The 50th Annual Polar Bear Races were held on December 29, 2013 in Asbury Park, N.J.
With a cold driving rain and temperatures in the upper 40’s the weather was not even amenable to polar bears. But several hundred runners did participate in the 5 mile race which started at 1 p.m. on the Asbury Park Boardwalk on the south side of Convention Hall. In the morning a 10 mile race walk was held on the boardwalk.
Runners gathered prior to the start inside the arcade of Convention Hall and then were brought outside just a few minutes prior to the start.
Phil Hinck of Monmouth Beach gave the runners instructions for the race warning them to be careful on the slippery surface. Elliott Denman of Shore AC who has been at all 50 races then thanked the runners for their support. Runners then got the ready, set, go command and made their way south on the boardwalk. They then turned around and headed north going around Convention hall and back onto the boardwalk. They made their way around the streets on the north end and then headed back to do the loop again with a finish in front of Convention Hall.
Coming in first overall and for the men was Andrew Brodeur of Brick in a time of 25:13. He was followed by.Gerard Sclafoni of Rutherford, N.J. in a time of 26:15
For the women it was Caitlin Dorgan of Red Bank in a time of 30:27. She was followed by Amanda Tripodi of Englishtown in 31:43.
Harry Nolan of Middletown who has participated in all 50 of the events winning the race numerous times finished in a respectable time of 33:40 good for 27th place overall.
Chickie "Penguin" Ebers played his drums and Dave DeMonico played his trumpet for the runners on the course giving them needed encouragement.
After the race the participants headed over to the Berkeley Hotel where awards were presented by Race Director, Shannon Gillespie to the winners and the top age group finishers.
A bunch of about 15 participants also held up the traditional plunge into the ocean after the race and all survived..
Asbury Park will be hosting RunAPalooza to benefit Special Olympics New Jersey on April 26, 2014. And many of the participants will be returning to do one of the following events.
More upcoming events can be found on the Race Calendar.