Photo of men's winner, Rob Rohen age 31, duathlon overall male winner, and Top Cop Award, overall time 52.23.2. Credits: Brian Thomas
Male 5K winner: Zack Price, Glenwood, N.J., age 23, 21:20. Credits: Brian Thomas
Female 5K winner: Catherine Borkowski, Hamburg N.J., age 50 25:11. Second place female was 11-year-old Sophia Fagan. Credits: Brian Thomas
Top female duathlon winner, Tracey Jenkins, age 40, time 1:02.22. Credits: Brian Thomas
Rally Round the Valley Duathlon And 5K Debuts To Great Conditions; Sussex County Residents Win Duathlon And 5K
Tuesday, October 23, 2012 • 4:19pm
BOONTON, NJ - Early forecasts had predicted temps in the 40's as duathletes arrived to the event parking area on Saturday, for the Rally Round the Valley Duathlon, to benefit causes supported by the Boonton Township P.B.A.
When participants arrived at the Rockaway Valley Airdrome, it seemed the weather people were wrong. Mild 50's, and thick fog covered the area. Many duathletes questioned if their GPS systems took them to the wrong area, as the registration pavilion was hidden in the fog.
By race time, most of the fog had burned off, and racers had peeled most of the cold weather racing gear off.
The two-mile run was flat and as fast as could be on a cross-country style course, that skirted the perimeter of the park. Some of the top runners in the race appeared surprised by super fast times at the first mile marker, and discovered the measurement was slightly off.
It did not stop overall male winner Rob Rohel, from Wantage, N.J. from winning a close race. The second place finisher was just two seconds behind. Rohel blazed through the transitions, and that made all the difference.
Rob told The Alternative Press how he felt about the course, "I wasn't expecting the grass run, it was hard packed and wet, but it
would have been wet anyway.”
Rohel said he did not expect to win, but used the race as a training run.
“I'm heading to Maui [Hawaii] for the XTERRA World Championship in the Triathlon next week, he said.
The female overall winner was Tracey Jenkins from Bucks County Pa., who was, surprised by her win, as this was her last race of the season.
"The race started a bit cool, but I took my arm sleeves down halfway through the first run, after that it was a perfect day to race,” she said. “The hills worked fine for me, as we drove in we could see the course was not as flat as it was supposed to be, but it's hilly from where I'm from so it worked to my advantage."
Racers of all skill levels enjoyed the race, some participants rode mountain bikes, and just took the race as a nice tour, while more experienced racers were cruised on top of the line time trial bikes with disc wheels. Some duathletes used transition pedal adaptors to assist with faster transitions in the bike to run.
The race director took feedback from the duathletes, and promised next year’s race to be bigger and better.
The festivities did not stop with a duathlon, but also featured a 5K run, which as the runners found out, it was a bit longer than a 5K. The 5k did multiple loops around the park, on the same loops of the duathlon run course.
Zach Price, age 23, of Glenwood, N.J., won the race in a time of 21:20. He won the race by about two minutes, and took the lead early. The Alternative Press asked him if this was a tactic he normally uses.
"I was hoping to start strong, the start funnel was the reason I took it out hard,” he replied. “The weather was a big change from the 40's in Corning N.Y., where I recently did a marathon."
Masters Runner Catherine Borkowski, of Hamburg N.J, won the women’s 5K race. She continued her streak of great racing, not only by winning this race with a time of 25:11, but also the crime stoppers 5K (click here for the story by The Alternative Press), and last week, she was the first female masters runner in the Sparta Spirit 5K on October 13 (click here for the story in The Alternative Press).
Click here for full race results.