We celebrated an important milestone in our family last week: our kids ran their first race, a .6-mile family fun run tacked on to the end of the Bele Chere 5K in downtown Asheville. While my wife ran the 5K, I pinned the race numbers onto the kids’ shirts and guided them through a pre-race ritual that included touching our toes really fast and eating powdered donuts. As we prepped for our brutal .6-mile run, we watched the 5Kers cross the finish line in a flurry of sweat and heavy breathing. One teenager even threw up right in front of us.By the time the Family Fun Run race gun was fired, my kids were over it. Half way up the first and only hill, my daughter stopped running, looked at me and said, “I can’t do it, daddy!” My son didn’t even bother running up the hill. His mom carried him. But on the downhill, we gained some speed and my son started trying to catch other runners ahead of him while swinging his water bottle like a club. I’m not sure where the Road Runners Club of America comes down on bludgeoning other runners, but I was happy to see some enthusiasm on his part.We finished last, but to be fair, my kids were the youngest competitors in the race, unless you include that baby in the jogging stroller. But I don’t include that baby, because his dad did all the running for him. Cheater. And like their race medals said, “as long as you had fun, you won.”I’m honestly not sure if they had fun. There was a lot of crying, one downhill fall on asphalt, and a warning from a volunteer about short-cutting the course. But the medal they earned has given my son something else to wield like a barbarian, so the $8 race fee wasn’t a complete waste.
Share on: WhatsApp Madrid, Spain | AFP | Boca Juniors landed in Spain on Wednesday as they prepare to end the long-running Copa Libertadores final saga over two weeks after a fan assault threw the fixture into doubt.Boca players were greeted by an army of fans outside their hotel in Madrid as they prepare to finally dispute the second leg of the final against arch-rivals River Plate on Sunday at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium, with the scores level at 2-2 after the first match at Boca’s La Bombanera ground almost a month ago.The match has been delayed ever since River fans attacked the Boca team bus hours before the match was supposed to take place at River’s El Monumental stadium on November 24.River jetted off from Buenos Aires on Wednesday afternoon, with Boca already in the Spanish capital in order to contest the decisive leg of the biggest match in Argentine football history at a venue at which they had both initially refused to play.Over the weekend River joined Boca in saying that it was “incomprehensible” that the game had been moved to Spain, insisting that the club bore no responsibility for the “faults in the security operation” for the high profile fixture in Buenos Aires.On Tuesday Boca hero Juan Roman Riquelme slammed the decision to move the match away from Buenos Aires to Spain, saying that it would make one of the world’s fiercest derbies “the most expensive friendly in history”.“The final is losing a bit of its magic,” Cristian Farfalla, a young Boca Juniors supporter who made the transatlantic trip from Argentina, told AFP. “Honestly, I would have preferred the game to be played over there (in Argentina). But on the other side, I have the chance to be able to come and see it, which I wouldn’t normally have been able to do.”On Monday the two clubs each put 5,000 tickets on sale to supporters in Argentina at 3,600 pesos (84 euros), or a quarter of the average monthly Argentine salary.Meanwhile in Spain 20,000 tickets were put on sale for Boca fans outside Argentina on Tuesday, and a source close to the match organisers told AFP that the same number of tickets would go on sale to River supporters who live abroad.
