds, they use the same bank of porta-potties as the rest.  They are truly viewed as a part of the same bunch of runners, even though they bear the name of Galen Rupp or Leonard  Koirer, Stanely Kebenei or Evan Jaeger.

On Saturday those same men competed at Apalachee Regional Park in Tallahassee FL with the Garden State Track Club and the Shore Athletic Club.  The excitement for the masters men's 8km race was as high as for the open men's 10K where Rupp, Koirer, Kebenei and Jaeger competed.

The park's hard pack dirt course features multiple loops of a single hill course with variations for the different distances. The downhill portion featured closely trimmed grass before disappearing from spectator view into the trails.  Spectators could watch live as the runners passed the bleachers, or follow on the plexitron that alternated between showing the places of the runners during the race, or shots of them at key places on the course.

In other words, the venue is worthy of any world competition.  When  the masters men's field went by the viewing area for the first time, Montville's Elliott Frieder was part of the lead pack that included Sam Tiegan of Hawthorn and Jonathan Frieder of Rye Brooke NY.  The pack had thinned when the men came by on the next lap but those three maintained their position in the top ten.

The rest of the team, Chuck Schneekloth of Franklin, Thomas Knowles of Oakland and Aaron Cooper of Englewood finished in that order.

Further back Reno Stirrat of Rockaway was the lead man on his Shore Athletic Club's Men 60 team. Next was Kevin Dollard of NY and Scott Linell of Colts Neck and Roger Price of Randolph, finishing in that position.

In the first race of the meet, Susan Stirrat of Rockaway finished 7th in the W60 division and Madeline Bost of Randolph won the W75 division by virtue of being the only entrant in that division.  

Oh, back to those elite runners. Korir out kicked Rupp after running side by side down the home stretch, and Kebenei out kicked Jager in their finish line duel.

This meet is a selection meet for the world's cross country meet in odd years.  That means that the meet yesterday did not have the entries that it will have in 2019.  The 2019 meet will again be at the Apalachee Park on the same course.  

While Tallahassee is not easy to reach the park's cross country courses are considered excellent and the park a great venue.  The same New Jersey teams are expected back in 2019.


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, January 28, 2018

5,000 meters is a perfect 5K

On Sunday, January 28, 2018


What’s your idea of a perfect 5K course?  You want it to be fast, so it needs to be flat.  No sharp corners, and of course you want it to be weather perfect.   You can have all that on Sunday, February 11 and you don’t have to travel too far to find it.

That 5K course is just across the bridge on Staten Island and here’s the best part.  It could be cold outside, raining cats and dogs, or snowing up a storm.  You’ll be warm and dry because you will be running your 5K indoors at the Ocean Breeze facility in the dual New Jersey / New York Championship meet.

It is not often that 5,000 meters is offered at an indoor meet, but this meet has it, along with the shorter and more common 3,000 meter distance.  The facility opened its doors for competition in November of 2015 and has been a magnet for high school, youth and open and masters competitors ever since.

This is the first time that New Jersey is holding a meet at Ocean Breeze.  In recent years athletes have had to travel to Toms River to compete in the John Bennet Indoor Sports Complex.  The bubble, as it is known, might be fine for a practice facility but it misses a lot as a competition venue, including indoor toilets.  That’s right, athletes and spectators have to make their way to the parking lot where the porta-potties are lined up for use.  It is guaranteed that the Ocean Breeze facility will not have you outside in porta-potties.   

The 5,000 meter race is scheduled for 12:20 p.m.  New Jersey runners will have plenty of time to make that race.  Those who want to try the mile indoors need to be there a little earlier.  The women’s mile begins at 11:10 a.m. and the men at 11:25 a.m.  Half milers (800 meters) will start right after the 5,000 meter race and for those who want to run 3,000 meters, that start is at 1:30 p.m.

This is the first year that the two associations are teaming up to hold a dual meet with their championships.  Points will be assigned for each event and within each age division and added together to determine the winning association. 

