Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Sixth Annual Browning Ross Bob Kupcha Run

The 6th annual Browning Ross Bob Kupcha 5k run and 1 mile was held May 14 in National Park, NJ. The race is held in memory of two men who were devoted to Gloucester Catholic High School Dr. Bob Kupcha, Gloucester Catholic High School class of 1977 and Browning Ross, two time Olympian and a long time track and cross country coach at Gloucester Catholic High School.

The 5k race passes through historic Red Bank Battlefield along the Delaware River, and was won by Tom Campo Jr of Woodbury (20:38) and Kris Gallagher of Mullica Hill (21:47).

Dave McCollum (class of 1975) 22:00 and Lauren Wilson (class of 2014) 24:48 each won the Dave Williams award for first GCHS male and female finishers. Williams was a great GCHS runner from the 1940’s and 1950’s who was profiled in Runners Gazette: http://ramscrosscountry.blogspot.com/2008/04/dave-williams-gloucester-catholics.html

Both the 5k and 1-mile races featured runners from both ends of the competitive spectrum.

The 5k featured some of the top masters runners in the Philadelphia and South Jersey area, including a number of runners who were regulars at Browning Ross’s races in the 1990’s who today are Boston Marathon and Broad Street Run age group winners, including Jim Flanagan winner of the over 70 age group in 22:12. Joe Hoffman of National Park second over-all and the first over 60 finisher in 21:09, long time South Jersey great Ken Kling second in 22:08, Tom Osler second over 70 finisher and Walt Pierson 3rd over 70. While male masters runners took 9 of the first 10 places in the 5k race, the first 6 finishers in the one mile run were parochial grammar school girls, which bodes well for the GCHS girls cross country team in 2013 and beyond.

Other top finishers in the 5k include Lauren Wilson first under 18 in 24:48 (14th overall), Vicki Lutz Feehan, first in the 19-29 age group and 16th overall in 25:11 and Emily Malfitano second in the under 18 division, and 19th overall in 25:41. Linda Kupcha finished first in the 50-59 female age group in 31:56.
The race featured bagels, fruit and Melitta Coffee. Besides trophies and medals, “Browning Ross style prizes” such as tomato plants, cookies, pickles, running clothes, food coupons from Chick Fil-A and Duffy’s chocolates were awarded to finishers in both events.
Packs of shredded $100 bills also among the random prizes quickly scooped up by the many young runners in attendance without fear of losing their “amateur status”. Proceeds from the race went to the Bob Kupcha Alumni Scholarship, and to a new initiative to raise funds for athletic fields for Gloucester Catholic’s teams (Gloucester Catholic has not had any athletic fields of its own since its founding in 1928 and has recently started a fund to develop land in Deptford, NJ).

There is a possibility that the next Browning Ross Bob Kupcha 5k run will take place on those new fields.
Previous Ross Kupcha Race Winners:

2005 Male: Dave Welsh 16:29 Female: Emily Ward 19:09

2006 Male: Michael McGowan 17:38 Female: Shannon McGowan 22:35

2007 Male: Tom Campo, Jr. 19:44 Female: Meghan McGowan 22:27

2008 Male: Dave Welsh 16:53    Female: Patricia Addis Hudson 21:49

2009 Male: Tony Tartaglia  19:25    Female: Taylor Mickle 22:28

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Jonas Cattell 2011






While winning the 42nd annual Jonas Cattell 10 mile Run in 56:08, Geoff Shute may have run the most interesting ten miles from Haddonfield to National Park (NJ) of anyone since—well, since Jonas Cattell himself covered the distance in 1777.

Shute ( 36) is also the head old cross country and track coach at Pennsville (NJ) High School. Having previously won Jonas Cattell, he decided to run this year’s race as a training run for the Philadelphia Marathon.

While it is common for runners to mention that they were just using a race as a “training run” Shute actually did so, incorporating the ten mile Jonas Cattell race as the second half of a twenty mile training run at his projected marathon pace. Shute parked at the finish at Red Bank Battlefield in National Park NJ and ran ten miles to the races start timing his run to arrive just before the races start. As the gun went off, Shute reversed course and ran the ten miles back to the finish (and his waiting family) almost six minutes faster than second place finisher Jim Sery.

Believe it or not, Shute was not entirely happy with his remarkable performance.

