Thursday, March 21, 2019

Win they did in Virginia Beach 8K


New Jersey runners had a field day in Virginia Beach on Saturday (March 16, 2019).  Several came home with medals and big smiles after competing at the USATF national masters 8K championship.

You read it here.  Roberta Groner of East Ledgewood won the 8K masters division of the race and was the first woman of any age to record the fastest time.  She finished in 12th place overall in 26:48 – age graded in second place.  Only Marisa Sutera Strange, the fast New York woman in the W55 division age graded above her at 93.87%.  Groner hit 92.89%.   

Other New Jerseyans on the podium were Michelle Brangan of Woodbury Heights, first in the W45 division and third overall in 30:42. Suzanne LaBurt was first in the W55 division and finished in 31:15 for fourth overall masters woman, and third at the age grading with her 91.96%.

With LaBurt leading the way, her Clifton Road Runners team of Laura DeLea and Kerry Monahan repeated their W50 second place finish from 2018, earning a silver medal for the team.

On the men’s side, Jonathan Frieder placed fifth overall and was the second man in the M45 division with a time of 26:30.  Frieder’s Garden State Track Club New Balance successfully defended their title from 2018 with their decisive win by more than three minutes ahead of the second place team.  Scoring for the team was Sam Teigan in 26:45 and John Hogan in 29:06, back-up members were Harold Porcher in 30:02 and Gary Leaman in 30:07.

At age 59 Leaman shouldn’t be anywhere near the podium but he finished in third place in the M55 division

Ezequiel Garcia placed third in the M70 division with an identical time to second place in 35:11. Garcia’s Clifton Road Runners M70 team placed fourth with Tony Fiory and William Ash.

The Shore Athletic Club’s M40 team Jan Stofan, Brian Prendergast, Robert Skorupski and Timothy McQueen, placed fifth.

The Shore’s M50 team placed second in their division with Ken Ginsburg, Jeff Conston, Brian Hill, Przemyslaw Nowicki and Roger Price.  Nowicki and Price were dropped down from an incomplete M70 team.

The Shore’s M60 team placed third in their division with Reno Stirrat, Kevin Dollard, Michael Mooney, Harold Leddy and Scott Linnell.

As was expected the Shore’s women were all on the W40 team with Christine Hill, Necia McQueen, Susan Stirrat and Leslie Nowicki.  They finished in fourth place.

Yours truly won the W75 division with no other women entered in the USATF championship division.  The race was huge this year.  I finished in 2,889 out of 4,773 female runners and first of seven women in the division.

Amanda Marino of Jackson won women’s division of the Shamrock Half Marathon on Sunday in 1:14:3. 


Thursday, March 14, 2019

Virginia Beach here we come!

A new website is coming soon.  Here is my first column without the restrictions of writing for the Daily Record and only the local runners and events.


New Jersey runners are heading to Virginia Beach this weekend for the national USATF masters championship 8K road race.  Officially titled the TowneBank Shamrock 8K.  Organizers have let the masters runners know that this is the last year that it will be hosting the masters championship.  I don’t think that is responsible for the good turnout from New Jersey though.

They just like the race and they have spread the word to their fellow runners that this is a great event, from the expo to the race to the post race fun.  It starts two blocks from the ocean boardwalk going out a distance on the absolutely flat streets.  Soon they are on the boardwalk until a short stint back on the street and then back to the boardwalk for the finish.

The reward, for those who care for it, is a glass of Yuengling beer fresh out of the tap and hot Irish Stew.  All of this on the beach in a huge tent that in years past has provided sometimes needed shelter from the elements. 
Returning after their 2018 team grand prix top finish in the M40 division is the Garden State Track Club team.  On the team will be Sam Teigen of Hawthorne, Thomas Knolls of Oakland and Jonathan Frieder of Rye Brook NY.  They are the returning champions in this division.

John Hogan of Washington Township, Harold Porcher of Bloomfield and Gary Leaman of Hardwick, all in their 50’s are also registered.  Porcher and Hogan are being shown on the M40 team as of Thursday, but they can switch to the M50 division and add Leaman for a complete team of three.  In national road championships only three men are needed to score with up to five on the team.

The Shore Athletic Club will have Brian Prendergast of Brick, Timothy McQueen of Ogdensburg, Jan Stofan of Englishtown and Robert Skorupski of Rockaway on their M40 team.  Jeff Conston of Hopewell Junction NY, Brian Hill of Middletown, and Ken Ginsburg of Warren will make up the Shore’s M50 team. 

