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FARC Flash Interview with Todd Briggs
How to Stay Visible While Running
Favorite Races That No Longer Exist
Robert Mc Gill Lists
The Essential Sheehan
Post Marathon Recovery Tips

FARC Flash Interview with Todd Briggs


Bud Fitch


            Last spring, I took my grandchildren to a track and field program at Freehold Township High School.  I was very impressed with the organization of the program, the familiarity of the coaches with all the runners, and the genuine sense of caring and involvement by those coaches.  The runners were divided into groups by age and were engaged constantly throughout the workout as they moved through various activities on different sections of the track.  The coaches made these activities seem like games, which helped to maintain the interest of participants.  The enthusiasm of the coaches was exceeded only by the enthusiasm of the runners.


            I was even more impressed when I discovered that the Director of this program is Todd Briggs, who has been a friend of my son, Tim, since childhood.  For those of you familiar with Todd, you know that he has been an uber-successful coach at Freehold Township High School.  He is the Head Coach of the FTHS girls cross country team and the Head Coach of both girls and boys indoor and outdoor track and field teams, which he has coached to 6 team State Championships!  Twice (2009; 2014), he has been named Star Ledger Coach of the Year!  He is also very modest.  I had to seek out this information from the Freehold Township Recreation program website.


            Todd, himself, has been a highly successful runner on the local road racing scene.  Currently, he is emphasizing training for marathons and has already completed seven.  Most recently, at the Atlantic City Marathon, he ran a Boston Marathon qualifying time of 3:06!  Todd is a great role model for his runners.


            The Freehold Township Youth Track and Field program operates each spring and summer, twice weekly, on Wednesdays (6:00- 7:00 PM) and Sundays (9:00- 10:00 AM).  In the fall, it operates at those same times on Thursdays and Sundays.  Participants may choose to attend once or twice weekly.  Please consult the website at for registration details and fees.  The program is open to both residents and non-residents of Freehold Township.


            The program is open to children ages 4-13 (pre-K to 8th grade).  The athletes run between 1 to 2 miles per 1 hour session.  This includes a warmup run, stretching, game playing and timed runs, at distances from 100 to 800 meters.


            Besides Todd, the coaches include his wife, Vita; the FTHS boys Cross Country Head Coach, Mike Fromuth; Todd’s  FTHS Assistant Coach, Megan Zummo; former athletes coached by Todd, Caitlyn Poss and Emily Bracher; parents of participants, John Smolenski, Mike Avestro, and Vic Alonso; and, a formers athlete’s father, Brian Roche.  It seems like Todd has quite a loyal following of coaches dedicated to running!


            Todd is a product of the local schools, having attended Laura Donovan Elementary School, Barkalow Middle School, and FTHS.  While a student he participated in soccer and track and field.  He graduated from both Rutgers(undergrad)

and Monmouth(grad school).  Currently, Todd teaches AP US Government and Politics and US History.


            We hope that his track and field participants and their families continue their involvement in running at FARC’s summer and winter series and other club and local events.


How to Stay Visible While Running

 In an ideal world there would be hundreds of jogging paths and no vehicles in sight, but unfortunately we’re not all lucky enough to be able to run without motorists. If you find that you’re having too many “close calls” with motorists, here are some top ways you can stay seen on the road:

 1. Dress For the Time of Day

What you wear makes a big difference when it comes to motorists’ ability to see you. Florescent clothing (bright greens, pinks, yellow, etc.) is the easiest to see in the daytime. At night, it doesn’t really matter what color you wear, but you should opt for something reflective so you’ll stand out against a motorist’s headlights.

 2. Run Against Traffic

Let’s face it—between the broken bricks and cracked cement, sidewalks are not meant for running. If you’re running directly in the street, you should always run against traffic. This will give you more time to see a reckless motorist approach and dive out of the way if need be. You’ll also be a little more visible for motorists as well.

 3. Stop at Intersections

If you’re running in the street it may be tempting to just cruise through intersections, especially if you have the green light. You should cross every intersection with caution because you are significantly smaller than a vehicle. It’s much harder for motorists to pick you out against the background.

 4.  Bring a Flashlight

Flashlights are great for a couple of reasons. First off, a bobbing light is much easier to see from a distance than nothing, especially at night. If you have a flashlight you’ll also have an easier time seeing potholes or cracks in the sidewalk, which is actually the #1 cause of injury among pedestrians.

