Sunday, December 30, 2018

New Year's Day races a tradition

On Sunday, Dec 30, 2018

By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302


The Central Jersey Road Runners Club may have started it, and others have followed.  Run a race on New Year’s Day.  Clear the blood and the head from the previous night’s partying, and maybe begin a New Year’s Resolution.  Start a Running Streak.  All things are possible on the first day of the new year.

On January 1, 2019 at noon, in Westfield, the 37th annual Hangover 5K will go off in Tamaques Park and an expected field of over 500 runners will log in their first race of the year.  Post race refreshments are bagels and hot chocolate.  Preregistration is a good idea for this race as a hooded sweatshirt is guaranteed for all pre-registered runners.  Pre-registration is on-line only, but there is no fee for on-line registration.

The Hillsborough Resolution Run 5K also gives out hooded sweatshirts and in a sense, they are also guaranteed.  That is because this race has no race day registration.  This race also has a cap on the number of runners accepted and as of Friday, December 28th, registration has closed.

The 1st Day 5K in Fairlawn is the newest of the three New Year’s Day races on the USATF New Jersey calendar.  The race will take race day registration.  Both the Hillsborough and the Fairlawn races start at 11:00 a.m.   All three of the races mentioned here are 500 point Grand Prix races.

Ah!  Grand prix races.  Did you renew your USATF membership this week?  If you do one of those races and haven’t renewed, or signed up for the first time, you will have no score. 

All of the three races are a good drive away, and there is a 5K closer to home, although not in the grand prix.  The St. Mark’s New Year’s Day 5K in Long Valley will start at 11:30 am.  Hot chocolate and bagels are also on the menu for this race.  John Montgomery and John Montgomery went first and second last year, separated by thirty years.  Yes, a father, son duo.

One more perk if you are a USATF member and are over age forty putting you in the masters category.  If you are a frequent racer you can add up points to qualify for a Phidippides Award from the national long distance running committee.  Points are assigned based on the distance of the race.  For instance, one mile up to 4 kilometers earns one point, and 5 kilometers to five miles earns two points.  At the farther end of the scale is 25 kilometers to marathon at five points and go over a marathon and you get 6 points.
Your age determines how many points are needed to win gold, silver or bronze.  If you are forty to fifty-nine, you will need 30 points to earn the gold. Sixty to 79 and you need 24 points.  If you are eighty or older all you need are 12 points for gold.  The bad news is that cross country races do not count. 

Those who qualify for five years earn a five-year crystal award.  Local runners who earned the crystal award in 2017 were Lorraine McPhillips of Basking Ridge, and Diane Stone of Chatham.

It looks like 122 New Jersey runners were recognized in 2017 and that’s a total I don’t think is matched by any other association.

The deadline to apply for 2018 is January 31, 2019. The application is on the national website. 


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

Friday, December 28, 2018

It's that time of year. Renew now or join for the first time now.

On Sunday, Dec 23, 2018

For Sunday, Dec 23, 2018

By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302


Have you renewed your membership with USATF this month?  Unlike a magazine subscription, the organization that covers road racing and track and field is really lousy at reminding its members that it is time to renew.

In order to write this column this week I signed in to my account with USATF and was surprised to see that my membership would expire on December 31, 2018.  Who knew!   The reason for the surprise is twofold.  The last time that I renewed, I renewed for more than one year.  How many?  Obviously, I had forgotten and thus the surprise that I was going to soon be a non-member.  That the organization that is pretty quick to send me an email to let me know of a sale of USATF products, but failed to let me know of my soon-to-be expiration is puzzling.

Also flying under the banner of “who knew” is the discount for multi-year membership.  I am pretty confident that there was no discount the last time I renewed.  I was delighted to discover that although a one-year membership would cost me $30.00, a two-year membership would cost me only $55.00.  Hmm.  What about three years?  Just $80.00.  Curious I hit the key for four years, which is the maximum number of years offered.  One hundred dollars or $25.00 for each year.     

Here’s the real kicker on USATF membership.  You can join and not run a step or jump a foot.  Membership is valuable enough without the discounts given to New Jersey races in the grand prix and the opportunity to run on a team.  Membership has privileges that a non-runner can cherish. 