Pre-entry closes on Thursday, February 8, at 11:59 p.m.  That is a very generous close-to-day-of- meet deadline.  Be forewarned that there is no day of meet registration. Go to the New Jersey USATF website to enter.

New Jersey track fans will have a chance to preview the Ocean Breeze facility on Monday February 5th when the Morris County Invitational high school meet is held there.  The meet starts at 4:00 p.m.

While we’re on the topic of track and field, several national meets will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network in the next few weeks.  The grand daddy of indoor track is the Milrose Games on Saturday, February 3rd at 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The New Balance Indoor Grand Prix meet in Boston will be shown on Saturday, February 10 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Last is the USATF indoor championship in Albuquerque on February 17th and 18th.


Ok, so who would rather run a cross country meet in February?  How about if it was in Tallahassee FL?  Sound better?

That’s where some New Jersey runners will be on February 3rd to compete in the national winter cross country meet.  The meet will have several races ranging from junior women who will run 6 km and junior men who run 8 km, open men and women who will run 10 km and masters men running 8 km and masters women running 6 km.

A look at the pre-registration list shows that the Garden State Track club will have a fast team in the M40 division, giving them a good start to the season.  Likewise, the Shore Athletic Club that placed second in the M60, 2017 national team grand prix has entered a fast squad in that division.

Publish only when space permits.  Please do not cut for this tag.
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, January 21, 2018

Long Distance Running Committee will meet February 6

On Sunday, January 21 2018



When the USATF long distance running committee meets each fall, usually in September, individuals are welcome to submit proposals for changes as to how the various events are conducted.  Most often these deal with components of the grands prix.  After many years of the New Balance sponsored individual grand prix, things are pretty much set there.

 The biggest change for that program was to make all participants their age at the beginning of the year what will be their age at the end of year.  If you turn 50 on December 31st, you are 50 the whole year.  You are still 49 in the individual races that you run for age division awards.

That was settled years ago and eliminated a confusing and complicated system of handling those aging up into a new age division within the year.  It does give those who age up later in the year an advantage as they are the youngest of the youngest in their new age division, but it was accepted as the fairest way to handle the problem.

No, there are not too many issues in the individual grand prix, but oh my, every year a few people try to tweak the team grand prix to make it fairer or simpler, or – well - here’s some ideas; too many people required on a team, not enough people required on a team, team declarations are a nuisance, ten year age divisions are too broad, should a mile be in the grand prix? Should we have a coed grand prix.  In fact, this year those very items were addressed by participants at the September 2017 meeting.
A proposal that would eliminate the team declaration by just allowing the computer to assign all team members into a team as they registered.  This would work if there were only A teams, but USATF rules do allow for B, and C, etc. teams.  That proposal was essentially tabled until the kinks could be worked out, if at all.

 The merit for such a rule is that it would eliminate the team captains from having to wait to see if all of their team members were “on the ground” before turning in their team declarations.  This is a headache for team captains who are also running in the race.  Often their warm-up is delayed or non-existent.

What’s the old saying, “One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure”?  Not exactly apropos of the next proposal but similar.  Some long distance runners cross over into track distances and they love to run the mile.  On the other end of the spectrum are the long, long distance runners, who would rather not run even a 5 kilometer race (3.1 mile), let alone run a mile.

We now have a road mile championship, and all of our championships fall into the team grand prix.  This does not make everyone happy. A proposal has been submitted to recognize that the mile has championship status and teams will compete, but the race will not be in the team grand prix.

Where did all those age 40 to 49 women come from?  Are there too many of them?  Only three women are currently required for a W40 team to score.  Let’s change that to four women.

Ah, but let’s solve that in a new and innovative way.  Let’s create five year teams like we do when scoring individuals.  We do that in the individual divisions because it is recognized that as our runners grow older, there is far wider disparity between the younger members of a team and the older ones.  In the 40 to 49 division there is not that great a disparity but in the 50 to 59 span, the 60 to 69 span there is.  Forget about it once the runners are in their 70’s and beyond.