In 2018 nine M60 teams competed, making it the most competitive division in the race.  Shore’s team finished fourth of those nine teams.  Kevin Dollard of Hopewell Junction NY, Harold Leddy of Bridgewater, Scott Linnell of Colt’s Neck, Michael Mooney of Center Valley, PA and Reno Stirrat of Rockaway will have a full team in the division. 

Unfortunately, it looks like the club’s M70 team will be shy the required third man.  Only Przemyslaw Nowicki of Holmdel and Roger Price of Randolph are entered as this goes to “press”.  If no other Shore runner can make it down, the two will be back-ups on the M40 and M50 teams.

New Jersey will have M70 covered with the Clifton Road Runners team of Ezequiel Garcia of Newark, William Ash of Hewitt, Tony Fiory of Summit and Al Swan of Clifton.  In 2018 the squad placed fifth of five teams, outrun by men in their early 70’s.

The Clifton club will have their W50 team returning.  In 2018 the team of Suzanne La Burt of Greenwood Lake NY, Kerry Monahan Gaughan of River Vale, and Laura DeLea of Sparta placed second the crack Athena Track Club.  Seven teams competed in 2018.

You may have noticed that although I identified these runners as New Jersey runners, when some have New York or Pennsylvania addresses.  These are USATF teams and the rules allow team members from outside their own geographical boundaries – at least for now.

When you don’t have a full team in the older age divisions you have to drop all your runners down into the age division of the youngest member of your club.  The Shore’s women did just that last year and are doing it again in 2019.  Susan Stirrat of Rockaway, W60, Leslie Nowicki of Holmdel, W50, will run with Christine Hill of Middletown and Necia McQueen of Ogdensburg on the Shore’s W40 team. 

One runner, the true headliner this year, will be running without a team.  Roberta Groner of East Ledgewood, who is training for the Rotterdam Marathon taking place on Sunday, April 7th has entered the race.  Her New York Athletic Club has not sent a team.  Groner will be paling with her New Jersey friends but running team-less.

 Groner has been hitting the tops of the age grading charts since aging into that magical category of “masters” last year.  If she is the first masters woman overall and at the top of the age grading chart, she could go home with $ 800.00 for her five mile romp.  Who would bet against it?


Friday, March 1, 2019

No Column this week

Posted Friday on Facebook

After 27 years of meeting a deadline every Friday, or nearly every Friday, today I have none. In a cost cutting effort, the Daily Record will no longer carry my Running Column. 
It feels funny. 😐

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Collin Frost of Randolph is one speedy guy

On Sunday, February 24, 2019

By MADELINE BOST,  973-584-9302



You have to wonder if this man can be beat.  Not in New Jersey so it seems.  When Collin Frost of Randolph toed the starting line in New Jersey in 2018 he was always the man to beat.  Those who tried, failed.  Frost posted his fastest time at the 5K distance at the Roxbury Community Benefit race in June when he finished in 15:20. That was followed later that month with a 15:23 at the President’s Cup Night Race in Millburn.

In Cross Country it was the same story.  At the state cross country 5-kilometer championship in August he won with a 15:34, and then in October he won the 8-kilometer championship with his 26:05.

Although he didn’t get to any longer race, he showed his credentials for longer races when he won the 2017 Halloween Half Marathon in 1:09:32.

Frost’s racing season was marred by illness as he trained for his first full marathon in the fall of 2018.  Training for the marathon that wasn’t to be took all his focus

“It really was a shame that the marathon didn’t go well,” said Frost.  “I was in very good shape and got sick right before.”

Frost said that he will be focusing on the marathon during this summer and fall.  He plans to run the full marathon in Philadelphia in November.  

“I’ll still be focusing on track until May or June,” he said.  “And will probably start doing marathon training shortly after.”

Oh yes, track.  Frost has been competing at the Ocean Breeze indoor facility on Staten Island this season with a win at 3,000 meters on February 8th in 8:13.78.   He has had one loss, if you can call a third-place finish in the mile in 4:11.96 a loss.  First place went to professional runner and New Jersey kid Robbie Andrews who finished the mile in 4:02.53. 

That’s called keeping good company, and Frost keeps good company in his day job, too.  He teaches math at Del Barton where he is also a track and cross country coach.  He said that he does a lot of his distance runs are with the kids that he coaches and he even will pace them for a lot of the workouts as well.