 5. Don’t Pass Cars on the Right

Passing cars on the right is a deadly situation for both runners and cyclists—there’s a huge blind spot on the driver’s right-hand side, and if you pass a car on the right at an intersection there’s a good chance he’ll make a right-hand turn, directly into you. If you’re at a point where you need to go straight through an intersection and a car is turning right, you should hop onto the sidewalk instead.

 6. Run With a Friend

Two runners are always more visible than one, and if you have a group everyone on the road will see you. Just be sure to not run more than two abreast to ensure that you don’t become road hogs.

Running in a group has more benefits than increased visibility. When you have an exercise buddy you are more likely to run faster, you may run father than usual, and you’ll have an easier time sticking to your exercise routine if you know someone is relying on you to show up. Next time you want to go for a run, text a friend or reach out to your local running club!

 *This article was created by Personal Injury Help (,) an organization dedicated to providing the public with information about personal injury and safety information. Nothing in this article should be construed as legal advice, and it is intended for informational use only. Be sure to review your local ordinances to ensure you run safely and legally.

Favorite Races That No Longer Exist

Jim Jensen and Bob Hayes List

1) Long Branch Beach Run (about 4 miles)

This was last run in 1992. It was held in mid-Feb. so beach conditions weren't always ideal. The sand replenishment hadn't begun yet so all of the jetties were fully exposed. Most runners chose to race near the water's edge in the firm sand and climb or vault over the jetties and other debris that had accumulated there. Sometimes if you miscalculated the wave pattern and got too close to the incoming surf you would get soaked with freezing cold ocean water. The leaders received hand-carved whales for their awards. Around 2000 this race was revived for several years as a beach/boardwalk run at Seven Presidents Park in Long Branch.


2) Run For Awareness (April -- about 3 miles)

This was first held in 1994 and lasted about five years. It was staged by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Task Force Against Drunken Driving. The entire race was a most unique three loop course at Seven Presidents Park.  It began on asphalt then grass; dirt and gravel; went on to hard and soft sand followed by a short stretch on the boards, concluding on concrete. The numbers were never good for this race (probably at most about 40 people), because not many knew about it.


3) Ocean Township League of Women Voters Five Miler (Sunday after Labor Day)

This one folded around 1996 after losing it's major sponsor. It started and finished at Ocean Twp High. It went through Deal Test Site (now known as Joe Palaia Park) before the trails were paved and the park upgraded. It was important to keep someone in sight while in the park because it was easy to get lost in the maize-like trails.


4) Monmouth Park Road Race - Started as a  5 miler, then became a 4 miler (late July early Aug).

It began in 1987 as a companion to the Haskel (horse race) Day festivities. After two years it was shortened and switched to an evening (usually Thursday) event.  The last mile was run on the turf course but after the first year the turf was off-limits to all human racers. The finish became a quarter-mile run on the dirt homestretch.  As an added bonus in the inaugural year, all participants were given reserve seats in the picnic area near the finish line.  Those who remained the entire day for the main event were treated to the best horse race ever held in NJ.  The top three 3 year-old colts in North America were in the race and staged a monumental battle finishing just noses apart. Twenty years later this race is still the standard by which all other big time horse races are measured against.  The road race ended several years ago after Management changes and sponsorship losses.  The good news is that it will be back in late Oct. staged by the Jersey Shore Running Club as part of the Breeders Cup Fanfest. There is optimism that it will be back in its regular slot on the road-racing calendar next year.


5 ) Battle of Monmouth Five Mile Run (late June)

It started and finished at the Freehold YMCA on East Freehold Rd and was usually held on a Friday evening. It was mostly on country roads with a three-quarter mile stretch through woods. The race course retraced much of the route Washington and his troops used in the famous battle. This one ended in the late eighties.


6) Toms River Roots Run Dash For Cash (five miles)

This took place the Sunday after Thanksgiving at the First National Bank of Toms River. It ended in the late eighties after the bank was taken over by another bank. The overall men and women champions each had 30 seconds to enter the bank vault and grab as many $1 bills that had been scattered throughout the floor and shelves. The cash was placed in a bin located about twenty yards away and it all went to local charities.


