Archive for January, 2008

Polar Bear Plunge – Support Special Olympics New Jersey

Monday, January 14th, 2008

On Saturday, February 23rd, 2008 I’ll be at Seaside Heights, New Jersey to jump into the Icy Atlantic Ocean. The cause is the New Jersey Special Olympics and the event is called the Polar Bear Plunge. Spectators are welcome – or you can sign up and plunge with me and about 3000 others.

Please consider donating to SONJ. All proceeds collected benefit Special Olympics athletes and help further the Special Olympics New Jersey mission. They’ve made submitting a donation an easy process. Just follow this link to help out.

Here’s an easy link to remember:

2008 Karate Winter Special Training

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

Karate Winter Special Training started at 5am on January 2nd, 2008. This marks the 38th year that Japan Karate Association of New Jersey hosted KWST. Kisaka Sensei led the class through some vigorous stretching, kihon, kumite and kata each morning. We had a good mix of dan students and brown belts. Everyone involved demonstrated good spirit and benefited from the experience.

As is the custom, we ran outside barefoot without shirts. The temperature on two of the mornings was perfect for our routine: 18 degrees, but felt like somewhere between four and ten degrees with the wind chill.

Weather for Jan 3, 2008

We had some good participation this year, as almost 100% attended training every morning, on-time. This marks my fifth year with perfect attendance; but I’m sure there are others out there from prior years that achieved better records than that.

2008 Events

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

Jan 1 – Hamilton Hangover Run
Jan 2 – Jan 5 – Karate Special Winter Training
Feb 5 – Feb 9 – Karate Special Winter Training II
Feb 23 – Polar Bear Plunge, Seaside, New Jersey
Mar 2 – E Murray Todd Half Marathon
May 4 – New Jersey Marathon
May 4 – Broad Street Run 10 Miler – Can’t do this as it’s the same day as the NJ Marathon.
Mar 15 – St Patty’s Day 5k in Bordentown
May 24 – Spring Lake 5
Sep 21 – Philly Distance Run – Half Marathon
Nov 2 – NYC Marathon

2008 Hamilton Hangover 5 Mile Run – Course Change

Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

Looking for the results of the 2008 race?

Ironically, just days after I posted the course map online for the Hamilton Hangover 5 Mile Run, the race officials changed it. The change is a good one in some respects because the run no longer traverses the mud and tree roots along the packed dirt path. Unfortunately, there are now two 180 degree turns. The first one is near the east entrance, marked by a set of traffic cones. The second one is near the west entrance, marked by a large stone. The new course map is here:

Alternate 5 Mile Course Map, Hamilton NJ NJ07031LMB [PDF]

The five mile race began at 12:30 today. Yesterday’s rain which continued into the morning had stopped and the sun joined us for the run. My official finishing time was 35:31. This is not my best time, but I didn’t do any speed work to train for this. Now it’s time to focus on the 2008 E. Murray Todd half-marathon in March and New Jersey Marathon in May.

The Hamilton Veteran’s Park five mile course begins in the same location as in years prior, on the main park road near the south entrance tennis courts and parking lot. It circles the Albert Cowell Soccer field and Bob DeMeo Baseball field in a clockwise direction and doubles back onto the main road and then into the woods.

After the turn in the woods is the first mile marker. This is where the course has changed. Traditionally the course would branch to the left toward the lake, but turn abruptly onto a packed dirt path, eventually onto the boardwalk. Instead, it branches to the right, downhill to the children’s playground entrance. After crossing the footbridge, the course circles the formal gardens and Veterans Memorial Plaza in a clockwise direction, crossing the north entrance just after the second mile marker.

The course doubles back on itself near the footbridge and entrance to the playground, then heads left toward the east entrance. At this point runners coming from the other direction are visible; give them a high-five! The course turns 180 degrees just before reaching the east parking lot. As you double back west, runners advancing in the opposite direction can be seen again — time for another high-five.

Just after the third mile marker is a gazebo at a fork in the path. The course follows the right branch, with a slight incline. Traditionally, you would be running in the opposite direction during this leg of the race. I believe this is the first noticable incline on the course, not counting a short hill by the soccer field.

The course continues toward the west entrance with a view of the lake to the right. There is a sharp downward hill which can be slippery after a rain, than a short uphill before running along the hill with the lake immediately to the right. There is a 180 degree turn just prior to the Robert Martin Monument, fountain and west parking lot. Again, as the course doubles back other runners will be travelling in the opposite direction. Just prior to the same short steep hills you descended and climbed is the fourth mile marker.

The course doubles back again, this time onto the first mile, heading south. Emerging from the woods, the course turns sharply to the left at an incline, around the soccer and baseball field a second time. After passing the dog park on the right, make a right as in the first mile and toward the ball field parking lot, but then a left toward the finish line near the pavilion.

Happy New Year.