Five players have been selected for the England team which will defend the Girls’ Home International title at Lanark, Scotland, from 5-7 August. They will be joined by three more players who will be picked at the end of next week’s English girls’ championships at Sheringham and Royal Cromer in Norfolk. The whole team will travel together, flying to Scotland on Sunday, 2 August. They will target England’s eighth consecutive win the championship. The five players already selected are Emma Allen of Hampshire, Annabel Bailey of Leicestershire, Sammy Fuller of Surrey, Hollie Muse of Lancashire and Lizzie Prior of Surrey. All five represented England in the recent European girls’ team championship and Allen, Muse and Prior were in last year’s winning team at the Girls’ Home Internationals. The players: Emma Allen, 18, (Meon Valley) was 14th at the recent English women’s amateur championship and won the girls’ title at the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. Annabel Bailey, 16, (Kirby Muxloe) was runner-up at the 2014 English girls’ championship and tied 10th in the 2015 Helen Holm Scottish strokeplay. Sammy Fuller, 16, (Roehampton) tied for the Irish U18 stroke play, but lost a title play-off. She was 16th in the English women’s amateur where she shot 66 in the first round. Hollie Muse, 15, (West Lancashire) helped England beat Spain in the mixed international and has won the Scottish U16 championship and The Leveret and was third in the St Rule Trophy. Lizzie Prior, 17, (Burhill) was joint runner-up in the English women’s amateur and has won the Fairhaven Trophies and the Critchley Salver this season. She also tied second in the Sir Henry Cooper Junior Masters. 22 Jul 2015 Five selected for England title defence
By John BurtonThe Rohallion Estate in Rumson is for sale and neighbors fear the property could be bought and subdivided for development.RUMSON — A group of area residents are hoping they can muster enough support to preserve a borough property that they believe has historical significance.The group, who met for the first time on Thursday, July 26, has begun hashing out ideas to save the Rohallion Estate, 45 Bellevue Ave., a sprawling 5-acre property with numerous large specimen trees and an expansive multistory home nestled in the center.The 10 members of the group walked through the palatial home and grounds. “Rumson starts losing its estates, it starts losing its validity,” fears Bob Baxter, a North Rohallion Drive resident and a member of the group.“I grew up here,” around the estate, said Nick McCabe, another area resident. “And I can’t tell you how beautiful it was.”McCabe’s parents bought their property, about 3 acres on North Rohallion, in the 1950s from the then-owners of estate.The fear for some is that the 5-acre tract will eventually be purchased and subdivided for development, possibly putting at risk the home, designed by the iconic late 19th and early 20th century architect Stanford White, who was responsible for the original Madison Square Garden.“We’re looking at a little piece of our heritage disappearing,” Baxter said.The Rohallion Estate on Bellevue Avenue in Rumson.The group is only in its infancy, but participants are discussing the possibility of raising the money needed to purchase the property, or if the property can be purchased by local or Monmouth County government to use for something appropriate. “You could do so much that wouldn’t be invasive,” McCabe said.“You could look at it as a park,” Baxter suggested.Another possibility would be to find a private buyer to consider using the location for a business that would work in the existing residential neighborhood, such as a bed-and-breakfast or even a catering facility.Edward Dean Adams commissioned White to design a country home in 1887, with the architect using a Normandy chateaux as his model, according to a history written by Derrill W. Hart.Khaled Mostafa is the current owner, according to borough tax rolls. It has been on the market for the last couple of years, said Pauline Poyner, with Coldwell Banker real estate agency.Borough tax records indicate it is assessed for $3,250,000, and the real estate listing puts the selling price at about $4.5 million, down from the original price of just under $5 million.Mayor John Ekdahl said borough officials “actually gave some thought to (purchasing) it before we built the new municipal building,” on East River Road a few years ago.The estate sits on a sprawling 5-acre property with numerous large specimen trees.However, when officials looked at the building, they found it would have been difficult – if not outright impossible – to reconfigure it for the borough’s uses and meet current requirements. “The layout just wasn’t appropriate to an office setting,” said Ekdahl.“At the end of the day I would love to see some public elegant use,” McCabe said.But the trick, observed, Jamie Wark, a Linden Lane resident who is part of the group, is “to figure out ways to make it financially feasible.”Group members said their next task will be to put together a plan to present to interested parties to begin the conversation about saving the location.Baxter was not deterred by the challenge.“We’re going to save it,” he said. “And, more than save it, we’re going to reinvent it into something that we all can be proud of.”The location, which is zoned for residential use that needs a minimum 1.5 acres for development, is adjacent to Rumson Country Day School, a private school.Any future subdivision of the property could prove problematic, Ekdahl speculated, given the location’s wealth of “some magnificent trees,” and the borough’s tree protection ordinance.The mayor shared group members’ appreciation of the site. “It was probably the most magnificent property in Rumson for years, or decades,” he said.