7) Sayreville Run With the Stars (mid-June  5k)

With it's unique 9:00 pm starting time this was probably the only race in the area that took place in total darkness. The final 500 yards (about) were slightly downhill-resulting in some blazing stretch-run finishes.


8) --  Lakewood Community School Five Mile Run (Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend)

 One lap around Lake Carasaljo. The alternative (or the antidote) to the Spring Lake Five held the day before. If there ever was the right race slotted in on the right date on the race calendar, this was that race! It was a low-key race for those who didn't want to deal with the 10,000 runners at Spring Lake or a race to run on a long Holiday  weekend for those who were shut out of Spring Lake. (Or it was a chance for redemption for those who had run lousy at Spring Lake.) The race-walk that accompanied the run still exists. The run was eliminated around 2000 or 2001 and strangely this date has remained open on every race calendar in this area.


9) --  American Cancer Society Five Mile Run (Father’s Day)

The main reason this is on the list is that Bob HayesI ran his 5 mile PR on this course!! It started and finished at Wanamassa School in Ocean Twp. The last year for this was 1989 or 1990. A version of this still exists as the Jersey Shore Running Club Pre-Fathers Day Race- held on the Saturday of the weekend before Father's Day.


10) -  Elberon Five Mile Run (First Sunday of June)

The main reason this is on the list is that it was Bob’s first race he ever ran!! It was a great course through the Elberon neighborhood of Long Branch starting and finishing at the Elberon School. It ended in the late eighties after some residents complained of roads being blocked.


11) – Atlantic Highlands Harborview Five Mile Run (Mid-April)

Started and finished at St. Agnes School. This course was completely flat with a nice view of the water. The last one was around 1986.


12) - USMAPS Half-Marathon (late March)

This was a well organized race staged by the army prep school at Fort Monmouth. It was about two 5 mile loops around the fort sandwiched around a 3 mile run through Oceanport.                 


13) – Oceanport Lions/Perkin-Elmer Five Mile Run (mid - September)

It started and finished at Monmouth Park Horse Track and ran through the streets of Oceanport.  It ended its run with the demise of Perkin-Elmer around 1988.


14) – Shore Athletic Club Winter Series (various dates and distances)

It started with a 10k in mid-December in honor of two Olympians- Bill Reilly and Todd Scully- and was held at Lake Takanassee. The races continued into the winter months. The distances were 5 mile, 10k, 15k,10 mile and 20k.There was a 10k run/walk for several years. In 2000 the series shifted to Joe Palaia Park in Ocean Township while the bridge at Lake Takanassee was being rebuilt. The race became a 5k and returned to the lake the following year only to return to Joe Palaia Park in 2003 due to the lack of bathroom facilities and a heated-shelter.) The end came in 2005 as there were too few runners and too much trouble finding volunteers to help.


15) – Asbury Park YMCA/Boardwalk Summer Series

This series was held on Thursday evenings throughout the summer. It began in the mid-eighties and lasted until the mid-nineties when it was moved to Wall Twp and became the highly successful Wall Twp. summer series.  The first couple of years it was run from the YMCA on Main Street and included a trek to the boardwalk and an out and back run on the boards back to the YMCA. It became too dangerous running through the streets of Asbury, so it was shifted entirely to the boardwalk and the end came when race participants declined to the deteriorating condition of the boards.


Robert McGill's List


1)  Mountain Challenge 15k at Great Gorge (also had a 3k) Vernon, New Jersey

2)  Hacklebarney Hill Climb 15k & 5k (Pottersville, NJ)

3)  The Midland Run 15k & 5k   (Far Hills, NJ)

4)  Easton Hospital 5k (Easton, Pa)

5)  Around the Lake 5k  (Lake Hauto, Pa)

6)  Raising Hope 5 miler  (Readington, NJ)

7)  Joel Spector 10k & 5k (Washington Township in Bergen County, NJ)

8)  Ogdensburg 5k   (Ogdensburg, NJ)

9)  Colonia Classic 5k  (Colonia, NJ)

10) Tappan Zee Boosters Club 10k (Orangeburg, NY)

11)  Patriots Path 10k  (Mendham, NJ)

12)  Trenton Waterfront 5k  (Trenton, NJ)

13)  12 miler at Allamuchy  (Allamuchy & Byram, NJ)

14)  Montclair YWCA 10k  (Montclair, NJ)

15)  Race of the Plainfields  10k (Plainfield, South Plainfield & North Plainfield, NJ)


Jim Bergum’s List


1) Howell 5 Miler (late summer early fall during Howell Day's)

Held in Oak Glenn Park.  Well organized, great prizes (TV's, etc) and nice course.  Not well advertised so low turnout.