So, let’s create five year age division teams.  Let’s reduce the number of members on a team that score to account for the smaller pool of runners in a club for each team.  Let’s have the teams declare up to six runners and then score the three fastest.  Or maybe declare seven and score the four fastest in the younger age divisions of 40 through 54.  

In 2017 the President’s Cup Night Race 5K in Millburn in June had a coed division.  Wouldn’t that be interesting if all of the championship races featured a coed division.  Not a corporate coed division, but a USATF division, and let’s keep it in a separate grand prix.

All of these suggestions will be viewed, debated, argued and settled or tabled at the long distance running meeting at the Madison Y on February 6th.  


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, January 15, 2018

Auteri makes it two - Grand Prix and sub three marathon

On Sunday, January 14 2018


Let’s see.  Win the New Jersey New Balance Grand Prix.  Check.  Break three hours for the marathon.  Check.

Karen Auteri of Liberty Township with a mailing address of Belvidere has bragging rights to both accomplishments.  And it all started with an invite from her father, Peter, of Pompton Lakes.

When Peter Auteri asked her in 2004 if she wanted to run the Walt Disney marathon with him the answer was quick and emphatic.

“Absolutely not! I never want to run a marathon.  Ever in my life!”

Back then, fresh out of college and used to running short distance, with only one 10K under her belt the marathon seemed like an impossible and distasteful distance.

The aversion didn’t last long.  Auteri found herself running a half marathon that fall. 

“It was so hard.  I couldn’t imagine running it twice,” she said.   But the following January she did join her father to run in the Disney marathon and finished in 3:48.18.   She ran it again the next year and the next year, and this year, in her 23rd marathon she placed fourth overall at Disney on January 7th and broke the three-hour barrier with her 2:59:15

Although the Disney course is basically flat, Auteri relied on her training with Gary Leaman of Hardwick to power up each incline on the overpasses.

“On every tiny incline I did power up them because I have been training,” said Auteri.  “Gary taught me to run up the hills and then maintain a seven-minute pace.  With Gary you run hard all the time.”

Winning the New Balance Grand Prix might have seemed destined in 2017.  With Randolph’s Roberta Groner now affiliated with the New York Athletic Club and not eligible in New Jersey, the game was wide open, and especially for someone who loves to race.  Getting to enough races would not be all that difficult for Auteri.

Races are chosen based on what her training dictates as well as what races she needs in the grand prix.  She was in the lead from early in the fall but kept racing and improved her Category One score to 500 points at one of the last races of the season, the hugely popular Doughnut Run on December 10th.  She was first runner overall to finish in the East Brunswick 10K in October. 

Auteri is making a big move in 2018.  After seeing the improvements that Groner, and Sam Tiegen of Hawthorne had in running the California International Marathon in December after hiring Hector Matos as their coach, she wondered if he could help her to reach another milestone, the B standard for the Olympic Trials Marathon.

 “I just see such results – someone like Roberta who you can’t imagine her getting any faster than she is and taking six minutes off her already unbelievable times,” said Auteri.

Auteri referenced the double amputee, Brian Reynolds of Clifton, who now holds the world record for below the knee amputees.

“He started training with Hector and he went from a 1:28 half to a 1:21,” she said.  “He also took an extreme amount of time off his marathon.” 

It was Tiegen that planted the seed to reach out to Matos.  He told her that he thought she had the potential to qualify for the Olympic Trials B standard of 2:45.

She knows that she will have to make big changes to her training.  Even training for the marathon, her highest mileage may have been only 48 miles.  Under Matos she expects that to nearly double and could include doubles on some days.  She runs only five days a week and does no workouts on the track.

“My races take the place of workout’s,” she said. 

 “I just run on “feels”.  If I feel good I’ll run a little faster,” she said.  Sometimes I’ll hit a marathon pace just because I’m feeling good.” 

Although she had broken the 3:05 marathon barrier with a 3:01 at the Pocono Marathon in May of 2016 Auteri said she was lacking confidence ahead of the Disney marathon.  Her talisman showed up in the form of a running shoe.  Nike athletes Geoffry Kirui, and Galen Rupp among other elite athletes have been running in the Nike Zoom Vaporfly.  With the same shoes on her feet, Auteri was ready to go, confidence restored and 2:59:15 her prize. 