Frost was a standout at Randolph high school and he counts the 3,200 as his best distance with a  high school PR of 9:07.   By his reckoning his best high school performance was winning the indoor group 4 championships in the 1600 in 2011, outrunning Timothy Ball of Piscataway 4:18.48 to 4:19.28. 

“I was an underdog going into the race,” said Frost.  “I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.”

Frost is coached by Nick DeSantis of Wanaque who has Frost training no more than 50 miles per week currently for the indoor season.

“I had done a lot more in college, but I don’t really have the time or energy with a full-time job now,” said Frost.  “It’s probably better that I have less of a workload. I had issues with mental and physical burnout after seasons where I was training really hard.  Now, each week, unless I’m racing, I’ll do one race specific workout and one strength workout.  That’s all.”

Frost said that he has two workouts that standout.  One is a 3 X 3200 with a one-minute rest, that Frost said is a strength workout that he is better at.

“One workout Nick gave me early [in the] season might be one of the most physically painful workouts I’ve ever done,” he said.  “This was especially hard because I don’t have a lot of leg speed.”

In an email Frost described it as “3 sets of 4 x 400, 30 seconds between reps, but 3 minutes between sets.  The first and last rep would be fast (for a long-distance guy at least), and the middle two would be slower (all intentional).” 

About his indoor racing he said that he was pretty happy about his 3,000 meter race.

“It was a little unexpected,” said Frost.  “I thought I would run right around 8:20. I was lucky enough to have the race set up precisely the way I would have wanted it to be”

He said that he is not super happy with his mile or 5k time.  On the other hand, Frost said that chasing time goals have been counter-productive for him. 

“It just adds an unnecessary stress.  Lately, I’ve been doing well just trying to enjoy racing and enjoy the sport, and I’ll make that my goal again for 2019.” 


Sunday, February 17, 2019

New Jersey athletes in the Big Apple


It doesn't get a bigger than the Millrose Games track meet in New York City every February.  Once held at Madison Square Garden, the meet is now held at the New York Armory.  The meet was held this year on Friday, February 8th.

What many casual observers of the nationally televised meet do not know is that many events are held that do not make it to the prime time broadcast.  What New Jersey viewers did not see was the several events in which New Jersey athletes competed. 

 The Garden State Track Club New Balance won the men's Distance Medley Relay in 9:58.52.  Their B team placed seventh while the Shore Athletic Club finished in eighth place, with Justin Scheid of Succasunna running the anchor leg.  Garden State's Women's teams placed fifth and eighth in the Distance Medley and their sprint team placed third in the four by two hundred relay.  Their men's sprint team won the 4 X 200.

New Jersey masters teams  ran in the 4 X 400 relays with the Garmin M40 team finishing in fourth place and their M50 team finishing eleventh in the same combined heat.  How the teams were broken out by age is not available on the Armory website.


Morris area runners returned to the Ocean Breeze indoor facility this past Sunday to compete in the USATF New Jersey/ New York indoor championship meet with the New Jersey athletes winning again, as they did in 2018.

Nora Cary of Morristown won her W60 division in the 3,000 meters with a time of 12:54.35.  In a close race in the mile, Cary finished in 6:30.77 for second place just one second behind first.  Susan Stirrat of Rockaway made it a triple in her W60 division placing second to Cary in the 3,000 meter race with her 15:11.91.  She was third in the 800 meter run in 3:39.88 and fourth in the Mile in 7:47.76.

On the men's side, Reno Stirrat won the M60 3,000 meter race in 11:38.03 and placed second in the Mile in 6:04.34.  Bob Skorupski of Rockaway won his M45 division 3,000 meter race in 10:07.81, and placed third in the 800 meter race with his time of 2:13.53.  John Saarman of Stanhope was first in the 400 meter race in his M75 division in 1:44.45.

By far the biggest winner was Mark Williams of Columbia.  The former Lake Hopatcong athlete won all three of his M45 races;  400 meters in 54.60, 800 meters 2:01.51 and the mile 4:38.19.

Williams and some other New Jersey athletes will be competing at the masters national indoor championship in Winston Salem NC the first weekend in March.


The USATF Long Distance Running committee is having their meeting on Thursday, March 7th at the Madison Y.  A major change is going to  be voted on regarding when submissions for rule changes will be made, debated and approved at this meeting.  Interested runners should check out the meeting agenda on the USATF New Jersey website and plan to attend.