2) Gold’s Gym 5 Miler (Howell)

Start and finish at swim club.  Tough hill at the end.  Great food after the race.  At end of first year, runners told to put this race on the their schedule for future years since would

go on for a long time.  It lasted 2 or 3 years.  It was a nice race.


3) Joe Parker Memorial 5 K Asbury Park in April (Easter weekend)

Big race on the Asbury Park boardwalk.


4) Repeat from Above:  Root’s Run (Toms River): 

Does anyone besides me still have the Root's cap?


5) Midland Run 15 K

Bruce Marshalls List

1) Haybale 25K

2) Midland Run 15K

3) Equinox 20K

4) Bar A Half Marathon


Ralph Garfield's List


Marlboro 5 mile

Started and ended at the swim club in Marlboro. The race director was Ed Robbins who sadly died long before his time. The race was well organized as befitted a race director

who was also an accomplished runner. The start was uphill but the finish was downhill. I recall leading Frank Haviland coming into the Swim Club but such was his withering kick

he easily beat me.


From Fred Linkhart


The PruPac 10K.- This was held in the early eighties at the Prudential Property and Casualty facility in Holmdel. There was a 1 mile race within the grounds, and the 10K on local roads in Holmdel and Colts Neck

Robert Mc Gill Lists

Flat courses

Warren County

    Belvidere Fox Trot 5k and other courses that start at the courthouse area or the high school

Sussex County

    Any course at the Sussex County baseball stadium

    Any course at the Sussex County fairgrounds that stays on the fairgrounds property

