Raritan Valley Road Runners Online Newsletter
Volume 7 Issue 5
Another Mile in the President's Stilettos
I'm starting to receive requests for types of shoes to put in my president's report headline. The above was an anonymous request from an RVRR bachelor who wished to put a little sex appeal into our running newsletter.
June was a busy month for RVRR. The month started with a Summer Series time trial at Donaldson Park, which was won by Rose Strawn and Julian Zammit.
It was followed by two June Summer Series races, with the first posting a record 140 finishers! Many thanks to Janice Reid, Doug Brown, and Mary Chervenak for planning these events and coordinating our faithful volunteers.
In addition, our 16th annual Anniversary Run and General Membership Meeting were held on June 23rd. The event was immortalized by a club photo, thanks to our in-house photographer, Janice Reid. The evening also featured Sensei Kevin Weller, black belt instructor of Jeet Kun Do and White Tiger Kempo from the Tom Bryan's Martial Arts Academy, for some instruction on self-defense. Assisting him was our own Judi Cox, a self-described red belt "Karate Grandmother." Hi-Yah! Many thanks for an informative and entertaining presentation!
Thanks also go to our volunteers who helped organize the Merrill Lynch Bull Run on June 16 at Colonial Park. Mark Rogalski directed the talents of the much appreciated volunteers: Sam Bianca, Doug Brown, Mary Chervenak, Dave Hoch, Ed Levy, and Ron York. Their volunteer efforts collected $350 for our club treasury!
Speaking of our treasury, if you haven't yet renewed your dues, please do so. The volunteers in charge of membership are Janice Reid and Greg Mullins. Renewals can be done by mail or at Wednesday night runs.
Also in June, RVRR hosted yet another Adventure Run. Under the capable leadership of Roger Price and Dave Hoch, on June 20th fourteen club members enjoyed a trail run in Jockey Hollow, one of the most beautiful parks in our state. We are truly fortunate to have Roger and Dave contribute so much to our club!
It's hard to believe it's July already. We will be celebrating our first Towpath Anniversary with a Caboose Run on Saturday, July 24th. This "train run" will travel the entire length of the towpath, with club members hopping on board the caboose at various stations along the way, depending upon the distance you want to run. This will be followed by a picnic celebration. See details about this event on Page 1 in this newsletter.
In July we will also host our final Summer Series 5K race on July 13th. Even if you haven't run in the first two, feel free to join in the fun. I'm not sure if these races are better known for the running or the party afterwards.
July will also feature our final Adventure Run until fall. We will run the beautiful and challenging trails at Watchung on July 11th (Page 3.) Trail shoes are definitely advised! Rolf Arands and I will be the leaders for this run, and we really hope to see you there. (Some of you have no choice!)
Several of our members, including myself, will be traveling to jolly ole England at the end of the month to participate in the August WAVA Championships. I'm sure you'll be hearing more on this later!
Usually I close with "Happy running!" but I think I'll make it "Happy, safe running!" With news of the recent tragedy of another runner hit by a car, it would be good for all of us to remember to run in the direction that's against traffic.
You can go now.
First Anniversary Saturday Morning Towpath Run
Join us on Saturday, July 24th as we celebrate the first anniversary of our Saturday Morning Runs at the towpath from Landing Lane. To commemorate the event, we will have a 34-mile Caboose Run from Trenton to Landing Lane.
You can join us at 6 a.m. in Trenton or join the train at any stop along the way to Landing Lane. Support will be available at each station. We will be running at 8:30/mile pace, with arrival at Landing Lane scheduled for 11 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to travel the D&R Canal Towpath Corridor Line. We will picnic in Grove 5 after the run. Members attending the picnic will be asked to contribute $5 to defray the cost of food and drink. Bring the family. Schedule and train stops are being determined, so call the hotline (732) 463-RVRR after July 17th or join the RVRR e-mail list through the RVRR website www.rvrr.org; late-breaking details will be sent to you.