By Muriel J. SmithRED BANK – Let the governments of the United States and Cuba quibble and argue over their policies, but two volleyball players from Red Bank Catholic High School took positive action last week and demonstrated to Cuban teenagers just how friendly Americans really are.Junior Catherine Curtin of Atlantic Highlands and senior Ava Zockoll of Bay Head spent a week in Havana, traveling with parents Dan and Tricia Curtin and Nancy Zockoll, under the auspices of Cuba Educational Travel, to bring GUEST – the Girls Universal Empowerment Sports Tour – to this third world country which suffers as much poverty and need as many other nations where assistance programs are already in place.It was Catherine’s idea to bring friendship, knowledge, and the start of an easy camaraderie among young people in the largest city of a country 90 miles off the U.S. Southern border. “I was fortunate enough to travel with my parents to Cambodia several years ago,” Catherine said, “and the sight of the poverty there has remained with me since then. I wanted to do something to help someone less fortunate than us, and with Cuba just opening for American visitors again, I thought that would be the perfect place.”Pavel Garcia of Barrio Habana (center, green shirt) accompanied the group to the nightly cannon firing at Morro Fortress. Volleyball coach Reyneer (far left) and Muriel Smith (blue shirt) also joined the entourage.Catherine also knew that as popular as volleyball is in the United States, it’s even more so in other countries. So, with the help of her parents, Catherine contacted the American Embassy in Cuba who put her in touch with Cuba Educational Travel and GUEST, Catherine’s newly formed group, was launched.Catherine’s teammate senior Ava Zockoll, captain of the RBC girls’ team who also plays for Central Jersey Volleyball Academy, and a seasoned traveler herself, was ready, willing and able to take on the challenge of bringing American friendship to Cuba.Cuba Educational Travel put them in touch with Pavel Garcia Valdes and his wife Sandra Sotolongo Iglesias of Proyecto Comunitario Barrio Habana. The couple work tirelessly on the streets of Havana to give a better life to people of all ages. Pavel is as comfortable and efficient encouraging a group of teens on the street through the educational and social aspects of improving their lives as he is trying to find enough drinking water to keep a day care center open so senior citizens can enjoy the friendship and social benefits of others of all ages.All good things must come to an end – Curtin and Zockoll felt the new friendships they formed made a positive impact on their counterparts’ opinion of the U.S. On the last day, there were tears and promises of return visits.The American teens came to Cuba armed with gifts for their soon-to-be friends – volleyball nets, kneepads, volleyballs, game shirts in two colors for opposing team play, as well as open hearts and huge smiles. They left the comfort of air-conditioned gyms and well-polished courts and quickly adjusted to old, cracked concrete outdoor courts with boundary lines faded by the hot sun. All play was wrapped up by noon on any day when afternoon temps went well into the mid-90s.Volleyball, the warm-ups and exercises are all international, so not knowing the language did not present a disadvantage. What were shy exchanges of broken English and Spanish on the first day turned to laughs and friendly handshakes on the next, and later genuine laughter and friendship. On the last day, there were tears when they said their goodbyes amid promises of return visits.“If you can help people in one way, such as by sharing a sport, then you can connect on another level,” Catherine explained. She was surprised at the English speaking skills – however limited – that many of the girls had, and loved the welcoming attitude they exuded from the very first day.Ava agreed, pointing out that one of the reasons she wanted the experience was to be absorbed in another culture and help people with fewer opportunities than she herself has. She was surprised the Cuban teens did not appear to be as poverty-stricken as she had heard they were, and was impressed not only by the quality of the coaches but also their intensity and excellence in training the girls. Both teens commented on how polite, courteous, and well-mannered their Cuban counterparts were.Afternoons were spent with Pavel and an Educational Travel rep who took the American visitors through a series of cultural and educational experiences including a visit to a senior care center where the oldest client at 102, walks from his home on the third floor of a once well-maintained apartment the few blocks to the center where he can enjoy games, friendship, song and meals with other older Cubans. The group also visited a third floor walk-up apartment of a husband and wife renowned for their hip-hop music in clubs and cabarets across the country. The couple, who are black, were eager to speak about racism and said they both believe strongly it exists in Cuba.There was also a visit with Edel Bordon and his wife, Marina, and their children Pablo and Lucy. One of the finest artists in the country, Edel teaches art in his large and elegant 10th floor apartment overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a home filled with the artwork of both Bardon and his students, as well as the photography of son Pablo.In between, there was a salsa dance lesson and a visit to Morro Castle where they experienced the nightly cannon firing by Cuban soldiers, dressed in colonial garb which dates back to the Spanish rule of the 17th century. Citizens set their watches by this 9 p.m. ritual, which commemorates the centuries when the cannon was fired each evening to tell residents to hurry behind the protective walls of the fortress before the gates were locked against marauders, pirates, and other evils.Although trips to private homes and historic sites were all planned by Cuba Educational Travel, the group could go their own way individually or together in the afternoons and evenings. Even with the limited experience, both Catherine and Ava felt they had made new friendships and had a positive effect on their counterparts’ opinion of the United States.Ava felt the best gift she left behind was showing the Cuban students they too can meet and interact with people they have never met in a positive way. Catherine agreed, and felt she also had given her new friends a better understanding of the American people.