Raritan Valley Road Runners Online Newsletter

January-February 2000
Volume 8 Issue 1

Another Mile in the President’s Mucklucks

Trink Poynter

I was told mucklucks are Eskimo shoes. Although there’s no snow as of yet, they seem to be appropriate for winter. I looked up "muckluck" in the dictionary; it wasn’t there. "Muck" was there, however. It means "moist manure." I had to laugh.

December was a jolly month. On December 11th, we had our Holiday Party at the Vercammen Castle, and if you attended, you’d know "castle" is no exaggeration. We had at least 60 people in attendance. Thank you to all the board members who worked so hard to put it together, and many thanks to Cynthia and Ken Vercammen for their warm hospitality! And I didn’t forget this time: Thanks to Dana Gross for the turkey!

The party was followed by our final Membership Meeting of the year on December 15. The year 2000 club officers were elected: Ed Levy, 1st VP; Pete Priolo, 2nd VP, Judi Cox, Secretary; and John Nowatkowski, Treasurer. The elected board members were Dave Hoch, Dana Gross, and Mark Strawn. You can guess from the mucklucks who the President is again. In addition, I later asked Peter Onufryk to serve as our Member-at-Large, and he accepted. So that is our complete Board of Directors.

Our traditional romp through New Brunswick followed on December 22. I have been on many of our "Jingle Bell" runs, each more notorious than the last. I am happy to report that not only were we not thrown out of any bars this year, but we actually were served beer in three places! For those of you who don’t know what a Jingle Bell run is, we dress up in ridiculous holiday garb, festoon ourselves with bells, and earnestly sing Christmas carols in the most pathetic chorus you’d ever imagine, and then expect people to treat us gratefully to free beer. I think the tall guy dressed up like a reindeer (Mark Strawn) was our ace-in-the-hole. Ray Petit was our choral director (read: loudest singer), and Dave Hoch, our special soloist, who boldly sang our plea for beer.

January is already upon us. To remind everyone, in addition to our weekly Wednesday evening run, we have a Saturday group run on the towpath. We meet at Johnson Park, in Grove 5, with the run starting at 9 a.m.

Be sure to mark February 11th on your calendar! It is the evening of our Annual Winter Banquet, where we wine and dine and dance and say nice things to each other. (Somehow I manage to make it through that last part.) We give each other awards and recognition for jobs well done. It’s also a chance to dress up to see what we look like when we’re bathed and brushed and not running. I sure know how to talk up an event! See the flyer enclosed in this newsletter for more information.

Also coming up on February 13th is our first Y2K adventure run in High Bridge, led by our fearless Thinman, Gene Gugliotta. Details about this run are also in this newsletter. I can’t wait to get back on our adventure runs, although right now the trails can be quite muddy. Good thing I gots my mucklucks!

Happy running!

You can go now.

Time for Training


I have been contemplating writing an article for a while, but I do not think that my literary skills are up to that of Thinman, Rolf, or Mary. Well, I’ve just decided that I don’t care what any of you think. Wow, I have to stop running with Trink. Anyway, here goes!

Time. What is time? My version of Webster’s defines time as the system of sequential relations that any event has to any other, as past, present or future; indefinite continuous duration regarded as that in which events succeed one another. Well, that tells me absolutely nothing. Here is my definition of time: an indescribable element of my life of which I do not have enough of! I am going to venture out on a limb here and assume that everyone who is reading this defines time the same way I do.

What can we do about it? Let’s break it down: a week has seven days. One day has 24 hours, so that makes 168 hours a week. I could do a lot with 168 hours! Since none of us is independently wealthy, we must work 40 hours a week and travel two hours on each work day to make 50 hours spent in work-related pursuits (if we are lucky). We must wake up an hour before work to get ready: 55 hours per week. That’s not too bad. That still leaves 113 hours a week.

This is making me tired—uh-oh, forgot about sleep. Let’s see. Seven hours a night for 7 nights makes 49 hours spent sleeping. That brings the total remaining to 64 hours per week. Still, not bad. I can do a lot of things in 64 hours.

Man, am I getting hungry. One hour a day to prepare, eat, and clean up after dinner. Arghh! Out of pasta! Time to run to the food store…1.5 hours (pun intended). That makes 8.5 hours a week for food-related sustenance. No problem. That still leaves 55.5 hours of "free" time to enjoy what life has to offer.

If you have a spouse, subtract 20 hours for quality time. If you have a family, subtract 30 hours. Since this is my article, and I have a family, the total is now 25.5 hours per week. Since this represents a perfect week—and we all have perfect weeks, right?—let’s make a 20 percent adjustment for contingencies: subtract 5 hours. That still leaves 20.5 hours a week during which I can train, as long as it doesn’t rain!