“I wanted to run the race at marathon pace, around 5:28 -5:38 a mile but the adrenalin kicked in and I ran the first mile through Haddonfield a little too fast, around 5:12 pace. I felt good and kept that pace for a while, but started to tighten up and slowed down to around 5:48 pace later in the race. I didn’t use my head and went out a little too fast that first mile.” Shute, who was out of sight from the rest of the pack after the first mile, has won a number of South Jersey races this year including repeating as winner of the Benjamin Ross 5k in June in 16:25.

The first female, Julie Cattell proved that running is still in the Cattell blood by winning the race in a fine 1:07:50. Julie was the first of a number of Cattell relatives who annually keep up the family tradition of re-enacting the historic run of distant relative Jonas.

Other age group winners in the race include Gloucester Catholic Cross Country Sophomore Billy Simila, who was the first teen-age runner in 1:10.45. Jim Sery, 1st over 50 male in 1:02:06 and second overall.

Lisa Wixted 1st female 35 to 39 in 1:14:10, second overall. Britta Deklyver was the 1st female 40-44 finisher and third place overall in 1:16:51.

Sean Simila was the first 14 and under male, finishing in 1:20:45 and Ayaana Lyons was the first place 15 to 19 female in 1:20:58.

Boston Marathon age group winner Joy Hampton was the first place female over 60 finisher in 1:22:12 and Ken Underwood was the first male 60-64 winner in 1:22:42.

Danny Wheeler was the first wheel chair finisher, navigating the hilly run in 1:25:35.

Tom Osler, who has run most of the 42 Jonas Cattell runs was the first place male 70 and over in 1:34:59.

There were 122 finishers on a picture perfect October day ideal for running 10 miles (or ten miles twice).

Notes: Besides winning South Jersey road races, Geoff Shute has previously run the Boston Marathon in 2:39:27 and finished 21st in the Philadelphia marathon with a time of 2:34:37. Geoff has also won Gloucester County Cross Country Coach of the year award at Pennsville (NJ) High School.

Other Cattell descendants who ran the race include Robert Allen, Elizabeth Allen, Tehya Duckworth, David Jonas Weber and Dave Weber.

For more on the history of the Jonas Cattell run: http://www.runnersgazette.com/results/cattel09.htm

For results of the 2011 Cattell Run:  http://home.comcast.net/~coachheath/Files/Cattell11.pdf

For 1970’s newspaper coverage of early Jonas Cattell races: http://ramscrosscountry.blogspot.com/2010/01/jonas-cattell-10-mile-race-coverage.html

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Jonas Cattell 10 miler, One of South Jerseys Oldest Races

When Jonas Cattell ran the nearly ten miles from Haddonfield, New Jersey to Fort Mercer at Red Bank (National Park New Jersey) he wasn’t thinking about the scenery, he didn’t worry about his mile splits or even how he would get back to his blacksmith apprentice job in Haddonfield. Jonas was thinking about life and death.
Jonas was 18 on October 22, 1777, he was half Lenapi Indian and he loved to run. When he wasn’t working for blacksmith John Middleton as an apprentice in Haddonfield, Jonas was a Jonas Cattell plaque in Haddonfieldmember of the Gloucester County Fox Hunting Society.
Jonas was a bit different than the other Fox Hunting Society members though.
Rather than ride on horseback, he preferred to join the hunts on foot, running along side the dogs and joining in the pursuit. Records show that he was fast enough to join in the kill more than 50% of the time. Besides gaining great fitness during the hunts Jonas became an expert on the trails, underbrush and stream crossings in Gloucester County where the riders could not go. Wanting to test his stamina further Jonas looked for any opportunity to run, once running from his home in Deptford, NJ to Cape May and back-- 187 miles round trip in three days.
On October 21, 1777 General Karl von Donop and a Hessian force of 2400 men ferried across the Delaware River unseen, camped out and then began marching up Haddon Avenue (the ferry road) to Haddonfield.
Jonas Cattell and a number of other people the troops encountered a long the way were taken prisoner and held over night in a camp between Haddonfield and Cherry Hill NJ at Evans Pond. The next day Jonas and the prisoners were released and told they could go home. Jonas knew what he had to do. He immediately started running to Fort Mercer along the roads, paths and trails he knew so well to warn Colonel Christoper Greene, commander of the American troops at the fort that the Hessians were on their way.
The advanced warning was enough notice for Colonel Greene to redirect his cannons from the Delaware to the road leading into the fort. The much smaller American force was able to defeat the Hessian troops, inflicting over 500 casualties including Count von Donop who was wounded and then abandoned by his troops on the battlefield. The British withdrew and decided to set fire to their ships rather than let them fall into the hands of the Americans.
After delivering the message, Jonas had run back to Haddonfield and was resting from his Whitall House, Red Bank Battlefield at Fort Mercer, National Park, NJ“double” workout when he was captured by the Hessians again. In a state of disarray from the battle Jonas was soon released. The British withdrew from New Jersey. The following month they returned and captured Fort Mercer under General Cornwallis when the Americans abandoned the Fort after the fall of nearby Fort Mifflin on the Philadelphia side of the river.
Jonas Cattell lived another 72 years, a local hero in South Jersey because of his bravery and the fact that he had run such a long distance to deliver his warning (while Paul Revere had ridden to deliver his similar warning.)

