Raritan Valley Road Runners Online Newsletter

March 2000
Volume 8 Issue 2

Another Mile in the President's Ballet Slippers

Trink Poynter

Ballet slippers were requested a long time ago, and I have at long last donned them because of the wonderful time I had dancing at our banquet.

We always have a great party at our Annual Winter Banquet, but I have heard many people say that this was the best one to date. Our food was especially fantastic, and we owe Rosemarie Strawn many thanks for her choice of cuisine, and all the work she did lining up the caterer.

Many thanks are owed to all our many volunteers who made the evening special. I have included a separate list elsewhere in the newsletter to do the almost impossible task of thanking everyone who helped. If I leave someone's name out, please let me know, and I'll include it in a future newsletter.

For example, it has come to my attention that a volunteer was inadvertently left off our thank you list for the East Brunswick Road Race. I hate when that happens! So, hopefully, it's better late than never: many belated thanks to Bruce Nadler for his contribution of the sound system, without which the race would have been less festive and probably in a state of confusion. And, rest assured, I will never talk into that mike either, so you are all safe.

On Sunday, February 12th, we had our first Adventure Run of the year on the Columbia Trail in High Bridge. We had eight people brave the elements that day. Many thanks to Gene Gugliotta for leading this fun run through the ice and snow and ice.

Coming up we have our General Membership Meeting on Wednesday, March 22nd. Our guest speaker will be Roger Price, who has agreed to host a Running Fashion Show, featuring our own club members on the runway. Lore has it that the club has staged one of these in the past, but it was before my time. Pizza and soda will arrive by 8 p.m., with the meeting to start ASAP thereafter. The show will begin at about 8:20 p.m. There is no charge for food. And there will be no throwing of food.

On April 1st (no joke) we will hold our annual Towpath Kickoff Run, beginning at 8 a.m. This event celebrates our Saturday morning towpath runs, where we meet at Grove 5 in Johnson Park. The time change to 8 a.m. is to coincide with the onset of daylight savings time, and hopefully the promise of warmer weather to come! Bagels, bananas and beverage will be provided by Ray Petit, our towpath ringleader, as part of the celebration. Please plan to come and bring a friend. The run is for all levels of runners, as the course is out and back.

On April 2nd, we will have our second Adventure Run, again led by Gene Gugliotta, at Round Valley this time. Details about this run are elsewhere in this newsletter.

Finally, we will switch to the Summer Course through Johnson Park, beginning Wednesday, April 5th. Hooray!

Till then, stay warm, and keep wearing those reflectors at night!

You can go now!

Face Plant Adventure Run


On Sunday February 13 we ran on a frozen Columbia Trail. Dana Gross, Dave Hoch, Chris Lehman, Ray Petit, Trink Poynter, and Pete Priolo, joined me, along with a guest named Bruce from the Hunterdon Hills Running Club.

Every step we took was on snow that had been frozen and refrozen. It was a beautiful trail and a difficult workout. The trail skirts woods, some country homes, and the Ken Lockwood Gorge. It crosses over the gorge on an old railroad bridge right out of the Road Runner & Coyote cartoons. It is high enough to beg bungee jumping, and on this day the gaps between the old ice-covered railroad ties threatened to suck us in like crevasses at the Khumbu Ice Fall on the southwest approach to Everest.

Yet we ran at over 10-minute per mile pace, cursing the snow, wishing it was softer, enjoying this gift of nature running gives us....

Flashback to the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan. It is the men's downhill skiing event, remembering perhaps the most outstanding video loop of the entire games: the horrifying sight of Hermann Maier catching an outside edge, flying sideways through the air at 90 m.p.h. and crashing through two safety nets to fall on his head in deep snow. Then, after a breathless minute, rising like Lazarus of New Testament fame, walking away, waving to fans, and winning two gold medals within the next six days....

Returning to this present, the last quarter mile of Trink's run on this day was strikingly similar to Maier's run that day. Except in Trink's case, though she may have fans to wave to, she has no Olympic Golds. O, and "The Hermannator" wasn't bleeding.

And the Next Adventure Run!


Next adventure run: 9 a.m., Sunday, April 2, 2000 at the Round Valley Recreation Area, off of US Route 22, near Lebanon, NJ. We will run a 12-mile trail and road run around the reservoir. You can run out-and-back if you want to run less. The 10 miles of trail running are about 60% rocky, 40% smooth dirt. There are some long hills.

Brunch will follow at the first diner on Route 22 East. (Remember to stop your watches and switch to real time, especially if you have to pick someone up at the airport.) Further information will be available at Wednesday night runs, or reach me by mail at thinnmann@yahoo.com.

NEW INFO: We will meet inside the park!   Enter through the main gate, go through the entrance "toll booths" (no toll until after Memorial Day) and park at the first parking lot.  It is the first right turn, the lot for "wilderness camping", I think! (not the swimming area lot!)

