The year 2014 was a memorable one for running at the Jersey Shore. There were races just about every weekend, ample opportunities for group runs at various locations, winter and summer series staged by the local running clubs and social events to include holiday parties.
January included winter running series staged by the Freehold Area Running Club and the Ocean Running Club. The year did start out on a sad note with the untimely passing of Fred Torres who was a fixture timing many local road races.
February brought out several holiday parties by local running clubs. The mid-winter Manasquan Beach Run was held in rainy wet conditions and the Johnny Mac House of Spirits Train Run in Asbury Park were among some of the notable events. Sally Kalksma of Pine beach competed along with her daughter at the Empire State Building Run Up and placed among the top finishers.
Empire State Building Run Up
March brought some better weather and the running season started in earnest with the annual E. Murray Todd Half Marathon. The Annual Freehold Area Running Club Saint Paddy’s Day Race was changed from its customary 10 Miler to a 10K.
E. Murray Todd
Things really started to warm up in April as a very popular month for all types of events. The 18th Annual Jersey Shore Relay Marathon and RunAPAlooza was again held along the Jersey Shore. The relay made a return after a break due to the destruction along the shore from Hurricane Sandy. The popular Fool’s Run in Manasquan was cancelled.
Lots of events in May to include the Lighthouse 5k in sandy Hook, the brand new Run the Hills in Shark River and the Thorne Run in West Long Branch. It was all culminated in the huge Spring Lake Five which attracted a record field of over 10,000 runners on Memorial Day weekend.
Spring Lake 5
June featured several Father’s Day themed events in Wanamassa and Point Pleasant. The Union Beach 5K attracted a large field in only its second year dedicated to helping restore that community that was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. Meridian kicked off their race series with the Ocean Medical Center and Bayshore Medical Center 5ks. The big one was the Sheehan Classic held in Red Bank.
July started off with fireworks with the Wall Firecracker 5 on Independence Day. Summer series also kicked off held by Shore AC, Freehold Area Running Club, Ocean Running Club and the Jersey Shore Running Club with races just about every night of the week.
The hot days of August did not slow down runners. There were 5K’s in Neptune city and Sea Girt. The Saturday in the Park Women’s Race was held in Holmdel Park and of course there was the big Asbury Park 5K held as part of the Jersey Shore Grand Prix Series.
Asbury Park 5K
Moderating temperatures in September brought relief to runners and the racing season got busty with several events every weekend. The Pier House 5K concluded the Jersey Shore Grand Prix and there was a large turnout for the 9-11 Memorial Run which to many is then most memorable event of the year.
9-11 Memorial Run
October brought the longer runs to include the Ocean Running Club’s Seaside Half Marathon and the Shore AC’s Jersey Shore Half. There were also many fun Halloween themed events to include the Trick or Trot in Long Branch
Trick or Trot
November is traditionally marathon month with the New York City Marathon the first Sunday of the month and the Jersey Shore was well represented with a large field of runners and volunteers. Other notable events followed to include the annual Hashathon in Cheesequake State Park and the Navesink Challenge in Middletown which attracted a record field of 1000 runners.
Lots of holiday themed events all over the Jersey Shore to include the Freehold Area Running Club’s popular Toys for tots 5K and the Jingle Bell Run in Toms River.
Jingle bell 5K in Toms River. The Asbury Park Polar Bear races were held this year as a 5K. The year traditionally culminated with the Jersey Shore Running Club’s New Year’s Eve Twilight Run.
Toms River Jingle Bell Run