Morris County

    Run for Marge 5k and any other course in Pequannock

    Any course at the Mack-Cali complex in Parsippany

    Mk 5k course in Denville

    Catholic high school fundraiser course in Denville

    old Pfizer 5k in Morris Plains

    Roxbury Community Benefit 5k

    Horseshoe lake in Morris County

    Morris County Striders Summer Series 5k in Boonton Township

    Dover Renaissance 5k

Somerset County

    Legal Runaround in Somerville

    North Plainfield 5k

    cross country course in Branchburg

    Mountain Park

Middlesex County

    South Plainfield Labor Day 5k

    5k for a Catholic school in South Plainfield

    Dunellen 5k

    5k’s in Metuchen

    North Brunswick 5k

    Run with Vikings 5k in South Brunswick

    Johnson Park in Piscataway and Highland Park

Union County

    Cranford Firecracker 4 miler

    5k’s at Nomehagen Park in Cranford

    CPL 5k in Cranford

    Westfield Turkey Trot 5 miler

    CJRRC Hangover 5k in Westfield

    5k’s in Plainfield

     races at Rahway River Park in Rahway

    races at Warinoco Park in Elizabeth and Roselle

    races at Kean College in Union 

Flattest courses north and west of Monmouth County



1.     Mk 5k  (Denville, NJ) and any other race in Denville

2.     any course at Mack Cali corporate campus in Parsippany-Troy Hills

3.     Hip Hop 5k and any other 5k at Johnson Park in Piscataway and Highland Park

4.     any 5k course in Duke Island Park in Bridgewater

5.     Central Jersey Hangover 5k in Westfield

6.     Hillsborough Hop 5k

7.     Hillsborough Resolution 5k and other races using that course

8.     Twin Boros 5k in Bound Brook

9.     Belvidere 5k and other races in Belvidere

10.   Portugal Day 5k (Newark)

11.   several 5k courses in Cranford

12.   South Plainfield Labor Day 5k

13.   Run with Vikings (South Brunswick)

14.  several 5k's along the brick walk in Jersey City

15.   Run with Marge 5k and other 5k courses in Pequannock

16.   Morris County Striders Summer Series 5k  (Boonton)  cross country

17.   Centenary College 5k and other courses at Riverdale Park in Hackettstown (cross country)

18.   Legal Runaround 5k and other races using that course or similar courses (Somerville)

19.   North Plainfield 5k

20.   Garden State Plaza 5k (Paramus)

21.   Run for Runaways and other races at Colonial Park in Franklin Township

22.   Race for Hunger 5k  (Wayne)

23.   Wyckoff 5k

24.   Purim 5k (Fair Lawn)

25.  North Brunswick 5k



4 milers, 5 miles 8k's and 10ks


1.   Run from Winter 10k (Duke Island Park in Bridgewater)

2.   Westfield Turkey Trot 5 miler

3.   Newport 10,000 10k  (Jersey City)

4.   Ridgewood 10k

5.   Apple Chase 10k (Pequannock)

6.   Cranford Firecracker 4 miler


Hilliest courses (order is random) on pavement or a path like the tow path




1.   White Meadow Lake 5k  (Rockaway Township)

2.   Rockaway Rotary 5k  (Rockaway Borough)

3.   Howard Bell Memorial 5k  (Mount Tabor)

4.    Newton Firehouse 5k (Newton)

5.    Run for the Canoli 5k (Hazelton, Pa)

6.    Pfizer 5k and other 5k courses at Giralda Farms (Madison)

7.    Red Cross 5k (Millburn)

8.    Netcong 5k  (Netcong)

9.    KEA Pot of Gold 5k (Kinnelon)

10.  Windmill Classic 5k  (Holland)


5 miles, 8ks and 10ks


1.    Christmas City Classic 5 miler (Bethlehem, Pa)

2.     Run for the Cookies 10k (Berwick, Pa)

3.     Three Bridges 5 miler (Readington)

4.      Our House 5 miler (Summit)

5.     Sunset Classic 5 miler (Bloomfield)

6.     Woodcliff Lakes 10k  (Woodcliff Lakes)

7.    Frost on the Pumpkin 10k  (South River)

8.     Montville 8k (Montville)

9.     Main Street Sparta 10k (Sparta)

10.   Patriots Path 8k (Mendham)


12ks, 8 milers or similar, 15ks, 10 milers, 20ks & half marathons


1.    Celebrate Life Half Marathon (Rock Hill, NY)

2.    Quakertown Rotary 10 miler (Quakertown, Pa area)

3.     South Mountain 10 miler (Bethlehem, Pa)

4.     Race Street 15k (Jim Thorpe, Pa)

5.     Crimestoppers 12k (Frankford)

6.     Sparta 8.2 mile around Lake Mohawk

7.     Oley 10 miler (Oley, Pa)

8.     Einee Meenie Minnie Moe Half Marathon (Newtown, Pa)

9.     Indian Trails 15k  (Middletown)


15k's, 10 milers, 20k's and half marathons


1.    Miles for Music 20k (Johnson Park in Piscataway and Highland Park)

2.    North Jersey Half Marathon (Pequannock)

3.    Liberty Waterfront Half Marathon (Jersey City)

4.    Swamp Devil 15k  (Bernards and Long Hill townships)

5.    Shades of Death Half Marathon (Allamuchy)


Book Review by Elliott Denman*

"If you would be a marathoner, study William James," Dr. George Sheehan advised readers in his best-selling 1978 classic, "Running and Being." "Man must be stretched," William James told us. "If not in one way, then another." The marathon is one way. Running 26 miles is a feat that truly stretches a human being. "Dr. Sheehan, "the Running Doc," studied James and Ortega and Barrett, along with Plato and Joyce and Melville, and so many more, as he trotted the highway of life. In effect, a marathon. And as he proceeded, he formulated the personal observations and life-views that identified this singular man as a major philosopher of his day, just as the others were of their own.  Running - and all of sport - became the milieu he immersed us in as he applied his analyses to all the rest of life.

