It’s Giralda Farms time. No, not pumpkins and mazes, but the race in Madison that goes back to the 80’, that is being held tomorrow, Sunday, November 10.
A lot has changed since its inception some forty some years. In fact, there was no 10K race in 2018 when only the 5K was run. The 5K was an add-on in 2000 and drew the short distance crowd.
In 2017 the 5K was the masters men championship with Terry Davidson, 46, of Randolph, the top over the line masters finisher in 16:54. Where it’s at in masters racing of course is masters age grading and Brian Crowley of Hillsborough topped the masters men list with Gary Leaman of Hardwick second and Anselm LeBourne of West Orange third.
That was two years ago. The last time the 10K was run was in 2016 when it was the masters men championship. The USATF long distance running committee seems to have an affinity for giving the masters men a Giralda Farms race to run. In a way that is puzzling. How about a course without having to run up a challenging hill, AKA Treadwell Avenue, that is run up twice, and an uphill start on Dodge Drive? Granted the course goes downhill too, and according to the certification there is a -0.6 drop. And the committee knows the race is in good hands – now being directed by pro race organizer Barwick Group.
But wait! The 10K is also an open men’s championship. The long distance running committee has wisely combined open and masters championships in races longer than 5K. This makes perfect sense because often a masters runner with some speed is put on an open team. He or she can be put on an open team and on his or her appropriate age team. The Cherry Blossom 10K in April was both a masters and open women’s 10K. This makes much more sense than combining masters women and masters men in a 10K championship. We live we learn.
Being a championship event, the Giralda Farms 10K is also a club competition. The Garden State Track Club New Balance has a lock on open men and women in the Garmin sponsored club grand prix. Their A, B, and C teams are in the open men’s top ten. Their A team should retain their number one place but the Shore AC, Freedom Running Club and Garmin Runners are in the contest for the next few places.
The Garden State club’s open women’s team is a solid winner and like the open men the next few places are still up for grabs with the Shore team currently in second and Raritan Valley in third
The Garden State’s M40 team has the lead over the Garmin Runners by 14 points with the Shore AC team another 14 points behind the Garmin Runners. With two championships to go – Giralda Farms and the Horace Ashenfelter on Thanksgiving morning, not much is likely to change unless a team messes up with team declarations or just doesn’t show for the two.
In the M50 division the Garden State club has a 12-point lead over the Shore club with the Clifton running club in third and the Shore club’s B team in fourth with the Garmin team in fifth. A lot could change in this division as fourth through six are separated by only seven points. The Raritan Valley team could break into the top five with a strong showing.
The Shore team has a nearly unbeatable lead in the M60 division with 68 points to the Garden State teams 44. The Fleet Feet Essex runners show up in this division in third only five points behind the Garden Staters.
With a full stable of M70’s runners, the Clifton road runners are in the lead in that division over the North Jersey Masters while the Shore team and Clifton’s B team are tied for third.
The 10K goes off at 10:00 a.m. while the 5K stays with the traditional Giralda noon-time start.
The Raritan Valley Road Runners may have a hard time getting their teams to the Giralda Farms races as the club is hosting the Colonial Park 5K Turkey Trot in Franklin Township also on Sunday. The turkey trot goes off at 10:00 a.m. – the same time as the Giralda 10K does.
NEW BALANCE GRAND PRIX
Fabian Daza of Fairview, who has been winning just about everything he enters now, is in the lead in NBGP with 5,642 points. Hortencia Aliaga of Garfield has the lead in the women’s race with 5,675 points. Both look to be solid to keep their places.
There is still some time and in the age divisions some of the top people have not gotten their nine races. With the 10K on Sunday and the 8K Thanksgiving Day race, some top people may be filling them in. “It ain’t over ‘till it’s over,” applies here.