Wednesday Night Runs
The Raritan Valley Road Runners have met weekly for sixteen years of consecutive Wednesday night runs! Come join us at 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Park Senior Citizens' and Youth Center at the intersection of Benner Street and S. 6th Ave. Parking is available in well-lit lots adjacent to the building. Come dressed in your usual running garb. We are currently running the summer course through Johnson Park. After the run, come out to dinner at Dolls! (Route 27 South, 1 st bldg. on right past railroad bridge, New Bruns.)
Saturday Towpath Runs
Every Saturday morning, we meet in Johnson Park, Piscataway at the Grove 5 parking lot for a group run. Take the one-way park road west from Landing Lane (between Landing Lane Bridge and River Road). Turn left into the first parking lot.
The run is out-and-back on the D&R Canal towpath. Typical distances vary from 4.8 to 20+ miles and runners of all levels are welcome! The towpath is flat and has just been resurfaced with hard-packed sand, making it smooth and dry in nearly any weather. It is beautiful, shaded and a perfect for long training runs. Rest rooms are available at the start and at many spots along the way (e.g., DeMott Lane, Five Mile Lock, and the South Bound Brook Lock).
Currently, the start time is 8 a.m. to help beat the heat of summer.
From the Landing Lane Bridge to
DeMott Lane: 2.1 mi
5 Mile Lock (just past 287): 3.7 mi
S. Bound Brook Lock: 5.3 mi
Zarephath: 8.4 mi
Amwell Road: 11.1 mi
Blackwells Mills: 13.2 mi
Watchung Reservation Adventure Run
On Sunday, July 11th at 8:30 a.m., we will meet to run at Watchung Reservation in Union County. Trail shoes are advised, as there will be mud, roots and rocks along the course. Watchung's trails vary from smooth dirt paths, stream bed crossings to "Where is the trail?"
There will be two groups. The first group, with an approximate 8 minute/mile pace will be led by Rolf Arands. This group will do a 10.5-mile loop. An easier-going group, with an approximate 9 minute/mile pace doing a 7.5-mile loop, will be led by Trink Poynter.
Restrooms and water are available at the start/finish and about 2/3 of the way through the 10.5-mile route. We will place water at one location on the course, but you may want to carry additional water. The run will start from the Seeley's Pond parking lot at 9:30 a.m. (southwest corner of the Reservation). The best access is from Route 22. If you need additional information, you may contact Trink (email@example.com) or Rolf (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Directions from areas west of Scotch Plains: Take 22 East towards Scotch Plains. Watch for a very large Sears complex at which there is a major lighted intersection with Terrill Road. Continue 0.7 miles east from this intersection and then take the exit marked with "Berkeley Heights / Fanwood / Scotch Plains" on a large, green road sign. This exit comes immediately after an Exxon station and an overpass.
After exiting, continue about 100 yards and bear right at the first right turn; this ramp will take you back up and over Route 22. Continue straight through the first traffic light onto New Providence Road (rock quarry on left). Continue about 1 mile on New Providence Road to the first light and make a right. Proceed about 50 yards and make the first right into the parking lot.
Directions from areas east of Scotch Plains: Take 22 West towards Scotch Plains. Watch for the Bowcraft Amusement Park. Shortly after Bowcraft, you will come to a traffic light at which there is a Lone Star Restaurant. Continue 0.9 miles east from this "Lone Star" traffic light and make a right onto the exit marked with "Berkeley Heights / Fanwood / Scotch Plains" on a large, green road sign. This exit comes immediately before a large overpass.
After exiting, continue 0.1 miles to the first traffic light and then make a right onto New Providence Road. Continue about 1 mile on New Providence road to the first light and make a right. Proceed about 50 yards and make the first right into the parking lot.
Will the Real Adventure Run Please Step Forward?
It's great that our trail-loving President has revived the old RVRR tradition of fun, spirit and camaraderie in the series of adventure runs hosted by an assortment of members over the past few months. And those runs in which I managed to participate (before injury) were indeed fun and spirited.