In October of 1969 a race was started by the local Kiwanis to honor Jonas Cattells’ run retracing virtually the same route. While the brush and trails and streams he covered have been replaced by paved South Jersey roads, you can’t help but feel his spirit if you run the race and approach Red Bank Battlefield. Forty years later the race is the oldest in South Jersey and the course has undergone only minor changes to improve safety.
Finishers entering the Battlefield are greeted by Revolutionary War re-enactors, hundreds of spectators, the boom of cannons, and the smell of cannon smoke and funnel cake-- but you can still easily imagine yourself feeling about the same level of fatigue that Jonas Cattell felt when he entered Fort Mercer on October 22, 1777. Red Bank Battlefield Monument, National Park, NJ
This year 120 runners finished the 40th annual Jonas Cattell run on a crisp, clear day ideal for running ten miles (the days before and after the race were rainy and cold).
Geoff Shute Pennsville High School (NJ) cross country coach won the race in 56:18. Chelsea Ley the top ranked New Jersey High School cross country runner from Kingsway High School (Swedesboro)was the first female finisher in 1:07:19.
Joanne Ley, Chelsea’s mother and a also a former standout at Kingsway was the second Female finisher in 1:09: 34.
David Zuzga (1:00:56) was the second male finisher, followed by Jim Sery (1:01:10).
There were a number of other notable finishers: Rowan Professor and Running Legend Tom Osler placed 3rd in the 60 and over category in 1:32:31.
Billy Simila was the first 14 and under runner and 40th overall in 1:20:24. Former Rowan University Cross Country ace Bob Pyott was 21st in 1:12:53.
Danny Wheeler was the first wheel chair finisher in 1:33:06, and was warmly greeted by his service dog at the finish drawing heartfelt applause from the many spectators at the finish. Wayne Kean a blind distance runner from Bellmawr, won the Jonas Cattell Special Achievement award running the hilly ten mile distance in an impressive 2:10:47.

Written by Jack Heath, courtesy of Runners Gazette Magazine http://www.runnersgazette.com/

40th Annual Jonas Cattell Results: http://home.comcast.net/~coachheath/Files/cattell.pdf

Coverage of Jonas Cattell Races from the 1970's:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Don't Allow Seasons To Pass You By

He could have been at most of the games, but he had to make a living. When each tiring day was done, there just wasn't enough pep left for a game, a story or a little fun. It's just that the kid was growing up and he never noticed the look of admiration and hope until it faded and died.
       This man worked hard for his family. It's just that day follows day and the seasons fly. Children grow up and life goes by.
      Now the evening shadows are steep and retirement has come. The old house is silent and the chair creaks some.
     What was life about, he wonders. Was it to sit in a rocker by the gate and remember the pink pills at seven and the purple ones at eight? Along the way, did he miss the reason God put us all on earth? Was it about loving and serving Him by loving and sharing with others?
     The little boy is long gone now. He lives in another state. The old man plans to write, but putting a letter together is hard if you haven't practiced, and he can't really find much to say. When all's said and done, he's just a stranger called "Dad".
     The old man meant no ill. He just forgot that life is more than earning a lot. It slipped his mind that the seasons fly, children grow up and life goes by.

Written by Ted Simonson.
Ted resides in Statesville North Carolina and is and elder at the Grace Alliance Fellowship Church in Statesville.