Winter Banquet Award Winners

Here are the pictures of us accepting awards and being crazy on February 11, 2000

Congratulations to those recognized at our Annual Winter Banquet for their hard work and achievements throughout 1999. We especially thank those volunteers who contributed an extraordinary amount of time and effort to organize RVRR events for us all to enjoy.

Editor's Note: Roger also gives highly motivating and great training advice. Results like his make even more sense after one talks with Roger. Congratulations! I'd also like to know how "Doctor" Doug made it into so many pictures this year.

Thank You Banquet Volunteers!

Many thanks to everyone who worked hard to make our Winter Banquet such a success.

RVRR's 1999 Lollipop Winners

Lollipop winners placed first overall in a race during 1999. For all that hard work, they walked away with a chocolate lollipop at the Banquet.

Many Thanks to a Tireless East Brunswick Road Races Volunteer

East Brunswick Road Races Committee

During the East Brunswick Road Races each year, Bruce Nadler spends many hours setting up his sound and speaker system for use on race day. In the recent newsletter acknowledgment of volunteers, Bruce was inadvertently and unfortunately omitted. The Race Committee regrets this oversight and extends its greatest thanks to Bruce for his dedication, hard work and the use of his sound system each year.

Hotline Calling.... It's for You!

Jim Hutzelmann

Just a reminder, the RVRR Hotline (732-463-RVRR) is alive and well. I've updated all the menus, and there's still plenty of "space" available for more information. The typical caller is from the general public, so the Hotline is a terrific resource to spread the word about the Club and the events we host.

The Hotline is a great place to...

~ Announce special events like adventure runs and races.

~ Leave general information about the Club, our history and scheduled group runs.

The Hotline is a bad place to...

~ Notify us of your attendance at a Club function ˝ no RSVPs, please!

~ Give information about events you only want Club members to attend.

~ Leave a voice-mail message for someone.

So, if you'd like me to record something for you, just send an e-mail with all the particulars to me at jhtz@hotmail.com.

Spring Hash Mud Run

Ken Vercammen

When: Sunday, March 26, 2000 2 p.m.

Start: Davidson Mill County Park, Riva Road, South Brunswick

The Princeton Hash House Harriers will be running through the woods, fields, streams and open space of South Brunswick. Hashing is not a race but a non-competitive group run which follows an off-road course laid out with flour (5˝7 miles). If you like European cross-country without the competition of a formal race, this will be a fun switch for you. This is a complex course through woods, grass, and area saved from development by Green Acres. The South Brunswick Running Group uses some of the trails for their morning runs.

Warning: Don't wear new expensive running shoes. You may encounter the following fun hazards to slow you down: century old sticker bushes, thick poison ivy, green ooze, muck, possums, sewer pipes, trails submerged, wild dogs, ticks, rodent holes, rats, marshes, deer, hunters with guns, parts of trail underwater, dead things, swamp, the tunnel of droppings, loud men over 50, secret trails and more. Be cautiousˇthis is not a nice road with course marshals. Brought to you by the Princeton Hash House Harriers. Run set by "The Prosecutor."

This is a fun time if you have a sense of humor and want to see what little of the outdoors the developers have not destroyed and paved over. You must be over 21 years old to participate. No awards are given and no times are recorded. Wear old running shoes and old clothes or else. The only water stops are if you stop yourself and drink from a stagnant pond. As soon as we are finished, we participate in the "On-On" for beverages and socializing at "The Castle."

The Princeton Hash meets Sunday at 2 p.m. at Stevenson Hall at Princeton University and usually drives to a different run site each week. The Summer runs start on Sunday at 2 p.m. Visit the website...http://www.princetonol.com/groups/phhh/... for more details For information call run "hare" Kenneth Vercammen, Esq. at 732-906-2180 (day).

Directions: Look at a map. Route 1 to Route 130 South, left to Davidson Mill Road (Rt. 130 Deli on left and Deer Park Village on right). Davidson Mill to First Intersection, Go right on Riva. Davidson Mill Park is approximately 1/2 mile on left. Park inside park near lake / boat ramp.

Waiver of injury form for participants: I hash for Fun and admit if I get hurt it's my own fault. I recognize no one has insurance and agree not to file any type of claim or suit ever.

Towpath Kickoff Run

The Raritan Valley Road Runners will kickoff the D&R Canal Towpath running season on Saturday, April 1, 2000. The run will start at 8 a.m. and there will be bagels, bananas and beverages afterwards. This date is in keeping with our goal of switching the run to 8 a.m. during the weekend of Daylight Savings Time and moving it back to 9 a.m. during October.

Directions to Johnson Park

Take Route 18 North through New Bruns-wick. Get in the left lane when crossing Route 18's Lynch Bridge; this is the large bridge that spans the Raritan River. At the light at the bottom of the bridge, turn left onto River Road. At the first light, less than 1/4 mile, turn left towards the Landing Lane Bridge. Take the first right into Johnson Park. Meet in the Grove #5 parking area, which is the first parking area on the left in the Park.