But as she well knows, I have a different sort of sense of adventure when I organize a trail run. When I can convince a hearty crew to join me, my runs lead us to unexplored territories, and use the mottoes "Follow the sun and we're generally going in the right direction," and "Map? What map? We don't need no stinkin' map!" The basic idea is to find a good place to eat that's near a park, and then start running the trails, even though you've never been there before. Eventually you find your way back, and usually you're pretty hungry by then.
Of course, the one group did come close to that at the Thompson Park trail run, which originally I was supposed to lead. My hamstring did not cooperate, and neither did the sun ů it was pouring rain. Although my intentions were to lead the group by bike ů well, it's a long story and maybe that's why they got not-quite-hopelessly lost.
Anyway, I digress. I'm here today to challenge RVRR members to a new, higher level of adventure for the new century. For the year 2000 adventure run series, I offer the following suggestions.
Microbrewery Series. Organize a run from each of the 16 microbreweries around the state. Might as well have something good to drink as well as eat after you're done.
Winery Series. Same idea and a different libation.
Canal Series. Ray Petit should love this one. There are three canal systems in the state, and we've only covered one. The Morris Canal and the northern branch of the D&R Canal (north from Trenton to Frenchtown) could keep us busy for a few road trips, although it would be hard to get lost on them.
Lighthouse Series. For some summertime fun, how about visiting each of the working lighthouses in the state? You may be surprised to find a few on the Delaware River, not just along the shore.
You get the idea. Just remember, you don't have to know where the run will be exactly to organize a trail or road adventure run. There will be plenty of club members willing to go along with you, just for the fun and spirit of it. As long as there are bathrooms and good food, the only other thing you need is a sense of adventure!
Running and Racewalking as Cross Training
Ed Dunphy, Shore Athletic Club
As a runner I am training to run my fifteenth marathon. I do not plan to give up running. The fact is that racewalking as a cross-training method has brought my running times down substantially.
We would like to interest more runners in the Olympic sport of racewalking as a cross-training method. The opportunity to compete in both sports can provide the most in fun as well as competitive opportunities. Racewalking will benefit runners through increased cardiovascular fitness as high-stress speedwork is very prevalent in running. Additionally, it is said that racewalking is less stressful on bones.
The Shore AC will be happy to work with RVRR members on training methods and sessions. Additionally there are continual summer, fall, winter and spring weekly events. If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me via e-mail at "email@example.com".
Hit the Roads
You'll find them in the streets and the parks. They've even made their way to the Saturday morning towpath runs. No, they are not a new strain of locusts. They are the newly created Raritan Valley (Road Runner) StreetWalkers that I created after an abundance of leg and foot injuries. Enjoying walking and staying involved with RVRR were better than quitting the club. The group of one has now grown. Wives, girlfriends, and visitors of the club's runners have joined in the weekly adventure walks, be it in the parks, on the streets, on the towpaths or even on trails.
The pace varies weekly, depending on the number present and the injuries or abilities of those present. The StreetWalkers gather at the clubhouse on Wednesday nights, along with the RVRR group and follow the same path as the runners. So, don't sit home while your spouse or friends are out there running. Join the StreetWalkers, stay in shape and maybe some day you'll get an "offer you can't refuse."
Summer Series Time Trial
June 8, 1999. It was a hot and windy night. The runners came, read the rules, and laughed. No timing, no scoring, no watches, no complaining. Predictions would be held secret to avoid pacing. It was, as billed, a race against yourself.
This was our first 5K time trial on the cross country course and we wanted to make it different. Twenty two club members left their prized Ironman time pieces tagged with their name in a box, and toed the starting line. Seventeen finished within 60 seconds of their prediction.
As usual, the race directors didn't follow all the rules they set, however. We did score the race, so we could determine how close everyone came. We did have surprise awards to those who could come closest to running their predicted time. And we did have plenty of spirit(s) to celebrate after everyone was done. It seems we've started a new tradition.
Congratulations to Julian and Rose, who each won tickets for two to an upcoming Somerset Patriots minor league baseball game. Doug disqualified himself from the awards. Special mention goes to Maoz Brown, who missed the start and jumped in at the 1/2 mile mark, finishing in a credible 23:06 for his first time on the course. Look for this 14-year-old to improve over the course of the series. Also special kudos to Bill Webster, who based his prediction on the one road 5K he's completed. We know he'll never underestimate the difficulty of cross country again.