Twenty and a half hours equal 1230 minutes. Running at 8 minutes per mile, I should have enough time to run 150 miles a week! Then why is it that I have trouble finding time to run 25 miles a week.

A Runner’s Fortune

Rosemarie Kiser

My running and my fortune are often inexplicably intertwined, or so it seemed last Wednesday when I asked the cookie for my fate. It—the cookie—arrived with the others near meal’s end at the Szechuan Gourmet where I had finished a shared dinner with 16 of the Raritan Valley Road Runners. Excited by the prospects, I tugged the tiny paper from the crust and read, "Life to you is dashing…!"

It was on track. I had dashed out of the starting blocks on 5th Avenue that evening, then dashed across Raritan Avenue. The cookie fortune, however, failed to tell the tale of lactic acid legs and labored breath which befell me before the first bend in the road. Could one scrappy line predict my fortune? I thought not!

Mindful that the plate was meant to be shared, I stealthily pushed several cellophane wrapped cookies into my lap, then passed on what remained.

The second fortune unfolded its message into my palm. "When you learn to be flexible, amazing opportunities reveal themselves."

Alas, this fortune might have been correct had I stretched and flexed myself into tranquility instead of spending the minutes before the run socializing with the tribe. I remembered climbing the hill on 2nd Avenue, pressing myself to keep up the pace. As my hamstrings tightened and screamed, I pushed away thoughts of slowing down. "No!" I barked internally. It is not my fortune to stop. Where is another cookie?

Quietly I unwrapped the third one beneath the folds of my black wool coat, cracked it open, and read the words from the little paper in my lap: "Be assertive when decisive action is needed."

Somehow, that cookie knew my mind. In a convoluted way I was sure that after the first mile I would melt into that steady state all runners seek, then glide easily around the remaining 3-1/2 miles. But hope can be cruel. By the end of the first mile I was in fact hunched into a concave blather of aortal dysrhythmia and was running into the mist by sheer memory. I could still see a couple of clubmates in the fog ahead, but I was losing ground quickly.

In the nick of time I found myself tumbling down hill on Harrison Avenue. Floating down the pitch in the road as fast as my legs would turn, I got that heady feeling, blithely unaware of the 4th fortune cookie’s warning: "Do not mistake temptation for opportunity."

The bottom of the hill was met by a long, sneaky uphill. But, as the 5th fortune promised: "God will not only listen to your prayers, but will make them come true," I begged the heavens for the strength I used to know, and was answered. The uphill was almost easy. The couple I had seen earlier were in sight again, and I told myself the worst was over.

Fortune cookie number 6 suited my optimistic spirit to a tee: "You are more likely to give than to give in."

Give it what you’ve got, I demanded of myself, and I kept going, trying to maintain my pitiful pace around the dark streets on the north side of town. You know pain, I chanted, and you love it. I kept going and going, eating up 8th Avenue, then Woodbridge, then the last long streets and little hills.

By the end of the 4-1/2 mile loop I felt well enough to go an extra 1/2 to make it five. Finally, the lights of the recreation center came toward me as the light at the end of a tunnel does. I snapped open the final cookie.

Fortune number 7 sang up to me: "Let the world be filled with tranquility and good will." As I came up the last incline, people everywhere were applauding in recognition of my extraordinary effort, and a gold medal on the award table glinted in the moonlight awaiting its place around my neck. Maybe that last fortune was the one. And, maybe the light was seen not only through the tunnel, but also through the windows of the Szechuan Gourmet.

Welcome New Members

Ethel Autorino               Edison

Deborah Autorino          Edison

Dan Eckes                    Edison

Richard Gebauer            South Plainfield

Rich Hovey                     Raritan

Annette P. Johnson           Somerset

Rosemarie Kiser            Highland Park

Jeffrey Korbman            Highland Park

Brenda Perez                Bridgewater

Stephen Piskor              Cranbury

Jerry Szych                     Somerset

Robert Townley            Rahway

Carol Freedman            Highland Park

George Squires            Highland Park

RVRR Summer Series Dates

The 17th Annual Raritan Valley 5K Cross Country Series planners have set the dates for the 2000 races. There will be four races this year, all coinciding with the Youth Series for children aged 12 and under.

The dates are all on Tuesdays—June 13, June 27, July 18, and August 1—and all races are held in Donaldson Park in Highland Park, and are open to all runners. Entry forms will be available by April through the club website and at the Wednesday night runs.

The annual RVRR picnic and Summer Series awards presentation is scheduled for Sunday, September 10, also at Donaldson Park.

If popular demand requires, a 2nd annual RVRR-only 5K time trial may be held on June 6th. Stay tuned.

East Brunswick Road Races Update

Janice Reid

Recently, Doug Brown and I attended an East Brunswick Township Council meeting to accept, on behalf of the East Brunswick Road Races committee and RVRR, the town’s thanks for our volunteer efforts.