Rent a car from Enterprise or National and you may get over 10% off the price of the car – any size from the teeniest to the largest.  An example that an agent gave me was renting a car in L.A. would be priced at $ 65.21 per day, but with the USATF membership code, it would be no greater than $ 58.00.

Fly to and from a USATF event on United or Delta Airlines and you can get a 10% discount off the regular ticket price.

Stay at a Best Western hotel and you can get 10% off their flexible rate.  Better yet, stay at any one of the Choice Hotels in their line of close to a dozen hotel chains, like Comfort Inn or Comfort Suite, Sleep Inn or Quality Inn, etc. and save 15% off the room rate.  I’ve done it several times and it does make a difference.

There are other discounts for members like an organic line of nutritional supplements, and for KT tape and other KT products.  Nationwide insurance offers members a discount and if you buy insurance for your pet, a Nationwide affiliate has it too.

The races that will be New Jersey championships in 2019 have been selected and posted on the USATF New Jersey website.  The list is always highly anticipated and once posted, the Monday Morning Quarterbacks begin to critique it.  That falls under the heading of “you can’t please everybody”.  Some of the races selected are generally favorites with the runners, and others viewed less enthusiastically. 

The committee has made a very welcome change.  Previously it was not uncommon for a race to be designated a championship for masters men and masters women.   This year the championship 10K will combine open men with masters men, and open women with masters women.  Since many masters runners also compete for their club’s open teams this makes good sense.

Missing from the line-up is the Newport 10K and the Liberty Waterfront half marathon, both in Jersey City.  Missing also is the Indian Trails 20K in Middletown.  Back is the President’s Cup 5K, but it will be in May in a different location although still in Millburn.


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 16, 2018

Come from behind wins in th New Balance Grand Prix

 Published in the Daily Record of Morris County
on Sunday, December 16, 2018


He wasn’t even on the radar at the beginning of November, missing two Category Two races, but Aaron Leskow of Morristown did what he had to do to soar to the top in the New Balance Grand Prix.  Leskow was in 31st place when he successfully added 700 points from the Ashenfelter 8K, and two days later the Westfield Turkey Trot’s 500 points.  It was what he needed to take over the lead.  

Kyle Price of Milltown had been in 6th place and he did what Leskow did, but his finishes behind Leskow, while adding points, put him in second place with 5,682 points to Leskow’s 5,691.  Michael Dixon of Highland Park moved up from 8th place to third after adding the same races.

Stuart Haynes, 42, of Chatham, finished in fourth place for first masters overall.

The women’s contest is even more interesting.  Only four points separate the top three women.  Hortencia Aliaga of Garfield had the lead in early November with 5,652 points.    The contest was so close that had she not run in the Ashenfelter 8K where she improved her score in the grand prix by nine points and then run in the Super Santa 10 miler in December where she added eight points, she would have dropped down to fifth place.  But the 46-year-old did do those two races and held on for second.  Erika Meling of North Brunswick had to get to the 8K in Montclair and with her 697 points she moved into first place – only one point ahead of Aliaga. 

Karen Auteri of Belvidere also needed the 8K and with her 695 points for the race she moved into third place from fifteenth.  Her final score was 5,666 points, just three less that Aliaga.  It has to have been the closest finish in the history of the women’s’ grand prix.

Nine Morris area runners placed first in their age division.  They include Mark Minervini of Stanhope, as mentioned earlier Stuart Haynes of Chatham, Robert Skorupski of Rockaway, Gary Leaman of Hardwick, Reno Stirrat of Rockaway, Bruce Langenkamp of Wharton, Nora Cary of Morristown, Mary Anne Murphy of Livingston and Diane Stone of Chatham.


The Garden State Track Club New Balance won the M40 team division of the national team grand prix.  The Shore Athletic Club had a sixth place finish in the M50 division and third in the M60 division.

New Jersey individuals include Sam Tiegan who placed second in the M40 division and Thomas Knowles third and Chuck Schneekloth in sixth place.  Jonathan Frieder of Rye Brook NY was second in the M45 division, while Gary Leaman of Hardwick placed third in the M55 division.  Those five men were on the winning Garden State TC team.

