GOTR 5K IS UNDERWAY!
Rhatigan, Riley Win Challenging Hashathon
BY JIM ROBBINS
OLD BRIDGE TOWNSHIP, NJ--Presented by the Rumson Hash House Harriers
in concordance with the Jersey Shore Running Club (JSRC), 326
stalwart racers competed in the 32nd annual running of the Hashathon,
a rugged, tough, challenging, six-mile trail race through the
woods of Middlesex Countys Cheesequake State Park, on a
cloudy, a bit breezy, 60 degrees, goodracingweather
Sunday morning of November 13.
Tim Riley, 24, of North Brunswick was the winner and broke the
finish-line tape, held by JSRCs Penny Hinck and Charlotte
Griggs, wife of race director Mark, from the course that starts
and finishes in the vicinity of the main pavilion of the Park,
and is described in the events circular as a run
through winding wooded trails, steep gullies, foot bridges, small
streams, fallen trees, varmints, dramatic cedar forest &
beautiful wetlands, at a racing time of 42:37. The digital
racing clock that displayed that time was attended to and provided
by John Kuhi, veteran runner and coach in the Shore area and
long-time member of the Shore Athletic Club, with help from John
Cheer, active member of JSRC.
Rounding out the top-three finishers were Gary Wersinger, 54,
of West Long Branch at 42:51 (becoming active after a six-year
hiatus) and Joe Pawlish, 39, Haverford, PA at 43:51 (last years
I took the lead soon after we came off the lake and I
stayed out in front the rest of the way, said Riley in
describing his performance. Easily more challenging than
a road race can ever give you, said the Trails champion
when asked to compare a trail race with a road race. Here,
right here at this eventIve been coming here often
and I wouldnt miss it, he further offered when asked
what he liked best.
Definitely not a walk in the park! exclaimed runner-up
Wersinger when asked his thoughts on the course, and likes a
trail run because I like being out in nature.
Lauren Rhatigan, 48, of Ship Bottom, runner-up for the past two
years, was the womens champion at 49:12 (9th place overall)
followed by Howells Kellee Hand, 23, at 50:47 (15th overall)
and third place woman was Heather Fraebel, 15, of Whitehouse
Station at 51:22 (21st overall).
Like Ive told you before, Jim, its like apples
and oranges, said the womens leader in comparing
a trail and road race at the finish area as she was tending to
her bleeding leg caused by a fall near the end. Trail race,
no doubt about it, said Rhatigan when asked which she preferred.
Its a lot different and I actually like it because
of the uphills and downhills you feel more empowered, offered
3rd woman finisher Fraebel in her comment.
I twisted my ankle about Mile Two but decided to tough
it out and continue, said Highlands Dawn Ciccone whose
time of 1:05:45 earned her an age-group award. You have
to be ever alert and theres no place in the whole six miles
that you can just relax, she further offered.
Ocean Townships Susan Ardito, active member of the JSRC,
finished at 1:10:45. I was happy to finish the race and
not fall down, she said when asked her thoughts on this
annual event. She further said, being in the woods and
on the dirt is a lot of fun.
Also a member of JSRC, as well as the Sandy Hookers, Pam Allen
of Red Bank finished at 1:14:43. In commenting she said, Everybody
around you is terrific and very supportive of each other and
that makes for a friendly atmosphere, she said and of the
weather: Beautiful, couldnt be better.
This is the best race I have ever run, said 34-year-old
Melissa Mott of Piscataway who finished at 1:17:28. Mott has
raced many road races including the New Jersey Marathon in the
spring but likes this event best because, it was the most
fun--it was challenging--everybody kinda worked together, telling
each other watch here, watch there so you dont
fall and get hurt--and the tireless volunteers, and there were
many of them, telling you to be very careful--it
was a clearly marked course, you knew where you were going so
you wouldnt get lost.
Seventy-year-old David Gross of Marlboro, one of the three septuagenarians
who all received awards, David for his 1:06:29 racing time, loves
this race and explains why: Its a real challenge
its not your ordinary, everyday, on-the-road type
of race--there are more things out there than there are fingers
on your hands and toes on your feet: roots, rocks, vermin, boardwalks,
collapsing boards, mud, briar bushes, many, many, many leaves,
slow runners who wont give way but in comparison to a road
race, its the greatest thing. Thanks to Mark Griggs (race
director) for putting this on.
The water spots where racers get a drink were strategically placed
at the 1 1/4-mile area going out and also at the 4 ½-mile
area coming back. It was serviced by some of the twenty or so
on-course members of the host clubs who also served as course
marshals, including Manasquans Charles J. Rand who was
assigned to be the sweep who gathers markers and
things but whose main task is to see that all racers are accounted
The event includes a One Mile (almost) Fun Run, on the once-around-the-lake
course with 14, mainly youngsters, competing. Crystal Pappas,
in the 5th grade at Ridgewood Elementary School, Manchester was
the champion at 6:49.
Dave DeMonico, Ocean, on the trumpet and Chick Albers, Hazlet,
on the drum provided music out on the course for their running
friends. DeMonico also played our National Anthem at the into-the-woods
starting area and prior to that director Mark Griggs thanked
all racers for coming and cautioned them to be ever alert of
their footing during the race.
The aforementioned winners and age-group leaders, along with
special category recipients, were given awards of laser-etched
metal plaques created by Tom Morrison, past president of JSRC,
at the Pavilion by race director Mark Griggs and other members
of the race committee.
Information in the encyclopedia informs of the history of the
Harriers: Hashing originated in Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia,
in December 1938, when a group of British colonial officers began
meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after
the traditional British Paper Chase or Hare and Hounds,
to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend. Its
Constitution proposes: To promote physical fitness among the
members; To get rid of weekend hangovers; To acquire a good thirst
and to satisfy it in beer; To persuade the older members that
they are not as old as they feel.
With near-perfect running conditions the 32nd running
of the Hashathon six-mile trail race proved to be outstanding
in many ways. With a huge turnout of 326 finishers
in the main event and 14 in the one-mile fun run, the trails
of Cheesequake State Park provided a challenge for all. The mild
weather and fall foliage proved a beautiful setting for the brutal
race. I want to thank the enthusiastic volunteers from the Jersey
Shore Running Club, especially Phil and Penny Hinck and their
mother-in-law/mother, Marilyn Ryder; the Rumson Hash House Harriers
and a few individuals from communities near the Park. Once again
the staff at the Park proved to be helpful and gracious hosts.
Local rock band Goldenseal gave a spirited performance at the
postrace party held at the M.E. Haley Hose Fire Department #1
of Matawan. This is the third year that the Hashathons
postrace party was held at this location. Thanks also go to the
Shore Athletic Club and John Kuhi for the timing clock; to Tommy
Morrison for crafting the unique awards; to Rick Valentine of
Athletes Image for the fantastic embroidered long-sleeve
T-Shirts; to Atillos Pizza for prompt delivery of tasty
pizzas; to the entire Hashathon Race committee for enduring the
months of planning that lead up to this big day and who gave
up most of their weekend to ensure that this race goes off without
a hitch, and to Johnny on the Spot for its necessary amenities,"
said Mark Griggs in an e-mail summary. "We hope to see
all of you back at Cheesequake State Park again next
year for another spectacular race."