Sunday, February 3, 2019

You have to be in it to win it

Published in the Daily Record
on Sunday, February 3, 2019


In the movie On the Waterfront, Marlon Brando's boxer character says plaintively, "I couda' been a contenda'".

Justin Scheid of Succasunna could also have been a contenda' had he just run two more races in the New Balance grand prix in 2018.  Scheid won the Baker's Dozen half marathon in 1:14:23, but did not run in any other Category Three races. 

 If he had and had won them, his score would have been 5,691, the same number of points that Morristown's Aaron Leskow came away with in his win of the series.  The two men are closely matched, but as Leskow discovered; you have to be in it to win it.   Sometimes a runner's career interferes with his running carrier, and that is the case for Scheid.

"With my job as a tax accountant I work a lot of hours leading up to April 15th and then again leading up to September and October 15th that races around that time are difficult for me to commit to," said Scheid.

When Scheid did get to the races he was always a factor.  Scheid had three second places in important races in 2018 that included the Lager Run 5K where he finished in 15:22, and the 5 kilometer cross country championship in 15:40.  He had a third in the 8 kilometer cross country and third in the Ashenfelter 8 km.  Scheid traveled to Spokane in December to run in the national club cross country 10 km and finished in an impressive 31:43

Scheid said that his parents inspired him and his brother Jeremy to run, but did not pressure their sons.  Growing up in Sparta  Scheid remembers how their father, Larry, an outstanding age division runner, took he and Jeremy out on various courses in the neighborhood.  Each run started on a downhill and ended with an uphill.  

"I remember the first workout, probably at age 11 or 12," said Scheid.  "Run hard from one mailbox to the next up Skyline Drive, then jog easy to the next mailbox, and repeat.  I remember because that was also the day I discovered the second mailbox was practically halfway up the hill. Dad asked how the workout went and I said I thought the neighborhood could use a few more mailboxes."  

Scheid's racing career began with youth cross country racing, where he was recruited to run for the Cosmic Track Club. 

"This was my first cross country team," said Scheid.  "We traveled to Junior Olympic championships in Portland, Lexington, and Spartanburg."  

Scheid joined the Pope John high school cross county team in the fall of 2000 as a freshman. He remembers coach Brian Corcoran handing out a hard workout after the team had a disappointing performance against rival Vernon.

" I won't lie, that interval workout in the grass around the track with push-ups and sit-ups during the recovery was excruciating," said Scheid"Nevertheless, I looked forward to workouts, especially the challenging ones because, I believed I improved with each one. I had a successful high school running career that included some great individual and team performances. I owe this success to Mr. Corcoran and my teammates who pushed and challenged me for four years. I loved competing.  It didn't matter if it was an individual race or a relay." 

After high school Scheid attended Georgetown University and ran both cross country and track for the school where he posted some very impressive times; Indoor 3000 meter 8:10.61, Indoor 5000 meter, 14:24.00, Outdoor 5000 meter, 14:17.89. 10,000 meter, 30:12.47. cross country 8,000 meter, 24:15.40.

"I loved Georgetown," said Scheid.  "Coach [Patrick] Henner and my teammates were fantastic, the weather was pleasant, and DC had remarkable places to run; i.e. towpath, polo fields, trails, bike paths, the National Mall  even though I didn't have as much success as I did in high school. My times improved but some workouts were more impressive than my races."
One of Scheid's most memorable college races was the 2008 Big East cross country  championships in his senior year at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. 

"We had a strong team but it was expected to be a close race for the team championship," said Scheid. "This race sticks with me because it was one of those days when everyone raced well. We went 1, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 and won the team title 35-64 over Notre Dame." 

After graduating Georgetown in 2009 Scheid began working for an accounting firm in Florham Park, where Elliott Frieder of Bloomfield also worked.  Frieder and his brother Jonathan, then of Randolph, recruited Scheid to run on their Fleet Feet team, along with Carlos Martins and Jorge Lopes.  The team was picked up by the shoe company Pearl Izumi,  but dropped all teams when they stopped making running shoes.

Scheid was free to join any one of the local clubs, but he chose the Shore Athletic Club.  

 "It honestly felt strange joining Shore AC while living in NJ's northernmost county," said Scheid who was still living at the time in Sparta"People may have thought it a joke to see a Shore AC singlet at a local race. I initially thought I needed to invent an excuse to run for the club, such as growing up down the shore, but my worry dissipated after meeting the large group of Shore AC runners residing in Morris and Sussex Counties." 

