The 36th Annual Seaside Half Marathon and 5K were held on Sunday, October 20, 2013 in Seaside Park, N.J.
That the event even got off was due to the hard work and dedication of the volunteers from the Ocean Running Club led by Race Director, Patty Hancock of Toms River, N.J.
Just over a month ago the area where the event took place was devastated by the fire on the boardwalk. The fire destroyed about the first half mile of the boardwalk where the race traditionally starts as well as making the Sawmill unusable where the registration, check in and post-race activities were already planned to occur.
The club did not give up although it surely could have been excused had they done so. An alternate course was developed, a new meeting location at the Beachcomber was arranged and the essentially the entire event had to be reworked. The volunteers from the club started arriving before the break of dawn in the darkness setting things up for the days event. The first to arrive was Patty Hancock.
And all the hard work paid off.
It was an ideal morning for the event with cool temperatures in the lower 50’s and not much of a wind with sunny skies. While the race was going on workers continued to clean up the destruction from the fire. The building next to the Beachcomber which was decimated by the fire was actually torn down during the race. So runners returning there after saw an entirely new landscape.
The runners this year started on the Seaside Park Boardwalk which is much narrower. They made their way south down the boardwalk and then into Island Beach State Park where they turned around and came back to finish at the start. As they finished each runner received a distinctive medal. The event t-shirt had a depiction of the famous roller coaster that stood in the ocean after the storm.
In the 5K the overall and men’s winner was Scott Sarno of Barnegat in a time of 16:52. He was followed by Mark Mellea in 18:30 and then Anthony Guavara in 18:41.
For the women breaking the tape first was Erica Lum of of New York, N.Y.in 20:53 followed by Sarah Robinson-Jones in 23:23 and thenJen Kosakowski in 23:32.
In the half marathon coming in first overall and for the men was Justin Simard of Philadelphia, Pa.in a time of 1:15:41. He was followed by Jason Gers in 1:16:10 and hen Steven Morgan in 1:22:16.
For the women breaking the Ocean Running Club finish tape was Jocilyn McNally of Kensington, Md. in 1:25:47. She was followed by Keely Eckberg in 1:27:44 and then Tina Senfi-Batoh in 1:28:59.
After the races awards were presented to the overall and age group winners in each event in the Beachcomber. Participants were treated to a variety of snacks and many continued the partying after the race.
Race Director Patty Hancock remarked after the event, “I am exhausted but happy it all worked out and it is over.” Patty was also one of the last to leave cleaning up and taking care of all the post-race functions.
For those looking forward to the spring the Asbury Park Half Marathon is scheduled for April 26, 2014 and registration is open for the event.
Coming up next weekend are:
Saturday, October 26, Fourth Annual Monster Dash 5K, Point Pleasant, N.J.
Saturday, October 26, 9 a.m. X-Country Series, Tatum Park, Middletown, N.J.
Saturday, October 26, Vikings Spooktacular 5k, Scotch Plains, N.J.
Sunday, October 26,5k, 8:30 a.m. Bay Head Festival of Hope 5K, Bay Head, N.J.
Sunday, October 27, 14th Annual Cherry Hill Volvo 5k Run at the Katz JCC, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Sunday, October 27, 9 am, 6.55 or 13.1 miles, Halloween Run, Van Cortlandt Park, NYC
Sunday, October 27, 10 a.m. 5k, SNAP Fitness 5k, Medford, N.J.
More upcoming events can be found on The Race Calendar.