On Sunday, April 1, 2018
DISTANCE RACES ABOUND
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.
TREES DOWN ON TRAILS
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.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at email@example.com