Name Predict Actual Diff.
Julian Zammit 24:15 24:11 :04
Doug Brown 19:48 19:43 :05
Rose Strawn 33:00 32:52 :08
Peter Priolo 25:00 25:09 :09
Carl Rocker 19:00 19:13 :13
Chris Lehman 19:30 19:48 :18
Jeff Perlman 20:30 20:11 :19
Roger Price 18:00 17:40 :20
Rick Boyle 21:00 20:34 :26
Michael Czech 20:00 20:33 :33
Paul Krentar 28:20 27:44 :36
L. Brown-Klein 28:00 27:19 :41
Dave Hoch 21:47 22:31 :44
Julie Mazza 24:30 25:19 :49
Pati Rosen 21:50 22:39 :49
Mark Strawn 24:00 24:56 :56
Mark Rogalski 21:00 21:59 :59
Alice Tempel 33:00 31:55 1:05
David Brown 22:00 23:21 1:21
Ray Petit 25:10 26:43 1:33
Leigh Walker 22:45 24:44 1:59
Bill Webster 20:48 23:00 2:12
And Then There Was None
Well, maybe not exactly none. But had the trail run lasted any longer, there very well may have been no one left. Then again, our number was never constant at any point in the run.
On the morning of June 20th, we all met at Thompson Park in Jamesburg for our fourth adventure run. This run, led by Doug Brown and Ginny Farrell, began under a dark cloud. That is to say, it was pouring rain. Seventeen hardy runners congregated and then set off for the woods, anything to get some cover overhead. We also had one hiker, Mary Ann Lippen, who took off looking sharp with her perky blue umbrella repelling the rain.
Halfway across a field, our group was joined by Ed Levy and Ray Petit, who had, at first, accidentally entered Thompson Park through an entrance different from the one given in the directions. I was later told by a confidential source (Ed) that the good part about being initially lost was that Ray stopped singing when he realized they had made a wrong turn.
Once on the trails, our adventure run officially began. We divided into two groups that eventually went separate ways. One group was led by Doug with Chris Lehman, Greg Mullins, Paul Krentar, Dave Hoch, Roger Price, Jorge Rivera, Ed Levy and myself. The second group, led by Ginny had Madeline Bost, Myrna Rosal, Lois Brown-Klein, Ray Petit, "DJ" Ed Wong, and Dana Gross. Accompanying us was Janice Reid on mountain bike.
That is until we heard that Mark Rogalski and Mary Chervenak were still at the distant entrance that Ray and Ed had just left. Well, there goes Janice on bike to the rescue!
We ran a few more steps. Oops! There goes Jorge's beeper. And there goes Jorge!
Happily, our number then increased as miraculously Mark and Mary found us deep within the woods. How did they do that?
Is all finally well?
Not exactly. Because it's not long before our group, under the crackerjack leadership of Doug, soon finds itself lost. Well, perhaps lost is too strong a word. Let's just say Doug is bewildered.
Did I mention it's pouring rain?
So now, out of an adjoining trail bursts Janice, on wheels. Does Janice ever get lost?
Under her direction, we proceed, now unlost. But Roger then becomes concerned about Madeline, who had planned to run a short distance that day, and needed to get back. There goes Roger, off to find Madeline.
We continue running. Over hill, over dale, over stream, down the soggy trail. Yes, it is still raining.
And we hear voices.
The other group is hailing us as it comes our way. What are they yelling? Could it be? yes, sounds like a mixture of "Help!" and "We're saved!" Turns out their fearless leader had to go back, so their group was now led by DJ Ed. By the way, DJ Ed had never been on these trails before.
So now let's get a running total here. Jorge, Roger and Ginny have gone. Mark and Mary regrettably had to cut the run short and had taken off in another direction. Janice had biked in search of Roger. Each group had been lost once.
The survivors regroup over a fresh water spring.
