On Sunday, April 22, 2018
SPRINGLESS BOSTON WEATHER BEATS UP RUNNERS
Reports from the runners who ran in the Boston Marathon on Monday tell a real horror story of time spent in aid tents along the course shaking with hypothermia. More than once in an aid tent for some and plenty who needed aid when they finally crossed the finish line. Ninety-one runners were reported to have been taken to local hospitals.
While television viewers watched with fascination and concern as the elite runners created the story with Desiree Linden the eventual winner after pausing to help her fellow Americans Shalane Flanagan and Molly Huddle It has been reported that Linden herself considered dropping out like many of the elites did.
We watched as the unlikely men’s winner, Japanese runner Yuki Kawauchi finished, wearing only arm warmers for added protection from the rain and wind. Kawauchi was running in his fourth marathon this year! His fourth win, too. Can it get anymore awesome than that?
Of course, back in the pack the non-elite runners were also struggling with the wind, the rain, and the cold and if they finished, finishing in their personal worst. Joe Sikora, the 66-year-old runner from Succasunna who you read about here last week was one of those struggling to finish.
Sikora reported that it was his second slowest of the 33 Boston marathons he has now done. He has dubbed this year’s marathon as the “Hypothermia Boston”, that he finished in 4:55:00. The “Heatstroke Boston” was in 2012 when he finished three and a half minutes slower in 4:58:28.
“Both years I was going in at under four hour shape,” Sikora wrote in an email. “Nevertheless, I persisted.”
Sikora persisted because that is what you do at Boston. You train hard to get in shape and you have invested a lot of energy to qualify for Boston by running in a previous marathon. You have little choice but to start and then persist.
Only two men from this area finished in under three hours; Kevin Fitzgerald of Wharton finished in 2:58:02 and Justin Scheid of Succasunna in 2:59:32. Brianna Deming of Morristown went under three with her 2:56:39 and Jenna Robeson of Randolph was the next fastest local woman with a 3:11:59.
EARLY GRAND PRIX POSTS
The early bird gets the worm and the early runners get the points. A very poor metaphor to let you know that Charlie Slaughter, 63, of Parsippany, with six races already on his tally has the lead in the New Balance Grand Prix. Karl Leitz, 52, of Jersey City is second with five races, while his wife Aya Leitz, 41, is the top woman with five races also. Shannon McKenna, 27, of Parlin is second and in third? None other than 63-year-old Nora Cary of Morristown. Cary is only seven points off from McKenna. Both have only four races in.
Only one championship race has been run so far, and the Garmin sponsored club and team grand prix is interesting in the scarcity of clubs having a score. The first championship was the challenging Indian Trails 20K and many clubs decided to let the race be their one allowed non scoring race. The top five clubs in descending order are Garden State Track Club New Balance, Clifton Road Runners, Garmin, Raritan Valley Road Runners and Fleet Feet Essex.
Next up is the Clinton Country Run 15K on April 28. The 15K is nowhere near as hilly as the Indian Trails course, although it does have a long climb between mile five and six. Still, 9.3 will feel like a cake-walk after the 12.4 miles at Indian Trails.
The Woods and Lakes 5 and 10K runs always draw local runners who will eschew the Clinton race in order to run in the woods, on trails, and over sand in the 41st running of the race in Mountain Lakes. Runners under age 30 need not apply. The race was created way back when there were few runners over age 30 that had a chance to star in a race. Now, of course, there are plenty who are double that age who compete. Those over age 70 get to run for free.
No, the race is not a grand prix race. It is what it is. A fun race with adult beverage awards.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org