Also at this meeting the town dedicated a time capsule which was buried on New Year’s Day outside the Township offices. The capsule contains significant items that reflect the town’s history and current events. It will be opened on New Year’s Day in the year 2100. One of the items that will be found upon its opening will be a race T-shirt from the 1999 East Brunswick Road Races! Here’s hoping that some lucky resident will proudly wear that T-shirt at the 123rd annual East Brunswick Road Races.

Real (RVRR) Men Do Sing Christmas Carols!

Mary No-el

It was a mission for beer, really. The carols we "sang" were just a ruse. The jingle bells and Santa hats lent an air of authenticity to the event. But we were really there for the free beer.

And so began the 17th annual RVRR Jingle Bell Run. With a predominance of male voices (10 male, 3 female), the group began with a warm-up at Dolls, and proceeded to entertain at numerous establishments throughout New Brunswick. We had three songs in our repertoire and sang them all with gusto, if not exactly on key.

We were rewarded with free pints at Tumulty’s and of course at Dolls (courtesy of the management). Thanks to Greg Mullins’ keen sense of hearing and newly acquired taste for fine beer, we got "real" beer (microbrew) from some patrons upstairs at Harvest Moon, too. And, for the second time in four years, we also received a monetary tip. Unfortunately, we’re still not sure if the tips were for our singing or for our leaving.

Race Results

If you want to see your results in the newsletter, please submit them to Kathy and Carl Rocker. Club members can submit race results via e-mail to carl.rocker@nstarch.com

Warner-Lambert 9/9/99 United Way 5K

Scott Brenner 21:38

Cranbury Day (1 mi.) 9/11/99

Kenneth Vercammen 5:45

1st Overall!

Lightning 5K 9/12/99 Edison, NJ

Kenneth Vercammen 19:39

Philadelphia Distance Run (13.1 mi.) 9/19/99

Scott Brenner 1:43:45

Sandy Hooker Triathlon 9/19/99 - 0.5 mi swim, 16 mi bike, 3 mi run

Kenneth Vercammen 1:30:00

Manasquan Reservoir 5 Miler 9/26/99

Kenneth Vercammen 32:14

Fennelly 5K for Parkinson Alliance 10/10/99

Kenneth Vercammen 19:38

3rd in 40–49

Halloween Hustle 5K 10/30/99     Mt. Olive, NJ

Ken Ellis 19:01(PR)

Men’s 5K XC Championships 10/31/99   Deerpath Park, Flemington, NJ

RVRR Open Team—2nd Place

Carlos Martins 15:41

Mark Zamek 16:23

Roger Price 17:00

Stefan Johansson 17:06

Rich Myers 17:08

Gregory Mullins 17:19

Dave Hoch 18:43

RVRR 40s Team—2nd Place

Roger Price 17:00

Rich Gebauera 17:01

Rich Myers 17:08

Paul Varga 18:16

Gene Gugliotta 18:40

Dave Hoch 18:43

Charles Schneekloth 19:27

Richard Evans 19:37

Turkey Trot Run 5K 11/6/99  Colonial Park, Millstone, NJ

Mark Zamek 15:52

2nd Overall

Paul Fiorilla 17:52

7th Overall

Dave Brown 20:26

Giralda Farms 10K 11/14/99

Ken Ellis 38:55(PR)

USATF National Men’s 5K Championship 11/21/99    Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ

RVRR 50s Team—National Champs!

Roger Price 17:21

1st in 50–54 & National Age Group Champion!

Richard Myers 17:32

J.L. Seymour 18:45

Doug Brown 19:16

Hugh Sweeney 19:26

Jorge Rivera 20:07

Pat Cosgrove 20:13

Gary Rosenberg 20:24

RVRR 50s "B" Team—8th Place

Chris Lehman 21:28

Butch Pivano 21:39

John Nowatkowski 22:06

Ed Levy 22:41

Ron York 22:54

Paul Krentar 23:22

USATF Women’s 5K Championship 11/21/99   Holmdel Park, Holmdel, NJ

RVRR 40s Team—6th Place

Trink Poynter 22:13

Pati Rosen 22:36

Susan Juronics 22:56

Ginny Farrell 27:35

RVRR 40s "B" Team—8th Place

Lois Brown Klein 27:14

Janice Reid 29:04

Elizabeth Mellhorn 29:56

Great Swamp Devil 15K 11/21/99   Basking Ridge, NJ

Mary Chervenak 1:04:54

1st in 30–34!

Picatinny 10-Miler 12/12/99

Rolf Arands 1:05:57 (PR)

Newsletter Deadline

The March newsletter deadline is Friday, February 18, 2000. Send articles to "ironmac_4@hotmail.com". Please attach files in Microsoft Word, rich text or text only format!

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