Did I mention it was pouring down rain?
We finally all congregated back at the cars. Mary Ann came back, like us, covered with mud, with her umbrella broken and limp. Turns out she had taken a nose dive down the bank near a bridge.
Did we all have a good time?
In 1992, weak from a long battle with cancer, Fred Lebow, founder and director of the New York City Marathon for more than 25 years, crossed the marathon finishline saying, "Running the marathon is the best way I know to fight this disease."
Although he passed away in 1994, his memory is not forgotten. On November 7, 1999 I will be running the New York City Marathon for Fred's Team. Fred's Team started in memory of Fred Lebow, along with team captain Greta Waitz, raises money for the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City This center is the world's finest center devoted to cancer research, treatment and prevention.
In fact, during the last 30 years they have advanced from having just a few effective treatments for cancer to being able to cure more than 50% of all new cancer patients. The donations made will also go towards Sloan-Kettering's Aubrey Fund for Pediatric Cancer Research.
To this end, I will be collecting donations for every mile of the marathon. I have vowed to raise $3,000 for the cause, but I need help. If you would like to sponsor me per mile, or simply make a donation, please make your check payable to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and send to Stacey Jacobs 8331 Grubb Rd. #201, Silver Spring, MD 20910.
Thank you for all of your help. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at the above mailing address.
The August newsletter deadline is Saturday, July 17, 1999. This deadline will be strictly enforced to accomodate the travel plans of Doug and Janice. E-mail and floppies are convenient ways to submit articles. Send to "firstname.lastname@example.org". Please submit in Microsoft Word, rich text or text only format! Use "bin hex" document encoding if possible.
Welcome New Members
Jamye Gage Edison
David Koderka Edison
Kieran Phillips Metuchen
Eric Danzeisen Somerset
Patricia O'Hanlon Jersey City
Thomas Prentice Skillman
Melissa Shelby Cranford
Sergio Cano Union City
William Webster III North Brunswick
Julie Mazza East Brunswick
James Gilligan 7/1
Michael McGrath 7/1
Michael Porter 7/3
Cindy Sue Schaller 7/4
Clyde H. Dolan 7/6
Janice Reid 7/6
Vincent Sica 7/6
Jason Hackworth 7/8
Jonathan Slapin 7/9
Judith Samuel 7/10
Tina Lin 7/11
John Mazurick 7/11
George Kelly 7/12
Bob McLaughlin 7/12
Cornell Hess 7/15
Julian Zammit 7/17
John Odell 7/18
Katherine Fawcett 7/20
Herman Richards 7/21
Mary Ann Aull 7/23
Karen Capuzzi 7/23
Sharon Rogers 7/25
Gerhard Wiesinger 7/26
Robert Babb 7/29
Barbara Gordon 7/29
Jim Norton 7/29
Judy Faherty 7/30
Mark Your Calendars
|What: Saturday Towpath Runs - New Summer Start Time
When: 8 a.m. to beat the heat!
Where: Grove #5 in Johnson Park, Piscataway.
Details: See Saturday Towpath run details on Page 2 of this newsletter.
|What: Watchung Reservation Adventure Run
When: Sunday, July 11th at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Watchung Reservation in Scotch Plains, NJ
Details: 7.5 and 10.5 mile routes planned. See article and directions on Page 3 of this newsletter.
|What: RVRR Youth and XC Summer Series #3
When: Tuesday, July 13th; 6 p.m. Youth; 7 p.m. XC
Where: Donaldson Park in the town of Highland Park
Details: This is the third of the three 5K races to be held in 1999; volunteers are needed as well and should arrive by 5:30 p.m. There will be a fourth Youth Series, but no 5K, on July 27th.
|What: First Anniversary of Saturday Morning Towpath
Runs: 34-Mile "Caboose" Run and Picnic
When: Starting at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 24th and continuing until 11 a.m.
Where: Starting on the D&R Canal Towpath in Trenton and ending at Grove 5 in Johnson Park in Piscataway.