Bathrooms may still be closed for the season. The towpath is recovering from Hurricane Floyd, but it is entirely passable.

RVRR Clothing For Sale

Just in time for the spring racing season....

RVRR Singlets - Coolmax White Mesh

Male: M, L, XL

Female: M, L, XL

Cost per item is $17. Mail check and "ship to" address to RVRR, P.O. Box 1197, Edison, NJ 08818-1197. Singlet will be mailed to you via first-class mail. High-split running shorts are also available at a clearance price of $5 per item. Clothing is also available at Wednesday evening and Saturday morning group runs. See Ray Petit or Dana Gross.

Autumn Miles

Liv Turun

The trails are soft with fallen leaves

hiding roots and rocks from view.

Care forces a slower pace.

It smells of decay....and

Another life cycle completed.

I breathe deeply, ingest the crisp air,

Let go of tension, stress,

Crunch the morning dew with each step.

Around me, the woods fall dormant as

I come alive on my run.

The Last Miles in the Editor's 851s...

Rolf Arands

Hey gang! It has been a long and wonderful journey, and it is time for me to hang up my editor's hat.

During my tenure as editor since God knows when, I have seen RVRR change and grow in many ways. I am lucky to count many close friends among its members, and working on this newsletter has been a small way for me to say thanks to everyone for his or her friendship and to give a little something back to the sport of running.

But all good things must come to an end as I must make major steps in my life's journey now. I wish I could write exactly where those steps are going, but I don't yet have a clear trail to run. The newsletter has been the toughest job I've ever loved, as they say. Reading the articles and assembling them each month is a lot of work, but in this work I see so clearly the personalities of the many wonderful people that make up this great running club.

Carl Rocker has kindly agreed to take over the newsletter. Please give him your support as he takes on a very tough volunteer job.

Happy miles. Be safe and be well!

Off the Beaten Path...

Rolf Arands

Oh look. There is a column and half left to fill up. I don't have any recycled leftovers to use. I don't have any held articles lurking in the folders of my Mac. And, since I am the editor and no one really has a choice, I guess I am going to put an article all about me in here. Just kidding.

Back in September 1999 around the middle of the month, I paused for a moment. I thought about that fateful day in September 1998. I had just bombed the 5 mile race in Deerpath Park, finishing either 1 or 2 people away from last overall. That was an eye opener. A spectator saw me after the race: "I saw you back there with those old guys. Did that 65-year-old guy ever pass you?" I wanted to punch this spectator silly, because the answer was yes.

I got home that afternoon and looked in the mirror and made a decision. It was kind of like that "shot heard Űround the world" thing.

The repercussions of that choice and all that followed have led me on an incredible journey. Yeah, I lost a whole bunch of flab around the midsection. Sure, the waists of my pants are now about 2 to 3 inches too large. I've been fortunate to set PRs in running distances over 15 km and also in the Ironman triathlon. It has been a blessing, really. I increased my HDL cholesterol-the good stuff-by 50%, a jump that many said was only attainable with high-powered drugs. I did it with food. I created the R-Bar. and soon the second generation R-Bar will hit the market, so to speak. Stay tuned...

But, what really comes to mind is something else. Oh yeah, there it is.

I have applied to several business schools. In the applications, I needed to write essays. Anyone that knows me knows how difficult they were for me. Writing these essays led to a soul searching like I have never done before. I turned myself inside out as I went through them. I'd do it again without hesitation. In one of them, I wrote about how analyzing a failure can lead to success and how a series of small decisions can lead to a big success.

Hmm. Half a column to go.

In September 1998, I made a lifestyle change. That was but a single choice. From there forward, upholding that choice led to a series of other choices. Some went well. Some blew up in my face. But in all this was an amazing bigger process of change. My body was changing. My view of myself was changing. Hell, the whole damn world was changing.

But the changes that occurred with me started because I failed one day. Had I left it at that, I would still be 185 pounds and running far below my potential and would still be in the "high risk category for heart disease." Each day I chose to continue what I started, to learn more about nutrition, to learn how my decline in athletic was really a result of a series of bad choices over the years. I learned about me. Scary stuff.

Was there a point to all this? Maybe simply that success and failure are not as opposite as I once thought.

Welcome New Members

Dante Ciolfi                       Parsippany

Matilda Sanchez                Piscataway

George Koscs                    Metuchen

Pamela Davey Huggins       East Brunswick

Qi Zeng                            Piscataway

Yong Deng                        Piscataway

Jennifer Vertetis                 Edison

Shirley Hapangama             Metuchen

Race Results

If you want to see your results in the newsletter, please submit them to Rolf Arands. Rolf will handle the race results until a permanent replacement for Carl Rocker, the new newsletter editor, is found. Club members can submit results to Rolf via e-mail.


There were no results reported for the March 2000 issue. With all the races coming up, there better be results in the April issue!