Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Equinox Preview

The calendar has cooperated exquisitely this year, making the third annual Equinox 20K Run on March 20 true to its name and giving those early bird runners the rare opportunity to warm up for the race in winter and run it in spring. The Vernal Equinox, occurs in the northern hemisphere when night and day are nearly the same length and the Sun crosses the celestial equator and marks the official start of spring which occurs at 7:33 am in the Eastern time zone, one hour and fifty seven minutes before the race begins.

In addition to accurately commencing the spring season, the race also falls at a perfect time for those attempting most of the major spring marathons. Many books on marathoning suggest doing a race about half the distance about four weeks before the race, making the Equinox well situated for those running Boston of the New Jersey Shore Marathons among others.

The race is organized by The Raritan Valley Road Runners(RVRR), one of New Jersey’s premier running clubs. RVRR is a not for profit running club headquartered in the New Brunswick/Highland Park, area.. For over twenty years, they have promoted youth running through a summer racing series and running scholarships. They have over 300 members that log approximately 250,000 miles per year and the club has conducted its group over 1000 consecutive Wednesday nights.

The course traverses Johnson Park in Piscataway twice and while not always the most breathtaking of courses it is an easy course for spectators to easily follow runners through the course. The course is almost totally flat with few uphills or downhills.

The 12.4 mile course is certified by the USA Track and Field(USATF) Association of New Jersey as a championship course.. Over 450 runners from all over the state attended the race last year and this year’s showing is expected to be stronger.

While the weather should be advantageous for good performances, there is never any guarantee of spring weather Although the race kicks off spring, winter has only finished a few hours before and Old Man Winter may have a few last tricks up his sleeve.

Fees for the race are $20 for USATF members, postmarked by March 14 and $22 for non USATF members. Race day entry is $25. The application can be downloaded from http://www.usatfnj.org/ldr/2005%20races.html#march and
once completed should be mailed to Equinox 20K, 8 Cedar Ct. Bedminster, NJ 07921. Registration is also available online at www.active.com.

Proceeds from the race fund the Highland Park first aid squad and RVRR youth summer series. For more information contact race director Dana Gross 908-470-0420 or email dana_g99@yahoo.com.