Details: Route is 34 miles and there are many places to join in. See article on Page 1 of this newsletter. Donation of $5 requested if you attend post-event picnic.
The Spirit of Midland
"On angel's wings we take flight÷each day÷past every obstacle÷to soar through the clouds and land into a world of hopes and dreams."
The gun goes off, the race begins÷on angels wings I'm carried away into the crowd of thousands, running hard and strong, passing young teens with intense looks on their faces as they concentrate on beating their PRs. I see familiar faces in the crowd of runners; the best of the best are there, New Jersey's fastest road runners. The Masters men and women in the prime of their life, in perfect health, defying the laws of nature as they strive to run their fastest race yet.
The race continues through the fields of the Moorland Farm. There are no horses on the track today where we begin to run. After we travel up the gravel road, we reach the pavement running past farms and villages with well wishers along the way cheering us on to victory.
I smile at the lady working the clock as I pass the two-mile mark. I want to stop and hug her for doing a great job, but continue I must.
The hills are tough on my muscles and every bone in my body hurts, but continue I must.
The miles seem to fly by, the pain is intense, but I have a goal to finish this race, for this race is special to me this race is my life; my present, my future.
I am the Spirit of each and every student of the Midland School, and you the runner are racing with me in your heart, breathless, but exhilarated as you reach the finish line.
The Midland Run is more than a race. It is life for the students of the Midland School. Whether you finish first or last makes no difference. The monies raised for this great cause go to the children and young adults of the school. Every day another mile is traveled, be it on green pastures, graveled roads or steep hills, being able to say a new word, take a new step, learn a new skill, climb another hill by learning to write their name or tie their shoes, something we take for granted. By running this race, you have given hope and inspiration to the school and the students. Every runner is a winner, every runner is a hero in the eyes of the Midland School students and staff.
Midland Run 1999
Nearly 5,000 runners gathered on the cool morning of May 16th to run the 22nd annual Midland Run race. For the third year in a row the Run hosted the Men's National 10-Mile Championship, with competitors coming in from Colorado, Florida, Kentucky and even a local runner from New Jersey. ESPN covered the 10-Mile race, and it will be featured in July.
The run is sponsored by the Midland School, nestled in the countryside of North Branch, New Jersey, and is a school for multiple handicapped children and young adults, ages 5 to 21. The teachers and staff educate these students to help them grow and develop into independent adults, who will eventually graduate from the school and venture out into the "real world" to work, to play and for many to fall in love and marry.
Many students train for the race, beginning in September, and many run the 5K and 15K races with pride in their hearts and pain on their faces. They are the heroes of the day. For them we all run.
The Midland Run is one of New Jersey's largest, most prestigious races, held in Far Hills for the last 22 years. The course is one of the most beautiful, scenic road races in America.
Beginning at the Moorland Farm, on a horse track, over 2,000 runners begin the 15K race, continuing onto graveled streets and then onto the pavement of the quaint old towns with rolling hills the entire way. There are very few flat stretches on this course. Around the 7th mile, the runners hit the toughest part of the course. Many of the athletes running this race are in training for marathons, triathlons and for a summer of races throughout the country; some will travel to other countries, representing the US with pride and honor.
At this point, their training comes into focus. The weather is an intricate part of the race and the surrounding mountains shade the runners from the late morning sun. As the runners struggle to keep their pace, the lactic acid builds up in their muscles, their sinewy bodies stretch out as they finish the course, running to a finish line with a cheering crowd of Midland students, parents, families, friends, fellow runners and admiring fans.
The race is over for the runner, but the race of life is just beginning for the student of Midland. They will benefit from the proceeds of the race.
Thanks go out to RVRR's own club member, and past winner of the Midland Run, Mark Zamek, who has been the race director of the run for the past few years. He and a team of volunteers meet every month of the year to coordinate the day's event, with fund raisers of raffle sales, silent auctions, antique shows and craft sales. The revenue all goes back to the school for the benefit of the students.
And special thanks go to the volunteers of RVRR for (wo)manning the clocks, helping with the announcing, to the runners and to those on the sidelines cheering on each and every runner.