In the M60 division Reno Stirrat of Rockaway placed seventh and Roger Price of Randolph placed ninth in the M65 division.  Susan Stirrat of Rockaway placed sixth in the W60 division and Madeline Bost of Randolph won the W75 division for the fourth year in a row.

Much like the New Jersey grand prix(s) the best five races count out of a possible eight or nine championship races each year.  A minimum of three races must be completed to make it into the final score.


Colin Frost of Randolph, who wasn’t able to make the trip to Spokane on December 8th for the national cross country meet, due to his work schedule, gave himself a consolation prize of sorts.  Frost won the Montclair Bread Company Donut Run 5K in 15:25 on December 9th.   Karen Auteri of Belvidere, third place finisher in the New Balance Grand Prix, was the women’s winner with her time of 18:36.  Just over two thousand runners were in the race running for donuts.

Frost was making winning a habit.  He won the Super Santa ten mile race the previous week with a 53:01.  Diana D’achille of Denville was the women’s winner in 1:03:26.

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 9, 2018

Garden State sweeps the club grand prix

On Sunday, Dec 2, 2018


The Garden State Track Club New Balance finished on top in the Garmin Club Grand Prix.   This despite missing some team declarations at the Ashenfelter 8K in November.

Garden State is credited with 990 points to 716 points for the Clifton Running Club.  Only three points separate third place Shore Athletic Club at 560 points from the Garmin Runners at 557 points.  Raritan Valley Road Runners placed fifth with the North Jersey masters sixth and the Fleet Feet Essex club in seventh and the Morris County Striders finishing in eighth place and the last club to finish with more than one hundred points.

 A total of 19 clubs competed in the year long grand prix that combines points at all championship races.  Some clubs competed in only a few races and some in only one race.

The Garden State club garnered much of their points in the open men and open women’s divisions although they also had good showings in some of the masters divisions.

Their open men A, B, C teams place one, two, three followed by the Garmin Runners in fourth place.  On the women’side, the Garden State team placed first with a commanding lead over the teams that followed.  But the scores were very tight for those “also ran” clubs.   The Garmin women placed second with 74 points and the Clifton team and the Shore team tied at 71 for third place.  

Garden State won the M40 division over the Garmin Runners by a six-point margin with the Shore Athletic Club finishing in third.  The M50 division was a flip with Garmin on top and Garden State in second.

The Shore Athletic Club won the M60 division by nearly 20 points, but it was close for second and third, with the Fleet Feet Essex team second and Clifton in third separated by one point.

 The Clifton Running Club was never challenged in the M70 division.  The North Jersey Masters claimed second and the Central Jersey Road Runners team took third, but only one point ahead of the Shore AC.

The Clifton runners dominated the W40 division, taking first by well over 25 points.  The Garmin runners were a clear second place with Garden State trailing in third.  The really close contest in the W40 division was the North Jersey Masters in fourth place with the Raritan Valley Road Runners just two points back.

The Clifton club also dominated in the W50 division and then the next three teams were separated each by only one point.  Raritan Valley finished in second with 54 points, followed by the Garmin women with 53 points and the North Jersey Masters fourth with 52 points.

It is not quite that close in the W60 division, with the North Jersey Masters getting 39 points while the Raritan Valley team took second with 35 points and the Clifton women third with 33 points.
In what could be a national record, the Morris County Striders were able to complete the grand prix with two W70 teams.  Their A team scored 26 points and the B team scored 14.

Their W80 team was the sole team in that division.

All teams must complete at least three races in order to have their final numbers count in the final standings.


The Garden State Track Club New Balance put both an A and B open men’s team on the line at the national club cross country championship meet in Spokane Washington this weekend.  They also had an open women’s team. 
The club also sent their strong M40 team to compete in the M40, M50 and the Shore Athletic Club entered their M60 team in that division race.


Two local athletes received high honors at the USATF annual meeting that took place last week in Columbus Ohio.  Mark Williams of Columbia was named Age Division Athlete of the Year in the M45 division by the Masters Track and Field Committee.  Roberta Groner of Ledgewood was named Athlete of the Year in the W40 division by the Masters Long Distance Running Committee.


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