 One of those runners is Reno Stirrat of Rockaway, who has coached Scheid for over a year.   He credits Stirrat for his 15:22 at the Lager Run and the top 100 finish at the 2018 USATF Club cross country championships in Spokane, thanks to Stirrat's training plan.  The local Shore group, dubbed Shore AC - El Norte,  get together on weekends for a long run in the Denville, Rockaway area.

Scheid says that he is looking forward to the 2019 New Jersey season.  We expect he will fill out his race card in full this time around and be a contender for the grand prix title.


Sunday, January 27, 2019

DeLea keeps on getting better


Laura  DeLea of Sparta finished the season in second place in the highly competitive W50 division of the New Balance Grand Prix in 2018.  

DeLea has quite a range, from the Midland Mile where she finished in 5:59.5, for third masters woman and age graded at 86.34% PLP (performance level percentage) to the other end of the distance spectrum where she finished the Franklin Lakes half marathon in 1:34.26 for a PLP of 81.43%.  Somewhere in between DeLea may have had her most rewarding performance when she as the first woman overall in the Devil's Run 6.66 mile race in October

Running has been a life long endeavor for DeLea beginning when she was ten and ran with her parents, who took their youngster with them to do laps at the Sparta High track  She said that she instantly fell in love with running and went on to run track, and cross country in high school.

  "I wasn't very good at it," said DeLea.  "I didn't really understand how to race properly so I didn't enjoy it.  After high school I continued to run, but not race."

When DeLea decided to get back into racing, she reached out to Bill Bosmann, then also of Sparta, for advice on how to run a race.  His advice must have helped, because DeLea finished as the second woman in her first race. 

"Although my race times were competitive," she said.  "It honestly was not until the last five years or so that I figured out how to truly enjoy racing."
 DeLea keeps her mileage to between 30 to 45 miles per week, running six days a week.  She includes one long run, one progression run and one track workout.  DeLea's very fit body attests to the workouts in the gym where she lifts weights and does core workouts three to four days a week.

The remaining days are maintenance," said DeLea, "but I live in Sparta where you can't avoid hills.  That's where I believe I get a lot of my strength from.

DeLea loves a good half marathon, but switched focus to the mile this past year.

Halfway through last season she asked her friend Mike Mooney to coach her for  the mile events she had on her schedule.  

"He’s one of the best milers I know so it seemed the obvious choice," she said.  "I was able to tie my PR in the mile as well as smash my 5K time by 15 seconds at age 53 by following his workouts."

"As the season progressed my times did too," said DeLea.  "I was able to up my game and started to train with people I used to feel were out of my league, and that helped me to push myself and continue to improve".

 DeLea place third in her age division at the Masters National’s Road mile in Flint MI this past August in 5:59.  She hit 5:54 at the 5th Avenue Mile mile (87%) in September in New York 

"It added some fuel in the fire to realizing I have more in me and can to do better in this event," she said.

DeLea is enjoying the winter season.  She says she is a cold weather runner and likes nothing better than a run in new fallen snow.

"No cars.  It’s quite and peaceful,"she said.  "And there’s all sorts of friendly people out shoveling their driveways cheering me on or calling me crazy... it’s just fun."
Her favorite running route is  an eight mile loop around Lake Mohawk that she describes as very challenging but beautiful.  

DeLea's favorite race is the Horace  Ashenfelter 8k in Glen Ridge on Thanksgiving morning.

"It’s the final big championship race of the season, great course and very well organized," she said.  
"The best part is that you get to spend Thanksgiving morning with your chosen family and I’d be remise not to mention the delicious donuts. Like many turkey trots there’s just happiness in the air."

DeLea may not have been seeking to run PR's at age 53 but they came to her thanks to cutting back on her mileage and focusing on quality.

This overall strategy and new training regime seems to have worked because she ran her first sub 20 in a 5K, clocking a 19:50.  The 5:54 Fifth Avenue Mile tied with her previous mile PR and she finished  the USATF national masters championship 8K in Virginia Beach in 33:19 in March for another PR.

DeLea is far from a solo runner.  She cherishes the members of her Clifton Road Runners team that dominates in the W50 division of the Garmin Team Grand Prix, where they've finished first for the past three years.

"I have amazing teammates who I call my running sisters," said DeLea.  "We go to battle for each other, win or lose, we do it together."

"We ran sick, hurt, in mud, heat and cold but we did it and laughed our way through the season.  At the USATF Nationals 8K in March we brought home the Silver Medal for 50’s Women’s team category."