In "Running and Being" and "This Running Life" and "Personal Best" and the five other books he wrote, and in the thousands of columns he authored for the Red Bank, N.J. Register and Asbury Park, N.J. Press newspapers, and for Runner's World Magazine, Dr. Sheehan helped to "stretch" us all.  He "stretched" us regularly with a myriad supply of advice on topics both mundane and existential. He got us deep-thinking as we ran and walked and proceeded down the avenues of daily existence. He got us to examine ourselves and our surroundings and our universe. He did all this in a second career as a journalist that he took up beyond his first one as a noted cardiologist. He did all this starting at age 45 as he resumed the running life he'd given up after intercollegiate middle-distance stardom. Among other things, his 4:47 was the first sub-5 ever recorded by a 50-plus miler. The by-then noted man of medicine, husband and father of 12, and soon-to-be standout Masters division runner at distances up to the marathon, did all this for the 30 years before his death to prostate cancer in 1993. Still, two decades after his passing, "the Running Doc" lives on.

Just off the Rodale Press presses is "The Essential Sheehan," 312 pages of the best "the Doc" gave to us. These excerpts from his books and columns can help provide the renewal many of us may be able to put to excellent use when we "hit the wall" of life. The Sheehan Family -son Andrew served as editor, daughter Nora as illustrator and their siblings as contributors - along with Runner's World Magazine editor-in-chief David Willey - have done the job for us. Call it a world-class "stretch" and a gold-medal read.

Dr. George Sheehan's words are timeless - especially those guiding us through life beyond "the wall."

*Elliott Denman, a U.S. Olympic Team racewalker, was Dr. Sheehan's writing colleague at the Asbury Park Press for many years. And, too, his Shore Athletic Club teammate, fellow participant in Masters track events, and occasional travel companion, in "The Doc's" road-weary but ever-reliable VW beetle sedan, to races hither, yon and elsewhere.

Post-Marathon Recovery Tips

By Steven J. Loder, MES, CSCS

Congratulations on completing your marathon!

Here are a few suggestions to help speed your post-marathon recovery and enhance your overall marathon experience:

  1. Be sure to hydrate after your marathon.   Just as you had done prior to your marathon, drinking plenty of fluids after your marathon is important too. Water is OK, but juices and sports drinks are better since they help to quickly replenish   carbohydrate stores in your muscles depleted by the marathon.
  1. Plan to engage in post-marathon walks and/or light running.  Doing this helps to combat post-marathon soreness by flushing lactic acid from those tired running muscles.
  1. Even better, try Cross Training Activities instead!  After all those weeks of tough training runs, taking a break from running for a few days to a week or more can be refreshing both mentally as well as physically.  Swimming or biking both work great!  No pounding and each helps to relieve the mental burnout.
  1. Pamper yourself to a post-marathon Massage?! Ahhh, feels great and also helps to relieve sore tired muscles.  Using The Stick is a good substitute until you can meet with your massage therapist.
  1. Stretch, Stretch and Stretch! Just as with Tips #2, #3 and #4, stretching helps to flush lactic acid from the muscles and restore a comfortable, pain free range of motion.  The Pro Stretch works great for the calf and shin lower leg muscles.
  1. Do treat yourself to a special post-marathon meal.  You worked hard to train for your marathon and no doubt made some sacrifices along the way including abstaining from certain foods that would be detrimental to your training efforts.  So go ahead. You deserve it!  Just don’t go completely overboard.
  1. Focus on eating post-marathon meals that offer a combination of complex & simple carbohydrates as well as lean sources of protein.  Once you have finished your special post-marathon meal, be sure to focus on eating to replenish depleted your glycogen stores and to promote muscle repair.  You may want to try a good quality whey protein powder and incorporate into some delicious breakfast fruit smoothies.
  1. Do include a daily multi-vitamin rich in Zinc and Vitamin E.  Most grain products are fortified with these two important micro-nutrients.  In addition, you may want to consider taking a multi-vitamin formula.  Either way, including both zinc and vitamin E in your post-marathon meal plan will help to speed healing and recovery. 
  1. Do make sure you get enough rest during the first post-marathon week.   Following a tough marathon effort, your immune system function is roughly at the same level as a typical AIDS patient.  This means that you are very susceptible to the ill-effect of germs during this initial post-marathon week.  So be sure to get your Z’s.
  1. Do plan on recovering for 3-4 weeks prior to beginning a new training and racing buildup.  You may feel fine after a few days, but your body is still recovering at the cellular level.  The basic rule of thumb is to allow one recovery day for each mile of a tough race effort.

 Steven Loder is a Jackson, NJ based running, marathon and strength & conditioning coach and Boston Marathon Qualifier.