The Annual Wall Firecracker 5 Mile Race was held on Friday, July 4, 2014 in Wall Township, N.J.
The runners lined up for the start on Allaire Road in front of the Municipal Complex with an overcast sky, showers and moderate temperatures in the lower 70’s for the 8:30 a.m. start. This was in contrast to previous year for this race always known for its hot, sunny and sometimes brutal conditions. The weather in many respects was a pleasant reprise from the previous years. The rain which was a slight shower at the start gradually became a strong downpour in the middle of the race but as the lead runners headed to the finish the showers gave way to just occasional sprinkles. It was a bit on the humid side which affected some runners.
Race Director, Fred Rummel of Wall gave the runners last minute instructions prior to the playing of the National Anthem and then gave the command to start.
The route took the participants up Allaire Road and then onto Campbell Road past several horse farms and then onto 18th Avenue and meandering through some local neighborhoods before returning back to the Municipal Complex for a downhill to the finish line.
Breaking the tape for the men and first overall was Ken Walshak of Babylon, N.Y in a time of 28:07. He was followed by Marty McCormick of Arlington, Va. in a time of 28:53 and then Matthew Grogan of Allenwood, N.J. in 29:21.
For the women breaking the tape was Lauren Glbert of Wall in a time of 32:42. She was followed by Brianna Feerst of Brick in 33:09 and then Amy Nalven of Brick in 33:30.
US Army Veterans Joe Renzella and Joe Placente carried the American Flag the entire 5 mile course through the rain and wind keeping it high in the sky for all to see.
Awards were presented to the overall winners as well as top finishers in the age groups. Winners received hooded sweatshirts which came in handy on the cool day.
Runners have plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks including:
Tuesday through July 15 - 1 Mile at 6:30 PM, 5K at 6:45 PM, Ocean Running Club Summer Series, Winding River Park, Toms River, N.J.
Wednesday July 9, 16, 23, and 30. Freehold Area Running Club Summer Series, Battlefield State Park, Manalapan, N.J.
Thursday, July 10, 17, 5K Half Mile and 1 Mile, JSRC Summer Series Week 4, Wall, N.J.
Sunday, July 6, 8:30 a.m. Top Gun Firecracker 5K, Deal, N.J.
Sunday, July 13, 5k, Great Santa Run/Walk and Kris Kringle 1 Mile Kids Dash, Barnegat, N.J.
Wednesday, July 16, 5K, LBP 5K, Lavalette, N.J.
Saturday, July 19, Half Marathon Training Begins, Spring Lake, N.J.
Saturday, July 19, 7 a.m.12 - 15 Miles, Marathon Training Run #1, Spring Lake, N.J.
Saturday, July 19, 8 a.m. 2 mile Run and 300 yard swim, 34th Annual Ocean Grove Biathlon, Ocean Grove, N.J.
Saturday, July 19, 8:30 a.m. 5K and 1 Mile, Jack Rafter 5K, Tinton Falls, N.J.
Saturday, July 19, 5K, Team Gov 5K, Allenhurst, N.J.
More events can be found on the Race Calendar