Published by the DAILY RECORD of Morris County, New Jersey
On Sunday, April 2, 2017
DON’T BE A PEDESTRIAN STATISTIC
Friday’s Daily Record carried two front page stories, one by Mike Davis reporting that pedestrian fatalities were up nationwide 11 percent over 2015. Michael Rizzo’s story was focused on what the town of Dover is doing to combat fatalities with a program named Street Smart. Both stories contained statistics but the statistics do not give a cause of the incident.
We don’t read, “crossing in the middle of the street,” or “distracted while texting” or any others. A few years ago I contacted New Jersey motor vehicles to inquire as to how many pedestrian fatalities were as a result of wrong side walking or running. I was surprised that the reports do not have that as a statistic, or crossing the street or being distracted. Just the cold statistic that a pedestrian was struck and killed.
The irony of the publication on Friday is that my feature this week is the Ryan Seidl 5K that will take place this coming Saturday in Denville. Seidl, whose sport was baseball, had decided to run in the MK5K in 2011. Innocent, or perhaps ignorant, of runner safety on the roads, Seidl was struck from behind while running on the right side – wrong side- of the road. The driver of the car that hit Seidl was blinded by the late afternoon sun and never saw him. With his back to the traffic on the narrow road, he never saw the car that killed him.
Each year I remind runners to run only on the left side of the road which is the correct side. Face traffic and dodge and jump out of the way of any cars coming straight at you.
After the death of Seidl, the MK5K was renamed in his memory. A young and promising life cut short remembered with the race he never ran.
All activities take place in the parking lot of St. Clares’s Hospital on Pocono Road in Denville. The out and back course is considered fast with only one short climb that does come toward the end of the race. That climb is a sweet downhill at the start of the race and should be used to rev the engine. The race has an early 8:30 a.m. start and features raffle prizes from area merchants.
SURVEY GOING OUT TO RUNNERS WHO DID THE THREE 700 POINT RACES
A survey is being mailed out to all USATF NJ runners with the hope that those who ran in the three 700 point long distance races held last weekend will give their assessment of the race they ran. USATF wants feedback on the races, two of which were new this year.
As was reported last week the Baker’s Dozen Half Marathon in Montclair had 1,210 finishers. On Sunday, 536 runners finished the Garden State Ten miler and down in south Jersey in Sea Isle City 171 runners finished the Ocean Drive Ten Miler. Matt Mitchell of Norristown PA won in 1:01:26 and Karen Auteri of Belvidere was third overall in 1:04:28.
Joshua Izewski of Doylestown PA won the Garden State ten mile race in 48:41, and on the women’s side Leonora Petrina of Bayport NY was first in 58:05, with Roberta Groner of Randolph second in 59:16.
Did the races live up to their billing? Well, no one said the Baker’s Dozen was going to be anything but hilly. Facebook postings by some of the runners agreed with that, with laments that they couldn’t wait to reach the finish line. The Ocean Drive ten mile race was an out and back so that the wind would be at the runners back only half the time. A Facebook posting confirmed that configuration. On the other hand the Garden State race with claims of a flat course turned up with some challenging hills. All these observations should turn up with the survey results.
A calendar of USATF sanctioned events can be found at www.usatfnj.org or at www.raceforum.com for running and tri and biathlon events.
Contact Madeline Bost at firstname.lastname@example.org.