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Morris-area runners hit the track

February 05, 2017 | Daily Record online article

Morris-area runners hit the track

Morris-area runners hit the track

Problems with finding a perfect date at a New Jersey indoor track and field facility have always plagued the New Jersey USATF association. Indoor facilities are limited and usually fully booked for high school and college meets. Having a championship on the last Sunday in January is far from ideal. A championship, by its very nature should take place at the end of a season, not close to the beginning.

The track and field committee had to accept that which was available for the New Jersey meet and so it was held this past Sunday at the Bennett facility in Toms River. Several Morris area road runners made the drive down to compete.

The roadies limited themselves to 800 meters or longer with most tackling only one event. The exception was Gary Leaman, 57, who raced both the 1,500 meters and the 3,000 meters. The athlete from Hardwick finished first in his division in the 1,500 in 4:53.97 and 10:07.67 in the 3,000.

Peter Kashulines, 53, of Mountain Lakes opted for the 800 meters, which he won in his division in 2:13.52. Robert Skorupski of Rockaway finished first in the M40 division in the 800 meters in 2:18.16. Susan Stirrat of Rockaway was first W60 in the 1500 meters in 6:57.55.

Gary Rosenberg of Morristown was first M40 in the 3,000 with a time of 10:17.37. Randy Miller of Montville was second to Leaman in the M55 in the 3,000 meters with a time of 12:05.06.

2 charity runs

Road runners have two opportunities to run next weekend. Both races are 5K’s and both are more about fundraising than racing. The Cupids Chase on Saturday in Morristown is one of several of that name that raises funds for Community Options,. an organization that provides assistance to people with disabilities.

The race uses a certified course that mimics part of the Verizon Corporate Classic, the race run each July in Morristown. Trophies will be given to the top three men and women, and unspecified awards in the usual age divisions up to 70 and older.

Also on the 12th is another opportunity to run with a group — this one to raise money for a Morristown family whose daughter Hedda is dealing with an aggressive form of cancer. Hedda was diagnosed two years ago with medulloblastoma, a tumor of the brain. She underwent 55 weeks of chemotherapy and in November was pronounced free of the disease.

Hedda and her family that includes brother William, sister Elva, and parents Camilla and Per Sivertsson celebrated with a skiing trip in Colorado. The family was devastated upon their return to learn that the cancer had reappeared. Hedda, now 14, spent six weeks, including Christmas and New Years in hospital for more treatments.

That’s when neighbor Melissa Pappolla decided to organize a run to raise funds to help the family. Although insurance is paying most of the medical bills, other costs are involved whenever someone is seriously ill. In addition, the family is originally from Sweden and has no relatives in this country to lean on. They would like to be able to send for family members to come to visit.

Pappolla’s daughter Grace and the Sivertsson’s daughter Elva are enrolled in Girl’s on the Run, and it was a natural for Pappolla to ask for help from the organization. She is one of the leaders of the local troop.

They choose Central Park Greystone, and runners and walkers can choose to do the 1.5-mile course at the park or go for the 5 kilometer course. This is a no-frills event with no T-shirt and no official timing, although a clock will be at the finish line so that participants can see their time. There is no set entry fee and the suggested donation is $10 to participate. The event will start at 3 p.m.

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.