With her new magical shoes and a bone fide coach, 2018 is looking good for this talented runner.


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, January 8, 2018

Frigid weather didn't stop runners on New Year's Day

On Sunday, January 7, 2018


Freezing cold weather did not deter 987 runners from showing up at the three north New Jersey races on New Year’s Day.  That’s the total number of finishers in the three races.  Add to that the runners who ran with their various clubs and we have a lot of either very hardy people, or a lot of really crazy runners.  From the comfort of my tiny exercise room, running on my Zero impact trainer, I say they are all crazy.

Ben Giugliano of Sparta won the Hillsborough Resolution Run 5K in 17:37. If Giugliano had stayed home, the winner would have been a fifty-three-year-old.  Not just any 53year old of course.  Bryan Crowley of Hillsborough is still defying the nature by finishing in second place in 17:44. Amy Williams of Hillsborough was the first woman to finish.  Her time of 20:26 was only 18 seconds ahead of the second place woman, Maria Metzger of Basking Ridge, who finished in 20:44.   The race counted 387 finishers.

The Central Jersey Road Runners Hangover Run was won by John Capobianco of Basking Ridge in 16:33. Carolina Collius, whose town is unknown, finished the race in 20:16 for first place woman.  Jeff Altman of Randolph was the first local runner to finish.  The 47-year-old finished in 19:24 to top the masters men category.  Kate Polles of Morristown was the first local woman to finish.  Her time was 21:40, This race had the largest field with 524 finishers.

St Mark’s New Year’s Day 5K in Long Valley attracted 76 runners to their inaugural race.  John Montgomery, 22, of Hackettstown won the race in 16:08 with who can be assumed to be his father, John Montgomery 52 second in 19:26.  Maggie Scardapane, whose town is not shown was the first woman in 20:39.

Now that the year 2017 is wrapped up, it is time for USATF masters runners to fill out their applications for the national Phidippides Award.  Points are award for the races that runners complete with one point, for instance, in a distance of 1 mile to 4 kilometers.  A 5K and 5 miles earns two points.  At the other end, five points are earned for 25 kilometers up to the marathon and six points for distances greater than the marathon.

To qualify for a Gold level award, you will need 30 points if you are 40 to 59 years old, 24 if you are 60 to 79, and 12 points if you are eighty or older.  A very nice plaque is issued and your name is published on the national USATF site on the masters long distance running page.

Runners who have been awarded the Phidippides Award for five years are recognized for that achievement also.  New Jersey runners make up a lot of names on those rosters. 
It is easy to pick up the names of Morris area runners in the 2016 list of gold medal winners: Peter Auteri, Debra Bernstein, Charlie Castigioni, Wesley Cole, Stephanie Edwards, Carla and Stephen Holusha, Scott Isgett, John Klobus, Sue Lawler, Pete Lee, Lori and Robert McGill, Randy Miller, Dario Mirski, Melva Murray, Shirley Pettijohn, Greg and Susan Rentko, Kathy and John Robertson, Rene Rovtar, Arch Seamans, Joe Sikora, Diane Stone, Bill Trengove, Patricia Tummey, Diane and Mark Washburne,

A winter series is coming back to Wayne in the form of the Passaic County Technical Institute Winter Series.  This 5K race features a car-less course with some small hills and a few twists.  It is not a PR course but good preparation for when the weather breaks.  Pre and post race activities are in a heated area. The first race is next Sunday, January 14th and then in two week intervals, January 28, February 4, and February 18th.

The organizers are offering discounts to those age 17 and younger and those 65 and over.  Not bad and a discount for USATF NJ members. 

For more information go to


Blow good running wishes to the women’s winner of the 2017 New Balance grand prix.  Karen Auteri of Belvidere is running today at the Walt Disney World Marathon.

Edit notes:  Karen Auteri finished the marathon in 2:59 


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