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Marines to hit Seaside Park beach

Marines on boards
Marines on boards
Semper Five

On Saturday, September 13, 2014 the first of what is expected to an annual event will take place in Seaside Park, New Jersey. It is the Marine Corps Charity Semper 5K.

Saturday, September 13, 5k, 9 a.m. Marine Corps Charity Semper 5k, Seaside Park, New Jersey

I caught up with Frank Costello the Race Director for the event. Here is what he had to say about this exciting event.

What is your name, where do you live and how did you get involved in this event?

My name is Frank Costello, and I live in Toms River. I have done 19 Marathons and the Ironman 5x(Hawaii twice), but had never done one of the ultra-distance events with any of my children. The youngest of my seven children was a senior at Georgetown last year, so we decided to do the Marine Corps Marathon together in October. Two weeks before the race I fractured my tibia, so I was relegated to taking photographs, my other avocation. When I was later printing out the pictures I got very emotional (still am) looking at them. There were too many young men with serious injuries. First you think about what courage it must take to try and do the marathon missing both your legs and one arm. Then your thoughts quickly turn to how about just waking up, and living your life every day.

My daughter Kirby and I had been raising money for the MARSOC Foundation on up to race time, and got to meet with their director of operations at the Marine Corps Marathon, Sarah Christian, who is flying in from California for the Semper Five. After the race I was emailing with Sarah about the marathon and some of the pictures I had emailed. She found out I had been a Race Director and asked if I could do a race to benefit the MARSOC Foundation.

What is your role?
I’m the Race Director. I asked 31 people to be on the committee, and 30 said yes. We have all branches of our Armed Forces represented on the committee. It’s a wonderful group.

What was the impetus for starting this race?

The MARSOC Director of operations asked me to. I’ve been Race Director, and founder of a race before, and always received great support, but not like this. It’s been inspirational with so many nice stories.

What will make this race unique?
Almost everything: Let’s start with whom the race benefits, the MARSOC Marines and Sailors. They are usually the first ones in when something goes wrong, which is why their injuries are so horrific. Their motto says it all: “Helping those who have sacrificed the most". MARSOC Commander Marine Major General Joseph Operman is coming to the race, and will be congratulating everyone at the finish line and giving out awards. We will have beaucoup photographers so we get a good shot of everyone.

The race shirt is a long sleeve Under Armour shirt which we got pretty much for cost through the Marines. There are no sponsors on the shirt: major kudos to our sponsors allowing us to do this, they have been fantastic. Please check the shirt out online. It is truly awesome. We ordered 300 for promotion back in April, 5 months before the race……………..they’re all gone. The other 5K races I was involved with, usually had about 10% from outside Ocean County. With the Semper Five it’s over 60%. People want to support our troops. Our timing company said it’s easily the largest number they’ve ever seen for a first year road race. ROTC Cadets and Boy Scouts will be participants and volunteers. We're closing the 5K with the 16 young Marines who came over for a photo-shoot in April . They will have a delayed start so that everyone can see them come in carrying the American flag, and the Semper Five flag. I can hear the crowd now.

Dr. Cooper is the most famous physician in the world. There is even a Cooper Clinic in China. He is also the founder of the running movement. He is President George Bush’s MD, and MD for so many famous athletes etc. etc. I asked him to make a donation and pose for our ad on Facebook. He graciously did both (gave us $1000 obviously he can afford it but that’s not the point, he didn’t have to do that). He didn’t ask us to but we put Cooper Clinic on the numbers, which will make it a collector’s item and be prestigious for our event. I’m enclosing the ad we are putting in for him so get just a little idea of what this man has done. This ad just scratches the surface really.

How many runners do you expect?

That is so hard to tell because it is a first year event, but I will be surprised and disappointed if we don’t go over 1,000. That’s crazy for a first year race, But it’s going to happen.

What is the charity that this event will benefit?

This race will benefit the MARSOC Foundation, which was established to provide benevolent support to active duty and medically retired MARSOC personnel and their families as well as to the families of Marines and Sailors who have lost their lives in service to our Nation.

What will the runners receive?

The participants will receive an official long-sleeve Under Amour t-shirt and patriotic Marnie Corps wrist bands. There will also be awards given to the top three male and female finishers overall within the 5K, and awards given to the top three male and female finishers overall within the 1 mile race. There will also be a random drawing of race numbers in which winners will receive framed shore scene art donated by Ocean County Artist Guild.


Where can people get more information on the race?

People can get more information this race by visiting: http://seasidesemperfive.org

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Saturday, September 6, 9:30 a.m. 5k, Fallen Heroes 5K Memorial Race, Lake Como, N.J.

Sunday, September 7, 930 am 1 mile fun run, 10am 5K, Mya's Run for Gold, Joe Palia Park, Ocean, N.J. Color Fun Run added to Mya's Run for Gold

Sunday, September 7, 8:30 a.m. 5K, Hustle 4 Hannah, Tinton Falls, New Jersey

Thursday, September 11, 6 p.m. 9-11 Memorial Run, Belmar, New Jersey

Saturday, September 13, 5k, 9 a.m. Marine Corps Charity Semper 5k, Seaside Park, N.J.

Saturday, September 13, 5k, Run for the Arts, Ocean Grove, N.J. Preview

Saturday, September 13, 9 a.m. 5 Miles, Princeton Health System, Princeton, N.J.

Saturday, September 13, 5K, Jim's Jog, Clinton, N.J.

Sunday, September 14, JSRC Day at the Races, Monmouth Race Track, Oceanport, N.J. FlyerSunday, September 14, 10 a.m. 5k, JSUMC 5k, Neptune, N.J. On Line Registration

Sunday, September 14, 8:30 a.m, 10K, United Way - City of Newark 10K Run for Healthy Kids, Newark, N.J.

Sunday, September 14, 8 am, 5K, 9/11 Heroes Run, Wall, N.J.