On Sunday, July 22, 2018
ENGAGED PAIR WIN VERIZON CORPORATE CHALLENGE 5K
The male and female winners of the Verizon Corporate Challenge 5K in Morristown on Thursday night had more in common than just being their gender winners. Liam Boylan-Pett and Ashley Higginson of Mendham are engaged to be married in September.
Boylan-Pett finished the race in 16:46 and Higginson in 17:51, in seventh place overall.
Higginson, who has competed on the national and world level in the Steeplechase was in the large lead pack as they left the starting line at the Morristown High School. A few minutes into the race she dropped back.
“I gave up on those guys when I realized it was not happening,” said Higginson, who was making her third start at the event. She won the race in 2017 and in 2014. Her time at the 2017 race, that was an out-and-back course down Route 202 was faster at 17:12.
Boylan-Pett was no stranger to the race, having placed third in 2017 with a time only two seconds different; 16:44. In fact, that was his last race he said. Working at Columbia University in New York City prevents him from doing more than minimal running said the former semi-professional runner, who is a sub four-minute miler.
While Higginson dropped back from the lead pack, it remained a unit of six runners for most of the race. On Washington Street, a half mile from the finish, Boylan-Pett tested the others and broke away for the lead.
“It was an interesting decision to make that move, but it worked out,” he said. “It definitely hurt going up that hill.”
The next two men, Ben Edwards and Patrick Mullins, both of Morristown, made a break of their own and finished in a dead heat at 16:49.
“I think they put on a last-minute sprint at the end,” said Boylan-Pett. “Fortunately, I had gotten away from them.”
The 2015 winner, Diana D’Achilles of Denville placed second to Higginson in 19:51, with Katherine Nokia of Brooklyn NY third in 20:01.
Both D’Achilles and Higginson agreed that the course from Headquarters Plaza was tougher than the one that started and finished at the high school.
“The race from Headquarters Plaza was really hilly,” said Higginson. “Definitely more challenging.”
“All the turns were challenging,” she said. “You don’t know what’s around the bend.”
In all, the course featured eighteen bends and corners, some at sharp angles, proving a challenge to even the lead police vehicle. Spectators and course marshals from the Morris County Striders running club, and the Lakeland League Youth track and field and cross-country volunteers lined the course.
Only the top three runners win awards at the race, which is geared toward corporate teams. Eighty-three complete women’s teams were recorded and eighty-five men’s teams among the 3,313 runners. On the men’s side it was Deloitte, Verizon and Stryker in that order. On the women’s side it was Verizon, Nokia and L’Oréal.
SCHIED WINS MORRIS COUNTY STRIDERS SUMMER SERIES 5K
Justin Scheid of Succasunna won the Morris County Striders summer series race #3 on Tuesday, July 17th in Boonton. Scheid finished in 15:27 to lower the previous course record of 15:34 set in 2014 by Dan DeBlock. On the women’s side, Emma Cary of Morristown, daughter of masters phenom Nora Cary, won the race in 19:51. Mom placed fourth overall in 23:00.
The last race in the series will be on Tuesday, July 31st.
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